Albion Scaccia Enterprises LLC. is based out of Sandy Springs, Georgia. It is a woman-owned company that strives to ensure minorities are well represented. Growing year over year since its inception in 2003, the company is run by Kim Newsome as President. We spoke with Kim’s husband, Brian Newsome, who is the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, about this mid-size firm that impresses with every job it takes on.
Albion Scaccia was purchased by Kim and Brian in 2003. The original owner was Todd Scaccia, who was in the telecommunications industry building cell towers. He struggled when cell tower saturation took hold, and that’s when the company was bought out. Kim and Brian liked the personalization that Todd had developed with his work, and the couple felt that this level of service could be replicated in other areas.
The market, Brian says, “has been very receptive to us and the level of service that we bring… we truly feel that we are a service company first and construction second.” Always going above and beyond for the client, the team brings its ingenuity, integrity, and award winning service to every project it takes on.
Areas of expertise
Kim and Brian transitioned out of telecommunications and into a handful of other key markets. The first was education, with the bulk of work centered on higher education institutions. To this day, Albion Scaccia’s work can frequently be found on a number of University campuses in north and central Georgia.
The second market the team looked at involved city, state and county work. “We had a calling early on and began building churches,” says Brian. “That market went away for a little while during the downturn, but has come back nicely.” Healthcare is also an area of interest for Albion Scaccia, and the company has completed some highly specialized projects within the hospital systems of Georgia.
The company’s third focus is Fortune 500 corporate work.
Smart, sustainable growth
It is interesting to note that Albion Scaccia focuses heavily on strong relationships and repeat business. Georgia Tech is an example of this, as the firm has been on campus on a regular basis over the last 13 years, a result of stellar service, fair pricing, and a quality product. To be sure, Albion Scaccia’s culture is built on successfully completing one project in order to win the next one, and the company’s year over year growth is a direct result of this approach. To grow, “you can expand abroad geographically, or you can do larger projects,” says Brian. If you get a $2 million project and you knock it out of the park, they will give you a $3 million project. We grow in both ways.”
In terms of expanding its geographic footprint, Albion Scaccia just picked up some work at Augusta University. At present, the firm does not generally take on work valued at less than $1 million. Thirteen years ago, however, the team ran an ad campaign that said, “Let us paint your data closet.” At that time, the company was willing to do it all, just to prove to clients that the work speaks for itself.
“Today we’ve grown in the sophistication and the size of the projects we compete on. We don’t really compete on the small ones anymore. The company you saw thirteen years ago is not the same that you see today,” says Brian.
It’s all about people
One aspect of this growth has to do with the company’s ability to go out and hire the best people. The goal is to then give them as much training and education as can be absorbed, motivate and reward them appropriately, and then, “get the heck out of their way!” jokes Brian. The very first employee hired was Todd Muraski, now Senior Project Manager, who had spent over ten years with one of the largest construction companies in the world.
“He came here because we could offer him a good quality of life,” shares Brian. “He had a young family and was from Atlanta, so he wanted to be close to home. To be able to hire and attract a guy like that – you can imagine the quality that an owner sees, when you have someone like that in charge of a $1 million project,” says Brian.
Albion Scaccia is slow to hire, but also very slow to let anybody go, as there is a belief system in place that every employee can accomplish something great. The key is to hire sharp people. In 2016, the firm began taking on interns from universities graduating construction managers. Full time positions have been added, with each new recruit being at the top of their class.
For the past 18 months, Albion Sciacca has had a presence on various campuses to interview interns during career fairs. The aim is to look for people who are not only capable of taking direction, but who are quick learners. In the past year, two people have come on from both the University of Florida and Kennesaw State, both from construction management programs.
“We also have interns in the field who want to be superintendents,” says Brian. “20 years ago your average superintendent was a guy whose dad did the same, and he grew up in the field. No college education, but could build anything. Today, folks with four-year degrees are going into the field. It’s a new evolution in our industry,” he says.
The company’s breadth of skill sets certainly comes in handy when building places of worship. Albion Scaccia recently completed the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Alabama, along with an accompanying fellowship hall. For this work, the firm was chosen by the congregation’s building committee after interviewing several contractors.
“I love that project because it epitomizes a lot of what we are all about,” Brian says. “In 2016, 92 percent of what we did was Construction Manager at Risk, and we were selected based on our qualifications; the other eight percent was Design/Build. In those situations we were also selected based on our qualifications.”
Yet Albion Scaccia interviews for every project; it does not bid. The Alabama church was a qualifications-based selection (QBS). Once chosen, the firm worked hand in hand with the architect representing the owner to ensure that the budget was adhered to. Several items had to be value engineered, and the project was kept on budget without sacrificing the integrity and intent of the design.
For this project, a temporary labor force was recruited along with a number of subcontractors from the local community. “We had phenomenal success with that project. The Bishop of Alabama was there for the ribbon cutting. It was well attended in a great church.”
Safety is paramount
It should be no surprise that this forward-thinking general contracting, design/build, and construction management firm has a stellar record of safety. In fact, safety and quality are points of pride.
In 2016, Albion Sciacca won 1st place in the AGC quality award for a project at the Atlanta Motor Sports Park. That same project also garnered a first place award through the Construction Managers Association of America. Every superintendent in the company won the Ron Emerson award for safety as well. This means zero lost time accidents last year. “In fact, we have only had one incident in the last five years, and that was a guy that torn a muscle,” says Brian, “but we are very safety conscious as an organization. It is extremely important to us.”
It is not just about the safety of its own people that is important to the company; working in college campuses, hospitals, or a corporate setting means there are students, faculty, doctors and nurses to be aware of, and Albion Scaccia cannot afford to have an environment that is unsafe for them.
Company-wide, Albion Scaccia is excited about its position in the industry. There is a bright outlook on the horizon – not only for the firm, but for the industry as a whole. “We’ve grown to a point now where we have critical mass, and are at a launching point. I’m on the board of the AGC (Associated General Contractors) in Georgia,” says Brian. “I sit there with billion dollar companies. They know who we are, they know the work we do, and we have mutual respect when competing for interviews.”
Indeed, Albion Scaccia competes with the juggernauts on a weekly basis. The company goes in with the mindset of being the smallest company in the room, yet this only pushes the team to work harder and provide a better product. With a strong focus on people, quality, and safety at every turn, the future looks very bright indeed.