Chief Construction’s 70 Year Journey Exemplifies Success 

Over the past seven decades, the commercial construction industry has undergone a transformative shift due to technological advancements, shifting societal needs, and emerging economic landscapes. The industry has continually adapted to meet evolving demands and challenges from skyscrapers to the practice of sustainable building. Innovations in materials, construction techniques, and project management have reshaped the way buildings are designed, constructed, and utilized, reflecting broader shifts in architectural trends. As we reflect on the trajectory of the commercial construction sector, it becomes evident that its resilience and capacity for innovation have been instrumental in shaping the built environment and driving progress across diverse sectors of the global economy. 

Chief Construction was founded in 1954 and has been a leading general contractor in Central Nebraska. Over the past seven decades, they have had proven success in the commercial, industrial, manufacturing, educational, healthcare, and institutional building segments. Their tested methods have allowed them to be a leader in their industry.  


Let’s dive a bit deeper into the practices in the construction industry and the areas where Chief Construction stands out: 


What is design build and why is it used in construction? 

The design-build method in construction integrates both the design and construction phases under the responsibility of a single entity, typically a contractor or a construction firm. Unlike the traditional design-bid-build approach, where the owner contracts separately with a designer/architect and a contractor, the design-build method fosters collaboration between design and construction teams from the project’s inception. This collaborative model facilitates streamlined communication, allowing for a more seamless exchange of ideas and information throughout the project lifecycle. By overlapping design and construction activities, the design-build approach often leads to faster project delivery, cost savings through more accurate cost estimates and early identification of potential issues. With a single point of responsibility for both design and construction, owners benefit from clarity in accountability and simplified project management. Moreover, the integration of expertise from both disciplines encourages innovation and creative problem-solving, resulting in higher-quality outcomes. 

Chief Construction was one of the first contractors in Nebraska to bring the design build method of delivery to the state. They combined their role as a general contractor with their architectural services to provide a bundled solution for their customer. This allowed them to be more cost competitive in their builds and have additional transparency in the overall project cost.   


What are the benefits of consistent leadership over seven decades? 

Having consistent leadership with minimal turnover over seven decades is immensely beneficial for a construction company on multiple fronts. Firstly, it fosters a strong organizational culture and sense of stability, providing employees with a clear vision and direction that remains consistent over time. This continuity enables the company to develop deep-rooted relationships with clients, subcontractors, and suppliers, built on trust and reliability. Furthermore, consistent leadership promotes institutional knowledge retention, allowing the company to leverage decades of experience and expertise in navigating industry trends, market fluctuations, and regulatory changes. With long-tenured leaders at the helm, the company can implement effective strategic planning and decision-making processes, driving sustainable growth and resilience in the face of challenges. 

Over the last seven decades, Chief Construction is proud to have had only five general managers. This is unprecedented in the industry and bodes well with the family aspect that Chief Industries fosters. Not only has the company had few leaders over the last seventy years, but the team also has many employees who have been with the company for 20+ years. Chief Construction’s consistent leadership over seven decades forms the bedrock of a construction company’s success, providing stability, continuity, and a solid foundation for enduring growth. 


What are the mutually beneficial outcomes from partnering a commercial development company with a commercial construction company? 

Commercial development and commercial construction companies form a symbiotic relationship that mutually benefits each other and enhances the overall value proposition. Commercial development involves conceiving, planning, and executing projects that meet market demands and economic opportunities. When partnered with a reputable commercial construction company, the development process becomes more seamless and efficient. Construction firms bring invaluable expertise in feasibility analysis, budgeting, scheduling, and regulatory compliance, ensuring that development projects are delivered on time, within budget, and up to quality standards. Additionally, their understanding of construction materials, techniques, and technologies enables them to provide valuable input during the design and planning phases, optimizing project outcomes and minimizing risks. 

Chief Construction took the leap in 2011 to become involved with commercial development. The organization was asked to participate in a development in the West Haymarket part of Lincoln, now known as The Railyard. When Chief Construction embarked on this journey, the team combined the development services with the construction division to provide a more complete and robust solution for the development. The development side of Chief continues to grow throughout Nebraska, specifically in Grand Island. By aligning commercial development with a trusted construction partner, stakeholders can maximize the value of their investments, mitigate potential challenges, and achieve successful project delivery that meets or exceeds expectations. 


What are the benefits of a general contractor partnering with national contractor organizations and their local community partners? 

Partnering with local Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Corporations, as well as being members of national organizations like the Associated General Contractors (AGC), offers numerous benefits to a local construction company. Local Chambers and Economic Development Corporations provide valuable networking opportunities, access to business resources, and exposure to potential clients and projects within the community. By actively engaging with these organizations, construction companies can strengthen their relationships with local businesses, government agencies, and community leaders, enhancing their visibility and credibility in the region. Additionally, membership in national organizations like the AGC offers access to industry-specific resources, advocacy efforts, and professional development opportunities on a broader scale. This affiliation not only keeps local construction companies informed about national trends, regulations, and best practices but also provides a platform to voice concerns and influence policy decisions that affect the industry. 

Chief Construction is a proud partner with the local Economic Development Corporations and Chambers of Commerce. These organizations help the team keep a pulse on what is going on locally and the opportunities that are on the horizon based on how the community plans to grow. Chief Construction has locations in five different communities across the state including Grand Island, Kearney, Lincoln, Hastings, and North Platte. Without the partnership with the local organizations, Chief would not be as successful when it enters a new market. Along with local involvement, Chief Construction also proudly supports the AGC and has had employees sit on its board.  


Chief Construction’s journey over the past seven decades exemplifies the enduring success that stems from visionary leadership, innovative practices, and strategic partnerships. Throughout its history, Chief Construction has embraced transformative approaches like the design-build method, demonstrating its commitment to efficiency, quality, and client satisfaction. With consistent leadership and a deeply rooted organizational culture, Chief Construction has navigated industry shifts with resilience and adaptability, positioning itself as a leader in the construction sector. As Chief Construction continues to evolve and grow, its steadfast commitment to excellence and collaboration serves as a testament to the enduring value of long-term vision and strategic partnerships in the construction industry.