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Kinco CEO Doug Wasson Hammers Home Need for New Craftsmen in Construction

3 min read

Doug Wasson was named president and CEO of Kinco in 2001, succeeding Jack Kinnaman.

Wasson graduated in 1982 with a building construction degree from Southern Arkansas University Tech at Camden and joined Kinco Constructors as a field engineer.

Wasson was promoted in 1984 to superintendent for major projects and rose to become senior project manager and vice president of Kinco before moving to the top post.

Kinco Constructors ranked eighth among Arkansas general contractors with 2015 revenue of $66.6 million.

What is your favorite part of being a commercial contractor?

The people I get to work with and for. I enjoy the teamwork it requires among our people, subcontractors, suppliers, architects and engineers to make a project successful for our clients. That collaboration is fun and builds lasting relationships and friendships.

Kinco Constructors has a Springdale office. What’s the company up to in northwest Arkansas?

We celebrated our 25th anniversary in the northwest Arkansas market earlier this year. We recently completed projects such as the Wesley Foundation, Roller Weight Loss & Surgery Center, UARK Federal Credit Union and the Lambda Chi Fraternity House. Currently, we are working on the District Phase II for Whisenhunt Investments as well as the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences West Clinic in Fort Smith. As we move into 2017, we have a very strong backlog for that office, so I am very excited about what the future holds for us in northwest Arkansas.

What drew you to make a career in construction?

I worked for a small commercial/residential contractor in Arkadelphia where I grew up. I enjoyed the work and learned I could get a degree in construction management and make a career in it.

What are your front-burner issues for the construction industry?

We as an industry have to do a better job getting young people interested in a career in the construction industry. We are dealing with an aging workforce all across our industry and a shortage of skilled craftsmen to replace those jobs. I could go on about other regulatory and legislative matters, but that would take too long.

Who are your mentors, people who made a difference in your life?

Jack Kinnaman played a big part in my professional career. He saw potential in me and gave me the opportunity to be where I am today. Jack laid the foundation and built a very good company that I have been blessed to keep going.

Another influential person in my life was Buddy Benson, longtime Ouachita Baptist University head football coach. Although I never had the opportunity to play for Coach Benson, I spent a tremendous amount of time growing up around Ouachita football. I really had no idea at the time what I was learning or that it would have the impact on my professional life that it has had. I learned work ethic, leadership skills, team interactions, preparation and the ability to deal with situations that were tough.

Last but most importantly were my parents. I was blessed with parents who taught me the value of hard work.

What is the state of the construction business in Arkansas? Regionally?

The outlook for construction in Arkansas and the region is strong. Our state has a lot to offer for existing companies to grow here as well as new businesses to expand in the state. We are excited to see more private sector projects coming online in recent years and think that trend will continue. We are all hopeful that we can get manufacturing jobs and projects growing once again. We continue to see strong growth in medical and education work as well.

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