A new tilt-up contractor is gaining market share around Houston, and its leaders still have decades to grow. Texas A&M Concrete is fueled by the energy and vision of co-founders Adrian Villarreal and Marcos Chavez, and vice president David Buzzelli—all still in their 30s.
When the partners’ former employer scaled back its operations, Villarreal and Chavez saw an opportunity. They launched A&M in mid-2012, and soon brought in Buzzelli. Each has specific expertise: Chavez runs the field, Villarreal manages the shop and purchasing, and Buzzelli handles bidding, project management, and operations.
In less than two years, the team has grown its venture, without a line of credit, into an $80 million business with 300 employees. A&M specializes in turnkey tilt-up projects and industrial floors, and has a standing order for 2,500 yards of ready-mix a day from Southern Star Concrete. With three pour-and-finish crews, the contractor tackles projects ranging from four-story hospital buildings to 200,000-square-foot warehouses. A&M is now building the largest Buc-ee’s gas station to date—a 60,000-square-foot structure with 700,000 square feet of paving in Texas City.
Secrets of success: lean operations and hands-on management. “Marcos is out supervising pours every day by 4 a.m., and we’re usually at the office until 7 or 8 p.m. We’re dedicated to maintaining that level of involvement,” says Buzzelli.
The company’s five operations employees are all related to Chavez, Villarreal, or Buzzelli, and all feel personally responsible and committed to A&M’s success. “We have a chemistry and trust that larger operations don’t have,” says Buzzelli, “and we’re planning to keep it that way.”