Tucker Build recently joined our chapter as a General Contractor member. Get to know Tucker Build's founder Jeff Cannon!
Tell us how you found a career in construction?
When I was growing up in Chattanooga, my mom worked for a construction company called Humphrey and Associates. Her office was always filled with a cast of characters from the construction industry that were instrumental in building Chattanooga ... all these larger than life guys that I looked up to, like Jim Horton from J&J and others. So from an early age I was surrounded by people in construction and that influenced me into wanting to construct things, and essentially I followed in their footsteps. Later on I was fortunate to work with companies like EMJ that exposed me to the full spectrum of construction.
When did you start Tucker Build?
It’s been a little bit of an evolution for Tucker Build. It was a gradual start about 3 years ago. At the time, I was focused on working with civic-minded companies and nonprofits on community-based projects, with my role to get projects on track. We tried to start Tucker Build as a nonprofit construction company but that was a difficult dance to dance in satisfying IRS qualifications. Then the need for bigger commercial projects grew out from that start, so we began taking on for-profit projects that are great for the downtown and community. We try our best to focus on the community and what’s best for the community.
What are some of Tucker Build's most notable projects?
We are pretty selective with the projects we take on and lean towards projects that are downtown and impactful. Our decisions are predominantly geographically based. We loved working on the Chattanooga Choo Choo transformation. Back in the day the Choo Choo was a cornerstone of the downtown, and now we are seeing it come back to the forefront and center for the community. We love being a part of that process of urban revitalization.
How do you see the industry changing over the next 10 years?
Two aspects stand to change. Technology has been infused into most industries, but much less so in construction. If you were to walk into an architect office now versus 10 years ago, you will see how greatly technology has affected the overall process. From a client interface perspective technology has taken over, but in the actual field itself it really hasn’t. I would hope to see technology move more into the field to improve the overall quality of work.
And the second change, in my opinion, is the notion that “low bid is the way to go.” Time and time again the industry functions under that thought process, but it is flawed because low bid doesn't usually result in the best product. Whether the bid comes from municipalities or government, I’d love to see it become more relationship and quality based than low bid.
Why did you decide to join AGC?
For us, we are much more focused on the advocacy aspect of AGC than the marketing and networking focus. At Tucker Build, if we can be part of an organization that puts important issues with the industry on the legislative forefront, then we want to do everything we can to be a part of that. Advocacy for general contractors and general contracting is the main reason we joined.