Dave Gough, President of Alberici Constructors, Ltd. is celebrating 35 years at Alberici this month.
After graduating from Murray State University in 1980, Dave joined Alberici as an Estimator. He spent a year in estimating before moving into the field to work on a lead mine project for ASARCO in Viburnum, Missouri. After two years on the road, Dave returned to St. Louis where he climbed the career ladder from Project Engineer to Project Director. In the late 80s and early 90s, Dave worked on major projects for Monsanto, Saint Louis University, St. Mary’s Hospital and Ameristar Casino.
In the late 90s, Dave was Project Director for the BJC’s Siteman Cancer Center. While managing this project, he was promoted to Vice President of Operations and Market Leader for the Buildings and Healthcare division.
After serving as VP/ML for five years, Dave took on a new assignment and relocated to Burlington, Ontario as President of Alberici Constructors, Ltd. (ACL).
In honor of his 35 years at Alberici, we asked Dave to share some thoughts and experiences from his career.
How has the construction industry changed since you started?
Technology has changed the construction business and the speed at which we all work. When I started with Alberici, it was all paper and pencil – no personal computers, no cell phones, no internet. On my first out-of-town project I experienced the new technology of a fax machine to process timesheets. Handheld calculators cost around $250. Carbon paper, mailing letters and Saturday morning meetings with Gabe was the norm. Adapting to the computer revolution has been the biggest change in my career.
What are you most proud of from your time at Alberici?
In 1980, Alberici’s annual revenue was $109 million with one office at 2150 Kienlen Avenue. We had 127 employees. We worked primarily in states contiguous to Missouri. Now, we’re a $2 billion corporation with 13 offices and approximately 1,300 employees working on major projects throughout North America. I’m proud to have been part of that growth. I’ve had the chance to work in operations in multiple markets, and I have also been fortunate to work on the management side of our business. During my tenure, I have worked with four different presidents.
What do you like most about working at Alberici?
I’m proud to be associated with the Alberici name due to its outstanding reputation in the construction business and the one-of-a-kind, record setting billion dollar projects we construct including Olmsted Dam in Paducah, KY, Constellation Brands Brewery in Mexico, Holcim Cement in Ste. Genevieve, MO and Vale Long Harbour in Newfoundland, Canada. Additionally, I like and value our open door policy where egos are checked at the door. The culture still has a family feel to it where trust, integrity and respect are paramount between employees.
What do you enjoy most about your current role?
At ACL, I moved away from the building/healthcare proposal driven markets to the industrial GC lump sum “rip and read” market. This was a challenge but provided an opportunity for personal and corporate growth. In my current role, I enjoy hiring employees and being part of their mentoring, training, development and personal growth. Alberici continues to raise the bar and hires the best of the best.
Do you have a favorite project from your years at Alberici?
Probably the most unique, challenging and enjoyable project was the Ameristar Casino. During the three-year project, we built barges in the middle of the Missouri River, welded them together and assembled two casinos on top of them. From a logistical standpoint, you’re at the mercy of the river. We had to keep the casino open at all costs during the 1993 floods. We built a 4,000 car parking garage in 9.5 months in the Missouri River floodplain. We were transporting workers and material by amphibious “ducks” to keep the projects on schedule. When I drive by the casino and other projects I have worked on, it’s a gratifying feeling to know Alberici has been part of so many significant landmarks.
What advice would you give to someone just starting in the construction industry?
Whether you have a passion to build locally or travel and work in multiple markets, this is a great Company to check all the boxes. In recent discussions with an Alberici employee who volunteered to go to Mexico on the Constellation Brewery project, I asked if he was looking forward to it. He responded by saying at 24 years old he’s very fortunate and thankful to have the opportunity to work on the largest brewery in the world.
Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
Work hard, have fun, stay healthy and enjoy life – that’s what I like to do. To me, humor in the workplace is extremely important. I have a quote from Anthony Robbins on my wall: “Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up, you’re going to anyway; you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problems and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.”