R.E. Crawford Construction LLC
Founded in 2005 by Jeffrey T. Smith, R.E. Crawford Construction LLC has grown into a leading general contractor and construction management firm. Located in Sarasota, Florida, R.E Crawford provides site development, ground-up, fit-out and addition/renovation services to a wide range of clients. “The majority of our work is in retail and restaurant construction, but we also perform hospitality, medical, office/administration, strip center and government projects,” says Jeffrey. “Our scope of work can range from in the thousands to multimillion-dollar projects.”
R.E. Crawford has earned an excellent reputation that awards the company repeat work from many of the nation’s top companies, including Saks, Bose, Talbots, AutoZone, and Verizon Wireless. “Much of our success is attributed to our ability to control costs while meeting the most demanding of schedules,” explains Jeffrey. “In addition, we use cost projection and value engineering tools to help save our clients time and money.”
While prevalent all along the East Coast, R.E. Crawford has continued to expand into the western United States. The company is licensed in 38 states, most recently California and Arizona. “We just completed projects in Arizona, Colorado and Washington,” says Susan Courter, director of business development. “We are constantly considering new markets, so if a client wants to expand somewhere where we haven’t worked we will investigate the area and decide if we are able to be competitive while still maintaining a high level of quality before we proceed.”
A strong foundation
Jeffrey began working for R.E Crawford Inc. in 1991. After only a short time with the company, his determination and workmanship caught the attention of upper management. After working his way through the ranks to director of construction, Jeffrey became president of the R.E. Crawford office in Sarasota and was responsible for all jobs in the Southeastern United States. Jeffrey and his wife, Utahna, purchased the company in 2005 and it became R.E. Crawford Construction LLC.
Jeffrey works alongside his wife, who is executive vice president and chief financial officer for the company. Responsible for all accounting functions and financial management of the company, Utahna also oversees all creation and submissions of pay applications to subcontractors, distribution of contracts, purchase orders and all bonding and insurance matters related to various projects, as well as human resources.
Courter says that the quality of employees at R.E. Crawford is the primary contributor to the company’s success and the reason many clients request the company to travel for projects. “Jeffrey has been in the construction industry for 30-plus years,” says Courter. “He’s been working with some of the current staff, including two of our project managers and our chief operating officer, for the majority of their careers so they have a lot of experience together and they’re really great mentors to the new talent that we bring on board with the company.”
Building lasting relationships
As a construction management firm, R.E. Crawford will hire subcontractors to perform a majority of the work on most projects. The 35 employees at the company are involved in the oversight of each job. This allows for R.E. Crawford to utilize its strong database of subcontractors, many of which the company has worked with for a number of years. “We review the qualifications of all subcontractors before we bring them onto a job,” says Smith. “We verify that they understand the scope of work and have experience with the particular type of job.” While the company has a solid network of subscontractors R.E Crawford is also always looking to establish new relationships as well.
During the economic downturn from 2008 to 2010, many of R.E. Crawford’s retail clients put a freeze on the development of new locations as well as expansions. The company performed smaller renovation projects for their client base, sustaining itself through the recession by relying on the relationships it had built as well as a solid reputation. They also sought out new clients who were less affected by the economic shift, like Family Dollar and Dollar General. “Our strong reputation along with our ability to adapt is what helped carry the business through those tough times,” says Courter.
As R.E. Crawford Construction LLC progresses into the future, the company plans to continue its expansion throughout the United States as it continues to work with its current clients and bring on new ones.
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