A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:
TOM DRISCOLL Big-D construction
Title: Partner and vice president of business development
Tom Driscoll is working to double the value of projects that Big-D Construction builds in 2015 as partner and vice president of business development at the Utah-based firm's Minneapolis office.
That would mean approaching or topping $100 million worth of work after securing $48 million in projects in 2014, Big-D Construction's first year of business in Minnesota.
Big-D Construction's specialties include commercial, industrial, food and beverage projects.
Driscoll spent much of last year establishing the firm's name locally and explaining its unusual origins.
The moniker comes from the nickname of founder Dee Livingood, who started the firm in 1967 and was known for an outsized personality befitting his 6-foot, 5-inch frame. Driscoll said Livingood ran a construction firm that showed equal respect for customers, employees, subcontractors and such partners as architectural and engineering firms.
Driscoll learned of Big-D Construction from Chris Grzybowski, who had been a project manager at the firm's Salt Lake City headquarters. Both then were working in the Twin Cities for Kone, the Finnish elevator and escalator manufacturer.
Driscoll and Grzybowski persuaded Big-D Construction to partner with them to open the Minneapolis office. Cory Schubert joined them as a partner and vice president.
Driscoll has 15 years of construction and industrial experience, working in packaging before he earned an MBA from Augsburg College and transitioned into the building industry.
Q: What motivated you to bring Big-D Construction to Minneapolis?
A: Big-D has a unique mission statement: To be the most sought-after construction company in the industry. We saw a great opportunity to leverage the strengths of Big-D and bring them to a marketplace that has an enormous amount of competition.
Q: What has been driving business for the company in the Twin Cities?
A: Multifamily continues to move forward. Our office is in the North Loop (in Minneapolis) and it's exciting to have all this entrepreneurial spirit and energy, and you're smack dab in this area where there's going to be a lot of opportunities to build.
Q: What drew you into construction management?
A: The complexity of the industry and the idea of wearing so many different hats. It was exciting to see some of the things I learned in the packaging industry apply to this complex and sometimes conflict-ridden industry — doing the right thing for the right reason, and then there's a payback.