Ben Wilson graduated from the University of Florida in 2007 with a degree in building construction — during one of the most difficult times the industry has faced.
But Wilson wasn’t deterred by the recession. He set to work learning the ropes of his field. “I think the simplest way to put it is to learn from absolutely everybody who you encounter — whether it’s learning the right way or the way things should be done better,” he says.
Today, Wilson has moved up the ranks to vice president of operations for Florida’s Gulf Coast for national building contractor Suffolk. He works on projects across a wide swath of the west coast, from Tampa to Naples.
As one of Suffolk’s youngest vice presidents, Wilson says, “The challenge is becoming an astute and accurate decision maker while continuously learning every step of the way.”
Typically, he visits all of Suffolk’s projects in his territory each week. A key focus for Wilson? Helping teams make the right decisions and work efficiently. “Virtually all of my time is spent face to face with stakeholders involved in the construction process,” he says, including meetings with developers and onsite staff. “When you have a collection of designers, engineers, subcontractors, developers — the entire spectrum — the key to a successful project is aligning everyone’s agendas more closely.”
At the end of a construction project, Wilson wants everyone involved to consider the result a mutual success. He says, “Happier people are the ingredients to a better overall project.”