River City Six – Matt Buol-Ferg
Meet Matt Buol-Ferg, the vice president of estimation and project management at McGill Restoration (mcgillrestoration.com).
Tell us a little about your business.
At McGill Restoration, our core focus is the rehabilitation on preservation of concrete and masonry infrastructure. This has us working most often on bridges, buildings, and parking structures. We also have a focus on industrial/utility facilities where we can apply different types specialty chemical resistant coatings and perform repairs on the concrete infrastructure at those facilities that keeps cities running.
How did you get started in the business?
My road into the construction industry was definitely not a direct route. I went to college here in Nebraska and bounced between two or three different majors before moving to Dallas in 2002 to run a Dr Vinyl franchise. After a couple of years of running the operation, I purchased it outright and continued to run and grow the company until 2011. In late 2010, I decided I was not being challenged in a way that was fulfilling and began looking to sell the company so I could get into the construction industry. By early 2011, my company was sold, and I had moved to New York City to begin taking classes at NYU in pursuit of my Construction Management Degree. While at NYU, I worked for the MTA doing foundation and pile inspection on projects that were being built above subway lines. After graduation, I worked for AECOM on a $225-million subway tunnel reconstruction project at the southern end of Manhattan before moving back to Nebraska in 2016 and beginning my career at McGill Restoration.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Making a career change in my early 30s. Going back to college with all the responsibilities of working full time and going to college full time was definitely a challenge. My son was also born while my wife and I were still in NYC and I was beginning my role with AECOM. Juggling a work and personal life in NYC with a newborn made for quite a few challenges, and is what ultimately led us back to Nebraska.
Tell us a little about your family.
My wife and I have a five-year-old son who keeps us on our toes. With kindergarten starting this year and him involved in football, hockey, and swimming, life is a little hectic. We are also expecting our second child in March and have two crazy dogs—a Weimaraner and a German Shorthair Pointer.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
The birth of our son. Before he was in the picture, my plan was to stay in NYC after I graduated and then try to move overseas or go somewhere for work that would have been completely unique.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I love to play golf and would go everyday if it were feasible.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“It is always easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.” – Alfred Adler
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
Definitely a professional golfer.