Focus Design Builders LLC
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: John Carioti
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Focus Design Builders LLC has been providing integrated design-build construction solutions since 2010. Established by partners Paul Eitel, Craig Hedgepeth and David Williams Jr., the company strives to provide quality, service and value to customers throughout North Carolina and the surrounding states. Based in Wake Forest, North Carolina, the Focus team strives to deliver sound and positive guidance throughout the complex processes of designing and constructing commercial structures.
With a growing team and a strong portfolio, Focus has established longstanding relationships within the construction market in the Southeast. Eitel, Hedgepeth and Williams continue to provide guidance at the company’s helm. With combined experience exceeding four decades, the partners steer the business and its projects with the knowledge and proficiency necessary to complete complex, multifaceted projects.
Focus’ target market includes private institutional work, religious facilities, public safety, manufacturing and mixed use developments, among other commercial undertakings. In-house expertise allows the company to work alongside clients from concept to completion – providing a one-stop shop for distinct commercial projects that exceed expectations.
Eitel, CEO of Focus, has long placed high value on service. Born in Cameroon, Africa, Eitel spent the first six years of his life in the country while his parents served as missionaries. The family would later return to Texas and eventually relocated to Wake Forest in 1992.
Looking to take the road less traveled, Eitel attended college as a cadet at The Citadel Military College of South Carolina. In 2001 he completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration, achieving the third-highest ranking position in the Corps of Cadets at the Citadel. After graduation, Eitel began his career as a commercial project developer, helping clients plan, design and build more than $100 million in projects over the years.
Though he has put in much hard work, Eitel attests that his commitment to faith in Christ has paved his way to visit nearly every continent as a missionary; he has enjoyed serving many religious institutions. Eitel notes that he often likes to quote William Carey, a famous missionary from the late 1700s and early 1800s, who said, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” In 1997 Paul joined the Wake Forest Fire Department; he is also an active member of the community in the Rotary Club, as well as the Wake Forest Kiwanis Club.
Putting faith to work
Eitel and his colleagues have successfully translated this dedication to service into a growing business. “We have established ourselves as a trusted design-build contractor,” he explains. “I think our transparency really stands out. We give clear, honest answers and we have a trustworthy network of subcontractors we use. Our clients know the project information and costs upfront, no matter what.”
The company’s reputation for hard, honest work has helped to reel in a number of complex projects. Recent work includes a contract with Truett McConnell College for a $13 million recreation center to be built in Cleveland, Georgia. The company has a handful of new church projects in the works, a contract for the Schmalz headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, and several other large commercial projects.
The Focus team is also working with Welch College on a brand new campus with five buildings. “We’re doing two dormitories, a dining hall, an administrative building and a gym,” Eitel explains. “We are building the entire college from ground up, serving as the main general contractor managing the entire project.”
While the last few years have been smooth sailing for Focus, Eitel says that some had their doubts about the company’s ability to launch. “We started this company in the midst of an economic downturn,” he explains. “But we pulled in strong margins last year and are looking to double in 2015. Everyone said we couldn’t open a business during an economic downturn and we have pulled through with amazing success.”
The company’s backlog continues to grow steadily and the firm is even branching into new areas of service. Eitel and his partners have taken on a commercial real estate franchise that will allow the team to help commercial clients obtain land to build on if they don’t already own some.
Time and again, Focus proves that customers come first and continued organic growth and strategic expansion is a given for the team. Looking ahead, Eitel sees a few things staying the same: Focus Design Builders LLC will maintain a strong set of values, including service, quality and innovation.
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