In his own words: BJ Sullivan, CEO of Clark & Sullivan

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your company.BJ Sullivan: Clark & Sullivan Construction is a general contractor with an established commitment to provide facilities where people are proud to live, learn, work and play. We provide assistance in all phases of construction, specializing in both design and construction, from projects including schools, medical facilities, office building, fire stations, event centers, parking structures, casinos, tenant improvement, museums and restaurants. Clark & Sullivan was founded in 1981 in Reno. We have expanded our operations to include the Las Vegas, northern California and Wyoming markets. We are a privately held company priding ourselves on commitment, quality and customer service. NNBW: What are the duties of your position? Sullivan: My role in the company includes everything from managing daily operations to overseeing project activity. I am responsible for making sure everyone at Clark & Sullivan is meeting clients expectations. I am accountable for in-depth projects as well as making decisions and managing onsite construction. NNBW: How did you get into this profession? Sullivan: After graduating college, I joined the U.S Marine Corps as an officer and became second lieutenant. I was sent overseas to Japan as leader of a construction team. Upon returning the U.S., I worked for a company in Sacramento for five years until I transferred to Reno. I moved to Reno in 1979 and worked for Dave Clark and Gene Samproni, the owners of CHS. In1980, Dave Clark and I bought out Gene Samproni and began Clark & Sullivan. NNBW: What is something no one knows about your job? Sullivan: We are in the service business. Our success relies not only on reading plans and executing construction. It is about meeting the needs of our clients. Much of our finished product doesnt come straight from the blueprints it comes from the clients vision. NNBW: If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Sullivan: I dont think I would have chosen any other profession. This has been very enjoyable for me. Many opportunities have come to me that I have passed on and even if there were others, I still think I would have pursued my career in construction management. NNBW: What do you like to do when youre not working? Sullivan: When I am not working, I enjoy skiing and traveling. Traveling is great because you get to see how other people live in different parts of the world. It is when I am traveling or on the slopes that I just feel relaxed. I also enjoy spending time with my family.NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession? Sullivan: Its just as important, if not more, to develop people skills and listen to what clients envision and use that skill to design and build a product they will be happy with and we will be proud of. NNBW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why would you want it? Sullivan: Teleportation no jet lag.NNBW: Whats the best advice anyone ever gave you? Sullivan: Dont try to control things that are beyond your control.NNBW: What do you like most about your job? What do you like least? Sullivan: The thing I love most about my job is that at the end of the day, I have a tangible product to be proud of. I can show others what it is that my company built. For example, I get most excited sharing that we constructed the Nevada Supreme Court in Carson City and The Nevada Museum of Art. The thing I like least is dealing with a challenging economy as it is our biggest hurdle as a company.NNBW: What words would most people use to describe you? Sullivan: Focused, intense, understanding, experienced, consistent, intelligent, aware.The basics:Name/title: BJ Sullivan/president, CEO, Clark & Sullivan Construction How long have you been in this job? 30 yearsHow long in the profession? 35 yearsEducation: Bachelor of science in civil engineering, University of WyomingBest book youve read? 1491 by Charles C. MannWhats on your iPod? 50s music and country western like Hank WilliamsThe best movie ever? TakenSpouse, kids or pets? Married, four daughters ages 15-42.Know someone whose perspective you want to share with NNBW readers? Send contact information to: or call 775-850-2146.


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