President of CCB Inc., Westbrook, Maine
Degree from UMaine: Associate Degree in Civil Engineering Technology, 1982
How did you get your start?
I began working for H.E. Sargent, Stillwater, Maine, right out of college in 1982. Sargent owned another company, known as Consolidated Constructors and Builders Inc. I was assigned by Sargent to field clerk/field engineering duties on a job where Consolidated was the general contractor. Once I’d been on that job for a year, Consolidated recruited me to work for them in Bangor. That was in 1983. Two years later, they moved me to the Portland, Maine, office and I began working as a project manager. Ten years later, I participated in a buyout of the company, becoming a minority owner and vice president of operations. We officially changed our corporate name to CCB Inc., in 1993. In 2004, I purchased the majority interest and assumed the role of president.
How did UMaine prepare you for your career?
I was motivated and challenged by the instructors. I wasn’t the top student, but I always put in the time and worked hard, and that paid off. The UMaine instructors were always reminding us that there was a lot more to learn once we moved out into our careers. That was so true. My education at UMaine helped me discover my confidence and ability to take on many challenges.
How is business?
The current economy is definitely a challenge. Our company did not feel the pinch as much in 2009 as other companies did, but in 2010, we are certainly seeing an impact. The tendency can be to totally “pull in your horns” and hunker down, but our approach has been a little different. We are financially strong and well positioned to get through this, and I see this as an opportunity to look at additional markets and construction services we can offer. We’ve added staff to business development and management. We also want to use this time to bolster our training efforts and employee skill improvements. My focus continues to remain on maximizing opportunities for CCB and to encourage my team members to be innovative in their approach to our construction projects.
Why did you attend UMaine?
Well, at the time I had very little money and did not want to take on a lot of college debt. That meant I needed to keep working and live at home in Milo, Maine. UMaine was close. And when I found out about the Civil Engineering Technology program, I just knew that was going to suit me. I always thought I might concentrate on surveying, since at that time all I wanted to do was be outside. It’s not where I ended up, but that’s been OK. UMaine was a great experience for me.
How has your field changed since you graduated?
There is way more technology available to students today. I spent many hours on the board hand drafting. No CAD (computer-assisted design); no computers except punch card programming. We used 10-second Theodolites and did all the computations ourselves. Now the Total Station nearly does it all. The technical elements required of construction personnel are greater today — new materials, advanced materials/ composites/coatings and equipment, green/sustainable elements, high-performance mechanical and electrical systems, sophisticated/knowledgeable owners. This is all knowledge today’s graduate needs to have.
Image Description: Beth Sturtevant