An Oral History of Structure Tone: Creating a Family Culture
The celebration continues! In episode two of Structure Tone’s 50th Anniversary Oral History podcast series, we’re honored to share a special appearance from the legendary leader of operations, John White Sr., as well as stories about growing up in the business from several members of the company’s executive leadership team: STO Building Group’s Executive Chairman, Jim Donaghy, Structure Tone’s Regional COO, John White Jr., and STO Building Group’s Executive Vice President of Client Relations, Eugene White.
Welcome to Building Conversations, a construction podcast powered by the STO Building Group, and episode two of Structure Tone’s, 50th Anniversary Oral History series. If you heard the first oral history episode, you know that Structure Tone is STO Building Group ‘s legacy brand, and it all started in New York City in 1971. To celebrate the company reaching 50 years of building, we’ve recorded over 30 current and former employees telling their Structure Tone stories. From firsthand accounts of building in the 1980s, rebuilding after 9/11, and creating a lasting company culture, we’ve covered it all. And we’ll be releasing the highlights in an oral history series over the next several months.
In episode one, we spoke with Structure Tone founder, Patrick J. Donaghy, about what it was like immigrating to the U.S., navigating his early career, meeting his partner, Lewis Marino, and building a business based on doing the right thing. He took us through Structure Tone’s first few years, explaining how the company went from a brand-new name in the New York City construction market to giving well-established CMs a run for their money. In fact, Mr. Donaghy told us the company was growing so fast that by the late 1970s, he and Mr. Marino knew they needed to invest in people who could support the firm’s growth and mission. One of those people was lifelong builder, Mr. John White. Mr. White joined the company in 1977 to manage field operations and remained a fixture at Structure Tone, walking jobsites and mentoring the next generation until he was well into his seventies.
John White Sr. (01:53):
I’m John White, known in the business as Johnny White. I joined Structure Tone as a partner back in 1977.
Mr. White was born and raised in Curry, County Sligo, Ireland. His family ran a limestone quarry, which he considers his intro to the industry.
John White Sr. (02:10):
We had a stone, a limestone quarry on our property and the country used to buy stone from us. During the early years, there’d be 10 or 15 people working in there. It was manual labor with a lot of hard work.
Like Mr. Donaghy, for Mr. White, construction was in his blood. At 17, he moved to London looking for work and found it in a construction firm that allowed him to gain hands-on experience while building all across the country.
John White Sr. (02:41):
We traveled from job to job. First, I was laboring. And the second year I was there, I was a foreman, and I was a foreman with them until the day I left.
Mr. White then immigrated to the United States and landed in the Bronx. He worked construction in New York City for several years and eventually connected with Mr. Donaghy through Structure Tone’s investor, Jim Morrow, and other mutual friends in the industry. When we asked Mr. White about his first few days in charge of field operations, he recalled the company’s fresh and exciting atmosphere.
John White Sr. (03:12):
And when I joined Structure Tone, we were young, full of energy, full of spit and fire. And we were growing.
Mr. White immediately understood the value of Mr. Donaghy and Mr. Marino’s client-first vision.
John White Sr. (03:26):
Both Pat and Lew were client-first. The client was always right, regardless of how fussy they were or whatever. There were always right. And they came first. Whatever you promised that client or whatever schedule you had, you made damn sure it was held, it was done. Done on time and done on quantity. That’s the trademark.
And over the years, he ensured that philosophy was fully integrated throughout Structure Tone’s operations division by becoming the company’s champion of quality.
John White Sr. (03:59):
Well, there’s only one way to build a job. That’s the right way. When something that you do half, it’s never right. You can’t ever fix it.
And whenever something went wrong on-site, Mr. White’s approach was hands-on.
John White Sr. (04:12):
If you want to know what’s happening, go see it, go feel it. A client was moving in, something was wasn’t right, there’s only one way to do it. Not over the phone. You went and you seen it, you felt it, you rubbed it. And you took care of it.
