“There is Always a Way.” – An Interview with Miles-McClellan Construction’s Vice President, Craig Richards
Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes they wear badges and stethoscopes, and on our team, hard hats.
But often, everyday heroes are working hard behind the scenes, striving to make a difference in the community by creating spaces that provide a safe haven for those who need a voice, an advocate and support.
Miles-McClellan Construction is honored that we have been able to help these unsung heroes and their organizations build excellence by improving the spaces in their communities. In this interview with Craig Richards, an MM Vice President, he sheds light on his experience working with non-profit organizations throughout his career, how open communication is key to a successful collaboration and why working with non-profit organizations to build excellence is incredibly rewarding.
Q: What experience do you have working with non-profits?
A: Most recent non-profit clients include the Franklin Park Conservatory, Central Ohio Community Improvement Corp., Franklin County Landbank (COCIC), The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Upper Arlington Lutheran Church.
Q: Is there a certain type of non-profit client you work best with?
A: We always look for a client that is team oriented. The last few years have been tough on the construction industry with the pandemic, which then led to inflation, rising interest rates, material supply chain issues and labor shortages. Despite all of the negativity and rising construction costs, our non-profit clients continued to keep a positive attitude and never lost focus of their mission to improve communities. In lieu of pointing fingers when budgets and schedules were threatened, the teams worked together to find a way to achieve the goal. That is the type of client we look for, regardless of the client’s industry.
Q: Why do you like working with non-profits?
A: Non-profit client missions align with Miles-McClellan Construction’s. Miles-McClellan Construction’s mission is building leaders and long-term relationships, and non-profits missions are typically about building/improving communities. Building relationships and communities go hand in hand in my opinion, which makes Miles-McClellan Construction a good fit.
Q: What do you and your team bring to the table – why would non-profits want to work with you?
A: Miles-McClellan Construction is flexible, collaborative, and transparent which fosters an environment of trust. You will never hear Miles-McClellan Construction place blame on other team members or deflect responsibility. We want to be their partner, and strive to be the easy button.
Q: Do you have an example of “how you saved the day” for a non-profit?
A: Unfortunately, we are not superheroes, therefore I can’t say we have ever truly saved the day. However, we recently had a project where the HVAC equipment was delayed approximately six months and was going to prevent the client from occupying their new building ahead of their current lease expiring. The design and construction team were able to come up with a temporary heating and cooling system until the HAVC equipment finally arrived, and was able to get the client in their new building two weeks ahead of schedule with a temporary occupancy. This was definitely not an ideal situation, but we saved the day by providing a temporary solution.
Q: Is there any specific advice you have for non-profits?
A: Invite your construction manager into the process as early as possible, and challenge them to think outside the box when times get tough. There is always a way!