P R O F I L E
Moving forward: Brian DeSpain Co-owner of UMA Geotechnical Construction (Colfax, NC), an experienced design-build, geotechnical contractor with a proven record of performance in diverse soil conditions.
By LIISA ANDREASSEN Correspondent
W ith a background in construction management, geotechnical engineering management, and strategic planning, DeSpain has guided UMA Geotechnical Construction through economic downturns while maintaining consistent growth year over year. DeSpain says, “No one person is responsible for a company’s success. It takes a collaborative effort of working toward common goals. Even through the toughest of projects, we’re fortunate to have a team of dedicated, enthusiastic, and talented people to help build such an amazing company.” A CONVERSATION WITH BRIAN DESPAIN. The Zweig Letter: I see you were recently promoted to president. Tell me about the transition. What was your role before and what, if anything, do you plan to do differently?
Brian DeSpain: Well, it all started back in 2003. I was still in college studying engineering and construction and my father approached me with the idea of buying a patent for a high-density polyurethane resin injection. I thought it was an interesting idea, so he did it. This led to him founding the firm in 2004. After college, I went to work with him. I recently went from vice president to president and he took on the role of CEO. He’s looking to retire in the next few years and I’m transitioning into full firm ownership. We’ve actually been focused on transitioning for several years now. Right now, I have nothing different planned other than continuing to move the firm forward. Today, the firm is an industry leader in the development and refinement of innovative polymer grouting techniques and we create specialized solutions to assist clients with ground engineering needs that save money and minimize downtime. As one of the first to use lightweight structural polymers to improve subsurface soils at depths
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