In fact, Mr. White was known for stopping in on jobs regularly to ensure the level of quality was up to par. And somehow everyone knew when he was there.
John White Sr. (04:38):
I’d be up there at seven o’clock in the morning or 6:30, and I’d walk the floor and I’d walk the whole building. I’d start at the top and go down. And I’d smoke a pipe. Then they come into work and “I could smell him!”
In fact, Mr. White went out of his way to not only be there and around the workers on-site, but to make sure everyone on the job felt valued.
John White Sr. (05:04):
Subcontractors are like employees. If you treat them with respect, pay them what they’re supposed to get paid, treat them as partners on the job, you’ll always happen. The bottom line is you’re only as good as your people are. And you’re only as good as you manage them because you need harmony on the jobsite. And you need harmony in the home. You need harmony period.
And the family culture that Mr. Donaghy and Mr. White cultivated is still at the root of Structure Tone’s culture to this day.
John White Sr. (05:43):
My philosophy always was treat people right, first and foremost. And if they have a problem home, try and help them out. If they have a family problem, likewise. If they need time off, you make time off. Treat them as individuals, as part of the family. It works. Always has.
With Mr. White as partner-in-charge of field operations and Mr. Donaghy’s client-first philosophy guiding day-to-day decisions, business skyrocketed in the 1980s and ‘90s. From there, it wasn’t long before the Donaghy and White children got familiar with construction, New York City, and their dads’ Structure Tone family. In this episode, we’ll be hearing from one of Patrick Donaghy’s sons, Jim Donaghy, and John White’s sons, John White Jr. And Eugene White—all of whom are still with the company today.
Jim Donaghy (06:41):
I’m Jim Donaghy, I’m executive chairman of the STO Building Group. I grew up in Baldwin, Long Island by Hempstead. When we were young, we moved to Rockland County – to Stony Point Rockland County, upstate New York. I was probably in third grade when we moved up there, you know, countryside and lots of woods and less developed. My father and mother I think did a good thing for the family to move us into an area that really was where we can, as a kid run pretty free. It was pretty much as much freedom as you could ever want as a kid. That was the 1970s. So very different. And in the ‘70s, we would have started to, you know, on occasion, be brought to a jobsite and we would see lots of the Structure Tone family members, my father’s colleagues or partner, we’d visit their house, or they’d visit our house. And we’d see each other at the company picnic, which was all family driven. It was, you know, everyone really got to know each other and it felt truly like an extended family.
John White (07:39):
I am John White, I’m the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Structure Tone regional offices.
Eugene White (07:45):
Hi, I’m Eugene White, executive vice president of client relations for STO Building Group.
Both families were based in Rockland County, New York, and for the Donaghy’s and the Whites, a trip to New York City always meant visiting a handful of jobsites.
Eugene White (07:59):
The city was a very exciting place, especially for, you know, a kid growing up in the sticks. Opportunities on the weekends to come into the city, typically to walk a job that needed attention on the weekends with my father, and at the time somebody called Mike Tobin. Oftentimes on a Saturday morning, they’d meet in White Plains at a diner and I’d tag along and we’d go down 95, hit a couple of the jobs that were outside the city limits. And then eventually make our way into town. Usually move-in weekends or close to it, trying to get to that point. And that’s when I first had the opportunity to really capture what it was that my dad did for a living.
John White (08:37):
Well, that started even before Structure Tone for me, because I always used to love coming into work with my dad when I was off from school. And of course, many of the people that came to work for Structure Tone were the people I would meet out on these jobsites. And back then the beepers, if anyone knows what a beeper is, was the size of a walkie talkie. So whenever I used to come into the office with my father, I would wear his beeper all day, and we’d walk jobs, cause that’s what my father was always known for, was getting out, walking the project, spending time with the clients, even more importantly, spending time with the trades and the supers. It was very rare that you would walk a job with our father, that he didn’t go around and shake the hands of a half a dozen workers that he knew, because guess what, that’s where he started.
