Alan Jesky Builders
Five years ago, the principals at Alan Jeskey Builders (AJB) decided to let go of the company’s residential division and switch focus to design/build projects for the commercial sector. It was a wise decision that Curtis Cummings, CEO of the company, credits to instinct gained through decades of construction experience in the southern Nevada market.
“I’ve grown up in this town, so there was an intuitive feel that we needed to get out of that market,” Cummings says. “So we did, and thank God, because it crashed a number of years later.”
The company’s owner, President Alan Jeskey, began the business in 1989 as a patio and residential builder. Cummings joined the company in 2000 after 25 years as a subcontractor with major Las Vegas hotels and resorts. When they partnered, they set a clear vision to become a premier commercial construction and design/build firm in southern Nevada.
“We both know how to grow a business from the ground up and understand the pressure and intensity,” Cummings says. The two picked a specific geographical area and have grown the reputation by building relationships and being selective with projects. Cummings calls it an old-fashioned approach to conducting business, but it’s delivered 75 to 80 percent of business through repeat and referred customers.
Some of that repeat business comes from well-known Las Vegas community establishments. The company has managed construction of 11 buildings for the national food chain Popeyes®. It is also responsible for every Clark County Credit Union erected in recent years.
A notable project AJB is working on is for the well-known Spanish Trail Master Association community. It won a contract to remodel the community’s east and west gates. The east gate was completed in April 2010 with a $1.8 million budget. A grand opening was held for the newest gate which was attended by board members, dignitaries, politicians and local media. The west gate is slated for August 2010 completion.
“At Alan Jeskey Builders, we have been in business for 21 years,” Cummings says. “We have a flawless record in the Nevada State Contracting Board, and our key is our outstanding reputation in the community. It’s a reputation that’s been able to attract the best talent that creates a domino effect of quality work and happy customers.” One of the company’s recent projects, a new industrial building for Step Saver Inc., was gained through a referral of a “happy customer.” Step Saver Inc., is a Utah-based industrial bulk salt supplier that provides salt for water purification to Las Vegas hotels and commercial laundries. The company’s owners saw another building AJB had worked on and knew that it could manage the project.
Projects like these are why AJB saw a 60 percent growth curve in 2010’s first quarter after watching revenue decrease over the past few recession years. “This is outstanding given the local economy and gloomy conditions,” Cummings says. “We expect to double our business volume this year. Those are bold expectations but we believe they are achievable.”
To achieve that goal, AJB has an extensive pre-qualification process for subcontractors, suppliers and vendors to make sure each player has the experience and willingness to work on a team and deliver projects on time. The company also lives and works by the principle of SEE, which stands for:
- Service of a select customer base through relationship building;
- Employ the best and development of a team oriented business culture; and
- Establish a respected company with a solid reputation.
The Strongest Survive
AJB has let this principle guide it through changes it has made to ride out the recession. “My position has been never waste a good crisis,” Cummings says. “We recently created a unified three- and five-year company vision and have aligned all our resources so that everything we think and do point toward accomplishment of that goal.”
The company’s biggest change was the addition of a building repair services division added last year. Cummings says it has been very successful and is part of that 2010 first-quarter growth. AJB has done tenant improvements for the North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, health centers, boutiques, restaurants and dozens of other businesses.
“We’ve in essence made changes to the company during a terrible economic environment and those changes have borne fruit,” Cummings says. “It’s been a long recession and truly only the strongest survive.“
According to Cummings, the recent upturn in business at AJB has rejuvenated the company’s 18-member staff. The company has always strived to create an atmosphere where the employees are challenged and able to develop career paths to grow with the company.
“It’s great to see the staff and the excitement and the energy that we have. We’ve found market share and we have growth not only in revenue but in profitability,” Cummings says.
With all the success that AJB has seen, Cummings says it’s important for the company to give back. Cummings is on the executive board of directors for the North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and is the 2010 to 2011 president for the North Las Vegas Rotary Club.
Jeskey is involved with the NAIOP and participates on their membership committee. The company is also involved with nonprofits such as the Ronald McDonald House, the Salvation Army and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.
“Community service was part of the transition when we got together,” says Cummings. “We picked North Las Vegas as our target initially and decided to try to make a difference and give back. Although it’s difficult in this economy, it’s also very fulfilling.”
This commitment to the community is the same commitment that AJB has for its clients. Cummings says the company will continue to grow in a responsible way. “Our reputation and credibility is everything to us and will not be sacrificed in the pursuit of numbers,” he says.