Opportunity and Growth Culture Builds Lifelong Careers at Superior
Brian McGarity has been at Superior Construction from the moment he left college — literally. “I graduated with my civil engineering degree and started at Superior the following Monday,” says Brian. “I’ve been here ever since.”
Brian has a lifelong passion for building and feels he was destined to work in construction. Even as a child, he was doing projects and building. He grew up south of Jacksonville in St. Johns County, where his parents owned horses. He spent time building sheds and barns with his father, and eventually even built a house with his dad for his parents when he was in college. While studying, he knew design wouldn’t be the direction he would take. He interviewed for field-oriented positions before deciding to go into heavy civil construction — and he knew right away he wanted to work for Superior. “I sat down for the interview and really hit it off. I instantly knew I’d love the company and working with the Superior team,” says Brian.
He started his career in 2007 as a field engineer in a three-year project: the I-95 / I-295 North Interchange. By the end of the three years, his responsibilities had grown considerably. “I was the lowest guy on the totem pole when the job started,” says Brian. “By the time it ended I was completing some of the tasks of project managers (PM), filling the role of the assistant project manager (APM) and PM during the closeout of the job.”
And his rapid career growth didn’t stop there. “I was set up for the next opportunity,” says Brian. He filled an APM role on a smaller project. Then he became PM on a larger project, the Blount Island Marine Terminal (BIMT) Wharf Rehabilitation and Upgrades, and became a multi-project PM, overseeing three jobs totalling $60-65 million. Then he served as PM on Superior’s largest project at the time, the SR 9B Phase III project, a $78 million design-build project. And when that was completed, he became the Senior PM on the SR 23 First Coast Expressway, a $178 million project. Which brings us to today — he was recently promoted to Northeast Florida Division Manager where he provides operational oversight to all the projects in the region.
While this growth trajectory feels like a skyrocket, it isn’t unusual at Superior. In fact, Superior is extremely intentional about making career growth possible for team members. In Brian’s new role he has regular discussions and meetings about particular individuals and how to present them with growth opportunities. “It’s one of the things we like to do,” says Brian. “When we see a shining star or someone who is up-and-coming, we give them the opportunity to step up into a higher role on a project. Their success not only gets them a profit bonus, but it allows them to take more responsibility, learn from it, excel, and be prepared for bigger jobs moving forward.”
The culture at Superior is oriented so much toward employee career opportunities and growth that Brian considers it a part of the day-to-day planning. “Daily, we talk about how we can ensure employee development, not only for the improvement they will provide to the company but also for employee satisfaction. We want them to be pleased with their careers. It benefits us to maintain them and keep the person. We’ve invested in them and the organization,” says Brian. “It’s a very important part of our process.”
And Superior’s intentional efforts to support team members throughout their careers will continue. “It’s important for us to bring on young staff that we are working to train up,” says Brian.
In his current role, he can see the benefits of doing this intentional work for the team. “When the teams and staff are satisfied, finding gratification they hope for in their daily work — they are the ones that are far more successful in handling day-to-day business. It’s because they have excitement and joy in doing the work that they do,” says Brian.
This not only pays off in employee satisfaction, but also in the team’s performance. “You can see the results in our excellence in our product and in all the successful projects. This speaks volumes,” says Brian. “Because we grow from within, we bring a level of professionalism and a depth of experience and knowledge to projects. So many employees have spent the majority of their career, or their entire life, at Superior and have so much experience. Our employees have a knowledge and understanding of the operation of our organization that is unmatched.”
This culture of nurturing long careers at Superior can be seen in Brian himself. When he took on his new role, he was concerned about burnout, and the demands and toll it might take. “The leadership worked with me to structure the role differently than in the past to help ensure the longevity of myself in the position,” says Brian. “I was very excited to be offered the opportunity, and I felt a sense of gratitude for being recognized to be offered the position.”
Superior is proud to have Brian on the team, overseeing his division and providing growth opportunities to our future rising stars.