CONEXPO – CON/AGG Radio: Construction Business Insights For Contractors

The award-winning CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio podcast has been featuring deep dives into construction equipment and technology since its launch in 2016. Hosted by Missy Scherber, CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio delivers boots-on-the-ground perspectives and stories from construction business owners and industry experts about their successes, challenges and whatever else on their minds. Consider them your own personal mentors on workforce development, technology implementation, equipment solutions and more, enabling you to apply their expertise to your business. CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio releases one new episode each month. For even more equipment news and trends and to learn when new episodes are released, sign up for our weekly enewsletter CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365. More than 40,000 construction professionals are already subscribed. CONEXPO-CON/AGG is North America's largest construction trade show. The next show will be held March 10-14, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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CONEXPO – CON/AGG Radio: Construction Business Insights For Contractors






All Episodes
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Aug 23, 2021

Kevin Gray took a leap of faith when he purchased a dying asphalt paving and sealcoating business in 2011. A small business loan, some rundown equipment, and entrepreneurial grit were all they had during the first few years.

Now, thanks to the organizational processes and culture initiatives Kevin has implemented, Louisville, Kentucky-based ADC Paving is thriving.  

Kevin and host Missy Scherber talk about getting your office and crew in order to jumpstart your economic engine.

They also cover:

  • Making customer experience a priority
  • Committing to training and investing in your staff
  • Open and transparent communication
Jun 22, 2021
Heath Hanna’s passion for dirt runs deep. He spent the first part of his career working as a Caterpillar dealer instructor before making the leap into starting his own construction business. With some serious work ethic and grit, his company, Contour Mining & Construction, has transformed from startup to one of the largest heavy civil contractors in South Carolina in 9 years. 

Heath and host Missy Scherber discuss the leadership and culture that has made that business growth possible. 

They also cover:
  • Going the extra mile to do what your competitors won’t
  • Being intentional about roles to be a better partner
  • Building operational systems to scale your business
  • Using your culture and flexibility as a recruitment and retention strategy
May 26, 2021
Randy Blount, president of Arizona-based Blount Contracting grew up around the construction industry, helping at his family’s business during high school and college. When his dad received a cancer diagnosis, Randy was thrust into a leadership role at a young age. 

Now 10 years later, we’re getting the scoop on how far the company has come and what’s in store for the next 10 years. 

Randy joins host Missy Scherber to discuss:
  • Learning from your mistakes as a young business owner
  • Handling critical conversations the right way
  • Examining your profit margin and leaning into your niche 
  • Being well-read and applying those lessons from great leaders
  • Finding a mentor to be candid with
  • Investing in your people
Apr 20, 2021
Justin Ozinga is president of Ozinga, a fourth-generation family business best known for its red and white striped concrete mixer trucks.

While involved in the company since a young teen, Justin moved up the ranks and was recently appointed as president of all of Ozinga operations, including ready mix concrete, aggregates and cement.

Ozinga has more than 2,000 employees, primarily in operations in the Midwest and Florida.

Justin and host Missy Scherber discuss strategic growth, making a positive impact on communities and leadership.

They also cover:
  • Passing on a company legacy to a 5th generation
  • Retaining your company culture and values as you grow
  • Infusing Amazon-style customer engagement technology in your business
  • Being less transactional and more personal
  • Investing in yourself and finding mentors
Feb 25, 2021

Herb R. Sargent is the president and CEO of Sargent Corporation, an infrastructure construction firm based in Stillwater, Maine. 

Founded by his grandfather Herb E. Sargent in 1926 with a used dump truck and a strong work ethic as his assets, the company now has hundreds of employees owners working in New England and the mid-Atlantic regions.

Herb and host Missy Scherber dig into workforce development, the advantages of employee stock ownership plans and the importance of investing in the well-being and prosperity of your people.

They also discuss:

  • Buying back the family business
  • Being intentional about training your workforce and creating career paths
  • Hiring managers that allow you to focus on the bigger picture
  • Leading through difficult situations


Jan 28, 2021

The youngest Black woman to receive California’s CSLB (A) General Engineering license, Jennifer Todd, serves as LMS General Contractors Founder and President. Jennifer heads the company’s management team and is responsible for developing & executing LMS’s strategic growth.

