Executive Voice: McAdams CEO leads a firm with a long past, ambitious future -TBJ
Mike Munn joined engineering services firm McAdams in 1997 as an entry-level project engineer. Now he calls the shots as the Durham-based firm’s president and CEO – roles he has been in since 2010. This year marks the firm’s 40th year in business and it is celebrating by expanding. Though the firm says it will remain headquartered in Durham, Munn is leading the firm’s effort to widen its Triangle presence by opening a new office in downtown Raleigh in June. This expansion comes on the heels of the firm’s growth in its Charlotte office and its acquisition of another firm in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Through organic growth and acquisition, the firm has grown its revenue by 347 percent since 2012, with average annual growth rate of 23.2 percent, Munn says.
Triangle Business Journal caught up with Munn to learn more about his vision for the future of McAdams and how he continues to collaborate with the firm’s founder and namesake, John R. McAdams.
Your firm recently celebrated its 40th year in business. To what do you attribute the firm’s longevity?
The alignment, unity and passion of our team to serve our clients and improve our communities. We innovate and create new solutions to meet our clients’ changing needs, but we always remain true to our essential core values: integrity, excellence, service, advancement, unity and stewardship.
The firm has 2018 annual revenue of $30.9 million and is projected to grow to $60 million by 2022. What is your firm going to do to achieve that goal?
We are executing on a very deliberate strategic plan to achieve our 2022 Vision. Our plan is centered on leveraging our client-sector expertise in multiple metro locations, through a combination of organic and acquisitive growth. We communicate our plan and our progress often, which unifies our team and empowers entrepreneurs to find ways to advance the firm toward our goals while also advancing their careers.
The firm recently expanded to the Dallas-Fort Worth market via acquisition. Why pursue that market and are there any other markets the firm is interested in chasing?
Our geographic acquisition strategies are focused on two primary criteria: 1) alignment of core values, talent and culture; and 2) metro areas with strong job growth and population growth. Last year, we found a perfect match in one of the absolute hottest metros in the U.S.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your tenure as president and CEO of the firm?
Staying connected to the needs of our clients and the experiences we’re delivering for them, while also growing and stretching as the directional leader of this dynamic organization.
Your firm is opening a downtown Raleigh office in June. Are there any plans to eventually move the firm’s headquarters from Durham?
We are very excited about expanding our Triangle presence to One Glenwood in Raleigh next month. This allows us to better serve the many urban design projects we have underway, and to better serve our clients and partners based there. McAdams is blessed to be involved in some of the most iconic projects throughout the Triangle and we’re thrilled to be located in both Durham and Raleigh.
The firm’s founder and namesake, John R. McAdams, remains involved in its oversight as chairman. Explain the collaboration between the two of you.
John is a fantastic resource and mentor for me personally. I tap him for his perspectives and wisdom as we embark on new frontiers, and to help keep my sightlines elevated. John was a critical component in the DFW acquisition last year and he stays active in our industry through national conferences and organizations.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given and who gave it?
“Your closest relationships are who you will become – be selective and intentional,” Dr. Alan Dickens – Teaching Leader, Bible Study Fellowship.
What do you do to relax?
Anything with my family and generally anything outdoors, but I’m most relaxed when I’m on the water.
What books are currently on your nightstand?
I just started “Necessary Endings” by Dr. Henry Cloud, but I always keep “The Power of Moments” by Dan and Chip Heath on my nightstand.