Ironwood Commercial Builders Inc. is a general contractor located in Concord, Calif., with offices in both California and Colorado. What started as a home-ran business with only two people, has now grown into a successful business with 130 employees. The company’s span of work includes: metal/framing, drywall, lath, plaster and fireproofing.
Nancy Brinkerhoff, the CEO and president of Ironwood Commercial Builders gave us insight into her business, as well as some of her future plans.
Brinkerhoff was named AWCI’s first female president earlier this year, which is quite an accomplishment, but that’s not the only association she’s a member of. She is also the current Treasurer of WACA, and Chair of the Plasterers Health and Welfare Trust Fund of Northern California.
The company is a woman-owned small business specializing in federal work that has been in business for 12 years, beginning in January, 2007.
“My husband is a third-generation framer/drywaller and my dad was a union painter so I was always surrounded by construction,” says Brinkerhoff, as she talked about how she herself got involved in the trades.
The Future of the Business
Business has grown significantly since the company’s start in 2007.
“Business is still growing [as] both our daughters have joined our team,” says Brinkerhoff.
And it doesn’t stop there. The current construction climate in the company’s region has also been favorable. “Current climate is booming. We are currently performing work in two states: California and Colorado. [Our] long term goals are to continue on in the federal market and widen our geographical range to include Hawaii, Utah and Idaho.”
When discussing the most interesting aspect of the job, Brinkerhoff comments by saying, “The challenge to make Ironwood better year after year.”
And when asked what the hardest part is, she says, “Finding good, honest people.”
Best of the Best
Don’t underestimate this business because it is not afraid of a little competition. Ironwood Commercial Builders has experienced an immense amount of success since their beginnings and have plans in place to keep their business rolling.
What sets the company apart from its competition is “quality and efficiency,” Brinkerhoff says. “And frankly our team is one of the best in Northern California.”
“Quality and control of our work, our diversity to self-perform many trades giving the client a full package,” she goes on to say, as to why the contractor and its owners feel it is among the best contractors in North America.
“We will achieve a $40 million revenue run this year, in a 12-year time frame. We have certainly worked our way forward with repeat business and venturing out of our comfort zone into the general contracting world along with adding additional geographical regions,” she says. Brinkerhoff notes this as being the greatest achievement for the company, and a great achievement it is.
The Mormon Temple in Oakland, Calif., has been one of the most recent and important projects the team has completed.
The architect for the project was Richardson Design Group. The owner was The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints. And the general contractor for the project was Jacobsen Construction.
“The architect and design team focused on flawless interconnecting lines. Every line and corner must run true and at pristine angles,” says Brinkerhoff. “The team also wanted different adjacent finishes to be flush and level. An extensive amount of walls, soffits, columns and niches were lined up to highlight the craftsmanship. The Temples’ existing walls were lath and plaster and the renovation was metal studs/drywall and taping mud. Many areas that did not have finish removed required a veneer plaster finish, as well as gypsum plaster coats. The Temple is an iconic landmark of the San Francisco Bay Area and is seen lit up at night along the Oakland Hills. The renovation required the Church to be decommissioned for the first time since it was built in the 1960s.”
To complete the project, the team used CEMCO, National Gypsum and USG materials. Brinkerhoff gave a raving review about the USG finishing materials, referring to them as “remarkable.” “The flexibility between all the mud types helped in creating a finish unparalleled by any manufacturer.”
Being named the first female president for AWCI is no small feat, and after sitting down with Nancy Brinkerhoff, it’s no wonder why she was selected for this position.
When asked how she felt about this milestone, Brinkerhoff had this to say, “Great honor. I respect the fact that the membership values my leadership regardless of being female in what was known to this point as a male dominated industry.”
“With the excitement of new leadership, I’m sure many out there are curious as to the new President’s plans for success,” says Brinkerhoff. “Overseeing the replacement of the current Executive Director and leading the organization into forward thinking and recruiting the next generation that will guide our industry.”
“I am hoping to make an impact for women in the construction industry and will be doing my very best to represent AWCI across the nation,” she says.
CEO of her own business, President of AWCI, and an overall force to be reckoned with, Brinkerhoff has paved a path of success for herself in this industry. She has big plans for this next year between her involvement in multiple associations and her own company.
Ironwood Commercial Builders is listed as one of W&C’s Top 50 Contractors of 2019, and we are excited to see the future projects and successes that this next year will bring for the company. W&C