Skip to main content

Mike Dunham, AGC Georgia Q&A

RKR: Please share with us your background and how you came to work with the AGC as well as your current job and responsibilities?

Mike: I am the luckiest person in the world because right after I graduated college I interviewed with a group of gentlemen at the Northeast Louisiana Contractors Association, a small chapter of AGC of America. They must have seen something in me because they gave me an opportunity to be their executive. I worked for that chapter for eight years and then went to work for a larger AGC chapter in Jacksonville, Florida. I spent six years in Florida and then was hired here at AGC Georgia in 1995. The person I replaced was the chief staff officer for 41 years. I’ve now worked within the AGC organization for 37 years. It’s been a tremendous career so far and my responsibilities as CEO are all encompassing, as any CEO job. As a statewide chapter, our general and specialty contractor members are big and small, perform public and private work and are from all regions of the state. In addition to our contractor members, we benefit from having service providers and suppliers in our membership. I’m honored to advocate for all the incredible companies making up Georgia’s commercial construction industry.

RKR: In this day and age, it’s impressive you have worked for one company your entire career.

Mike: Yes, it’s not as commonplace today as it was a generation ago. What makes my job so great are the people I have worked with over the years. In my opinion, construction is the last faction of the true free enterprise industries where you can be self‐made. Contractors face tremendous odds and challenges. I think it’s a tremendous industry to work in and work for. Never do I have two days that are the same. It’s not just going in and sitting in a cubicle or office day in and day out. Our AGC Georgia team does a little bit of everything from being at the Capitol, to visiting governmental offices, to working with construction instructors at schools, to working with industry professionals and even buyers of construction services.

RKR: What major initiatives are underway at AGC Georgia? AGC of America?

Mike: Compared to all 88 chapters of AGC of America, we are a very diverse and our membership is large ‐ so we do a lot. AGC Georgia is very active in the governmental arena. We recently had a legislative committee meeting with more than 30 people in the room talking about the issues impacting our industry. We are very engaged in safety, which is job one for our members. We work to help contractors embrace evolving technology, and we provide a lot of training, including building information modeling certification courses. We also offer education in the areas of professional development and soft skills. The one area requiring a lot of our resources is workforce development. Our contractors need more qualified and skilled people on their projects. We are seeking more young men and women to view our industry as a rewarding career path that can be entered by either earning a college degree in construction management or becoming skilled in trades such as electrical, masonry, painting, carpentry, etc. The workforce initiatives and related issues are the same challenges across America. We have an aging work force that is leaving the industry at a far greater rate than new people are entering. In fact, it’s at approximately a 4:1 ratio. This statistic alone keeps us focused on the fact that we must do a better job of developing a sustainable pipeline of talent in all construction career paths.

RKR: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Mike: I can look back on a lot of things where we have had a positive impact on the market in construction. We have made it easier for contractors to do their job, to make them more productive, to make them more profitable, to make their jobsites safer, and to make it a better place to work. When you feel that you are having that kind of an impact, it makes you want to do more. I find it rewarding to look in the law books in Louisiana and Florida and here in Georgia and see AGC’s fingerprints on legislative successes. It’s great to hear someone talk about what they learned when they came to a class and how they put their new knowledge to work for themselves and or their company. Knowing you are making a difference is rewarding.

RKR: What does the future hold for the construction industry in Georgia?

Mike: The future is bright. As the hub of the south, Georgia is perfectly positioned. Helping our economic growth is the fact that Atlanta is the third largest city with Fortune 500 headquarters behind New York and Houston. We continue to have corporations relocate their headquarters here. America's shift to the sun belt is at a steady march. I heard an economist state "that by 2044, half of America’s population will live in the 14 southern states." And he backed that up by saying "you don’t ever hear people say, ‘I can't wait to retire so I can move to New Jersey.’” Our quality of life and the fact that we still have affordable land and housing are major reasons Georgia is a great location for business and families. Also helping keep Georgia vibrant is the Savannah Port and the multiple military bases. Having said all that, I also think we have challenges ahead of us. We need to maintain a strong education system to provide our students the ability to be work ready, job ready. We have counties suffering from a negative population shift and I attribute that to those areas not having an economic base. When you simultaneously have two Georgias, you really need to be attentive to both their needs for the greater whole to be successful in the long run. AGC Georgia continues to look at the big picture and see how our industry can help all communities.

RKR: What are your interests outside of work?

Mike: I enjoy playing golf, but I don’t get the opportunity very often. Making it worse, people who see me play say I don't play at all! When the opportunity comes, I don’t turn down a chance to quail hunt. The best thing I have going for me is a great family. My wife and I have two grown daughters and my youngest just delivered our first grandchildren – twin granddaughters. I’m enjoying as much time as I can with them now. The other pretty exciting thing this job provides me is an amazing opportunity to travel the country. I’ve seen a lot of it by attending AGC of America meetings around the country. My wife and I especially love visiting national parks.

