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The Business Advantages of Employing a Diverse Workforce – Bobby Campbell & Stephanie Lee

Mar 23, 2022

Supplier diversity is an increasingly important measure of business success. Large businesses that value inclusion and utilization of small minority and women-owned businesses contribute greatly to the aggregate economic development in Georgia and beyond. On this week’s episode of The Playbook , host Mark Collier, business consultant for the  UGA Small Business Development Center , sits down with Bobby Campbell, Executive Vice President and Atlanta Business Unit Leader, along with Stephanie Lee, Senior Diversity Coordinator at McCarthy Building Companies . McCarthy Building Companies, Inc is the oldest privately held national construction company in the United States and is the 14th ranked largest domestic general contractor. Founded in 1864, the firm has been involved with some of the highest-profile projects in Georgia, including Hartsfield Jackson Airport, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia State University, Emory Healthcare, Grady Memorial Hospital, and more. Transcription: Mark Collier: Bobby Campbell: We do work with some of the biggest healthcare providers in and around the city, have great relationships there, and really believe in the work that’s happening, especially in the times that we’re in today. Mark Collier: Bobby Campbell: Lastly, we do commercial work and laboratory work, and then we’re also in the renewable markets. In and around the state of Georgia, we do large solar fields. Mark Collier: All right. Well, you are in growth sectors. All of those you mentioned have high growth potential, so you guys are in the right areas, man. Bobby Campbell: Mark Collier: All right. Let’s talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion, Stephanie. From McCarthy’s vantage point, what does it mean to your company? Stephanie Lee: Mark Collier: Mark Collier: Drilling down further, let’s talk about some specific strategies that McCarthy engages in to diversify their pursuits and their contractor and subcontractor base within the construction industry. Stephanie Lee: Okay. Goal setting is a key strategy. McCarthy has a national aspirational goal of 20% on all projects, that does not have a client goal. Mark Collier: Stephanie Lee: That was important to us to make sure that even if a client does not have a goal, we want to make sure that we’re being intentional and that we have a goal on all of our projects. Mark Collier: Stephanie Lee: Mark Collier: Stephanie Lee: The purpose of that meeting is for leadership to be able to come together and we strategize, we create a plan on how we’re going to meet or exceed the goal. We want to exceed the goal. Mark Collier: Stephanie Lee: Making sure that we are out in the community and that we are engaging the small businesses to do business with us. Things that we do, we host project informational sessions. Mark Collier: Stephanie Lee: We also do lunch and learns where we invite small, diverse businesses to come in and talk to us about their business. Mark Collier: Stephanie Lee: They feed us. They feed us. It’s just a way for us to, as Bobby like to say, build those deep relationships. Mark Collier: Stephanie Lee: In learning about their business and making sure that when they become a trade partner of ours, we have the right opportunities for them. Mark Collier: No, that makes perfect sense. Bobby, if one of your core values is relationships, I mean, that’s spot on because is one of my recurring mantras is people do business with people who they know, like, and trust. Bobby Campbell: Mark Collier: For you to put relationships first, it’s important. When you mentioned goals, that’s also important. Because another one of my mantras is what cannot be measured, cannot be improved. Stephanie Lee: Mark Collier: You’ve got to have measurement protocols in place to make sure you’re reaching those goals. Stephanie Lee: Mark Collier: I love it. Let’s talk about buy-in for senior diversity from top leadership. Talk to me about why it’s important to you and what type of emphasis you place on a diverse supplier, vendors and suppliers. Bobby Campbell: Yeah. Well, I’m convinced that culture is one of the most important things that drives the ability to have supplier diversity. Mark Collier: Bobby Campbell: Culture, also in my opinion, is driven from the top. If the leadership has not bought in from the top of the organization, oftentimes that’s not going to happen. Mark Collier: Mark Collier: Bobby Campbell: We believe heavily in building deep relationships with our clients and our part trade partners. We believe that when you have a diversity around the table, whether it’s around the boardroom table or around the project table, that you’re going to get better outcomes. Mark Collier: Bobby Campbell: Our leadership is convinced, and I’m convinced, that we’re going to have the very best out outcomes when we have supplier diversity. Mark Collier: I love it. I love it, man. Let’s talk about capacity building for a minute. Why is that so important to the construction industry and what is McCarthy doing to grow their diverse small business pool? Bobby Campbell: Stephanie will tell you a little bit about a specific program we’re doing at McCarthy to build capacity. Mark Collier: Bobby Campbell: Right now in the construction industry and really in the nation, maybe as a whole across the economic landscape, we are looking at a lot of capacity issues. Mark Collier: Mark Collier: Bobby Campbell: What we want to do is build capacity at a grassroots level so we can tackle all the work that needs to be done. Capacity is probably the number one topic we talk about the most around McCarthy, is being able to have the capacity to get the work done. Mark Collier: No, yeah, I hear that from my clients all the time, labor shortage, labor shortage, labor shortage. You’re dealing with that, and then there’s a double edge sword because the material shortage is out here as well. You’ve got your work cut off for you, Bobby. Bobby Campbell: We do. We do. If you don’t have a plan and a strategy, then you’re going to get left behind. Stephanie Lee: Bobby Campbell: Stephanie has shown a lot of leadership in this area for McCarthy and can tell you a little bit about our small effort to build capacity within the diverse community in Atlanta. Mark Collier: Stephanie, tell me, give me some specific examples on what McCarthy’s doing to build that specific capacity around the diversity of your subcontractor and supplier base. Stephanie Lee: Mark Collier: Stephanie Lee: In January of this year, I’m happy to say that we implemented the program here in Atlanta. Mark Collier: Mark Collier: Stephanie Lee: … That focuses on optimizing the core business skills of our program participants. It give them an opportunity to deepen their relationship with the McCarthy partners. Also, it helps them to establish relationships amongst each other. Mark Collier: Stephanie Lee: Networking opportunities for them as well. It gives them an opportunity to learn about our current and upcoming opportunities. Mark Collier: Stephanie Lee: I like to say that the program creates a pathway to help the business become successful in doing business with McCarthy. Mark Collier: All right. I love it. Well, the fact that you got over 100 applications for the one program is evidence that your outreach efforts are gaining traction. Stephanie Lee: Mark Collier: Stephanie Lee: I am happy to help them navigate in any way that they need to do business with us. Mark Collier: Well, phenomenal. We will have your email address scrolled on the screen and we’ll also put your website address up too, so potential partners, teaming partners can reach out to you and learn more about the McCarthy Building Companies. Stephanie Lee: Mark Collier: All right. Bobby Campbell and Stephanie Lee. I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to come in and share the great work that McCarthy’s doing on the diversity equity inclusion side. You guys are setting a new standard here in the Atlanta in how companies should do business. I just want to commend you both. Stephanie Lee:

Bobby Campbell Investments

1 Investments

Bobby Campbell has made 1 investments. Their latest investment was in ICX Media as part of their Seed VC on March 3, 2016.

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Bobby Campbell Investments Activity

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Bobby Campbell Portfolio Exits

1 Portfolio Exit

Bobby Campbell has 1 portfolio exit. Their latest portfolio exit was ICX Media on January 07, 2022.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

1/7/2022

Acquired

$99M

1

Date

1/7/2022

Exit

Acquired

Companies

Valuation

$99M

Acquirer

Sources

1

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