Peter Rodrigues, Tony Rodrigues, Chris Rodrigues, and Tony Rodrigues Jr., left to right, led Roger & Sons as the fastest growing company in this yearís survey. Founded in 1976 by Acacio “Roger” Rodrigues after emigrating from Portugal, it’s now run by his three sons, Manny, Joseph, and Antonio (Tony). Each brother also has a son working for the company—a real family affair.Tony’s son Peter is the executive project manager for the complex 4 WTC. With degrees in architectural engineering and construction management, he represents what’s needed for the next generation of construction leadership. When they won the 4 WTC project it provided them with an opportunity for growth during a down time, says Peter. The multi-year contract also provided a base, allowing pursuit of other projects without the pressures of maintaining cash-flow. Currently, the company has other ongoing high-rise projects and a full bid board, so they believe 2013 will be a big year for construction in Manhattan.
Ketchum is in the heart of Sun Valley, an area famous for its natural beauty and high-end vacation homes. Grady Garrett’s 22-year old concrete construction company has always depended on the steady revenue from those large residential jobs. But that all changed when the housing market collapsed in 2008, forcing Garrett to change his focus to concrete water tanks and commercial projects to keep his company going. “We didn’t have any debt going into the recession and that made a great difference for us,” he adds.During 2011 the market for high-end housing has improved a little in Sun Valley and Garrett was able to get two cast-in-place concrete home projects. Garrett thinks Idaho’s construction market has found its bottom and is beginning to rebound—he is more than ready.
When the construction market declined, Kent reacted by coming to grips with the new reality, rather than trying harder to get more work. It focused on working faster, more efficiently, and turning out higher quality jobs. “We marketed our leadership, new technology, and higher productivity,” says Jeff Vander Laan, the company’s CEO. “We sought out companies who were doing a lot of work and focused on building good relationships with them.”Today, Kent’s backlog is higher than it was in 2011; Vander Laan thinks this means they have reached a positive tipping point in their market areas—hoping the market won’t fall back in 2013.
Lindblad’s focus is concrete construction in three primary markets: general construction and build-out work, light commercial, and industrial concrete—industrial being its bread-and-butter business. Its industrial work includes chemical plants, refineries, pipeline work, and power distribution and sub-stations all in northern Illinois. The industrial market was weak in 2010 but shows strong signs of returning now, says Mark Stadalsky, the company’s vice president, and these companies are again planning asset improvement projects.Like most companies, Lindblad reduced its operating expenses when work became scarce, which included upgrading its accounting software and using “cloud computing” services to enable employees to enter and receive data in real time from jobsites and other outside locations.