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Executives of the Year: Eric Schmidt’s building blocks

IB's 2016 Executive of the Year award winners. Eric Schmidt is pictured second from right.

IB's 2016 Executive of the Year award winners. Eric Schmidt is pictured second from right.

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In many ways 2015 was, if you’ll pardon the pun, a groundbreaking year for CG Schmidt’s Madison area employees. To Eric Schmidt, general manager of the Western Region for CG Schmidt, the quality of the recent year goes beyond record-breaking sales numbers.

Those numbers are not the sole reason that Schmidt was selected as an In Business Executive of the Year in the Small Company category (based on Dane County employee counts), but they help explain it. He and other EOY winners were chosen for this honor by a panel of judges that includes Deb Archer, president and CEO of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, retired UW–Madison Director of Athletics Pat Richter, and Mark Bakken, founder of Nordic LLC and HealthX Ventures.

“This is an incredible honor to be chosen by these types of individuals who are the pillars of business in Madison,” Schmidt notes. “I’m humbled and thankful to my staff.”

An open book

Schmidt’s most significant accomplishment pertains to the firm’s transparency and open book accounting practices, which helped it earn both a 2015 Wisconsin Family Business Award and the 2011 Business Ethics Award from the Wisconsin Society of Financial Services Professionals. The latter is no small feat in an industry where not every company builds trust with clients because they are often skeptical of their builder’s billing practices.

CG Schmidt provides construction management, general contracting, and design-build services for education, industrial, health care, senior living, and community projects. As a result of its “no surprises” approach, the Milwaukee-based CG Schmidt is the only construction company to ever receive the aforementioned ethics award. “As a company, that was a significant accomplishment,” Schmidt notes. “It’s a challenge to distance yourself from the questionable practices of others.”

If customer engagement means anything, that kind of reputation is a gift that’s likely to keep on giving. The reputation was built in part by the relationships Schmidt has fostered with clients like Paul Buchholz of the Beaver Dam Unified School District, who offered this testimonial for CG Schmidt based on his working relationship with Eric Schmidt: “By far the best firm I have interacted with in over 30 years of facility management.”

Notes Sarah Dunn, director of client strategies for CG Schmidt: “Eric has made it his personal mission to simplify construction billing practices and bring greater transparency to the industry, which clients appreciate.”

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