Closing Out 2022 with Senior Project Manager, Brock McDonald

Brock is one of our Senior Project Managers, leading multiple project teams, to help us be more efficient for our clients and partners. He has been with HGC for over 10 years & recently sat down with us to reflect on 2022 & give us the scoop on 2023.

Q: What are you and the project managers responsible for?

A: In a very broad sense, once we win a project, we are responsible for maintaining the budget, schedule, & client relationship. We also do what we call “VE”, which is value engineering. This allows us to find creative and innovative solutions to our clients’ project needs. Our team has the experience and skills needed to move a project from Point A to Point B while [hopefully] saving our clients time … and money along the way! This is one of the differentiators for our team and HGC, so we’ll take that every single day.

Q: Our project teams have recently restructured, can you outline this for us?

A: Our entire company used to be structured differently and we continue to evolve every year. When I started, we only had about 150 people on the team. Now, we’re over 720 teammates! As the industry and needs of our clients have changed, so has our vision to be the best. Our most recent changes have allowed us to be a more unified, streamlined team, operating as one unit to approach a project. This is crucial to meeting our client’s needs as there are a lot of moving parts to a project – operators, subcontractors, and crews, that must work together for the successful completion of a project.

Q: Was there a project that stood out to you in 2022?

A: I think it has to be Project Ridgeline with Edifice. It’s always great working with them and Ridgeline was the last project that I managed myself before moving into this Senior Project Manager role. It was a very successful project for us & when our scope of work ended it felt like I had turned a page in my career.

Project Ridgeline, one of the many projects HGC was blessed to work on in 2022.

Q: What were some of the biggest obstacles within our industry in 2022? How did the project teams overcome them?

A: We really try not to view anything as an obstacle or problem, but rather as an opportunity. Over the past year, material & fuel prices escalated & that makes it tougher on us and our clients. With that said, I’m proud of how our team turned it around & made what could have been a larger issue into an area of opportunity. We were proactive & got ahead of our work any chance we could, especially around material releases.

In October 2022, I started working on materials for April 2023. There were also times this year when one job site didn’t have materials but another one did, so we worked together & prioritized each project’s needs. This forward-thinking problem-solving has allowed us to keep our projects moving forward despite the unpredictable changes in the industry and market.

Q: What are you looking forward to most in 2023?

A: I’m looking forward to growing and learning as a leader at HGC & continuing to bring in strong teammates who follow our core values. Whether it’s with our project managers, estimators or our teammates out in the field getting it done every day, it’s great to see new faces with the drive & passion to be part of something great.

Across the industry, I’m looking forward to this market staying strong. Interest rates & material prices are a little higher than they need to be, but we’ve developed strategies here that are truly ready for anything. I’d like to see these go down, but I’m thankful for trade partners that work with us every step of the way to navigate these unprecedented times!

Q: Where do you see HGC going in 2023?

A: I see us continuing to find areas of opportunity, not shying away from anything that comes our way & making an even bigger impact within our footprint. Thanks to senior leadership, I know we’ll maintain [and strengthen] our company culture which will allow us to continue to succeed in uncertain economic times. Next year, we will build off what we learned in 2022 to continue being the best!

Q: HGC is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2023, what does that mean to you? And what have been some keys to the success of HGC?

A: I think it goes back to the beginning with Mr. Daniel and Larry Hoopaugh. They started not only a business but laid the foundation for an organization that has stood the test of time. By creating a culture of supporting others and providing client-driven solutions, we have been able to maintain our reputation for 70 years. It’s truly amazing!

With our current leadership team in place, we have been able to achieve milestones I couldn’t even dream about when I started, and I think that is a testament to our culture. We have dependable, respectful teammates in every position at HGC who are willing to do what it takes & that is going to allow us to keep being the best for another 70 years!