In the spring of 1980, I got into the Federal Design & Construction business as an Architectural Intern working on Federal Penitentiaries designs. After graduating in 1983 from the University of Kansas with dual degrees in Architectural Engineering and Environmental Design. I went to work at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pantex Nuclear Weapons Factory in Amarillo, TX. While there, I worked as a Contracting Officer’s Representative ensuring that the General Contractors followed the Plans & Specs for the Nuclear Weapons Assembly Complex that was being constructed. Eventually, I moved into Designing buildings to support the United States’ Nuclear Weapons Program. Over time, we transitioned from doing the designs to hiring Design Teams to do the work for us. At that time, I was assigned to work on Selection Board Committees to hire Design Teams to assist in the designs of the Nuclear Weapons Program. After hiring the teams, we reviewed their work for compliance. Also included in my responsibilities was to write Request for Proposal Documents, used for soliciting the Design Teams. I was a real Government Insider and held a Top Secret USDOE Q Clearance. In 1990, I moved to Lexington, KY where I worked for a Design Firm as an Architect and Project Manager designing Commercial, Industrial and Federal Government buildings. In 1996, the company moved into the Design-Build Construction Management Market and I became a Design-Build Project Manager. In 1998, I sold the first major Design-Build Project for the company; it was a Rocket Ship Motor Assembly Facility at the Stennis Space Center, Mississippi. (The building is now being used to maintain the Space Shuttle Motor Fleet.) While there, I designed and built several projects for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, Department of Energy and other Government agencies. In 2000, I left that Design Firm to open a Construction Company within another Design firm. In the year that I was there, I oversaw the design and construction of several institutional and medical buildings as well as a large horse farm. Unexpectedly, the first design firm asked me to return to run their Design-Build Group. Upon my return,
I had to establish the Design-Build Group as an independent entity. Our initial marketing plan was to win Commercial, Industrial and Government Design-Build Projects. Eventually, we targeted only the Federal Design-Build business and won and executed several projects. I did not know what I did not know. I was in charge of the Federal Government Design-Build group where we spent over $250,000 (mostly in proposal preparation labor) in one year chasing Federal Government Design-Build projects with NO results. We were told time and time again by the Government that our proposed designs were acceptable but we did not meet the minimum construction project experience requirement and we were too expensive. I had to learn in the School of Hard Knocks as the Internet was still in infancy and consultants were not readily available. Then I decided the best way to get this company without a great prior experience project resume into the US Federal Government market was to partner with an 8a construction company with Federal Government experience. About that same time we hired a business development manager with Federal Government experience. We won a project with the 8a Construction Company. I bid the project as if it was in the private sector. I was going to teach those Government Bureaucrats something about construction in the private sector. Big Mistake! I got schooled and we lost a ton of money. The company was not real happy with the results of our first foray. We hired a project manager that was experienced with bidding and managing Federal Government Construction projects. Between him and the business develop manager I began to understand how to win and successfully execute Federal Government projects at a profit. What I discovered is to be successful in Federal Government Design-Build business is to become an expert in the rules of that game and at making those rules work for you. I made it my mission to become an Expert at the Federal Government’s rules for Design-Build and Construction projects.
I dug back into my past and poured over all my old training manuals on how to select and manage Design Professionals and General Contractors. From then on I became an adept proposal writer helping you win and successfully executing Federal government contracts. I have documented all that experience and training into my eBook "Federal Government Design Build Strategies for Success". For You Do-It-Yourself people I have a How-to-Win-and-Successfully-Perform your Federal Government Contract Video training series.
Now I have been fortunate enough to work with many good General Contractors and Design professionals’ to fast track them into winning and successfully executed Federal Government construction projects. As you can see from the above, I am multi-lingual, i.e., I speak Architect, Engineer, General Contractor, Design-Build, Fast-Track and, most relevant to this website, I SPEAK fluent FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! In my spare time, I managed to design and build two houses for myself and 40 houses for Habitat for Humanity, 20 of which were built in one week. The first house I built at the age of 23 to learn about the Design-Build business; I felt that, in order to be a better Architect, I needed to know how Contractors use the drawings we Architects produce. [As an aside, when I switch my hats from General Contractor to Architect, I consider it the ultimate compliment when I’m told by Contractors and Building Code Officials how much they appreciate the way I’ve learned to organize Contract Documents because they are very “user-friendly”. This is information that I continue to teach to those who are willing to listen.
PERSONAL I am married to a wonderful women who is a Psychologist and is very patient with me. I have three sons, a stepdaughter and one step-grandson. We live on the beach in the Panhandle of Florida and love to play tennis. In my spare time, I’m constantly making improvements to the property.