Alabama Construction News

OCT-DEC 2017

Alabama Construction News is the states only bimonthly magazine dedicated to the commercial construction industry.

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19 OCT-DEC 2017 AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS ROBINS & MORTON'S CHAIRMAN AND CEO BILL MORTON—LIKE MOST CEOS AT THE HELM OF BILLION DOLLAR COMPANIES— WORKS DAY IN AND DAY OUT TO GROW AND GUIDE THE BUSINESS. But Bill's approach is marked by something different, something that's focused beyond just what's best for the company. Just as importantly for Morton is what's best for the people and its customers. "That's just in my nature and the nature of everyone at Robins & Morton," explained Morton. "Todd Robins was that way, so it has been like that here since the very beginning. For example my grandfather worked for Todd as a concrete foreman on an hourly basis for many years. He had a serious heart problem and had to be put in the hospital. Todd took care of him by putting him on salary to make sure his family was taken care of financially. That was the mindset— people first. That mindset drives how we think and how we operate as a company." Also impacting how Morton thinks about and approaches his job is how he started it. He didn't start off in a comfortable office setting. He started out in the field, cleaning up job sites as a laborer and helping out as a carpenter. "My dad introduced me to construction when I was young," he said. "I started working during summers for a friend of my dad's before I was old enough to drive. I really enjoyed working with my hands, learning about the different trades and seeing the changes that took place on projects from start to finish." Morton continued his presence on job sites working summers and holidays for Robins & Morton during high school and college. It wasn't until after college—after he graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Building Science—that he started as a full-time employee at Robins & Morton. "My dad always emphasized the importance of getting experience in the field," he added. So, he continued to work out on projects for many years. "After college, I started as a field engineer, and eventually worked my way up to assistant superintendent," he said. "I learned so much from being out in the field all those years. How important the people are, the importance of subcontractor partnerships and how much we rely on our subcontractors and field leaders at that level to make a project successful." Twenty years ago, one particular hospital project in Rogers, Arkansas, left a serious impression on Morton—one that further cemented his leadership style. At the time a senior project manager, Morton dealt with a number of issues on the job site that made it a particularly challenging project. "The impression it left was that even though conditions on projects can sometimes seem overwhelming, you continue to push ahead," he said. "You continue to keep everyone motivated, staying focused on the fact that you will somehow find a way to get it done successfully." That attitude eventually guided Morton out of the field and into various management positions within Robins & Morton. In 2002, he was named president. In 2015, he was named chairman of the board and CEO. His rise in leadership positions over the years came as no surprise to those who knew him well, and not just because of his business style. It's because of his sincere concern about people. "Bill is a people person," said his father, Robins & Morton's Chairman Emeritus Barry Morton. "He loves people, respects them, believes in them, and believes in giving them opportunities and training to help them advance and succeed. To me, that's his biggest strength." Bill Morton by PA I G E T OW N L E Y 2017 C O R N E R S T O N E AWA R D W I N N E R

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