Constructor - March/April 2018 - 13

the FUTURE
BY AMY DREW THOMPSON
THE TEENAGE EDDIE STEWART, come summertime, anyway,
was flush with cash from his construction job.
"It was better money than anything else for a high school
summer job," he says. And likely better inspiration than pumping gas or stocking shelves.
As the summers came and went, Stewart was charged with
increasingly challenging tasks and found himself falling in
love with the idea of a future in the industry, so when it came
time to declare a major at Georgia Tech, he knew right away
what it would be: architecture.
"I thought 'building' was what architects did!" he laughs
in recollection. "It showed my ignorance. And after two years
I said, 'This is not what I want to do. I want to build stuff. I
don't want to design it.'"
It cost him an extra year's worth of study, but Stewart
never looked back. Now president and CEO of Montgomery,
Alabama-based Caddell Construction, he's been involved with
interesting and intricate projects, both domestic and international. From Houston airports to U.S. embassies in Panama,
China and even the brand-new facility in Kabul, Afghanistan,
his resume is long, exciting and enviable. Its beginnings,
however, are humble.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Stewart is no industry legacy.
His father, a district manager for Ford Motor Company, traveled
most weeks - though still found time to build a big family;
Stewart is one of nine children.
That high school summer job, though unglamorous at first
- like most "newbies," he started on clean-up, pushing a
broom - afforded lots of growth opportunity for kids with
ambition. Once under the wing of a senior craftsman, his skill
set began to grow.
"He taught me wood framing, which made the job more
interesting and made me more valuable the following summer. Seeing things constructed, seeing the finished product
on some of the projects I worked on, just gave me a sense of
satisfaction that was hard to explain."
The construction bug had bitten. So, too, had the love bug.
Stewart began dating Robin, his wife of 42 years, when
they were high school juniors. They married four years later,
while still in college.
"It was cheaper to marry her than keep dating," he jokes.
(Today they have five kids and nine grandchildren; a 10 th was
on the way at press time.)
@Constr uctor Ma g

BLOUNT & BEYOND
With a B.S. in building construction under his belt, Stewart
embarked on a job with Blount International Limited, then a
large general contractor that at the time was amid a $3.2 billion
university project in Saudi Arabia, "when $3.2 billion was a lot
of money!" he chuckles.
This prompted a move to Alabama, where Stewart fell into
his role as an estimator, counting doors and windows, working
up to concrete and beyond. The Saudi project took about twoand-a-half years to bid, negotiate and get awarded, and in that
time he realized he was definitely in the right place.
"I loved the estimating part of the business in that you build
the project on paper. You have to be able to conceptualize what
all the steps in the project entail to be able to accurately estimate,
and I found that to be particularly interesting and challenging,"
he says. "I thought it was fantastic!"
He credits excellent mentors, John Caddell in particular, who
took the time to explain what's involved.
"Estimating is not just about quantifying materials and putting
prices on them," he says, his enthusiasm clear. "There's a lot
more judgment and experience required in order to be effective."
Technology has made quantifying easier these days, he
explains, "but it's still a matter of judgment. It's coming up with
a scheme on how best to approach the project. It's trying to
come up with a way to build it that's different from what your
competition may have, because you're all going to have the same
quantities on the job, but your approach to it, the way you attack
it, your schedule - all that is what really helps differentiate you
from your competition.... It's about the common sense you have
to put into it to come up with a better mousetrap."
Fieldwork as a project engineer eventually brought him
from Montgomery, Alabama to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The
experience hammered home the idea that it was estimating
where he belonged. He missed the diversity this facet of the
industry offered.
"The challenges in estimating are different from day to day,"
he explains. "You're jumping from one project to the other and
when one is done you're off and onto the next."
Blount's projects were unique and varied - working with
the Corps of Engineers, the GSA, NASA and others - and that
didn't hurt.
"Courthouses, prisons, Army barracks, hangars and anything
you would have on a military installation ... that added to the
MA R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 8 | www.constructormagazine.com 13


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - March/April 2018

Editor’s Note
President’s Message
CEO’s Letter
Focused on the Future
Simonson Says
2018 Construction Outlook: Positive but Workforce Challenges Persist
Span Cycles
Chapter Connection
Technology Toolbox
Legislative and Regulatory News
Member and Chapter News
Products & Services Marketplace
Index to Advertisers
Constructor - March/April 2018 - intro
Constructor - March/April 2018 - cover1
Constructor - March/April 2018 - cover2
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 3
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 4
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 5
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 6
Constructor - March/April 2018 - Editor’s Note
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 8
Constructor - March/April 2018 - President’s Message
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 10
Constructor - March/April 2018 - CEO’s Letter
Constructor - March/April 2018 - Focused on the Future
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 13
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 14
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 15
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 16
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 17
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 18
Constructor - March/April 2018 - Simonson Says
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 20
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 2018 Construction Outlook: Positive but Workforce Challenges Persist
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 22
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 23
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 24
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 25
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 26
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 27
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 28
Constructor - March/April 2018 - Span Cycles
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 30
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 31
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 32
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 33
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 34
Constructor - March/April 2018 - Chapter Connection
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 36
Constructor - March/April 2018 - Technology Toolbox
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 38
Constructor - March/April 2018 - Legislative and Regulatory News
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 40
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 41
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 42
Constructor - March/April 2018 - Member and Chapter News
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 44
Constructor - March/April 2018 - Products & Services Marketplace
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 46
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 47
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 48
Constructor - March/April 2018 - Index to Advertisers
Constructor - March/April 2018 - 50
Constructor - March/April 2018 - cover3
Constructor - March/April 2018 - cover4
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