Finding a 2-Way Fit

Finding a 2-Way Fit

A few months ago, I was at a lunch with a prospective customer, discussing a new project. Partway through our meal, I said, “Jim, you know if this is going to be a well-built project, we need to be a fit for you, and you for us.” To say he was taken aback is an understatement. I [Read More]

The Economic Impact of Sports Venues

The Economic Impact of Sports Venues

Yesterday evening, I had dinner at the Federal Reserve where Lake Forest College economics Professor Robert Baade gave a presentation on the economic impact of sports venues. Dr. Baade is recognized as an expert, consulting nationally and internationally with countries including South Africa and Brazil. I left with a few interesting takeaways: The social value of stand-alone sports subsidies does [Read More]

Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

[I remember saying this to my parents a zillion times on those long vacation road trips to Florida.] Since last year, I’ve been building a small cabin in the mountains and have had a great time doing it. I’ve worked with my children to get the design how we’d like it, right down to making [Read More]

Project Management Goes Mobile

Project Management Goes Mobile

  iPads have invaded our office. And our job sites. And our work trucks. We obtained them mainly to run PlanGrid, another tool for our PMs and our project superintendents on the job sites. PlanGrid is a cloud-based system. Our guys create a project, then upload plans, specs, reports and schedules. Their mobile app syncs with online [Read More]

Resume and Legacy Are Equally Important.

Resume and Legacy Are Equally Important.

  Last week, I spent about 15 hours of windshield time traveling through mid-Atlantic states visiting our projects. I made an effort to drive without music, leaving plenty of time for thought. One thing on my mind: If you were to leave this earth at 5 pm–not just any day, but TODAY–what would people say about you? [Read More]

Pal

Pal

Two weeks ago, we lost an important part of our staff when Pal, our company dog and my personal pet, died. He was 14-years-old. I struggled and I struggled about what to do. He could not get up any longer and walking was extremely painful. He could only stand on carpet. I worried about what [Read More]

Functional Green Space in the Concrete Jungle

Functional Green Space in the Concrete Jungle

Lately, we’ve been involved with several brownfield, adaptive reuse and urban redevelopment projects in city centers. Like many others, our city is experiencing an urban renaissance big enough for the Wall Street Journal to take note. Currently, we’re restoring a metropolitan theatre, redeveloping a 20-story hotel for conversation to apartments, and have several other projects on the [Read More]

This Is Not Always a Hand Off Business

This Is Not Always a Hand Off Business

When I visit one of our projects and see something that is not done as promised to our customer, there’s nothing that frustrates me more than hearing, “I told ______ to do it.” I continually remind our folks that the service business is not a hand off business. We are responsible for every detail of [Read More]

Lowering the Carbon Footprint of Grocery Refrigeration

Lowering the Carbon Footprint of Grocery Refrigeration

  Recently, we’ve been working on new construction for Sprouts Farmer’s Market, a specialty grocery concentrated on healthy living. Their management team places a focus on lowering carbon footprint, and we’ve been a part of those efforts in regards to refrigeration. The old standard  HFC refrigerant has a number of environmental concerns and regulatory pressures have added economic [Read More]

We Cannot Change the Wind, But We Can Adjust the Sails

We Cannot Change the Wind, But We Can Adjust the Sails

I just returned from the ICSC ReCON conference in Las Vegas, which some refer to as “the Super Bowl of real estate.” About 40,000 from the industry attended, and I found a sense of resilience and optimism. Now more than ever, bricks and mortar businesses are competing with pure Internet sales to create the ultimate [Read More]