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Daniel Williams
President and Chief Financial Officer
EW Howell Construction Group | Plainview, New York

What is the most important cog in the construction “machine”?

 While every individual plays an important role, I would say the talented laborers and subcontractors are crucial to every job.

How do you stay inspired?

I set goals, both personal and professional. Without goals, there is nothing to work for, and you lose inspiration. For example, I’m a runner and have completed several half marathons. After I finish a race, I think about the running milestone I want to achieve next and start training. In a professional capacity, I think, “What do I want to help EW Howell achieve over the next week? Month? Year?” Then, I design my days to meet those goals.

Did the top stop spinning at the end of “Inception”?

No, the top did not stop spinning. Connecting this to the construction industry, I view it as the constant recreating, rethinking and working through different realities that we experience daily. The world doesn’t stop—just like the top did not stop; we have to adapt and change based on the world around us.

How do you like to spend an ideal weekend?

My ideal weekend consists of exploring new places with my family.

What is your leadership style?

I like to lead by example. More recently, I have developed a “coaching” leadership style, where I build on people’s strengths, work together on their weaknesses and give them leeway on how to do their jobs. I always welcome questions and enjoy helping people find their paths.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge for the industry over the next three years?

The labor force is going to be a huge challenge for the construction industry—it is now, and I see it as something to be concerned about in the future. There is a lot of work to be put in place, regionally and nationally, and the labor/construction talent pool is just not there in the way it used to be. Inflation, materials shortages, supply-chain issues—those will work themselves out, but young people in the workforce are not settling in the trades as much as in the past.


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