If ever there were a year to acknowledge the men and women who helm our commercial real estate companies, the past 12 months would be it. Since the pandemic began, there have been high levels of bankruptcies and some distress, albeit not as much as those funds formed for the purpose of snapping up bargains would have liked to see. Whatever the level, though, the past year has been a challenging one as COVID upended the economy, caused the deaths of half a million and counting Americans and rewrote some fundamental rules about the industry (WFH comes to mind here). It is a testament to these industry leaders that CRE is emerging from the health crisis, just a little battered and worse for the wear—but nothing that a booming recovery can’t fix. We selected this group, as we do every year, based on their business acumen, how well they treat their employees and the type of culture and environment they set at their firms. While the former was on clear display this year, as you read on you’ll find the other attributes did not fall by the wayside. Which is the mark of true leaders.
DANA ROBERTS & KARL KREUTZIGER
C.W. Driver Cos. Together, Dana Roberts and Karl Kreutziger have shaped a close-knit supportive employee culture at construction company C.W. Driver Cos. Roberts serves as CEO of the 100-year-old company, while Kreutziger is the firm’s president. Although the firm has 300 employees and generated $586 million in revenue last year, employees praise the small-company feel. “C.W. Driver Cos. is one of the few companies left today that values their employees at the highest level. The small company feel still exists with the culture, yet we are so much larger today and have not lost the personal touch and feel of a smaller company,” says one employee. Roberts and Kreutziger set the tone, greeting every employee by name, no matter their position. The employee-first mentality surpasses workplace kindness. C.W. Driver also offers competitive salaries and benefit packages, including tuition reimbursement and professional development opportunities. The company’s turnover rates are substantially lower than industry standards and employees are not only happy but active community members. Last year, the firm’s employees clocked more than 10,000 volunteer hours with $150,000 donated to local charitable organizations.
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