The Silicon Review
Commercial construction is the business of building and selling or leasing manufacturing or assembly plants, medical centers, retail shopping centers, and standard space for offices. And in the recent years, this business has ramped up at a great level. As more people are moving into new spaces or renovating their existing spaces, the demand for commercial construction is increasing.
Founded in 2004, Hollister Construction Services was formed seeing a great opportunity to work with industry veteran, Charles Klatskin. Providing construction services as a general contractor, construction manager and design builder for a broad range of clients, the company specializes in interior and exterior renovations, remodeling, building additions and ground up construction of corporate, education, healthcare, industrial, retail, residential, self-storage and senior living structures.
Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Hollister Construction Services is thoughtful of the work it commits to, ensuring that it delivers at a level that creates a long-term bond with our clients and partners. Today, having an extensive range of services and with over 150 construction professionals utilizing the latest in technology and embracing best practices, Hollister is one of the fastest growing and leading construction services firms in the NY Metro Area.
In-Conversation with the Head Coach, Christopher A. Johnson:
Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years?
Being a new player in the industry it is always challenging and Hollister was no exception. It was a challenge we welcomed as we knew we had to prove ourselves and show that we were here to stay and play with the “big boys”.
Another challenge was cash flow; it is the king and it is incredibly important to take on greater projects. To grow, a business needs to have cash and in our business, it’s important that we maintain a strong relationship with our subcontractors and suppliers and have the ability to pay them on time and sometimes in advance. Our bonding capacity is directly correlated to our cash position.
Q. A company’s behavior is as important as its economic performance or the quality of its products. How do you interpret this saying?
We interpret this very easily: Put the client first and do what is right even if we have to sacrifice. It is not about what we get in return or what the profit is, but it is about building a lasting and trustful relationship with the client and partner. If you build a relationship that is honest and meaningful with no expectations, good things will naturally come.
Q. Is your company a ‘leader’ or a ‘follower’? Do you formulate your own core values?
Hollister is definitely a leader. We do not look externally and say “we need to do what they are doing”. We do what is right for us, our teammates, clients, partners, and community and it could be the complete opposite of what others are doing. What works for one, doesn’t mean it will work the same for the other.
Talking about the values, we at Hollister formulated our own core values based on attributes displayed by our teammates that best represent Hollister. We have identified 7 characteristics that truly represent Hollister and what we are all about: Integrity, Problem Solver, Evolve/Grow, Ownership, Team Player, Humility, and Diligence.
Q. Trust is a difficult attribute to measure and a delicate dynamic to maintain. How do you maintain this with your clients?
Through full transparency, open book policy, and open communication, we are able to maintain an honest and trustful relationship with our clients and partners. From the project superintendent, to project manager to project executive and accountant, the entire Hollister team is responsible for building and maintaining the relationship with the clients.
In addition, we also initiated a “fantasy football” practice where teammates are assigned to a client to follow up on during various stages of a project to ensure their needs and goals are being met. We are also able to gather feedback from our clients via post-project surveys that are electronically sent out as their project reaches completion.
The Future Sight
Hollister has an open door policy not only with its teams but also with its clients and partners. It is constantly looking to get feedback in order to learn, grow, and ultimately be the best at what we do. And this culture of feedback has played a significant role in the company’s success. In five years, Hollister grew from $50M to over $250M, attracting over 40 of the most talented industry professionals in 2017. It has also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to the communities it lives and works in and partnered with some of the most impactful real estate professionals to deliver amazing spaces. However, what has really made Hollister successful is its ability to focus on doing what’s right; doing what’s right as individuals, for its partners and clients, for its community, and for Hollister.
As Hollister continues to grow, it focuses on bringing passionate individuals who bring their own individuality, culture, charm, and experience and also strongly believe in Hollister’s core values. It also focuses on growing in different geographical areas, as well as expands the verticals it specializes in, going from seven verticals to 14 verticals and more.
Greet the Chief
Christopher A. Johnson, Head Coach: Mr. Johnson executes a proven balance of team coach and active player using an army of tools to facilitate open communication, organization, and accountability. Since founding Hollister Construction Services in 2004, his leadership has been instrumental to the company’s growth, fueled primarily by his constant accessibility and commitment to client satisfaction.
An industry veteran, Chris also holds key roles in other leading businesses and philanthropies.
Mr. Johnson started his career with BGA Construction, a national retail store fixture contractor and later moved to the Troast Construction Company, a regional construction manager, in the capacity of Vice President.