In 1982, Southwest Florida looked like the land of opportunity to
We’re doing OK. We do a lot of government work—about 80 percent of our business—and that’s been fair to good. We have a big job resurfacing a 30-mile stretch of I-75 between
How do you feel about stimulating the economy through infrastructure projects?
Really, really good. It’s not just job creation—taxpayers will benefit by traffic moving faster and saving money on gas.
I’m an old guy now, and it’s great to be around my young employees and see them succeed, to see their eyes light up when good things happen, when a job is done well and wins awards. I’ve had people start in their 20s here as laborers and work their way up to field supervisors and managers.
in their 20s here as laborers and work their way up to field supervisors and managers.
Just trying to keep everyone positive and energized right now. I tell them every day we come to work we’re adding to the economy.
We have good benefits, a 401(K) that we match, and we give bonuses to everybody when we make a profit. Every week I take a random employee to breakfast. I call it “Breakfast with the Boss.” It’s hard to communicate with some of the Spanish-speaking guys, but we smile a lot. We’re all the same, with personal problems and goals and families we’re trying to support.
In this economy:
We’re belt-tightening big-time. Gas is a huge expense for us—we buy futures of natural gas and diesel fuel to hedge against inflation. We haven’t been replacing a lot of equipment, and we’ve tightened up our credit.
I love being in the woods and with family at our place on a lake in
When I was 10, my dad and I built a cottage in the woods in
I always say:
You can’t replace the good old-fashioned work ethic. Get up every day and get after it, and then go home and enjoy your family.