Release Date: April 9, 2011

Business Q&A: Steve Olson, Boldt Construction

The Oklahoman

Strategic plan changes help construction company's growth

Steve Olson - Provided

Q: Boldt Co. is growing its Southern Operation, a dozen new managers, engineers and superintendents in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and in Kansas City, Kan. How so, with construction companies almost everywhere else in the country still hurting because of the recession?

A: Boldt's Southern Operation has been based in Oklahoma City for 27 years and completed many well-known local projects. During the past three years, while the economy has been struggling, we changed our leadership team and put in place a new strategic plan to diversify our business in Oklahoma and other states in the Southern Region. These efforts are beginning to bear fruit in many ways. We are expanding into markets such as industrial, wind power and health care in which Boldt has been working for years in other parts of the country. And we are continuing to grow our education and commercial business as well. Through all of this, we remain focused on better understanding our customer's and architect/engineers' expectations and then exceeding them. This has led to quite a lot of repeat business.

Q: What major projects has Boldt finished in Oklahoma the past two years?

A: Oklahoma City: Will Rogers World Airport parking deck; University of Oklahoma housing renovations, Allied Health, Devon and Rawl buildings; Moore Public Schools, numerous projects.

Edmond: Nestle Purina Petcare office building (LEED certified, for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design).

Tulsa area: Bartlesville Independent School District, numerous projects; Pontotoc County jail and courthouse; state of Oklahoma, Emergency Children's Shelter.

Stillwater: Oklahoma State University, School of Architecture.

Lawton: Goodyear, plant expansion.

Also, Kansas, Missouri and Texas, General Motors, dozens of projects; and South Carolina, University of South Carolina, Multi Purpose Building.

Q: What projects are on the drawing board?

A: Oklahoma City area: Choctaw Public Schools, multiple projects; Western Heights School District, elementary school; Cameron Valves, plant expansion.

Edmond: Nestle Purina Petcare, warehouse.

Tulsa area: Bartlesville Independent School District, numerous projects; Broken Arrow School District, elementary school; Tulsa Public Schools, elementary school expansion; city of Tahlequah, dialysis center.

Lawton: Goodyear, plant expansion continues.

Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas: Several wind farm projects.

Kansas, Missouri and Texas: General Motors, dozens of projects.

Q: How would you describe the state of commercial construction in Oklahoma? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

A: I relocated from St. Louis to Oklahoma City three years ago and have worked in several other cities and countries around the world. I can tell you emphatically that Boldt Southern is blessed to be based in Oklahoma. The foresight and successful planning by our state, city and business leaders are remarkable and have led to a strong period of growth. I am confident it will continue and even get stronger as the national economy slowly improves. I wouldn't say there are weakness, but there are even more opportunities to get complete alignment regarding the priorities of future growth and commitment from local companies to participate. Also, in my opinion, Oklahoma benefits more when local companies build the projects. This provides local families with long-term jobs and careers in Oklahoma.

RICHARD MIZE, REAL ESTATE EDITOR