RKR: Anything else you would like to add?

Mike: Yes, I would like to offer a little about RKR’s team leader. Randall Redding is a special contractor. He is what I call a “contractor’s contractor” and he has a great reputation in the industry. He was an outstanding president for AGC Georgia and he has served on our board and our executive committee. I admire how he empowered his employees to get engaged with AGC Georgia. Everyone I meet with RKR truly wants to help make the entire industry better by offering their individual expertise to the greater good. I appreciate him and leaders like him. They enjoy healthy competition among their competitors, but keep the AGC Georgia values of “skill, integrity and responsibility” at the forefront and want the entire industry to be better. Its people like Randall and his team who make my job so rewarding and who make AGC Georgia so successful.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

West Georgia Habitat Changes Lives

Habitat for Humanity builds more than homes, it provides a new beginning to deserving people. Since 1976, Habitat has helped 6.8 million people find strength, stability and independence through safe, decent and affordable shelter. R. K. Redding Construction organized the West Georgia Habitat for Humanity home build in Bremen last fall. Twenty companies that work in the West Georgia area came together as one to build a new home for a deserving family in Haralson County. This “community” of volunteers not only made a significant difference for the area, according to recent studies, employees are more satisfied with their jobs when they are allowed to take a day for community service. In addition, 59% of Americans are more likely to buy a product associated with a corporate-nonprofit partnership. Beyond the obvious of doing good deeds in the communities in which you serve, it has been proven that companies which practice corporate social responsibility will significantly outperfor

AGC Georgia Receives National Recognition for Association Excellence

Atlanta, GA, Sept. 30, 2014 – The Associated General Contractors of Georgia, Inc. (AGC Georgia) announced today they are the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Large Chapter of the Year Award presented by The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC of America). This award was given out at a gala dinner in front of 350 industry leaders from across the U.S. who participated in AGC of America’s recent annual National and Chapter Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. Representing AGC Georgia at this conference include Randall Redding, President of R. K. Redding Construction, Inc., in Bremen and Trey Anderson, President of Anderson Construction Company of Fort Gaines, the Chapter’s 2014-15 president and vice president, as well as Mike Dunham and Mark Woodall, AGC Georgia’s CEO and director of governmental affairs. With a national network of 94 Chapters and 25,000 member firms in the AGC organization, “receiving this award is an incredible honor for us and our membership thro

Strong Foundations | Spring 2019

A Message from Randall Redding With spring fully upon us, it’s wonderful to enjoy the weather and spend time with family. I am excited to share the latest issue of the  Strong Foundations newsletter. In the first article, we spoke to Eric McDonald, President & CEO of Greater Haralson Chamber of Commerce, and Daniel Jackson, President & CEO of Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. They are members of the Greater West Georgia Joint Development Authority (GWGJDA), which has grown to represent seven area counties that work together on multi-county projects to benefit West Georgia residents. The other article discusses the recent trend of building with modular and prefabricated construction materials. This method of off-site construction and then transported to the worksite offers many advantages, but it does have its setbacks. At RKR, we will continue to examine new ways to solve the complex issues facing our industry, always with our client’s goals in mind. Thanks for

A Conversation with Daniel Jackson & Eric McDonald of the Greater West Georgia Joint Development Authority

Beginning with only four member counties in the late 1990s, the Greater West Georgia Joint Development Authority (GWGJDA) has grown to represent seven area counties, including: Polk, Haralson, Paulding, Carroll, Heard, Coweta, and Troup. We spoke to Eric McDonald, President & CEO of Greater Haralson Chamber of Commerce, and Daniel Jackson, President & CEO of Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, about the collaborative nature of the Development Authority that allows members to work together on multi-county projects to benefit West Georgia residents. What are your current role and responsibilities as part of the GWGJDA? Eric: I am a supporting staff member for the Greater West Georgia Joint Development Authority. We are an economic development and business growth entity responsible for growing the region’s retail and industrial base. The Board of Directors of the GWGJDA is appointed by the respective county commissions. Supporting staff from each of the economic deve

Strong Foundations | Fall 2018

A Message from Randall Redding As the season changes, it brings a sense of renewal at RKR. Hopefully the brisk temperatures refresh you during the Holiday Season. I am excited to share the latest issue of the Strong Foundations newsletter. In the first article, we spoke with West Georgia Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Jennifer Shunn. She’s made a tremendous impact on housing across the entire region. RKR is honored to work with this extremely worthwhile non-profit organization to help construct homes for those in need. In a previous issue, we shared how workforce development was a focus for the construction industry, and it’s a topic that is still very relevant. In fact, I recently participated in an Atlanta Journal Constitution interview, along with the Associated General Contractors Association. May you enjoy the Holidays filled with love, laughter and family. Thanks for your friendship and continued support, Randall K. Redding President & CEO