Michael K. Callahan reflects on the past 35 years
Benchmark was founded in March of 1985, and I came on board just a few months later in July. It was pretty bare-bones back then. As a matter of fact, I always suspected that one of the reasons Bob Brandt hired me was because I owned a pickup truck with ladder racks and side boxes!
Needless to say, construction has become much more complex since then, and I’m proud of how our company has grown and evolved right along with it over the years. While we have always managed to stay on the leading edge of technology, our differentiator has always been our people and our culture.
That is why when we formalized our strategic plan in 2014, we had our people front-of-mind throughout the whole process. Our leadership team developed a Core Commitment and set of Core Values. I carry a copy of that plan in my pocket every day, and I often find myself referring to it when I am faced with a difficult decision.
Core Commitment: We are committed to exceeding our clients’ expectations through employee well-being
Core Values: Balance | Integrity | Leadership | Loyalty
One of the drivers of Benchmark’s early success was our ability to quickly adapt to changing environments. It is built right into our DNA, and I was reminded earlier this year just how much it persists. Facing the pandemic, we were forced to drastically change the way we did business. As we pivoted to remote work and virtual meetings, our staff made every adjustment and continued to deliver first-class service, safety, and quality to our clients. I could not have been prouder.
Over the last 35 years, I have worked to weave what I learned from Bob into the culture of Benchmark – a lot of which can be boiled down to this set of maxims:
• Be committed and meet those commitments
• Have a sense of urgency
• Be responsive – do not let people hang
• Help your client be successful
• Be passionate and display energy
• Do the right thing
• Drive to improve the business – execute at a higher level every year
It has been a great run, and I know that if we can stick to our principles, I can look forward to watching Benchmark’s continued success.