Next Wave: Jarrod Bannon
Growing up, Jarrod Bannon spent every summer and winter break helping out on construction jobs with his father, Paul, owner of Bannon Custom Builders (BCB). Now, at 28, he oversees the company’s team of building professionals as project manager. His current role, one he has come to embrace, might have never been had the Sandwich native continued pursuing a career in finance in Boston.
CCH: Is there a particular moment when you realized you wanted to pursue a career in construction?
JB: After graduating from the University of Maryland in finance, the economy was in a recession. I lived at home for a few months and worked for my father, but I wasn’t totally into it because I really wanted to do my own thing. BCB didn’t have a ton of work at the time, and I ended up assigned to building cabinets in the garage. I enjoyed my time doing that, but I went on and got the corporate office job that I was seeking. In retrospect, I think building those cabinets helped me realize I wanted a more active career. Removing myself from the situation eventually helped me to see the huge satisfaction in building that I took for granted.
CCH: How do you handle the day-to-day challenges your job presents?
JB: Whenever there’s a problem, there’s the temptation to find the easiest solution, but the easiest solution isn’t usually the best. My father’s always telling everyone, “build it right.” It’s been drilled into me. Even if it’s harder and takes more time, it’s better to do it the right way than take shortcuts. You just have to take it day by day, one challenge at a time.
CCH: What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from your father over the years?
JB: It goes back to building it right. It’s better to take one step backward before going too far to the point where we have to go back and do something twice. We don’t want to compromise the integrity of the work. With each project I plan a little bit more and I learn a little bit more.
CCH: What do you believe stands out about you and your team’s work?
JB: The homes we do are very detailed, and most of the time the architects and owners are very involved in every decision. We make everything exactly how they want, no matter how difficult the circumstance. We pride ourselves on the unseen steps to get the best end result, all the steps that we take in the process to get there.
CCH: Is there a project you’ve done that’s particularly special to you?
JB: My favorite project is my first project. It’s a house on the Vineyard, and it’s probably one of the hardest houses I’ll ever do. No roof rafter is the same length, no studs are the same length, because the roof is at three different angles. And it was two houses: a main house and a guesthouse. Everything we did on the main house, we did again on the guesthouse. It was very complicated, but it was fun. I learned more on that project than I probably ever will on any other.
CCH: Has your background in finance helped you in any way in your day-to-day work?
JB: I do a lot of work on estimating jobs, and being good with numbers does help me quickly go through everything. It’ll eventually help even more, as I get older and my father takes more of a backseat.
CCH: As time goes on, how do you see your future within the company?
JB: I want to keep learning and have a really firm grasp on the building part, then hopefully move into a broader management role. I’ve got a lot of learning to do and growing up to do. It’s a little challenging being a younger guy in this industry, but as I’ve become more confident I’ve become more assertive and a better leader.
CCH: What advice do you have for fellow young professionals looking to succeed in the design and building industry?
JB: I think working in the field is one of the best things you can do, especially when you’re young, like on summer breaks. My younger brother, Zack, is studying to be an architect, and he asked for an internship with a local architect last summer. The architect told him, “Working for your dad is the best internship for architecture,” and I know what he means. I have a Master’s in Construction Management from Wentworth Institute of Technology, but it’s nothing compared to the day-to-day experience of being in the field and seeing it all come together.