Forklift to Corner Office: 4 Construction CEOs Who Started from the Bottom

Not every CEO has a master's degree in business, or made it to the top through family connections. As these four construction company head honchos prove, working your way to the top is still possible, even if you start out as a secretary, intern, laborer or project manager. In fact, it could be argued that gaining experience at various levels of a company make these particular bosses, and others like them, better at doing their jobs.

Clyde Rauch, Tuttle Services

Graduating from college in 1973 in the midst of a recession, Clyde Rauch took a job with a small firm called H.U. Tuttle & Son Inc. working as a laborer. Before too long, he was moved up to the position of expeditor, and by 1992, he was running the company. Rauch retired as CEO in 2014 after 45 years with the company, helping it grow from a well-respected but small operation to a corporation that does $100 million in business each year.

Deborah Dubree, Arizona Building Systems

Deborah Dubree had no more than a high school diploma when she started out as a receptionist at Arizona Building Systems. Over the years, she worked her way up to the position of CEO of the $20 million company. Dubree has since parlayed her expertise at climbing the corporate ladder into a speaking and coaching career, traveling the world to give seminars on achieving success in business. She's also the author of a book called 'Average is an Addiction.'

Michael Heitmann, Garney Construction

Michael Heitmann's very first job out of college back in 1990 was at Kansas City's Garney Construction, which started out as a family company. Heitmann has spent his entire career with Garney, specializing in pipeline systems across the country. Today, he's president and CEO, and the company has expanded to more than 700 employee-owners.

Randy Hall, Batson-Cook

When Randy Hall started out as a construction project manager with Batson-Cook in the 1990s, his first task was overseeing a 32-story office building now known as 3 Wells Fargo Center in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina. His ability to handle such a significant project clearly made an impression, as he ultimately rose through the ranks to become president and CEO of the company by 2013.

 

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