Why a Personal Brand Matters

Why a Personal Brand Matters

This year, we celebrate 3 decades. Over these years, I have learned that people typically feel “sold” by a company or service provider. But people naturally trust and connect with one another as well. It is equally important to the service or product to grow a personal reputation, then let it precede you. If done [Read More]

Fenway Park: Experience of a Lifetime

Fenway Park: Experience of a Lifetime

Last week, I learned that Robin Williams and I were born in the same year, ’51. A day or so after his death I happened across this tribute video and one particular quote struck a chord with me: “None of us are very long on this earth. Life is fleeting…Make your life spectacular.” It got [Read More]

Re-Imaging Rickwood

Re-Imaging Rickwood

Birmingham, where our company is headquartered, is a city in transition. We are seeing a renaissance in the urban: Warehouse and industrial areas transforming into top entertainment districts. Long empty buildings being filled with bright new talent and young people. Historic spots getting the credence they’ve always deserved. One locale that’s seen particular change is the [Read More]

Construction Is {Slowly} Going Paperless

Construction Is {Slowly} Going Paperless

It wasn’t that long ago–five years maybe–that submitting items to an architect for approval meant making six copies to stamp. We would file two copies and the architect would distribute his four to various engineers and decision makers. Talk about a “paper trail.” Our filing cabinets were bursting at the seams. These days, the process is managed [Read More]

How the Reflectit Coating Has Worked for Us

How the Reflectit Coating Has Worked for Us

  We recently used Reflectit, a relatively new product brought to the market by Dryvit, on an interesting urban project. Station 22, a Birmingham fire station circa 1930, sat empty for years. Our customer and our team both thought that if the station could be saved, it could provide an interesting link between the current Lakeview entertainment [Read More]

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]