Metro Construction – Helping To Build Memphis

Metro's mission to buy products and materials from the USA whenever possible and challenges us to do the same as conscious consumers.

Jeff Savage, Vice President and Partner, of his family’s business, Metro Construction, has a heart for Memphis and serving others. Listen in as Jeff shares the history of Metro Construction as they celebrate their 40th year, and how they are literally helping to build Memphis even through the coronavirus pandemic. Jeff discusses Metro’s mission to buy products and materials from the USA whenever possible and challenges us to do the same as conscious consumers. He also shares how he is personally navigating the emotional toll caused by the coronavirus pandemic through journaling, prayer, and leaning on his team and family.

Founded in 1981 by Joe Savage, Metro Construction has been building throughout the Memphis area for over 30 years. Throughout the years Metro has been involved in Memphis’ most recognizable developments and historical projects including the renovation of the Peabody Hotel, major restorations of the Peabody Place Historic Block, constructing the Fire Museum of Memphis and just recently remodeling the historic WDIA building. 

Adapting to COVID-19, OSHA, to their credit, was pretty far ahead of it. They issued some guidelines pretty quickly. We distributed those to our team through our third party safety vendor and our men adjusted as quickly. Code enforcement for instance, in Shelby County has remained open  and they’ve pivoted really nicely into this digital a way of thinking. Calling people  with permit applications and questions and comments, much more so than the old way. And inspectors in the field are still coming to work. We’re getting inspections, in a timely manner. 

Jeff says, “We’re currently working on,  projects that were funded a long time ago and their deadline stands. Memphis Business Academy in Memphis Rise Middle School.  We’re going to work as safely as we can, but, the deadline remains”. 

Our supply chain for  construction materials is  tremendously long, drywall from Canada, HVAC from Mexico fire alarm panels assembled in Mexico, but the products come from China, Canada, even the U S where they’re assembled in Mexico and then shipped back to the U S so it’s a bit of a tangled web to try to untangle  over the time. If you keep the mindset of buying American on a long enough timeline, it can hopefully make a difference. Providing different avenues to support local businesses, subcontractors and USA based companies as possible.

Closing thought from Jeff on Leadership challenges, opportunities, lessons…. 

There is no more work life balance. It’s work life integration.  For me, I think hitting the bottom line and getting that result that my clients need and want and the information my team needs to get the job done that outpaces any old mentalities of the old world of eight to five, you know, why aren’t you busy?  I’ve told my team,  if it’s critical, if it’s urgent and important, do it now. If it’s neither  urgent nor important, find out why. Find out why that keeps landing on your inbox or on your desk. How can we get rid of the minutia that doesn’t matter and focus on what does. 

The other thing I would lean on would be, what the great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, “do not let what you cannot control interfere with what you can control”. 

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