Build It and They Will Come

Build It and They Will Come

When our very own David Tann was asked to be the commencement speaker for JE Dunn Construction’s Minority Contractor Development (MCD) program, it didn’t matter that his days didn’t consist of blueprints and hardhats - he knew he’d have a message that would resonate.

And he was right. In front of a room of construction engineers and builders, David’s simple, yet sound message of quality work and commitment to service hit home. Both - he explained - are not only elements of good branding, but bedrocks.

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room,” he shared, reinforcing the lesson that branding isn’t all about the cool graphics or the pretty website. The quality of your work and your reputation is your brand too, it’s the foundation. Once that foundation is set, you can build from there and the sky's the limit.

Learn more about David’s day with JE Dunn and the Minority Contractor Development program in the press release below.

Minority Firms and JE Dunn Construction Hail Business Development Program That Helps Subcontractors Put Their Best Foot Forward

ATLANTA — July 19, 2019 — The commencement event brought handshakes, heartfelt testimonials and — importantly — prospects for long-term business relationships.

JE Dunn Construction recently graduated the fourth Atlanta class of its Minority Contractor Development (MCD) Program. Ten minority and woman-owned businesses celebrated completing the eight-months curriculum for boosting their growth and industry competitiveness.

“We want to see you excel. We want to see you grow and take on larger opportunities,” saluted East Region Senior Diversity Manager Cherelle Cortez.

The MCD program selectively screens masonry, electrical, mechanical and other construction-related firms for the annual series of classes and activities. Subject matter ranges from human resources, construction technology and leadership, to legal, financials and succession planning.

Strengthening core competencies

The commencement featured branding expert David Tann of Tantrum Agency. Tann set forth: “Your brand is not your logo or your website or your marketing materials, it’s your reputation . . .  it’s the quality of your work. That’s why this program is so important. Here, you’re focusing on the business, on the product. You’re focusing on what matters most.”

Graduate Tonya Hicks of Power Solutions credited MCD “for convincing me that I have the capacity to be more and do more. They taught us how to set the framework, hire great people that match our culture, empower them and set expectations. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Success in commercial construction — including winning work on large, complex projects — requires competencies in areas such as competitive bidding, contract negotiations, risk management and project scheduling, as well as solid industry relationships.

Grooming trade partners

JE Dunn established the MCD program to assist minority and woman-owned construction-related firms in sharpening their general-business and industry-specific skills.

Reginald Jackson of The Whisper Group, a construction management firm, affirmed that MCD “allowed me to go back as an owner and say, ‘Hey, how can we get better? What do we have to do?’  Our company is moving in the right direction, and we have the tools now to do so.”

JE Dunn’s Atlanta office has a goal of at least 20% minority participation on all projects, whether or not individual clients or projects set such mandates. The MCD program enables the company to directly groom companies as trade partners.

“You’ve taken every single one of us business owners and put us into your stone-polishing machine,” said Sommersett Naser of SDC of Georgia Concrete Construction.  “You’ve taken off our rough edges and let us know what we can do to become the best, most polished, well-versed, skilled businesses, not just for JE Dunn but for other general contractors as well.”

The Atlanta MCD Class of 2019:

  • Dexter and Marvis Kelly – Benkel Consulting  Services LLC (structural concrete and steel)
  • Lewis Brown – Brown Electrical Services LLC
  • Luis Naranjo – Concrete Construction Innovations, Inc.
  • Enrico L. Washington – Construction Works, Inc.
  • Emily Poole – Telecom Innovations, LLC
  • Reginald l. Jackson ­­– The Whisper Group LLC (concrete, rebar)
  • Tonya Hicks – Power Solutions, Inc. (electrical)
  • Sommersett R. Naser ­– SDC of Georgia, Inc (concrete)
  • Kevin and Michelle Yates – Tera-Systems LLC(roofing, painting)
  • Carlos Soto – Wiring Solutions Inc.

About JE Dunn – Atlanta

JE Dunn Construction, founded in 1924, is one of the largest general building contractors in the United States, providing construction management services through 22 offices nationwide, and self-perform services at select locations. JE Dunn’s Atlanta office, established in 1985 and consistently recognized as a “best places to work” employer, as well as for leadership in both sustainable and lean construction practices and for community philanthropy, services an array of market sectors, including healthcare, higher education, K-12, commercial, industrial, manufacturing, mission critical and aviation. Atlanta is also headquarters for JE Dunn’s East Region. The Atlanta office’s portfolio includes repeat work for clients including Atlanta Public Schools, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Institute of Technology and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The JE Dunn organization is employee and family owned, and today is represented by three generations of the Dunn family in its day-to-day operations.

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