Jim Donaghy (09:22):
It was night and day from where I was growing up. It was just hustle and bustle like you see in the movies. I was given some lunch money and told, you know, be back later in the day we could stroll around the city, me and one of my brothers. You know, sometimes we’re invited to walk a jobsite and got the chance to be on a jobsite. You know, it was pretty neat at that age to have this other family activity going on that I just took for granted. It seemed to be normal to me. Looking back, obviously it was not normal for everybody to come into New York City and be able to walk jobsites.
Mr. Donaghy and Mr. White were both heavily involved in Structure Tone’s day-to-day, which meant Jim, John, and Eugene saw firsthand the level of commitment and hard work it took to succeed in this industry.
Eugene White (10:05):
Well, listen, my Dad would be the first one to admit and say, I was the nosey one, right? I was always intrigued and trying to figure out what he was up to and what he was doing. And my first glimmer into that would be looking at the note cards that would be on the inside of his pocket, that he’d take home in a suit, you know, and I tried to understand what it was, he was documenting. And I had this idea in my head that he must be a big businessman, but I was somewhat disappointed reading the note cards when it would say corner guard, second floor, east side, you know, needs to get replaced or ceiling tiles need to be touched up, you know, in the foyer. And what I then recognized is that, you know, he must have something to do with quality control.
Eugene White (10:42):
And then that kind of segued into a lot of time in phone booths in 85, 90 degree weather on our vacations. So, I’m sure as John can attest to, we could probably to this day tell you where every phone booth was in the Catskill mountains or the Jersey Shore along the island, because going back to the beeper days, right? This is before email and before cell phones. And when that beeper would go off, no matter where we were in either the commute to a vacation or during the vacation, we were in a phone booth. He was getting calls for help typically from the project teams on the jobsite saying, we need a push here, we need you to add some pressure with a sub here, or can you follow up with this client and let them know what we’re up to and what we’re facing on the jobsite.
Eugene White (11:27):
And it was fascinating listening to those conversations. That was my first glimmer into really understanding that it wasn’t just somebody walking jobs and writing down what the problems were, but he was really all about moving the needle and helping the teams at the jobsite level and bring in that level of confidence to the client side that, you know, somebody senior not only was paying attention, but could actually tell you the details at any given time of, you know, what the challenges were on the jobsite and what we were doing as a team.
John White (11:57):
Construction was, you know, what his DNA was. I mean, when we first moved up to the country, Rockland County, you know, my father was the one who built his own two-car garage. So, we watched it on a very personal level that it wasn’t just what he did for a living, but it’s what he did in his life. And we always joked about, you know, a couple of the big additions on our first house in Rockland County, if you looked at some of the work product, some of it was, you know, plywood from sidewalk sheds that we did that if you picked up the carpet, you saw the paint from what was, you know, out on the sidewalk of New York or one of the doors was a big Herculite door that he got off of a job. So certainly, watching that, day-in and day-out, you know, the downside of it was he was always working. And so, you know, my father normally didn’t get home till eight or nine o’clock. And that was even if he didn’t have a rubber chicken dinner with clients, but it was just because the early days of Structure Tone, it was, you know, everybody was in the office at seven o’clock, if not earlier, and they weren’t leaving the office till 8:00, 8:30 again, if even if they weren’t going out and entertaining, because Pat and my father really did a lot of the hands-on entertaining on a weekly basis. But they always seem to make it home and, you know, back into the office the next day,
Jim Donaghy (13:16):
My father’s generation, it was admirable to do what he did. There’s nobody going to fault him for what he did in terms of his hard work. Uh, what he did was, uh, nothing short of extraordinary. He took full advantage of the American dream. And I think when you were who he was as a kid growing up, in his mind, you know, he’s thinking I’ll be damned if I’m going to give up this great opportunity, it’d be quite a waste. He’d only dream of that opportunity when he was in Ireland and to have the opportunity presented to him in the way that it was here, it wasn’t handed to him, but it was there in front of him and he saw it. And I think he probably thought every day, I’m going to keep working the way I’m working for my family.
