GBCA’s Construction Leadership Council (CLC) is a group of young construction professionals committed to education, networking, and service. MRG Producer Ray Prince has served on its steering committee since 2020. We talked to Ray about the importance of volunteerism and about what it takes to gain recognition and connections.
Q: First a little about you. You grew up around construction. How has that shaped your career?
Ray: My Grandfather and uncle started doing concrete jobs in the ‘70s, growing the business into one that did commercial highways. I had a job there and remember hearing about worker injuries and my uncles’ concerns about insurance. It made me realize the need for insurance, to make a difference for construction owners and their workforces through risk management.
As for being involved, my uncles used to talk about the Suburban Contractors Association (SCA) and other associations they participated in. I learned from an early age that it’s very important to give back to your community and your industry. My uncles and father paved the way for me.
Q: You mentioned that the GBCA Coffee Chats have been your favorite part of the CLC so far. These were informal video chats for young professionals with experienced leaders throughout Philadelphia’s commercial construction industry—with executives from EDA Contractors, LF Driscoll, P. Agnes, Frank V. Radomski & Sons, Shoemaker Construction, Skanska, and Torcon, Inc. What did you learn from them?
Ray: Older generations of folks in the construction industry feel that the work ethic has changed over time. What that means is that there is a lot of opportunity for those who work hard. Showing up every day ready to work, going above and beyond the “task list” of your job, and working well with your teammates will lead to career success. Other great advice? It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you own them. Admit it when you are wrong. Learn from your mistakes. People will respect you.
Q: One of your favorite quotes is from Calvin Coolidge and it’s about persistence. What have you learned about persistence from being in the CLC?
Ray: The quote is this: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not… Genius will not…Education will not… Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent …”
Over time, tenure and persistence plays a big part in success. Staying involved with the CLC will only improve my network.
Q: Besides persistence, what does it take to be a good leader?
Ray: Know how to work with others and put them in situations where they will succeed. You are only as good as your people.
Q: What is your advice to other young professionals who say, “I’m too busy to be involved in something like the CLC?”
Ray: You’re never too busy to grow yourself and your network. A lot of people think their work will get them where they need to be. What they’re not thinking about is the people element.
When you have a network you can learn from others, you have folks to reach out to if you need a favor, you can advance because of your connections. You never know — the next person you meet might be a client, or a co-worker, or a boss or a subcontractor that you’ll be working side by side with.
Q: Every leader needs encouragement and support from others. Where does that come from for you?
Ray: My employer MRG provides a tremendous amount of support. I am highly encouraged to be involved in GBCA and I receive a lot of praise for it. I feel that MRG not only cares about business development but cares about me as a person and my professional advancement.