Chris Forster
Chris Forster Chris Forster

During these hard economic times, you don’t often hear about a construction company with a full work load, but that’s the case for Morley Construction, Santa Monica, Calif. It realized a couple of years ago it couldn’t depend on low-bid (and negative bid) work to sustain itself. It also realized its best opportunity for new work was with past clients; those who knew its work best. So the company stepped up effort to strengthen past relationships and it paid off. Past clients now make up a significant portion of the company’s current work load. Its formula is simple: perform quality work, inspire trust, and continue the relationship on new projects.

As vice president of Morley Construction, Forster helps manage and develop relationships with its clients at all levels. He has been with the company his entire professional life, starting after completing a bachelor’s degree in construction management from California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo in 1985 and a master’s in business from UCLA. He started as a field engineer and quickly rose through the ranks, first managing projects as superintendent and project manager, going on to manage the company’s estimating department, and establishing a San Diego regional office. Now as vice president, he oversees all concrete operations.

Under Forster’s watchful eye, Morley installs a wide range of concrete work, including its specialty architectural concrete, mass concrete, a wide range of commercial structural buildings, and high-end residential work. Architectural concrete is often a strong element in the projects and the reason the company is awarded the job. Forster says he must have a broad knowledge of concrete and often works out the fine details of mixes with the company’s ready-mix producer.

Forster also guides project teams, works on business development, manages Morley’s estimating department, conducts preconstruction planning (including mock-ups and developing mix designs), develops client relationships, and represents Morley at the American Society of Concrete Contractors and ACI conferences. He is the president of the local ACI chapter and chairman of ACI 303 Architectural Cast-in-Place Concrete.

Forester believes the sharing of information in the concrete industry is the key to helping everyone grow and feels great pride in giving back to the industry that has given him so much.

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