Jennifer is a strong advocate for job creation and employee development. Her Greener Tomorrow apprenticeship program is geared toward the advancement of unemployed and underemployed people of color, and she is a recognized speaker and top professional in the industry.

Jennifer and host Missy Scherber take a deeper dive into her thoughts on workforce development and diversity in the construction industry.

They discuss:

  • Tackling every roll from estimating to ownership
  • Managing profit and organic growth
  • Being intentional about your workforce development
  • Taking as situational approach to supporting and training your team
  • Having critical conversations about bias, barriers, and representation
Dec 21, 2020

Brian Hess, founder and president of The Pavement Group and Top Contractor School is shaking things up when it comes to sales, marketing and client relations in the asphalt and concrete paving industry. At The Pavement Group, Brian’s team takes a data-driven approach to solving customer problems and maintaining the highest level of service. He’s taken what he’s learned and helps other contractors build more successful businesses through Top Contractor School – a training, coaching and community platform for industry newcomers and veterans alike. 

In this episode of CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio, Brian and host Missy Scherber discuss how training and development is fundamental to business success, as well as building an innovation mindset to see the opportunity everywhere.

They also cover: 

  • Moving from Corporate America to construction
  • Turning your business into a sales and marketing engine
  • Attracting like-minded people as employees, customers and mentors
  • Creating a structured training plan to produce predictable results
  • Overcoming doubt and the naysayers
Nov 30, 2020

Mikel Bowman has been a life coach, pastor, mentor, and culture guru. He has devoted his life to helping others realize their true potential. In this episode Mikel and host Missy Scherber dig into leading with joy and humility, as well as building a culture based on honesty, ethics and respect. Mikel's straightforward approach to everyday problems will help organizations of all sizes usher a great work environment for those in blue collar professions.

They discuss:

  • A career switch from counseling to construction
  • Driving greatness out of your staff and creating clear lines of accountability
  • Making culture in a priority in an industry with limited good examples of it
  • Bringing professionalism to the jobsite and making marginalized groups feel safe and comfortable
  • Building bridges between the office and the field through proactive communication
  • Being honest and fair in your recruiting process
  • Taking personal responsibility to grow in your role
Oct 30, 2020

Based in Irwin, Pennsylvania, Brex Enterprises is a WBE certified pipeline maintenance and services company founded in 2012 by Alicia Brentzel and her husband AJ.

Alicia joins host Missy Scherber to talk about business growing pains and how leaning into your core values and unique strengths can help accelerate growth and build stronger teams. 

They also discuss:

  • Going from AJ working solo and living in a camper to managing 40 employees
  • Putting processes in place to improve your efficiency and profitability
  • The importance of modeling your culture every day
  • Making critical conversations with employees a priority
  • Navigating your roles as both business partners and spouses
  • Helping your employees achieve their full-potential and providing growth opportunities
  • Getting over imposter syndrome and being honest with where you are right now
Aug 18, 2020
While Priestly Demolition is in the business of tearing things down, the crew’s first job onsite is hunting for treasure. Salvage and sustainability has always been a cornerstone of the business for Vic Priestly, the company’s founder. 

Today, the King City, Ontario-based company has grown into one of the largest demolition contractors in Canada, under the leadership of Vic’s son Ryan Priestly. The company has a staff of about 300 people and a fleet that includes around 100 excavators. 

Notably, the company is the focus of the History Channel Canada’s original-series Salvage Kings, and they’re bring the spectator sport of demolition to the masses on national television.   

Ryan joins host Missy Scherber to discuss:
  • Advancing the science of safe demolition
  • Showcasing careers in construction to the next generation
  • Creating a culture of safety and incentivizing it 
  • Learning from the generation that came before you
  • Using technology for fleet management and operational efficiencies
  • Leading with happiness and confidence
Jun 30, 2020

Mary Katherine Harbin caught the attention of the industry when she established the nation’s first all-female paving crew. The area manager and equal employment opportunity officer for Tennessee-based, Maymead Inc., has worked her way up the ranks and built a successful career in construction.

As a nationally-recognized speaker on workforce development, Harbin joins host Missy Scherber to share expertise on mentoring employees, mitigating bias and discrimination and taking a progressive approach to hiring.

