Jerry Shaw Jr., president; Tom Kalishman, chairman and CEO; SAK Construction LLC Featured

8:01pm EDT June 30, 2012
Jerry Shaw Jr., president; Tom Kalishman, chairman and CEO; SAK Construction LLC

FINALISTS

SAK Construction LLC was born seven years ago when co-workers Jerry Shaw Jr. and Tom Kalishman walked away from the construction company where they worked because they had grown disillusioned with the company’s policies and philosophy.

Kalishman and Shaw thought their employer’s approach, like that of many other construction companies, was becoming too focused on streamlining processes to create a repeatable, sustainable model, and they felt that this philosophy de-emphasized employee autonomy and decision-making to the point that workers essentially became interchangeable parts in the machine.

SAK’s philosophy, on the other hand, is rooted in the empowerment of workers to contribute heavily in the pipeline rehabilitation and tunneling field by making quick on-site decisions when problems arise on a job. Kalishman, chairman and CEO, and Shaw, president, share the belief that the key to good management is putting

people in positions where they can learn, grow and excel. It’s an approach that promotes creativity and helps spur workers to innovate and contribute ideas about how to improve processes, leading to improved quality, efficiency and lower costs.

The company has an informal, relatively nonstructured work environment, with employees given wide flexibility in deciding how to handle their daily responsibilities. Salaries, bonuses and benefits are competitive. And SAK’s office is equipped with a kitchen and a gym for employees.

The company’s approach is clearly paying dividends. Over the last three years, SAK has enjoyed sales growth of 290 percent, 126 percent and 51 percent, respectively. And during the four years that SAK has been generating revenue, not a single key worker — out of about 300 employees nationwide — has left the company.

How to reach: SAK Construction LLC, www.sakcon.com