Accounting and construction - The building blocks of successful construction management
J. Alden Porter, construction manager extraordinaire, can get the job done and stay within budget too! He possesses a strong work ethic which started in his youth. He recollects his childhood when at twelve years old he worked at the logging camps in Northern Arizona. He started out making $5.00 per day. He said, "I felt like the richest guy in the world."
Although he only worked through summer months and Christmas breaks, he financed his schooling from money he earned. At the young age of 17, Alden started a company and took a thinning contract for the summer. He had only one employee and after expenses he cleared about $3,000.00. He loved working for himself. He realized through his hard labor experiences that he wanted to go to college so he could earn a living with his mind rather than his back.
Alden studied accounting at Arizona State University. During college, Alden worked as an accountant for Alfred Farnsworth who owned seven companies. He gained valuable experience keeping books and handling billing for Mr. Farnsworth.
Kountry Drywall to KDW, Inc.
In 1975 Alden was approached by his father-in-law about going into business with him in the drywall business in Texas. At the time he was living in Chandler, Arizona attending Arizona State University. So, after attending Arizona State, he began his first job in Irving, Texas as president of Kountry Drywall, Inc. Alden ran this company as a full service drywall company for the next 18 years as a drywall contractor. Here, he gained experience in bidding projects, managing the construction of large apartment units and high rise buildings in various states. Building in multiple states helped him learn and understand diverse building concepts and code requirements.
In 1993, Alden returned to the corporate accounting world and after just four years he started his own company doing controllership work for small companies. Alden wanted to keep the company name of Kountry Drywall, Inc., but legally changed it to KDW, Inc. so as not to confuse clients and companies. His goal as a controller was to help small companies get bankable statements and provide banking relationships so they could expand their small business. It was during this time that Alden met David B. South of Monolithic Constructors, Inc. who had contracted with him for services.
Combining experience and knowledge
"When Mr. South learned that I had almost 20 years of construction and accounting experience, he presented the idea of construction management for large dome projects. So in 1998 I contracted with Mr. South to oversee the job at St. Agnes Baptist Church in Houston, Texas and have been involved in the construction management capacity of dome building ever since," said Alden.
Alden's unique background of construction, banking and accounting experience is rare in the construction world. With this winning combination, it was David's hope to keep Alden very busy. Over the next several years, Alden managed the "finishing" phase of several large Dome projects, helping contractors get past the fear of dome construction. Alden said, "We have been able to help school systems get gymnasiums and storm shelters at a price they could afford."
In December of 2004, Alden Porter and David South decided to separate companies for several reasons. Alden said, "This decision to do so has proven to be a win/win situation for each of us."