They also discuss:

  • Building your confidence as a leader
  • Creating unity among the office and the field
  • Breaking down barriers between your crew members
  • Advice for women in construction
May 29, 2020

Growing up, Matt Stanley and his three brothers were "raised on blacktop", working alongside their parents from the time they could hold a shovel at their Danbury, Connecticut-based paving business, American Pavement Specialists. Since then, the small company has grown into a big name in the paving world, starting their own clothing brand and sponsoring NASCAR driver Spencer Boyd. 

Matt runs everything from field operations to marketing, and he shares how building strong relationships with your family, crew and OEMs helps maximize your quality of work and success. 

Matt joins host Missy Scherber to discuss:

- Making working with your family cool again
- Training employees from the ground up 
- Instilling pride and values in your crew
- Improving relationships with OEMs and dealers through top-notch marketing
- Tips for honing your brand identity on social media

Apr 7, 2020

You may know him on Instagram as “Technology Sandbox” --- and Britton Lawson’s day-to-day job is just that ---- working with current and emerging construction technologies from grade control to telematics to bring efficiency to the jobsite.

As director of construction technology at Veit & Company, Britton is the internal technology champion. He helps the organization get the best technology return on investment and evolve their processes for the future. Britton joins host Missy Scherber to discuss the current and future state of construction tech.

They also cover:

  • Moving from 2D to 3D grade control
  • Advice for implementing new technology
  • Troubleshooting technology problems
  • Communicating about technology with your field team
  • Highlights from CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020
Feb 11, 2020
Under Stacey Tompkins’ leadership, Tompkins Excavating out of Putnam County, New York has grown from a lawn mowing service provider to a woman-owned and family-operated, full-service commercial and residential excavation and landscape construction company. When she’s not dealing with dirt, she’s an active volunteer and mentor in her community and has been honored with numerous business and leadership awards. 

Stacey and host Missy Scherber discuss:
- Investing in machine control technology
- Developing a strong corporate culture
- Increasing revenue 8x in six years
- Balancing family and business
Stacey will be participating in an influencer panel discussion and meetup taking place on Wednesday, March 11, as well as an executive leadership panel taking place on Friday, March 13 at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020.
Jan 14, 2020

While Chris Lane’s company employs more than 430 West Virginians and Pennsylvanians, he says their goal isn’t to be the biggest, just the most complete pipeline contractor in the region. The 27-year-old of vice president, Ronald Lane Inc. say creating a turnkey experience for clients has been the secret to their success. The company has 13 locations, over 500 pieces of equipment and handles every aspect of pipelaying including clearing land, processing trees, directional drilling, painting, welding, backfilling and hydrotesting.

Chris and Guest Host Dusty Weis also discuss:

  • The pros and cons of a family business
  • The importance of having dedicated safety staff
  • Installing environmental controls
  • Digitizing asset management
  • Taking pride in your people
  • Road tripping to CONEXPO-CON/AGG
Dec 10, 2019

He goes by “Chief Dirt Nerd” and he’s taking the construction world by storm with his unique ability to tell stories about the hard-working men and women mining for our materials and building our communities. While Aaron Witt hasn’t taken a traditional path into the industry, it’s one he loves, and one he thinks others should love too.

His goal as President of BuildWitt Media Group is to inspire others to think about construction and mining as a way of life through his photography, videos and lighthearted approach.

Aaron and Host Missy Scherber discuss using social media to educate and inspire your current and future workforce.

They also cover:

  • Taking responsibility for the changes happening in the industry
  • The biggest mistakes construction companies make when it comes to marketing
  • The importance of being authentic and vulnerable
  • Considering the safety implications of your employee’s mental wellbeing
  • Aaron’s first trip to CONEXPO-CON/AGG and how it helped launch BuildWitt
Nov 12, 2019
With more than three decades of heavy civil construction experience, Don Swasing knows a thing or two about building high performance teams. As Chief Operating Officer at Schlouch Incorporated, Don has developed safety and leadership training programs and built a culture of open communication.

Don will be presenting three education sessions at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 on profitabilityconflict resolution and fleet management.

