By Rachel White
I began my relationship with Byggmeister in 2008 as a client. My husband and I hired the company to renovate our master bedroom and improve the efficiency of our home. I was in the midst of a career transition (I am a recovering academic) and was on a quest to reduce our home’s energy and carbon footprint. I hired Byggmeister because of the firm's reputation for quality and professionalism and commitment to environmental stewardship. By the end of the project I had signed on as a consultant to help develop sustainability goals, standards and protocols. And now, ten years later, I’m general manager.
Byggmeister is poised at the threshold of a generational transition. After 36 years under Paul Eldrenkamp’s leadership, a new cohort has stepped up to take the helm as Paul is gradually stepping back.
In 2018 I assumed my current role and share responsibility for overseeing the company with an outstanding leadership team (if you’ve done a project with us you know these people well): Maria Washington, our business manager; Cador Pricejones, our estimator; and Josh Menard, our production manager. Together we have a combined tenure of over 60 years at the company.
We are also preparing to become worker owned. Going forward, every employee will have the opportunity to buy in, participate in profit-sharing, and have a voice in our future.
It’s an exciting time, not unlike the start of a remodeling project. Similar to a major home renovation, a business transition is a momentous undertaking. Both afford a unique opportunity to build on an invaluable legacy, and both require a delicate balancing act between preservation and adaptation, between continuity and change. Both must squarely confront constraints and challenges to have any chance of success. And both require months if not years of forethought, rigorous planning, and meticulous execution. Thankfully Paul gave us several years notice of his retirement.
Paul is a uniquely gifted leader. How on earth do I think we can fill his shoes? There are lots of ways to approach this question, but I think they all boil down to the quality of our people. Ours is an uncommonly dedicated, skilled and experienced team. We don’t actually need to fill Paul’s shoes. We need only fill our own as we continue to strive for excellence and embrace continuous learning, same as we always have.
In this way, we will carry this company forward, continuing to do work that we can stand behind forever. And continuing to partner with you, our clients, to leave a legacy of sustainably beautiful homes for the future.