BeLit’s business development team of Bryan Tebbe and Will Flynn recently traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, to join Apex Technology’s Head of Engineering Jeff Arneson and Mid-Atlantic Division Lead Jesse Dayhoff for what they believe was a milestone for the company.
On the surface, the reason for the meeting wasn’t all that unusual for the Apex team. A client requested engineering assistance on a jobsite with particularly complex terrain – all in a day’s work for Jeff and Jesse. “What made the trip so exciting was the new dynamic of having members from the BeLit team with us,” explains Jesse. “It was great to hear their message to the client from an overall business development perspective.”
“It was also a good opportunity for our colleagues in Florida to see the challenges builders are dealing with in this region, where the terrain is more variable,” says Jeff. “We have some aggressive growth plans for the company, so it’s important for the business development team to understand the different perspectives at play.”
Jeff and Jesse started Apex’s Mid-Atlantic office in late 2008 when Jesse came on board as the company’s first remote engineer in Maryland. Jeff, who works out of Apex’s headquarters in Jacksonville, points out that the remote, paperless environment in which he and Jesse began was unusual for the time but they built the business from the ground up despite being hundreds of miles apart. Since that time, this Apex satellite office has grown to include eight engineers servicing a variety of clients in the region.
“Our growth since 2008 has been pretty organic, with engineers primarily bringing in new business,” recalls Jeff. “Again, that’s why this meeting in Atlanta was so exciting for us. Having Will and Bryan involved from the BeLit side means we have key partners to help us achieve our goals over the next few years.”
Will agrees that the experience was foundational for the growth to come, as more of BeLit’s presence in these meetings can free up the engineers to focus on their role and expertise with the client. “It was great to see the engineers in action and gain a better understanding of everything that team is capable of and the experience they have,” he explains. “I was amazed by how much more complex site work can be, even for basic residential assemblies.”
This meeting also brought together two teams that do a great job of modeling the importance of mentorship within the BeLit family of companies but don’t usually get much of an opportunity to spend time together. “It was good to capture some teambuilding time,” says Jeff, who has been with Apex since 1996 and has been Jesse’s mentor since he began.
While Jesse and Jeff agree that the mentoring relationship happened naturally out of the necessity to grow the satellite office, they have both made a deliberate effort to mentor new members of the Apex team as it has grown. “To recreate ourselves and pass on what we’ve learned is the only way to grow,” says Jesse. “I have two project managers now, and I’m making sure they know what I know, and what Jeff knows, as they come into their own.”
Bryan has been with the company for 30 years and became Will’s mentor when he started with BeLit about three years ago. Will says he appreciates the opportunity to learn from someone who has so much experience in the industry and has been with the company for so long. “Bryan knows everyone,” he says. “He’s a great mentor because he’s so good at keeping you just outside your comfort zone but never puts you in a situation where you’re going to fail. He’s always got your back.”
The foursome celebrated the potential this trip represented with an evening at a Braves game. They all agree that the future is bright for the BeLit family of companies!