As they got older, the fun trips into the city to see their dads in action and visit jobsites naturally turned into daily commutes to work during their summer breaks through high school and college.
Jim Donaghy (14:11):
In my mid-teens, I was on jobsites as a laborer working in the plan room and eventually as an estimator and kind of grew up in the company. I don’t think there would be anybody in the company. I didn’t know, by the time I started out of college. It was very much a first name basis with just about everybody. You know, I don’t think I thought of any other career path, except for maybe sports. I thought for a moment in my life, I might actually be able to play baseball. Of course, when you’re a teenager, you don’t understand too many things. But I was excited about the idea of I could work in the construction industry. It seemed like just a fun way to spend a day. It didn’t seem like work to me, being able to build and being part of an office being built.
John White (14:53):
‘82, I was a sophomore, just finished my sophomore year in high school, so that was the first time, you know, I asked if I could come into work. And back then, not that we were making a lot of money, but you certainly were making more than you would do delivering newspapers. By the time I finished high school, I was working as an assistant super or today we would call a plan clerk or an RPE, but I also drove one of the vans for one summer. We had a woodwork shop out in Long Island City. I would drive the van to Long Island City every morning, load it up with the millwork. And I learned a lot about the highways in the byways around New York City at a very young age delivering down to the World Trade Center and delivering to all the different streets.
And like all beginners, they each made a few mistakes along the way.
Jim Donaghy (15:37):
You know, my first paycheck, I have a copy of the pay stub. It says $5 per hour, 1983. I was, I guess that would have been maybe a sophomore in high school. And I just loved the idea of going down to the city and being a laborer. It was so cool to put on a laborers outfit. You know, we had the full labors pants and upper shirt. And one day I came in without my work boots, I wore sneakers, you know, lesson learned. I had a nail go through my foot.
Eugene White (16:03):
It didn’t start off smooth. I can tell you that. So, John and I spent an awful lot of time sitting in the car outside of jobsites through our life, waiting for our father to come down or as he was walking jobs. And the first morning of my first day at Structure Tone was early June 1990 and 54th and 10th Avenue was Sony Sound Studios. Through that job, I met Harry Connick Jr. and Mariah Carey and all kinds of fabulous artists that would walk the job. But my first day, Dad pulled up in front of the jobsite and said, sit in the car, I’ll be right out. And of course, right out was like 45 minutes later, he’s still not out. And I had not gotten up that time in the morning probably ever other than to go fishing. And so here we were, you know, it’s still dark out in the streets and I nodded off to sleep in his car and I woke up connected to a tow truck.
Eugene White (16:54):
So that’s, that’s how my career started at Structure Tone, with the Dad pretty mad at me before I even started.
John White (17:01):
Again, I was working for the summer, so I was in high school. Our office was on 38th Street between 5th and Madison. The parking garage, which was literally across the street from the office, wouldn’t open until I think it was eight o’clock. So, I’d gone into report to Mike Tobin to find out where I was going to go labor for the day and I was called upstairs to Pat’s office, or across the floor to Pat’s office, and he threw me his keys and he goes, go park my car once the garage opens. So, I went back downstairs and I sat in his car. And again, like Eugene mentioned, fell asleep. And I didn’t get towed but when I woke up, there was a ticket on the window. And so, I parked the car, walked up to Pat’s office, which was always an intimidating entry going into Pat’s office, and I said, sorry Mr. Donaghy, your car is parked, but I got a ticket. And I handed him the ticket and I got out of that office as quickly as I could.
Despite these hiccups early on, there were certainly high expectations that came with joining Structure Tone as a Donaghy or a White.
John White (18:05):
I’ll never forget it. My Father, you know, the day before I started at work, my Father said to me, he goes, okay, you’re going to start work tomorrow and if I ever hear a bad word about you, you’re fired. So needless to say, that was the other culture that we were dealing with was you better not make me look bad and you better work harder than anybody else.
