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Growth Built on Trust

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In 2023, Mid State Construction Company – first founded in 1958 by H.T Ware and T.S Weems, will celebrate its sixty-fifth anniversary. Integrity was a paramount principle of the founders and was unbroken for the last thirty years by the next generation of leadership – Billy Ware and P.G. Bernheim. Over this time, the company has grown into “one of the largest locally owned construction service firms in Mississippi.” To have achieved continuous and steady growth in this industry over so many such a span of time is admirable. While the industry is cyclical by nature, achieving success and longevity is only achieved by a select few and it speaks to the value of Mid State’s company motto, “We Build Trust.” It is evident that the company’s endeavors to build and maintain trust with its clients are responsible for Mid State’s success and positive reputation.

In my conversation with Austin Hudson, Vice President of Mid State, he credits this sixty-five-year growth to three main factors: customer service, honesty, and good relationships with its sub and vendor partners. In Hudson’s own words, Mid State is made up of “honest, hard-working people” which allows the company to make contacts and develop good relationships with customers predicated on honesty and efficiency. By ensuring that clients receive a consistently high level of service and professionalism, Mid State is able to maintain these relationships over time. This ability, according to Hudson, is evidenced by the company’s repeat business and its positive reputation in the locality.

Being a part of the local community is something that those at Mid State hold dear. To celebrate the company’s recent success, the company has planned an anniversary celebration. This event is not just for current employees, however. As Hudson explains, the plan is to include as many past employees and involved partners as possible. For a collaborative team such as Mid State, it makes perfect sense that it celebrates and congratulates everyone that has contributed to this success over time – past, present, and future.

RCPA interior project by Mid State

Aside from the team itself, Mid State’s success can also be credited to the quality of its services. As part of Mid State’s construction services, it offers general contracting, design/build, construction management and team approach services, all of which combine to provide a well-rounded and one-stop-shop experience for the client. Hudson believes that the true strength of Mid State is not establishing a hard and fast “niche”, rather, focusing on being able to assist its clients every step of the way. As he puts it, “our niche is whatever our client’s needs are.” From historical restoration to industrial spaces, healthcare to commercial, Mid State is there to address its client’s needs. While the company has demonstrated an ability to manage multiple tasks for its clients, Hudson does believe that when it comes to pre-construction consultation, the company truly excels. This, he explains, is thanks to the architects and engineers that Mid State works with in the design process. “At Mid State, we know our assignment, but we are part of a team.”

The high level of communication that Mid State provides its clients is also part of the success of the business, as skilled and knowledgeable staff cannot be utilized to their full potential without consistent clear communication from every party. In modern business, it is vital that stakeholders feel they will be listened to and that their opinions will be valued. This is something that Mid State is keenly aware of. As Hudson says, “our client will be a lot happier if they are being kept aware of developments on a project.’

Working in the construction industry, it is vital that a company perfects the skill of multi-tasking while maintaining high standards. For Mid State, this is key. When I ask Hudson what, aside from communication, the company’s strengths in business are, he credits Mid State’s incredible team. He mentions the deep well of experience the company has at its disposal as being of huge value. “At Mid State, there is a plethora of knowledgeable superintendents and project managers with years of experience. We are talking thirty- and forty-year veterans of the industry.’ Speaking to Hudson, it is clear that Mid State takes immense pride in the abilities of its team, while also trusting the team to be self-sufficient thanks to their successful track record. Beyond its internal team, Mid State has excellent professional relationships with outside parties such as architects, engineers, subcontractors, and material suppliers.

“Beyond its internal team, Mid State has excellent professional relationships with outside parties such as architects, engineers, subcontractors, and material suppliers.”

The cold hard proof of Mid State’s work ethic and values are the many successful and large-scale projects that it’s had in recent years. One large project Mid State has in progress is the 190,000 square feet cool-storage facility for Southern Beverage. This project encompasses insulated concrete tilt-wall panels over 50 feet tall. In Hudson’s own words, “the project is massive, designed to maintain a constant temperature.”
Another current future Madison landmark for Mid State is the Bridal Path – an “11,000 square foot wedding dress and accessory store with elegant fashions,” it was vital that the end result reflected this. Hudson believes that the polished, high-end finish on the entire project is testament to the lengths that Mid State will go to ensuring the end result meets the client’s vision.

When Mid State started out, it was a small, family-owned business. While growth and expansion have necessitated a change of ownership, this community feel remains one of the pillars at Mid State. Hudson believes that the spirit of family ownership continues to this day and he assures me that this concept of a “family” defines the culture at Mid State. “We realize that work is not the only thing that we do in life, but it is where you spend the majority of your daylight hours. It doesn’t have to be the most important aspect of your life, either. Mid-State has a God, Family, then Work, culture.” It is evident from this conversation that the work-life balance established at Mid State, and close relationships between employees is part of what it means to be a family business.

In construction, it is important to remain adaptable. At Mid State, this is at the core of its success and is something the company is well aware of. Simply put, experience allows diverse perspective. The varied projects Mid State has been involved in recently have the added value of opening it up to even more varied projects in the future. When I asked Hudson if there are any types of projects in particular that Mid State would be pursuing or venturing into, his answer was simple. “Mid State will try to do whatever is in our client’s best interest.” While he acknowledges that in recent times Mid State has been doing many varied project types, the general consensus is that for Mid State, the work is entirely about the client and not about the kudos or scale associated with a project.

To round out my interview with Hudson, I ask if, as Mid State begins its sixty-fifth year, the team has any specific goals for the future. The answer is very much in keeping with the gradual, sensible, and carefully considered approach that has got the company this far. “We don’t know what the economy is going to do in 2023 or 2024, so we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We just want to maintain a slow and steady growth, regardless of the circumstances.” Clearly, Mid State’s calm and practical approach to working hard, and always balancing professional workload with personal life, is a winning formula and one that it intends to continue.

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