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May 23, 2012

Construction Q&A: John Hayduk

Hayduck

Company: JTM Construction

Title: President

John Hayduk has spent nearly 30 years in the construction industry, but JTM Construction, which he co-founded in 2005, is a relative newcomer.

The company, which has 30 employees, got its start after Baugh Construction was purchased by Skanska in the early 2000s. Hayduk was an executive and his co-founders were senior project managers at Baugh.

“We became employees of the company, not leaders,” he said of the period after the acquisition. “We wanted to get back to leadership and ownership of our construction company.”

John Hayduk is the J in JTM. Tom Titus is the T and Martin O’Leary is the M. JTM is a subsidiary of Fisher Companies of Burlington in Skagit County.

JTM’s portfolio includes a mix of commercial, health care and institutional projects, including Poulsbo City Hall, the Skagit Valley Hospital Cancer Care Center and Seattle’s Olive 8 hotel and condo tower.

AGC honored the company for its work building the LeMay car museum in Tacoma.

Hayduk said of his company, “(It’s) kind of a weird way to say it, but we are an extremely experienced construction company in a small body.”

How did you wind up in construction?

My grandfather was a brick mason and he taught me the trade. After graduating from college, my wife and I moved to Seattle from Los Angeles and I joined the carpenters union. I worked in the field for seven years before joining Baugh Construction.

Your degree was in math. Has that been handy?

Our business is all about math at every stage. It starts with estimating, then contract management, and lastly project closeout. My favorite question in the interview process of new construction management graduates is, “How do (you) like mathematics?” The rest of the interview is predicated on that response.

What’s the best project you’ve worked on?

Benaroya Hall. Five years of my career went into that beautiful facility.

Who’s been your biggest professional influence?

Bob Baugh. As a project manager, Bob would walk into your office and ask simple questions about your current work: “How is your client being taken care of?” “Are your subcontractors behaving and are they being successful?”

He never asked how Baugh Construction was doing. He knew if the first two questions were answered correctly, Baugh Construction would be successful.

Is there a project that’s keeping your hands full?

Stadium Place. The team of Daniels Real Estate, ZGF Architects and JTM Construction are building a very important project for the revitalization of Pioneer Square. Stadium Place is a big deal.

How would you describe the culture at JTM?

JTM Construction is a hard-working company where the senior leaders are actively engaged at the project level. We are committed to a culture of total client satisfaction.

What do you do to set the tone?

I lead by example by continually demonstrating that I am one of the hardest-working people in the organization.

How much longer do you think the apartment boom can continue?

We are talking Seattle, right? We typically find a market sector that is working and then proceed to overbuild it. My guess is probably one more year of successful projects.

What’s next in line?

It appears we are all gearing up for office buildings again.

Is there a part of your business you would like to expand or phase out?

During this recession we stepped out of our comfort zone and performed public sector work. We were marginally successful at that work. It is just not in our DNA.

What’s something about you that would surprise people?

Somehow I find the time to have an acre and a half of formal English garden at my home of 26 years in Woodinville. This garden is a passion of mine, my wife, and our son, and we have done 100 percent of the design, gardening and maintenance work.

This interview has been condensed and edited.


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