Don and Host Missy Scherber dig into the topic of “crucial conversations” and why you need to master your interpersonal skills to drive better results. Once you learn how to effectively navigate high-stakes conversations, you’ll build credibility and strengthen relationships with your customers, peers, direct reports and superiors.

They also cover:
  • The "Gray Tsunami" and the impending skills gap
  • When to say "no" to work
  • Coaching and facilitating conversations to strengthen your team
  • Providing authentic care, trust and help to your employees
  • Reflections on 20+ years of attending CONEXPO-CON/AGG
Oct 8, 2019

Armed with a Blackberry and mad operating skills, Scott Colclough started PushySix® in 2012 as a YouTube channel affectionately named after his Caterpillar D6. Scott has grown PushySix® into a globally recognized brand with a mission of inspiring the next generation of heavy equipment operators. Scott joins host Missy Scherber to talk about his passion for equipment and technology, as well as his vision for workforce development.

They also dig into:

  • The most critical factor for successful technology implementation
  • The technologies that will bring the most dramatic change to the industry in the next five years
  • The untapped talent pool you’re overlooking
  • How your managers and corporate culture are driving away good employees
  • Tips for your trip to CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020
Sep 10, 2019

Are your legacy operators hesitant to use machine control? Are you worried the barrier to entry is too high? Ryan Goodfellow, owner of Rock Structures Utility & Excavating, joins Host Missy Scherber to talk about what technology to take advantage of now to increase productivity for your business.  

They also cover:

  • Mastering the groundwork to move from laborer to operator
  • Building your clientele and repeat customers
  • Persevering through times of economic turmoil
  • Investing in your staff for improved performance and morale
  • Planning your trip to CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020
  • And six things you didn’t know about Ryan from his first job to his gas station guilty pleasure!
Aug 13, 2019
Are you losing bids or struggling to recruit new employees? Is new technology passing you by? It’s time to channel your energy into the right areas to supercharge your business. 
Keaton Turner, president of Turner Mining Group, joins Host Missy Scherber for the inaugural episode of “Contractor Conversations” on CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio.
They discuss:
  • Taking the leap into starting your own business
  • Where the mining industry is headed in the next 24 months
  • Estimating, bidding and dealing with losses
  • What technology and equipment is changing the game for Turner
  • Using social media to tell your story and recruit your workforce
Jun 4, 2019

With the emergence of the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics, wireless connectivity is the foundation that is needed to make all these connected strategies successful. Host Peggy Smedley and Marc Eisenberg, CEO, ORBCOMM, discuss how the industry is continuing to evolve, the different types of wireless connectivity available today and still emerging for the future, and trends that will continue to drive automation and digitization forward in construction.

May 13, 2019

Fred Fakkema, vice president, compliance, Zonar, joins CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio to dive into the topic of telematics—and how it can help improve safety and compliance on construction projects, answering if digital records do in fact help with audits. Fakkema and Host Peggy Smedley dig into the top areas that telematics can help a construction fleet become safer, as well as the barriers to adoption. They also identify what a construction company should look for when investing in a telematics solution.

Apr 11, 2019

No matter the size of your aerial fleet, managing equipment is a priority. This podcast digs into how telematics can help monitor how equipment is performing, how often a piece is being used, where each unit is located, and if it is ready for maintenance. Host Peggy Smedley and Christine Zeznick, Genie Senior Product and Business Development Manager, Terex AWP, talk about telematics and the company’s new Genie Lift Connect. They also discuss how we are moving from a world where information is currently descriptive to one that is more predictive and prescriptive.

Mar 11, 2019

Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are here and they are changing the way businesses operate. Host Peggy Smedley and Ganesh Bell, president, Uptake, talk about what exactly they will look like for construction—and the drivers and big opportunities that exist. They also provide key advice for executives who are considering emerging technology, while also addressing the results AI can provide and the main risks at play.

Feb 7, 2019

This episode identifies some of the biggest obstacles for contractors when it comes to supply-chain management—and how it has evolved in the past few years. Peggy Smedley and Alexander Schuessler, founder of SmartEquip and president of its International Group, talk about how technology can help increase efficiency from parts ordering to building materials delivery to equipment rentals —both today and in the future. They also offer tangible advice and strategies for contractors who are looking to get started using technology such as this—and the best steps to implementation. 

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