Perhaps you've seen them, popping up all over town, buildings being renovated, torn down, and rebuilt. Construction sites are nothing new, and neither is the experience behind Fort Wayne's CME Corporation. Established locally, CME is a design-builder, general contractor, and construction management firm of about 45 individuals. With such a select staff, all employees are crucial, and the election of Tom Carroll as business development director was not on a lark. With over 30 years of experience, Tom brings with him a solid background in business development, business operations and aggressive marketing activities. We decided to ask Tom a few questions and get a little deeper into some of the thought behind local development.
Das Fort (DF): Your position with CME is fairly recent, correct?
Tom Carroll (TC): I joined CME in December of last year but have known Mark Hellinger and Tom Wagner ( the president and vice), for a number of years. I'm thrilled CME was progressive enough to see the value of a marketing and business development professional coming from outside the world of commercial construction. An added benefit of the appointment was it kept me in the Fort Wayne area.
DF: Can you describe what you do personally for CME?
TC: My primary responsibility is to uncover new business opportunities by finding businesses looking to expand, renovate or build new facilities. Once the potential client shares their needs and goals, we share the CME story to discover if we are a good fit to accomplish the project together. Strategic planning and implementation for all areas of marketing is also a key component of my position.
DF: That sounds like a lot of work! What would you say you enjoy most about your job?
TC: The challenge of finding new opportunities. It's like looking for that next puzzle piece. Developing business and personal relationships through people sharing their vision and us sharing our stories. Finding a connection where it makes sense to move ahead together on the project, whether new construction, expansion or renovation. What makes it even more fun, is being able to reconnect with past business contacts and friends, while meeting many new people and learning about their businesses.
DF: Do you have some examples of the kinds of buildings CME usually makes?
TC: Since 1972, as a merit shop (non-union) commercial design-builder and general contractor we have worked with numerous businesses including retail stores like Human Motor Works in Fort Wayne to expansive warehousing and distribution centers, like the 500,000 square foot facility for Do it Best in Sikeston, Missouri and Cooper Farms, a turkey processing facility in Ohio. Other local projects have included Lutheran Children's Hospital tree house elevator, Ascension Lutheran Church, Manchester College, Edy's Ice Cream, Meijer, K& K Insurance, Nemcomed (a precision medical instruments and implant manufacturer) Two EE's Winery and Community Harvest Food Bank.
DF: What makes CME an attractive company to work with?
TC: Approximately 80% of our business has been repeat engagements with existing clients. We must be building it right! It shows our client's appreciate the commitment and project management our staff provides. The experience of our office staff, project managers, construction crews, sub-contractors, vendors, partners and leadership brings together the necessary elements to exceed the expectations for completion, budget and the overall project.
DF: Any additional information you would like to share?
TC: CME is fortunate to be the design-builder for a recent newsworthy speculative "shell building" in Fort Wayne. (Shell buildings are nearly complete awaiting final requirements of a new owner or tenant) Working with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. (formerly the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance) and the owner, it is being considered by several companies looking for space in the area. You can see it from I-69, on the South side, just West of the Indiana Department of Transportation facility between the US 30 and Highway 3/Lima Road exits.
Another unique project was Union Chapel Dentistry for Dr. David Painter. His vision was to have the entire building constructed using only "Made in America" products. Many thought it would require a much larger budget, however it really didn't. Some products however were more difficult to find, such as drawer pulls. As with many clients we continue to work with Dr. Painter on additional expansions and renovations.
In addition to new construction, expansions and renovations, CME offers front end services including site selection and acquisition, assistance with zoning and use variances, tax abatements, financing options, construction maintenance programs and facility audits. Also our "Building Information Modeling" (BIM) together with value engineering and pre-engineered options can help in the visualization of potential projects.
We appreciate the ongoing business and friendships developed while looking forward to new friends who want to "Build it Right"!
For more information contact: