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Scouting inspired John S. Clark Company’s CEO

February 1st, 2008 · No Comments

Decades ago, on his rise up the ranks of the Boy Scouts, young Richard Vaughn met a man who was to have a profound influence on his life: John S. Clark, his Eagle Scoutmaster. Vaughn was taken by Clark and his commitment to Scouting values of loyalty, trust and service to others.

Around 1958, Clark left a job at R.H. Pinnix Construction Co. in Mount Airy and formed his own company, John S. Clark Company. Vaughn joined him there as a project manager. When Clark died at the young age of 44, Vaughn bought the company, resolving to maintain the values that Clark had embraced in Scouting and in his company’s philosophy. In keeping with those values, Vaughn later gave 60 percent of the company to key employees who helped him grow the company into one of the most respected brand names in the construction industry.

Vaughn, now the company’s chief executive officer, today credits John S. Clark Company LLC’s 50th year of successful service to adhering to those fundamental Scouting traditions.

“Providing exceptional value by gaining the trust and loyalty of our customers is built right into our mission statement,” Vaughn said. “That basic premise has led to our strong financial position and allowed us to invest heavily in our communities and our employees.”

Over the years, John S. Clark Company LLC has grown into the largest general contractor in northwest North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad region and one of the largest in the Southeast United States. It has consistently been ranked in Engineering News-Record’s Top 400 General Construction Firms in the U.S.. Two years ago, the magazine ranked John S. Clark Company as the nation’s 15th-largest contracting company for distribution and warehouse construction, with $56 million in projects completed in those sectors, and as the 21st largest retail construction general contractors after completing $151.6 million worth of projects. John C. Clark Company is among The Business Journal’s “Top 5 General Construction Firms” in North Carolina.

John S. Clark Company has completed projects in 24 states. The company’s work includes industrial, commercial, multi-family, retail, health sciences, technology and church construction. John S. Clark Company also handles tenant upfits and building improvement projects regardless of size.

Nearly 300 employees work from the company’s headquarters in Surry County and at offices in Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Wilmington. With an annual payroll in excess of $18 million, payouts for goods and services of $250 million dollars and many charitable interests, John S. Clark Company continues to have a tremendous economic and social impact on the Triad.

Far from resting on its laurels, John S. Clark Company continues to grow and adjust to changing needs and opportunities, Last month it announced a new Triad Commercial Division in Greensboro to better serve the changing needs of the Triad’s commercial-construction marketplace. The Winston-Salem office, home to the Retail Division, is undergoing a major expansion and a $600,000 renovation to keep up with growth in the retail-market sector. The Building Improvement Division (formerly known as Special Projects) will be moving to new space in downtown Winston-Salem at 11 Brookstown Avenue as soon as renovations can be completed there. A part of Obayashi USA LLC since 2006, John S. Clark Company is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and is committed to sustainable design and construction.

John S. Clark would be proud to witness the success story that his namesake company has become, Vaughn believes. He’d be equally proud that it has upheld those values that reflect the essence of Scouting: Doing the best job possible and gaining trust and loyalty in service to others.

Tags: Businesses · Construction

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