What does your job entail?
My company does a lot of commercial and industrial work. We build (or manage subcontractors who build) projects like hospitals, hotels, schools and office buildings. We also have been working with solar power; we installed panels in the desert that feed power back into the utility company. My role is to oversee the whole office — everything from the progress of projects to marketing and employee training. In this economy, I focus on making sure we look at new market opportunities.
Why did you choose Missouri State?
I was actually on campus for 16 years: I went to Greenwood for elementary and high school. My dad was a home developer in Springfield and I wanted to get a degree and go into business with him.
Tell us the story of your career.
When I graduated in 1980, the economy was like it is now. I decided to get a graduate degree and see if things were better — but they weren’t. My dad had a friend who was in commercial building; he introduced me to the McCarthy Company in 1982 when there was a building boom in Houston, Texas. I worked in that area, then in Dallas, then in Tampa, Fla. When I was 29 they decided to give me the role of project manager on the biggest project they ever built, a hospital in New Hampshire. After that, I went to corporate headquarters in St. Louis, and then transferred to the southwest division as a vice president. When the president here retired, about 10 years ago, I took his spot.
What is the coolest thing about your job?
I have done some things I never dreamed I could do when I was younger, like build large projects. I’m able to leave a legacy behind me.
How did what you learned on campus help you in your career?
I learned my work ethic from my father, but I realized the value of academics at MSU. You can’t just have book smarts or a good work ethic. You have to have both for a long-term career, because you don’t stop learning when you graduate!
Where did you like to hang out?
I was in the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, so I remember being at the house.
Do you ever come back to campus?
I try to get back at least once a year because I have some extended family in Springfield. I like to walk around campus and look at the older buildings — those look timeless.
What are you most proud of?
I am blessed to have a great family. My wife, Lani, and I met at Pittsburg State. She heads up Heart Hats, McCarthy’s community-involvement program. We have two girls: Brittany, 24, and Lauren, 21.
What do you do in your spare time?
I grew up on the lakes, especially Table Rock, and I enjoy fishing and hunting. My Ozarks relatives try to do that with me when I get back to the area. In Arizona, I play golf — and the hiking here is great.
What are your plans for the future?
My goal is to retire young enough to share my skills with charities. I want to go into developing countries to help build schools and other infrastructure. I have been to Mexico a few times to help build homes, and McCarthy has built a few Habitat for Humanity houses.