Mike Kaufman has been at the helm of Kaufman Lynn Construction since its inception in 1989. The firm has built senior living, multifamily housing, university and K-12 facilities, as well as public safety and corporate complexes across the region. It tallied company revenue of $480.8 million in 2019, a 73% jump from the previous year.
One thing he’s built that Kaufman is most proud of is the firm’s pandemic response. When construction was deemed an essential business, meaning some people could return to the office and crews could return to jobsites, the company implemented safety procedures designed to keep everyone as safe as possible.
“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve had less than one-half of 1% positivity rate,” he said. “When people tested positive, we acted quickly and took it seriously early.”
To Kaufman, that highlights the company culture he’s built.
It should be no surprise that the man who values time spent with his wife, six children, mother and siblings would weave “family” into a conversation about business. Kaufman Lynn is more than a company, he says. “We like to think of ourselves as a family.” To be sure, construction is a “tough business.” But having “family” working beside you can help smooth rough edges, especially during challenging times.
“My leadership style definitely relies on transparency and communication,” said Kaufman, who since the pandemic hosts three virtual status calls daily with his teams, although he’s now back in the office three or four days a week.
“It’s so easy to be a good leader,” he says. “You don’t need a Wharton Ph.D. or business school degree. Just communicate and reinforce transparency so all of us know what’s going on.”
The firm’s success has also been fueled by constant attention to innovation. So much so, that the company recently bolstered its marketing department, and this year added two new VP positions – for innovation of operational and financial excellence.
For Kaufman, “integrity, ingenuity and initiative, fueled by love and passion” – and the personal connections of some 250 employees – are more than the foundation of a healthy and successful business. They’re literally written into the company’s core values.