Jim Donaghy (18:23):
I had an Uncle once on a jobsite that said, don’t you dare call me Uncle so-and-so, you call me by my first name. And he really was mad at me, but I got the message loud and clear. I understood the point. And it was a learning moment that I never forgot. 30 years later, I’m sitting here talking about it. And that was probably within months or weeks coming out of college. He gave me a nice ribbing for calling him Uncle so-and-so. You know, this is not a family thing. I’m here by merit and you better be here by merit and you better do your job, and I’d better do my job, and we’re not going to let people feel like, you know, we’re in the family and other people are not. And it was a good message.
And being held to this high standard, pushed Jim, John, and Eugene to work even harder.
Jim Donaghy (19:06):
My memory of my 20s, which was most of the ‘90s, you know, I realized I was probably a workaholic, and not in a good way, like, you know, you work until you can’t work anymore kind of approach. And there’s a lot of things wrong with that, but I really did like what I was doing and that’s where most of it came from. It was kind of a passion to grow and learn. And I think I had the energy to do the work I was doing. And I figured, you know, why not work until it’s time to go to sleep. And repeat, wash and repeat, wash and repeat.
John White (19:37):
You know, I put in the hours because guess what? I was commuting both ways with Dad. So that meant you were leaving late. So, I was doing all my transmittals and submittals down and all of a sudden, you’d hear that the ding of the PA system, John White, go get the car.
Eugene White (19:52):
You know, it’s funny. We hear from our Father now on the weekends, when he sees us busy around the house, hey, you guys got to learn to take it easy. And we look at him and say, you know, did you forget who raised us? Like, weekends for my Dad, his release, if he wasn’t going into the city that Saturday, his release was to fix up old apartment buildings and apartment houses and physically work hard. And so, John and I kind of grew up that way.
Even with several summers of experience under their belts already, their first few years of full-time work may have felt like a baptism by fire at times. But Jim, John, and Eugene all knew that help was never too far away.
John White (20:31):
Obviously in the early days, we were a very, very young company. You know, a lot of us came right out of college, you know? So, in the early days, for me, it wasn’t that early because my Father joined the company in 1977. And my first experience working part-time was 1982. So, I got to really experience the company as it started to grow. But the one thing that never changed was the family atmosphere within Structure Tone. So quite honestly, some of our first project managers, when I was working as a Superintendent were only two or three years older than me. So, it was a culture of, you know, we’ll figure it out, but we’ve got your back. I’ll never forget I use this quote all the time. The first solo job I had at a very young age, my Father’s Director of Operations basically said, you’re way over your head kid, but we’ll keep an eye on you.
John White (21:18):
And that was really what it was. You know, it wasn’t that we were out on an island because the support from the leaders of the company were right there. I mean, you were dealing with the owners of the company if not their first lieutenants. So that experience was unlike today where maybe we’re a little more patient in the development of our staff. Back in the early days of Structure Tone, you were basically pushed into the pool and you figured out how to swim really quickly. And by the way, that was a lot of fun.
Jim Donaghy (21:45):
Prior to becoming a corporate executive overseeing offices, in my growth and development, in what I would describe as a rotational program, after I went through operations and estimating, I was shipped off, so to speak. The markets had changed in New York City. They became relatively slow. And I got a phone call from my Father one day. You know, he asked, do you have a passport? And I said, yeah, I have a passport, what’s going on? And, well, I need you to join a team that’s going to go to Spain. We’re going to build a hotel for the Olympics. And I said, but Dad, the Olympics is in August and it’s March.
