Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Miles Construction and your position.
Carey Richardson: Miles Construction celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. We are a commercial general contractor that employs between 20 and 40
employees. Our focus is varied within commercial construction ranging from industrial to education to retail and office. The company started with pre-engineered steel buildings as its focus, and we have expanded on that but it still remains one of our strengths.
I am vice president of business operations and one of three owners of the company. My responsibilities are the office side of things. I am responsible for all the financial aspects, estimating and project management.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Richardson: My earliest recollections are working in my grandfather's woodshop and building forts as a child to remodeling our own home in the summer. I have always been in construction. I don't know if I really chose it, it is just who I am.
NNBW: What are your company's strengths and weaknesses compared to its competition?
Richardson: The construction industry is notorious for having an adversarial relationship between the office and field operations. One of our strengths is that we have strong synergy between the office and the field. Owner Jerry Deines is responsible for all the field operations he builds the buildings. The two of us work together very closely to make sure that a team approach between the office and the field is maintained. We try to keep simple things simple and do the right thing.
NNBW: What's the most important thing you have learned in your career in construction?
Richardson: Construction is a very dynamic and flowing process. Planning is critical, but at the same time it took me a while to learn to be able to adapt and flow as things changed and not try to solve every problem that could happen. You have to let some things play out and take your time and solve the problems as they arise.
NNBW: What are your greatest strengths?
Richardson: My greatest strength is my ability to understand and work with all of the unique dynamics and various aspects of a construction project. More and more, you get to the point where the bricks and mortar is the simple thing. You have to deal with the politics and the owner to work through entitlement and finance issues those are more and more difficult aspects of construction.
NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession?
Richardson: In today's economy construction would be one of the harder industries to break into, but there are still opportunities. You have to have an understanding of what you are going to do better than what anyone else is doing and stay focused on that one thing.
NNBW: Tell us about the most fun you have had on the job.
Richardson: We do lot of manufacturing projects, and before we start it usually encompasses a tour of an existing facility. Those tours are always extremely interesting. It is like walking through a Discovery Channel show on how something is made. It is fun, and I learn something every day.
NNBW: What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes? How do you spend your time away from work?
Richardson: I enjoy exploring the Sierra, off-roading in our Jeep, camping and hiking, taking advantage of Lake Tahoe. I like snowboarding and playing hockey in the winter, and spending time with the family outdoors as much as possible.
NNBW: What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Richardson: Not one piece of advice, but there is a code of conduct and a way in which you conduct yourself in business and the way you treat clients, employees and vendors. People who understand that code of conduct and adhere to it are successful. It is simple, but at the same time not many people understand it.
Name: Cary Richardson/Vice President Business Operations, Miles Construction
How long have you been in this job? Nine years
How long in the profession? 18 years
Education: BS Civil Engineering, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Last book read? "How the Mighty have Fallen" by Jim Collins
The best movie ever? "Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein"
Spouse, kids or pets? Wife Carrie; daughter, Lena, 10 years old; dogs Bandit and Scrappy