D2D Buyer Ready Business: Executive Construction Management – Vencie R. Jackson, President & CEO

Executive Construction Management

Executive Construction Management (ECM) is a Detroit success story with a unique history and a number of special features that set it apart. ECM is a certified minority contractor headquartered in Detroit, with a proven track record as a general contractor. The company serves both public and private clients by providing all phases of construction project management, including: project planning; design consultation; cost and time estimating and a full range of building services and site supervision for both new construction and renovation/rehabilitation projects. ECM has in-house capabilities in a number of building trades, including concrete, carpentry, drywall, painting, flooring, earthwork and electrical.

ECM’s staff has decades of experience completing major projects for a wide range of government and commercial customers. The ECM team is lead by founder Vencie Jackson.

What is the history and background ECM ?
When an associate and I left our jobs as accountants at Ford Motor Company to form a private accounting firm, we did not plan to get into the construction business. However, a number of our clients were churches that wanted to undertake building projects. As we helped them plan and raise the funds for these projects, we recognized the need for a minority-based construction firm in Detroit and realized that we could oversee and manage the whole construction process. Along with some friends and relatives who had backgrounds and experience in the building trades and other key fields, we incorporated ECM in the state of Michigan in 1996. All eight of ECM’s founders originally came from the South. Some of us had gone to school together, others had worked together in the past. We came from different fields – everything from accounting to marketing – and this diversity has been a unique strength of ECM. From the outset, we wanted to establish a business that, while it would require hard work, had great potential for success. Collectively, we share a commitment to professionalism and being the best at what we do.

Why did ECM select Detroit as its headquarters?
Detroit was the right place for ECM. At the time we established ECM, there were great opportunities in the building and construction field in the city. There also was a pressing need in Detroit for a minority-based company in this field and some competitive advantages for a minority-owned construction company. From the outset, we realized the potential for working alongside and serving the needs of the growing automotive industry. In fact, some of the major auto businesses in Detroit welcomed ECM and continue to be our clients. Our love for and commitment to this city has never wavered, and we have maintained our headquarters here through thick and thin. We continue to be delighted to be part of Detroit’s current revitalization.

What are some of ECM’s notable clients?
ECM has an extensive and diverse list of clients. We have done construction management for New Hope Baptist Church and Detroit Public Schools. We have completed design/build work for Chapel Hill Baptist Church and have been the general contractor/sub contractor for Warren Academy. We have successfully completed projects for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; U.S. General Services Administration; Detroit Medical Center/Sinai Grace Hospital; Detroit Department of Transportation; Detroit Water & Sewage Department; Detroit Public Schools as well as Education Achievement Authority and charter schools. We have done roofing work for the U.S. Navy central region and the Detroit Lions Ford Field. We have renovated commercial retail centrs, parking facilities and branches for PNC Bank.

What companies have you collaborated with in Detroit as customers or suppliers?
ECM has a reputation for working seamlessly as a subcontractor with large firms and as a teaming parner with other “diversity/minority” firms. ECM has successfully partnered with large Fortune 500 General Contractors, including Turner Construction and contractors. In addition, we have had successful partnerships and alliances with other “Diversity/Suppliers” and small businesses, including service-disabled veteran-owned firms. We have specifically sought partnerships and collaboration with businesses owned and operated by women and by the disadvantaged.

What are the benefits of connecting with other Detroit businesses?
Working with local businesses has a number of benefits for ECM and for the businesses we work with. These kinds of collaborations strengthen the overall economic climate in Detroit, and collaborating and partnering with other businesses in Detroit has the advantage of expanding ECM’s capabilities. Working with local businesses saves time and effort, and ECM/our local partners benefit from sharing our networks of contacts. When bidding for contracts in the local area and from government agencies, a srong coalition or partnership with other local often firms strengthens our bids and underlines our commitment to the area. As a minority-owned business, ECM also offers other local businesses with whom we partner the ability to satisfy bid criteria that require or favor working with minority-owned businesses. Similarly, there is mutual benefit when ECM partners with businesses owned and operated by service-disabled veterans, women and the disadvantaged.

What are some of the additional unique features and capabilities of ECM?
ECM has a number of capabilities and capacities that set it apart from other construction management and contracting firms. We have operations and management offices in both the Midwest (Detroit, Michgian) and the South (Huntsville, Alabama). We have in depth accounting experience and a high bonding capacity for a small business ($2 million single job – $4 million aggregate). We also have an excellent 94 percent track record of accomplishing project goals on time and within budget.

Brian Watkins
D2D Program Manager

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