Jim Donaghy (22:23):
So, I got a good idea of, you know, what we were up against right away, realizing whatever we’re going to be doing, it’s going to be very fast track. And it’s probably going to be 24/7, and showing up, that’s exactly what it was. It was building, what the client asked for was 18 floors of the fit-out for what was the five-star hotel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. And, ultimately, we turned over 22 floors and I had the chance to work as a Superintendent in a remote location like that under very, very challenging circumstances. It was a seven days a week job, but I worked alongside some of our best builders. We had pulled a team together from across the company and we delivered more than what the client was asking for. And that was just a great experience for a 24/25-year-old.
By joining the company so early on, Jim, John and Eugene were some of the first to experience the family atmosphere that the company founders and their day-one recruits built.
Jim Donaghy (23:21):
The culture is really the same that I remember for 30, over 30 years now. Based in real teamwork and a family culture feel, people that really, really care about each other in a way that you might see in a family, to be honest.
This culture was on full display at the infamous company picnics.
Jim Donaghy (23:39):
I have to say at a certain age, I would look forward to the company picnic the entire year. Once the picnic was over, I’d be already looking forward to the next years picnic, because you’re thinking, boy, that was not only fun, but we’re going to do something even better and different the next year. And it never failed to be a great day. The softball was one of the legendary components of the picnic. Quite often, we would split into two different teams and the recruiting would start weeks in advance of the picnic. And then by the time the picnic came, it was a full-on like world championship-level game. I’ll never forget my Father one time when I was going up to bat him, yelling at the team saying losing’s not an option. And the look on his face was he’s very serious.
Jim Donaghy (24:24):
He’s not kidding. He wants to win this game and we better not let him down. We were very competitive as a family, as a company, as a culture. And I think it came out very clearly at the picnic. The competitive spirit amongst the executives and the leadership, my Father and his partners that they all had a real competitive edge, but man, could they have fun at the same time. It was really a full blown view of who these people were that built this company. There was always a big barbecue going on. There were animals, you know, petting zoos. And my Father once rode out on an elephant. I remember him and the senior folks in the company, they were in a big pen that got set up and they were chasing pigs around that were greased up. And it was all for a laugh.
Jim Donaghy (25:10):
You know, it was all meant to be fun. And the amount of laughing that went on, you know, it was legendary. It was just something you never forgot. I remember it like it was yesterday now. Even today, we still try to find ways to bring that out in the company and create that atmosphere as often as we can. I don’t think we’ve lost the family culture aspect of who we are. Over anything else, there’s nothing we believe in stronger than working like a family and treating people like they’re in a family. You know, we’ve never been perfect, but that’s what we go for. That’s what we kind of love about the organization is that human touch part of it. And that even translates to how we view our clients, clients for life, kind of like a family member.
John White (25:50):
I loved the picnics so much that I actually chaired it for many, many years with my cousin, Kieran Mulvey. But in the early days, I remember when I was dating my now wife, she’d come to the picnic and I’d basically say goodbye to her when we walked in, because literally softball was from the time you got there to the time you left. Probably six games and then you were very sore for three days afterwards, both your head and your body. But the picnic was one of the things that everybody in the company looked forward to year after year, we used to have it on a Saturday up in Rockland County. And there was very rarely a year that we didn’t have at least one ambulance show up. But the highlight of the picnic, besides just the comradery and seeing everybody’s family was Pat Donaghy, and my Father knew nothing about softball, but he knew that the softball game at the end of the day, the picnic was really the highlight.
John White (26:41):
But Pat figured out his strategy a little earlier than my Father did. Obviously, we were all very good at baseball and now then softball, but Pat knew who the best players were from, we did have a Structure Tone softball team that competed on Randall’s Island in the early days. Well, Pat, you know, what we tried to do, and again, I was one of the organizers. We’d put all the different colored hats into a bag and you had to reach in without seeing what color hat you got. And that’s how we picked teams. Well for the championship game or the all-star game, as they called it, Pat basically took eight or nine hats and put it in his own bag and walked around and was handing it to Scott Corneby and Don Rodenheiser, and his son, Jimmy, and all of the, you know, really, really good players.
