“When it comes to detail, quality, safety, bar none, the team at McSweeney is the pinnacle for us.”

Featuring John Shaw of Hillwood

John Shaw

I joined HCS in 2007. We are a general contractor with a national presence. I specifically lead our Texas region. Everything that has commercial construction wrapped around it, I am responsible for it. Whether it’s built-a-suit, ground up, TI, speculative, you name it. In the Texas region, that’s my responsibility.  So we have various project teams scattered across the region that are doing commercial GC work. John and Duann (of McSweeney Commercial Painting) have helped us on some unique projects here and there across the years. They have done an incredible job on hundreds of projects with us, and have done a fantastic job developing a relationship with us.

“Nobody knows their business like McSweeney Commercial.”

– John Shaw, HIllwood

I’ve had the opportunity to get to know John and Duann, and the team, from the field level all the way up to what I do now at the bigger picture level. Our company has had a thriving relationship  with McSweeney for over a decade now. We have worked with John really probably since 2001. I joined Hillwood in 2007. We have done literally hundreds of projects with the McSweeney team. You name it, we’ve done it. When it comes to detail, quality, safety, bar none, the team at McSweeney is the pinnacle for us. Safety is first and foremost our goal. In our industry, we’re seeing it across all trades. There’s a lot of youth. There’s a lot of new folks in the industry. Paramount to us is safety. And we know that safety can make or break a job, regardless of how large it is. If somebody gets hurt, it can demoralize a team, even a cut finger. That matters to us. And we always know that when John and the team are a part of a project, safety will be paramount.

Amazon Fulfillment Center

Project done in partnership with Hillwood Development Company

First and foremost, we know that our project will go effectively when they’re part of that safety partnership, if you will. The trust in teamwork is really what has helped us leverage the speed of our job-to-market, if you will. 

Having a subcontractor team that’s flexible and willing to work together. That’s key for us. I wish we could always schedule our jobs where it made logical sense where you start at Point A, and go to B and then go to C. But unfortunately, due to the dynamics of the job, sometimes you have to go from A to B, to N or M, and then you jump towards Z when you’re trying to finish the project. The McSweeney team is extremely flexible. And working with us we do quite a bit of work for a large eCommerce business. I have been on that job through 2018-2020 helping our team deliver. That was one of the most dynamic projects we have delivered in quite some time. During that project, we have daily been asking John and the team to go from A to M back to Z over to be B again. And without hesitation, whether it is off-hours, or on the weekends, or at nights, they delivered.

We know their work is going to be executed in a safe manner. We know that it is going to be done at the highest quality. And what we appreciate more than anything is if they can’t quite get there because of this, they immediately say what they can do and find a solution. 

It brings so much value to our construction teams in the field to know that their team flexibility is there to help us figure out the way no matter what. Nobody knows their business like McSweeney Commercial. 

We’re (HCS) not the professionals in what they do. To have somebody that understands and presents new ideas on the job when that becomes necessary is a huge value-add to the construction partnership.

We have a phrase in our business: “Don’t tell me no. Tell me how.” 

And when somebody can figure out how to crack the code and figure out a different way because the customer needs it or the project needs it, it brings so much value. 

When you have speed bumps, every project does, you’re constantly having to rework the plan. For somebody to lead the way saves money in the end. That’s what McSweeney does.

Attention to detail is something we appreciate about McSweeney. It’s not the most glamorous part of the job. It really isn’t. When you say, hey look, everybody needs to get paid. Documents matter, the small administrative tasks matter. If our builders are having to spend time doing administrivia, we’re losing opportunities.

Those little things matter to our team. When we ask for a safety program, it’s presented; it’s distributed; it’s shared; and it’s accurate in the way that we needed it.

I can’t think of a single instance where I couldn’t pick up the phone and call Duane and I get a quick solution, sometimes from him personally.