Mark McCaulley, Bachmann Construction

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Mark McCaulley, project manager, Bachmann Construction.

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

For much of my career, I have overseen construction projects as an administrator representing the developer, so I have been involved from the developer’s point of view. Last year, I joined Bachmann Construction as a project manager. Now, I administer projects from the builder side, so I bring a unique perspective to the job site, having worked and partnered with large developers and now switching perspectives back to the construction side of the business. This is challenging as I work with a new crew, but extremely rewarding since I have the broad background and experience to view projects all the way from the developer’s initial thinking about a new project through the entire construction process to the end user. This gives me a unique perspective as I help our customers solve their problems and achieve their goals.

Bachmann Construction is a family-owned business, celebrating 65 years, and small enough to be reactionary and flexible to customer needs, which is rewarding for me. We share the same value system.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

My parents and my siblings were very influential since I was one of the youngest. I grew up on a farm in Iowa County and learned strong work ethic and values from my family and teamwork as a way of life.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

A satisfied customer is always the best high for me. The size of the project doesn’t matter. I enjoy meeting people we are going to be working with, building solid relationships with them, and making their projects come to life. When the project is finished, it is so satisfying to know “we built that” and that our client is delighted with the results.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Set your life principles and value systems early. I came up with mine, over time, but the sooner you define what is most important to you, the better you will do. My code is “Faith, Honesty, Humility, and Loyalty.” Figure out your value system and stick with it. Repeat it to yourself often. Write it down. Live by it. Do the right things and all else in business will follow.

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What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

I love the outdoors. I can be hunting ducks across Lake Waubesa and in 17 minutes be in downtown Madison. We’ve got large-city amenities with a small-town feel.

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I’m a camera guy out in nature, and I film segments for outdoor hunting channels including the Pursuit Channel. Most of the video I do for national and regional outdoor shows is right here in Wisconsin, including turkey and deer hunting. I spend lot of time in nature, covering hunts. It’s fun to watch an outdoor program and see what and how the producer used what I videoed.

What are your guilty pleasures?

I continue to love the land, based on my farm-boy experience, and probably spend too much time away from my family on weekends staying connected to the land I help manage. I improve habitats for wildlife, plant trees, and have restored some of the former cropland to prairie restoration. I have one other guilty pleasure, which I did only once and will likely never do again — I jumped off the face of a glacier in a very remote place (Alaska-British Columbia border) dressed only in my birthday suit! Very cold and very daring!

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