Interview with Keith Buswell
Vice President of Corporate Relations, Wadman Corporation
Industry: Commercial Construction
Chamber Member Since: 1993
Wadman Corporation, headquartered in Ogden, UT, specializes in commercial construction. Services include pre-construction, construction management, design-build, general contracting, post construction, development services, renovations, repair and maintenance.
Q: Who are Wadman’s typical customers?
A: In the 66 years we’ve been in business, we have worked in all segments of commercial construction and we’re proud that 90 percent of our work comes from repeat clients. We’ve built grocery and mass merchant stores such as Smiths and Walmart. For the past 25 years, we’ve worked in the hospitality segment building hotels, resorts and condominiums among others. We have built several mountain resorts in Park City, UT; Steamboat Springs, CO; and Mammoth Mountain, CA. We also constructed the new terminal buildings at the Jackson Hole, WY airport. We do a lot of regular commercial buildings such as offices, medical clinics, warehouses, fire stations, community activity centers, religious buildings and much more. We recently constructed the LDS Temple in Payson, UT.
Q: How is the construction industry changing and how is Wadman reacting?
A: Like other industries, technology is quickly advancing and changing the way we do things. The speed of communication between owners, architects, engineers and builders has increased exponentially. When there’s a question on site, the superintendent can easily take a photo and send it to the architects and engineers. They can help answer questions without delaying construction. We embrace new technology and look for new implementation opportunities to better serve our clients.
Q: What are some of the ways Wadman engages with the Ogden-Weber community?
A: The majority of our work is outside Weber County, but we live here in the local communities and we look for opportunities to improve the quality of life here. Our founder, Jay Wadman instilled a core value of service in the organization. Each year, we hold leadership training for Wadman employees. On the first day, we spend time doing office training and hear from inspirational speakers. We talk about what we do well and where we can improve. But, we spend the second day out in the community. In May of this year we did a major remodel and make-over to the Your Community Connection (YCC) transitional housing units. We updated flooring, paint, fixtures, lights, Kplumbing and so on. Not only were Wadman employees volunteering, but we had several of our subcontractors and suppliers assist in this effort. There were approximately 120 individuals working side by side to complete this important community project.
Q: What is the company’s biggest challenge and how are you addressing it?
A: The construction industry is challenged with attracting and recruiting hard-working, young people. Especially when the economy is good, we get busy and there aren’t enough people to fill the roles we need. We’re working with the Ogden-Weber Tech College and Weber State University to give students exposure and insight into the opportunities available in the construction industry.
Q: What is something that people might be surprised to learn about Wadman?
A: People would probably be surprised to know that Wadman employs a remote, licensed drone pilot! They take aerial shots of our projects so our clients can see all phases of construction. We also have a unique culture and high tenure at Wadman that differs us from our competitors. We use basic family qualities and hard work to recruit and take care of employees. After 10 years with the organization, each employee’s photo is hung on our wall. Because our employees realize that loyalties are two-way, they’re passionate and skilled at what they do.