Rex Kirby, founder of Verdex Construction, which is a GrowFL 2017 Florida Companies to Watch honoree, grew a national construction company's southeast division into a $500 million entity before deciding he wanted to strike out on his own to launch a construction company with a new vision of "Building Something Better."
"After 15 years at a company where I grew from a Project Manager to Division Manager, I accepted a position as regional president at a national company trying to get a foothold in the Florida market," he said. "With the growth of that company and our region over my 15 years of running their southeast division, the dynamics changed dramatically. Not that it was right or wrong, but it became clear the large corporate culture didn't fit with my personality. I found myself getting somewhat frustrated with decision making and system complexities that naturally come with large organizations. I was no longer the right person for them and they were no longer the right company for me.”
“I had the idea that I could fill a niche with a well-financed but leaner company that paid higher attention to clients especially on the preconstruction side to get their deals to work in a hot market. And we made sure to continue our attention to the client and their project all the way through the building process by investing in best-in-class construction industry software systems to allow our people to focus on building and managing their projects.”
Verdex Construction provides diverse construction services, including multifamily, hospitality commercial, senior living, and industrial as well as a division that focuses on interior renovations and smaller projects.
"We're trying not to specialize other than we're a vertical builder," Kirby explained. "We diversify the types of projects we're working on so we don’t ride the wave of one individual market. We’re working on projects in almost every sector I mentioned and will achieve revenues of about $100 million this year, so our strategy is working.”
“Our vision was better service, flexibility, quick decisions and great people. We’ve focused on hiring people that have the same cultural mindset of passion, integrity and leadership. We've grown at a pace where we've been able to attract and retain that higher caliber of people. The key to any company is having that talent."
Kirby is honored that Verdex Construction has been named a GrowFL Company To Watch.
"It means an incredible amount to us," he said. "We have a handpicked, tight, motivated, group who are passionate about the company so to achieve that level of recognition on the state level, with all the competition, is a big motivator for our whole team. It's a huge recognition for us and it provides credibility as we speak to others."
Kirby's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is as simple as it is sage.
"Be prepared for things not to go as you anticipated," he said. "Keep beating the pavement. Don’t get scared or frustrated by things not coming together exactly as you envisioned."