Joe McGhee

A born and raised Phoenician, Joe has spent most of his life in the East Valley. At the beginning of his construction career he attended Arizona State University studying Civil Engineering but quickly transitioned into Construction Management where he graduated from the Del E. Webb School of Construction in 2003. Coming out of school, he hit the ground running and joined Centennial Contractors Enterprises, Inc. At that time, Job Order Contracting was a brand-new construction delivery method in the Arizona public sector. Joe has since brought his knowledge and experience to Haydon as the JOC Director.

For Joe, the best advice he’s been given is, “You always want to do the best job you can with the time you have. It’s very fast-moving (JOC), and you want to make sure you’re getting things done as efficiently as possible at the highest quality.”

When it comes to team culture, collaboration is the word that comes to Joe’s mind. He takes a little bit from everyone. Joe says, “A big reason I like to get up and go to work in the morning is because I enjoy being in the environment that Haydon’s created. There is no one I feel like I can’t talk to. At Haydon, everyone is working toward the same goal and to solve the same problem. We all work together.”

Joe’s leadership extends beyond Haydon’s JOC Department and into the construction industry as a whole, specifically with regard to tenant improvements (TIs) and offering timely solutions to clients during the current COVID-19 crisis. “Clients are asking us a lot of questions about recommendations for improving their physical workspaces to address the ‘new normal’ in light of COVID-19. I’m excited to share with them that Haydon is ahead of the curve when it comes to planning and constructing these TIs. By using existing JOC contracts and cooperative purchasing agreements, we can mobilize quickly to help solve these issues for our clients, allowing them to focus on getting their business services up and running again.”

As director of Haydon’s JOC Department, Joe has applied his love for solving puzzles and the satisfaction of completing a project. Joe expresses his favorite part of his job as, “Putting together projects and the schedule, and figuring out the best way to build what our clients are asking me to build. I enjoy putting together the plan and the logistics of it.”

More specifically, when constructing tenant improvements (TIs), Joe enjoys seeing the building, how it was built, and how the new systems will be put together. He prefers bringing the team on early to investigate existing conditions, especially in occupied spaces. “When you’re working in one area you want to be sure you are leaving another area up and running.” Joe likes to have everything figured out before getting into construction. This allows the team to take in to account the special requirements for those projects to ensure it is done successfully. He describes this as, “If you’re building a new car, it’s easy: you can just design around the parts you’re putting together. Sometimes, if you want to put a new AC unit into an older 1930s vehicle, you need to look at it from a different perspective.” Joe enjoys the uniqueness of these types of projects. “With all the existing conditions, you must figure out how to work around the different elements.”

Currently, Joe’s main focus is growing the JOC Department and making sure he is able to grow with the right people. Joe enjoys that, within his department, you’re always able to do something you haven’t been doing. This allows you to think of creative ways to solve problems, which will ultimately help grow your career, especially at Haydon. “The difference with Haydon’s JOC Department is that our team is willing to put on any hat and do any job to be the best partner for clients. This forwarding-thinking culture has stemmed directly from Haydon’s long-time expertise in alternative delivery construction methods including Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) and Design-Build. We’re always asking ourselves ‘What is it that we can do to make this job successful?’ That is what makes the department fun. You’re not stuck doing one task  ̶  it’s always a little different.”

When asked about the future of his department he says, “We don’t want to have just a JOC Department that does JOC, but that we do it better than anyone else in town. We’re delivering it better, we have a better reputation, and we are the preferred contractor for doing JOC work.”