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Since celebrating its centenary in 2023, Alterman has continued to lead in electrical construction, inspired by its new campus and driven by its dedicated team

Alterman is not a new name to the pages of Ƶ. We last spoke with the President and CEO, Greg Padalecki in 2023, a year after the company first broke ground on its new impressive state-of-the-art campus. For those who haven’t yet heard of the business, it was founded in 1923 by Nathan Alterman, as Nathan Alterman Electric Co. Ltd. Just 24 years old at the time, Nathan purchased an existing company and began operations, with downtown remodeling as the primary focus during the 1930s and 1940s.

Alterman President and CEO, Greg Padalecki
Alterman President and CEO, Greg Padalecki

Alterman’s reputation grew steadily, and the company was awarded significant projects, including the first San Antonio River beautification project in the late 1930s. The work illuminated iconic landmarks like the Arneson River Theater, showcasing a commitment to quality and innovation. During World War II, Alterman played a crucial role in military projects at air force bases across Texas.

In 1949, Richard Alterman, fresh from Texas A & M University, joined his father’s company, eventually becoming president in 1972. The company’s portfolio expanded significantly during the 1960s, highlighted by the completion of 30 projects for the World’s Fair at HemisFair Park in 1968. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Alterman thrived, undertaking diverse projects ranging from hospitals to high-rise office buildings. In 1984, Alterman transitioned to an employee-owned company, setting the stage for strategic growth under the leadership of Jerry Kolinek and Don Kuykendall.

Today, the company’s legacy of excellence and dedication to customer success remains at the forefront of its operations, solidifying its position as a leader in the electrical contracting industry.

Constructing connections

Even more recently, over the past 12 months, Alterman has undergone a transformational journey, taking the ambitious corporate campus project in Live Oak, Texas, from concept to reality. In our conversation with Greg, we explore the highlights of this journey and how the business is taking 100 years of success into its next century.

“It’s been quite a ride,” Greg reflects. “Since we broke ground on the project, we’ve turned an idea on paper into something real, and it happened faster than we expected.” The journey began in June 2021 when Greg reached out to start the project. Fast forward almost three years, and Alterman’s new headquarters is completed.

“We’ve transitioned from feeling constrained by our old space to embracing the possibilities of our new one,” Greg explains. The team is still adjusting, occasionally finding themselves in virtual meetings even though they’re just down the hall from each other. “It’s a unique experience, and everyone is still in awe,” he shares.

Greg notes that the project has been long anticipated and has subsequently renewed the team’s morale. “I couldn’t wait to finally move into our new HQ. It’s been my focus for years, and I was so excited to see it become a reality.” However, there was a bittersweet feeling knowing that the project’s completion marks the end of daily interactions with the team.

Megan

Photo: David Marquez
Photo: David Marquez

Moshier, lead designer with Studio8, has been working closely with Alterman on the project, and echoes Greg’s sentiments. “The relationships we’ve built during this process have been invaluable. The new building is stunning, but it’s the connections we’ve made that truly stand out.”

Although the new campus has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind over at Alterman, the business has still had other contracts to fulfill. Among the ongoing construction, Greg has also had his sights set on continuing the company’s success and expecting substantial growth in the coming months. “We’re expecting another 20 percent revenue jump this year,” Greg reveals. “We’ve landed significant contracts, including some major projects with Microsoft.

“Our Dallas office is growing rapidly,” Greg continues. “We’ll be doing more work there than in Austin this year, which is a testament to our expanding presence.”

One notable project is the San Antonio Airport’s new terminal. “It’s a significant opportunity for us,” Greg explains. “We’re lucky to be operating in such a robust construction market.”

Despite the challenges of the past year, Alterman has remained resilient. “The stability of our industry, coupled with our strategic positioning, has kept us on track,” Greg reflects. “We’ve been fortunate to see continued growth despite the uncertainties.”

As Alterman moves into its new headquarters and embarks on new projects, one thing is clear: the business’ journey from concept to reality reflects its commitment to excellence and innovation in the construction industry.

Continued growth

Moving away from the operational side of the last 12 months, the conversation steers towards company culture, and how his perspective on leadership has helped shape the team’s outlook on supporting each other. Greg’s leadership style is marked by humility and a deep understanding of the industry. Despite his reluctance to focus on himself, his journey from apprentice to CEO demonstrates his dedication to Alterman’s success. He attributes his effectiveness as a leader to his experience in the field, which allows him to empathize with his team and make Alterman one of the best places to work for electricians.

Reflecting on Alterman’s journey, Greg emphasizes the importance of staying true to the company’s core values. “As we grow, it’s crucial to maintain our focus on integrity and quality,” he states. “Our success is built on trust, and we must continue to earn that trust every day.”

In terms of future plans, Alterman is looking to expand its real estate footprint in Austin and reevaluate its facilities in Dallas. Greg envisions continued growth, pushing beyond electrical contracting into new ventures. “We’re exploring opportunities in renewable energy and smart infrastructure. It’s an exciting time for innovation in our industry,” he adds.

Megan shares Greg’s sentiments, highlighting the inclusive nature of Alterman’s design process. “Every employee has a voice in shaping the projects we work on together,” she says. “It’s empowering to know that when working with Alterman our ideas are valued and contribute to the company’s success.”

Greg acknowledges the challenges of maintaining effective team collaboration and positive interactions. He emphasizes the importance of open communication and mutual respect among team members. “We’re a family here at Alterman,” he says. “And like any family, we have our disagreements, but we always come together to find solutions and move forward.”

Team triumph

As the interview progresses, we ask Greg about current industry challenges, and whether he feels he is still experiencing hurdles from the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. To which he expresses the resilience of Alterman during a time of such turbulence. “We were fortunate to have a solid foundation in infrastructure projects,” he recalls. “That stability allowed us to weather the storm and continue providing for our employees and clients.”

For him, the pandemic emphasized the importance of communication and safety. He has witnessed his team take greater steps in delivering quality work and furthering their own professions. Of course, these are all areas he is determined to support. Subsequently, Greg’s mission has been to encourage a positive work environment through Alterman’s safety program and investment in employee development. “We want our team to feel valued and supported,” he explains. “That’s why we provide top-notch training and resources to help them succeed.”

With these aspects in mind, the future is looking promising for Alterman, with projects in the pipeline, and the campus construction ending. Greg expresses excitement for upcoming events and initiatives, highlighting Alterman’s vibrant culture and focus on employee engagement. “We’re always looking for ways to celebrate our successes and strengthen our bonds as a team,” he concludes. “The best is yet to come for Alterman.”