John White (27:23):
Well, my Father caught onto that after a couple of years, because I pointed it out to him and literally we used to have almost like the Donaghy clan versus the White clan in a very, very intense softball game. But in typical Structure Tone fashion, when the picnic was over and we were all very young at the time, some of us just getting married, we’d say, okay, well, where are we going? And we ended up in Nyack or we’d end up somewhere nearby finishing the picnic at a local bar. But again, spending time together as much time out of work together as we did at work, which was always special.
Eugene White (27:59):
We have many, many, many photographs of myself and my younger sister and many of the kids of the employees and the team at STI getting camel rides when we were too small to even think about getting up on top of them, right? Or milking cows or the egg tosses and the water balloon fights and the dunk tanks. So,
John White (28:22):
Tug of war with an elephant.
Eugene White (28:24):
Tug of war with an elephant. You know, as John mentioned, he ran a lot of the picnics and I tried to help out with the registration process. And I can tell you, there would a line with carriage after prom, after carriage being pushed into these. And we had live music and just a phenomenal, phenomenal, phenomenal day.
With such tremendous growth over the last 50 years, stewards like Jim, John, and Eugene are determined to pass on the company’s foundational values.
Jim Donaghy (28:54):
You know, I cherish where we came from and I feel like that’s something that’s a little bit of a mission of mine personally, to make sure that we never get too far away from what I know we’re really good at and what we’re all about, what we stand for. And while willing to change and try to adapt to what’s new and important in the world around us, not giving up what I know has made us who we are and not forgetting that we didn’t start this company and that we didn’t create a lot of what is in the ingredients and the DNA of what made us a great organization in the first place, but bringing it to this next level. I’ve been in this job over 22 years. And, you know, I’ve seen the top line grow four times – almost two billion to four and then six and then eight.
Jim Donaghy (29:39):
So we’ve done it in a very successful way, but we’ve stayed true to the things we’re good at. And things like this, a small project is still extremely important in this organization and a longtime client relationship and a tenured employee. Somebody who’s been here for decades, those things are really, really important to us and special to us. And while we grow, it might get harder to, you know, pay attention to those little details. But I know I, and quite a few other people here, are holding tightly onto those things because we believe that those are the real ingredients in the culture that make us as strong as we are.
And are excited for what the future holds.
John White (30:19):
The growth of the company has been phenomenal in our 50 years, but it’s certainly because of our predecessors, not that I want to take any credit away from the rest of us now, old guys, but the foundation that was built by Pat, by Lew, and then my Father, really stuck with a lot of the core of this company. And we were able to teach the next generation on what it really takes to not only have a client-first philosophy, but to be a great builder and be proud of the work you do, day-in and day-out. So, I guess what I’m most proud of is what the next generation has done to date on the path that our parents and our leaders really pushed on us and mentored us by. And as I said earlier, I can only hope that our impression on the next generation of leaders in the company will bring us to that next level of, you know, establishing our company even stronger, not only here in the New York tri-state market, but across the country.
Jim Donaghy (31:18):
So, you know, the other thing is I’m excited about the next generation of kids that are coming up in this company. Every time I go to one of these emerging leader programs that we have, or even meet the RPE groups, I just can’t believe how much smarter than they are today than we were back in the day. I’ll tell you this, the young kids today are far smarter and they’re going to do a better job than we did. And I’m looking forward to seeing that transition happen. One of these days where they slowly take over the management positions and people like me get out of the way and let them come up. So that’s going to be fun. And I’m looking forward to, you know, the next decade or so with them and grooming them and mentoring a lot of those new rising stars as they call them.
Thanks for listening to episode two of Structure Tone’s 50th Anniversary Oral History Series. We’ll be hearing plenty of stories about Mr. Donaghy and Mr. White from those they mentored as well, as some more commentary from Jim Donaghy, John White, Jr. And Eugene White in the coming episodes. Up next, we’ll be speaking with a brand new group of early-day employees, many of whom are still with the company today, about what it was like working at Structure Tone in the ‘80s.