Saunders Construction CEO Wears All the Hats

Finalist for annual honor, Greg Schmidt strives for a sustainable organization through and through


The president and CEO of Saunders Construction knows what it’s like in the trenches, and that’s what makes him a remarkable leader. Since 1994, Greg Schmidt has tackled everything from project management to business development. “I’ve worn a number of hats,” he says, joking that, “There was nothing I was good at, so I bounced around.”

Saunders Construction creates ample opportunity for talented employees to “stretch into new roles,” as Schmidt puts it. Succession planning – rare in construction – eventually elevated Schmidt to CEO in 2015, transforming a family-owned business into a sustainable organization — one that Schmidt says, “Ideally will survive all of us.”

Schmidt’s succession started in 2007, during a recession that hit the construction industry especially hard. Schmidt treated his business like a stock portfolio, diversifying the heck out of his assets. “It’s all about doing a good job in a number of markets, even the ones that aren’t popular, so that when one area slows, you can pivot,” Schmidt says.

Since taking lead, he’s grown his company’s revenue by 37 percent, and increased technological capability in the field with LiDAR, a surveying method that uses 3D laser scanning. After hours, Schmidt gives back to the community he builds with Saunders’ Building Confidence in Kids, a charity for children.

Categories: Business Leaders