Christi Scherer Bock, 37
Christi Scherer Bock didn’t always think working for the family business would be the way she ended up. But now she wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Growing up, Scherer Bock’s family owned TDS Construction, a Bradenton-based company with a focus on retail projects. She officially joined in 2009 as a project manager assistant, and eventually shifted to focus on marketing relations. Then, when her father David Scherer, who started TDS Construction in 1987, unexpectedly died in 2015, Scherer Bock stepped into a bigger role. She was named vice president of operations, where she stayed until 2020 when she was named CEO.
Her mentor, Bob Baker, helped prepare her for this role. Baker, who’s been around since Scherer Bock was young, was her father’s “right-hand man.”
“He raised me into the position I’m in today,” she says. Once she was settled into the position, Baker didn’t leave her behind. “Anything I need, he’s always there for me.”
The drive that keeps her coming into work, she says, is "knowing I employ 70 people, and their families rely on their salaries to continue living,” she says.
TDS, with $78.5 million in revenue in 2021, up 89.16% from $41.5 million in 2020, was ranked No. 18 on the Business Observer’s 2022 Top 50 Contractors list of the largest contractors in the region.
Even with the growth, Scherer Bock faces daily challenges in the form of managing expectations. Part of her job entails making sure client expectations match her own for a project, otherwise the project won’t come out right. “It can make the process much harder than it needs to be,” she says. The solution? “Clear communication from the beginning.”
Scherer Bock is very hands-on through her approach, making sure to meet the client onsite and provide weekly updates regarding the progress of sale. Once the project is done, she conducts an exit interview to figure out what worked and what didn’t, as well as what the company could have done better for next time.
Developing trust is something Scherer Bock learned from Baker. “Trust is the most important thing to have in a (client) relationship,” she says, adding if there’s no trust, the client “won’t want to work with us.”
While always trying to do the right thing for clients and employees, Scherer Bock provides honest communication and does what it takes to stay ahead of issues, “even if it costs extra to succeed.” The time she takes to ensure the client is happy is part of the legacy she hopes to leave behind.
— Amanda Postma
City of Residence: Bradenton
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas
Years in the area: 30
Marital Status/Children: Married, one son
Alma Mater/Degree: Stetson University, Bachelors in Business Administration
What community group or organization are you most involved with? Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee
Are you working from the company office, home office or hybrid? Company Office
What's the weirdest job you've ever had? Or the weirdest task you've ever been assigned? Making tacos at 2 a.m.
What's your top tip for being productive? I'm a big list maker, it helps me stay organized and focused which helps my productivity.
If you could have a side hustle, what would it be? Vacation rentals
What's your favorite off-hours activity? Spending time with my family
What's the most significant item on your life bucket list — and what's keeping you from completing it? Live on an island - time and money mostly
What's your favorite podcast? N/A
At what percentage on your phone do you start to get Low Battery Anxiety? 10%
What are the top three apps used on your smartphone? Messages, Mail and Maps
What books are you reading now? Die with Zero
What's your go-to music genre, band or act to be inspired? Country
Who would play you in the movie of your life? Julia Stiles
Where is your happy place? On the water
Describe yourself in three words: Motivated, approachable, outgoing
Who is your mentor for your career and why? Bob Baker
What are the biggest lessons you have learned from your mentor? Trust is extremely important and valuable, not only in personal relationships but in business relationships also. Trust with clients, business partners, and employees comes from honesty and delivering on what was promised. Once this is lost, it is extremely difficult to get back, and can cause you to lose business and people.