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Forrest McNabb, President, Mountain West Region, Big-D Construction

Interview with Forrest McNabb
President, Mountain West Region, Big-D Construction


Industry: Construction
Founded: 1967
Employees: 900
Chamber Member Since: 1979
Website: http://big-d.com/

As one of the largest construction organizations in the country, Big-D’s family of companies includes more than 900 associates and 50 years of experience providing Design-Build, General Contracting and Construction Management services to customers from a wide variety of industries.

Q: Who are Big-D’s typical customers?

A: Big-D provides design-build, general contracting and construction management services to customers requiring these professional services in a wide variety of industries across the U.S.

Q: Big-D is extremely busy right now. What do you attribute that to?

A: Last year was a great year for us and we are always looking to set the bar even higher. Our concern is always ensuring we have the proper backlog moving forward as an organization. We have passionate, talented and focused employees (as well as leadership) that keep us on track. Our valued customers play a large role in the everyday success of our organization – we have a repeat customer base of approximately 90%.

Q: What is the scope/scale of the commercial construction projects you typically take on?

A: We serve commercial, industrial and high-end residential customers for projects of various size and scope. For example, we are currently working with one customer that we have 7 projects under construction or recently completed, ranging from $11,000 to $26 million. In the Ogden area alone, we have completed projects ranging from renovations at McKay-Dee Hospital, to the Ogden Temple, to more than 30 projects for Business Depot Ogden – and that’s just a small sample. As our founder Dee Livingood told us many years ago, our customers determine our projects because if we don’t take care of them, someone else will.

Q: How is the construction industry changing and how is Big-D reacting?

A: The Healthcare and Food & Beverage industries are very active, along with retail and the movement towards e-commerce. This shift creates the need for strategic locations of distribution. The multifamily market is still one of the largest we have witnessed in Utah and through our regional offices across the country. Another area of focus is balancing leading edge technology and innovation along with its implementation in an intelligent manner with our people.

Q: What is the company’s biggest challenge and how are you addressing it?

A: An area of concern for us and all those involved in the building industry is simply the available labor force. The unfortunate consequence of the economic downturn in 2008, as well as the rapid bounce back, is a significant lack of skilled labor and professional managers in the construction industry. Many left the industry or retired. It is a bit surprising that we are still battling the decreased infill, because the construction industry is one of the highest paying market segments of any industry. The need for professional managers and craftsmen are at a critical point. We as an industry are still working on creating interest in a rewarding career, where anyone can make a great living for themselves and their families.

Q: What are some of the ways Big-D engages with the Ogden-Weber community?

A: Our company began here and we are still deeply rooted in the community. In fact, many of our employees call the Ogden-Weber area home. We have built over 200 projects in Ogden and the surrounding areas, and are involved with numerous community events and charitable organizations. Additionally, Big-D was named 2015 Business of the Year by the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce.

Q: What is something people might be surprised to learn about Big-D?

A: We are celebrating 50 years of business! You can learn more about our history on this interactive timeline: http://big-d.com/why-big-d/50-years/ . Additionally, Big-D also has eight offices and nearly 900 team members across the U.S. Through it all, our roots remain strong in the Ogden-Weber community.

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