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Q&A: Ross Edwards, Senior Vice President of McCarthy Building Companies

With over two decades of operational and leadership experience, Ross Edwards leads McCarthy Building Companies’ Nevada operations.

Ross Edwards, Senior Vice President of McCarthy Building Companies (Courtesy of McCarthy Building Companies)

Ross Edwards leads McCarthy Building Companies’ Nevada operations, providing oversight across a diverse portfolio of projects including aviation, civil, commercial, healthcare, higher education, parking, renewable energy and water/wastewater. With over two decades of operational and leadership experience, he has worked in all facets of the business as both a general contractor and owner’s representative.

1) How long has McCarthy Building Companies had a presence in Nevada? 

McCarthy Building Companies has proudly been building in Nevada for more than 40 years. We are a true community builder and take great pride in the fact that we have a well-earned reputation for developing not only structures that helped shape the skyline of Las Vegas but also genuine relationships with our clients and the community. While we have built many high-profile projects in the Silver State including Allegiant Stadium, Circa Resort and Casino, and Topgolf, we are abundantly proud of our work across all sectors including healthcare, education, transportation, aviation, commercial, parking, water, and renewable energy. Our team of builders is deeply rooted in Nevada and these projects have a direct and lasting impact on the community in which McCarthy employees and their families live, work, and play.  

2) You mention Allegiant Stadium and it’s been announced that you have been selected for the new A’s Stadium. When building a complex and high-profile project like this, what are the key factors that contribute to its success? 

The success of any project is always the result of the buy-in and efforts of the larger team. We joint ventured with Mortenson Construction on Allegiant Stadium and the upcoming A’s project because we want to leverage the strengths of both teams. For McCarthy, one of the most important factors for success is community outreach and involvement. It’s important for the contractor to have local resources for not only the technical aspects of the project but also for the community to be empowered, involved, and engaged. We’ve seen this with other teams as they debut in Las Vegas, the more community involvement, enthusiasm, and engagement we get in the early stages, the better the overall experience for our clients and the community at large. Bringing the appropriate partners and entities to the table, including diverse and local trade partners, to execute the project is paramount to what we are able to achieve.  

When we measure our success, we look at the job site as well. McCarthy takes great pride in hiring top talent. We bring in the best and brightest and invest heavily in their training and professional development. Given that McCarthy is 100% employee-owned, our people have a truly vested interest in success and embrace being accountable and reflecting integrity in the work they do. Our partners live here and are proud to make such a tangible impact on the community.  

3) With the recent success of sports and entertainment facilities in Southern Nevada, how did these projects change the construction industry landscape? 

The large and high-profile facilities, while physically bigger, really are more than just scaled-up versions of traditional commercial construction projects. They are big and complex operations, requiring workers to effectively navigate the size and scope. Involvement in projects like these helps the workforce gain experience and operational insight that allows them to grow as subject matter experts within their disciplines. Fortunately for McCarthy, we are a local builder with a national reach for resources. We engage the right people and develop a team that is best suited to deliver these projects.  

4) How does your company prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility in its construction practices? 

McCarthy is dedicated to building responsibly and protecting our communities. As a community builder, our commitment to building responsibly is part of our legacy. We believe that it’s always the right time to make a difference and know that through our practices we have a unique opportunity to make a positive impact. Our sustainability commitment revolves around several basic principles including weaving sustainability into company operations, encouraging every client and building partner to seriously consider sustainable building practices, bringing viable green building solutions to the table, and training our employees to give them the tools to lead the way. Our in-house compliance team works with our projects to develop controls and programs.  

5) What technologies or innovations do you see as having the most significant impact on the construction industry in the coming years? 

McCarthy is nationally on the cutting edge of available technology and even more, we work directly with developers and tech start-ups to identify opportunities where technology might improve a construction process or client outcome. Over the past several years, virtual design and 3D modeling has transformed the way we build. This technology helps streamline design and construction through visualization and the identification of potential challenges early on. We’re also relying more on subsurface utility mapping to help mitigate risks associated with underground infrastructure before they negatively impact a project. We also anticipate AI and ChatBot technology will continue to have a far-reaching impact on our industry. McCarthy’s industry-leading Emerging Tech Team is exploring ways these tools can be effectively utilized to maximize benefits within our organization and for our clients.