17 August 2010

Catching up with: Rex Bell, President of Miller-Davis Co.


Rex Bell, president of Miller-Davis Co., has led the Kalamazoo construction management and Michigan concrete contracting company since 1996.

“I have overall responsibility for the successful operation of the company with emphasis on corporate leadership, including the implementation of operational improvements and business development strategies,” Bell said.

Bell started with the company 33 years ago, working first as a field engineer supervising  concrete construction at job sites in Illinois and Indiana. He also worked as a project engineer and project manager, chief estimator and vice president of estimating for the company.

The Peru, Ind. native earned a bachelors degree from Purdue University in 1977.

He serves on the boards of directors for several local organizations and institutions, including  the Construction Industry Advisory board for Western Michigan University’s Civil Engineering Department, the Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency Foundation, Kalamazoo Communities in Schools, Kalamazoo Rotary Club and Associated General Contractors of Michigan.

Book on his nightstand?
“A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix,” by Edwin Friedman.

Who gave you the best piece of life advice and what was it?
“It is difficult to identify one single ‘best piece of life advice’ because I have had many family members, teachers, pastors and others who have provided excellent advice and support. Furthermore, with every year that passes I learn new life lessons and get great advice. But, so far, one lesson taught by my family has been foundational for me: You have the potential to do anything that you want to do, and no matter what you do, always do it to the very best of your ability.”

What’s been your biggest professional success?
“Helping our company work through the recent recession while adding new business with new clients and improving our construction services.”

Tell us something about your company that would surprise people?

“We once had an office in Beverly Hills, Calif.”

What’s the biggest challenge your company faces?

“Complacency and lack of creativity.”

If you could have lunch with any famous person who would it be and why?

“Aside from the obvious Biblical figures, probably Abraham Lincoln because he seems to have been such a courageous and determined leader and because of his relatively unique leadership style.”

No comments: