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Construction Genius

Sep 10, 2019

Steve McGough is the president and chief financial officer of HCSS, a Texas based company that since 1986 has specialized in developing software to help heavy, highway and utility construction industry companies streamline their business operations.  HCSS’s mission is driven by a desire to help its customers “dramatically improve their business through our innovative, high-quality software and exceptionally helpful service, while providing a great life for our employees.” 

The firm works with more than 4,000 of the best construction companies in North America, including most of the top 25 in “Engineering News Record” magazine’s “Top Heavy Civil Contractors.”

Interview Highlights: 

  • The biggest challenge facing the construction industry 
  • How “I Build America” aims to address this challenge
  • The many educational paths into the construction industry
  • Changes in the construction industry, including the increasing emphasis on safety 
  • How to avoid the biggest mistakes construction companies make when implementing new technology 
  • Why continuing to promote infrastructure spending is vital to construction and the American economy
  • How to attract Millennials and Gen. Z folks to your company 
  • How Steve managed HCSS’ growth from 40 to over 300 employees
  • The importance of aptitude, passion and grit 
  • A simple method for identifying the right employee fit when hiring
  • Using a customer service focus to build a competitive advantage 
  • How HCSS customer, Carolina Bridge,  is successfully attracting high-quality employees

More on Steve… 

A 35-year construction industry veteran, McGough joined HCSS in 2005 as chief operating officer.  He added “president” to his title in January 2015 and “chief financial officer” two years later.  He began his career with Turner Collie and Braden, a consulting engineering firm in Houston that is now part of AECOM. 

McGough has been a distinguished volunteer in national construction organizations for 15 years.  His leadership positions in the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) include: senior vice chairman (2019), first vice chairman (2018), central region vice chairman (2016-17), western region vice chairman (2013-16) and Materials & Services Division president (2012).  He’s also the chairman of the association’s Membership Development Committee, a post he’s held since 2015.

He currently serves on the board of directors and executive committee for The Road Information Program (TRIP), a national transportation research group that promotes transportation policies that help relieve traffic congestion and its impact on air quality, improve road and bridge conditions, make surface travel safer, and enhance economic productivity.

McGough is the recipient of the 2012 Paul F. Phelan Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership and contributions to ARTBA’s Materials & Services Division.  He is an active member of The Beavers, a heavy engineering construction association based in California.

He earned his bachelor’s in civil construction from Texas A&M University and his M.B.A. from Tulane University.

McGough and his wife, Elaine, live in Kemah, Texas, on Galveston Bay.  They have two adult sons, Ryan and Grant.


This episode is brought to you by the: Construction Leaders Dashboard 

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