Kenny Shepherd Shares Passion for Building Parks and Recreation Facilities

Background
Kenny moved to Phoenix when he was three years old and has spent the majority of his life living in the East Valley. His interest in construction was sparked by his stepdad, who owned a land development company in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. During Kenny’s high school years, he helped his stepdad by running plans and assisting wherever he could. Kenny continued his learning at NAU, where he studied Construction Management and spent the summers working at his stepdad’s business, growing his expertise. In 2007, land development for home builders began to slow down and his stepdad’s business wasn’t able to continue. Kenny began to look for work elsewhere and found Haydon. Over the last twelve years, Kenny has worked his way up from project engineer to project director of Haydon’s Building Division.

Inspiration
Kenny remarked, “I couldn’t believe how busy Haydon was during the slow-down. We were still building a lot. Now, I know that it was our market diversity and fiscally responsible leadership team that kept us afloat when many other firms couldn’t. Haydon’s conservative approach is what really helped us navigate those critical years.”

Leadership
Kenny believes that in order to be a good business leader, one must look for opportunities to train people, bring them in, involve them in the company and invite them to be part of the growth and success. Partnering with others is what Kenny truly excels at. “The best part of what I do is mentoring others and growing people through that. Working with a project engineer and seeing them grow into a project manager after a couple years of investing in them is so rewarding for me.”

Culture
Kenny describes the culture at Haydon as being family oriented. “Even throughout our growth, we still feel like a close-knit family. The way we bring people in and invite them to join our family continues to grow the company without losing that feel. When people have challenges, we rally around each other and take care of each other.”
As an influential piece of Haydon’s Building Division for the last 12 years, Kenny has witnessed a major shift in Haydon’s culture. “Years ago, if you were new, it was your time to sink or swim. You had to be resourceful and make it in a tough industry. Now, the expectation is that everyone works to train and mentor new hires. People are able to ask questions, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and the overall growth is so much higher than it used to be.”

Expertise
Kenny’s love for the great outdoors permeates into his passion for building parks and recreation facilities. His talent for developing relationships, along with his vast market competency results in repeat success on projects. “I really enjoy the clients we work with on our parks and recreation projects. They are great people to work with and it’s easy to see the benefit of what we’re building for the community.” With 18 years of experience in the industry, Kenny has a well-established network of relationships throughout the Valley pertaining to parks and recreation projects.

Future
The growth at Haydon is what excites Kenny the most. “We have a lot of very happy and focused people at Haydon right now. Our culture, processes and procedures are dialed in, allowing us to expand to new markets and geographical locations in the near future.”

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