Five Questions With: Matt Sluter

New president of New England Construction talks about his vision for the company. More

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Five Questions With: Matt Sluter

COURTESY NEW ENGLAND CONSTRUCTION
MATT SLUTER, son of New England Construction founder and CEO David Sluter, has been named president of the company as part of a number of changes to its leadership team. The real estate and construction-management firm plans to grow its staff by 15 percent in the next year.
Posted 8/20/14

Matt Sluter, son of New England Construction founder and CEO David Sluter, was recently named president of the company as part of a number of changes to its leadership team.

Sluter spoke with Providence Business News about his vision for the company going forward

PBN: New England Construction is looking to grow its workforce by 15 percent over the next year, which would mean adding about six more employees to your current staff of around 40. What areas within the company are growing the fastest, and in what areas do you plan to hire more staff?

SLUTER: The growth within our client base is fueling our continued hiring efforts. It is critical as we take on additional projects that we have the industry’s best talent to help enable us to execute on project deliverables. It is our responsibility to ultimately translate our client’s vision into reality. To that point, the area that we are seeing the most demand is for Project Managers, Superintendents and Project Engineers. These are the folks that we rely on daily to help exceed our clients expectations.

PBN: Your company also recently brought on George Malakidis as the company director of operations and Wayne Grenon as vice president of finance. Are these new positions within New England Construction, and how will these additions to the leadership team help push the company toward growth?

SLUTER: As our company has grown, so has the depth of each of these positions. The responsibilities that they hold in these roles are more robust because of the volume of work that we do currently. It’s exciting to have access to senior leadership qualities like George and Wayne possess, and I’m confident that leveraging their skills and experience will be critical to our long term success and our strategic growth plan.

PBN: In announcing your appointment as president, New England Construction said the change was part of the firm's transition to "the next generation of family-owned leadership." What does the company's family history mean to you, and will you be taking over for your father David Sluter as CEO of the company in the foreseeable future?

SLUTER: I’m proud of the legacy my father’s created at New England Construction. It’s rewarding for me to continuing to run a business that centers around integrity, and to inject family values into everyday business practices. I’ve been so impressed with how my father has balanced his family responsibilities and work responsibilities, all while creating a family-like atmosphere in the office—and that’s a big priority for me. This includes encouraging a collaborative team approach with my two brothers, with George and Wayne, and with all of our team members. Right now my focus is on my new role, we’re having a lot of fun, and my father’s guidance and contributions are very valuable.

PBN: The construction industry in Rhode Island has undergone some tough times in recent years. Are you pessimistic or optimistic about the future of the local industry?

SLUTER: The industry has changed completely since I first started. Rhode Island has such a rich history that leads us to believe the economy will bounce back. Right now we are seeing strong signs of that. We have seen and responded to an increase in the number or requests for proposals lately. We also just were awarded some exciting projects including CarMax and LA Fitness in Warwick and Camp Fuller YMCA in S. Kingstown. The market is extremely competitive, and as businesses continue to evolve they will need to address their building needs. We’re optimistic that things are improving and I think that our company’s growth and need for new hires is a microcosm of the overall big picture.

PBN: Where do you hope to see New England Construction five years from now?

SLUTER: Our vision is to be best in class for a mid-sized construction company. To do that, we need to continue to keep our client base happy and just as important keep our employees happy. They are the lifeblood of our business. Our outlook is to continue to execute our strategic plan that focuses on new client acquisition as well as developing strong long-term relationships with our current clients. We like the path we are on, and I’m very excited as to what the future holds for us.

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