A Builder at Heart
Brad Vawter is known as the consummate team player.
Having worked in construction for over two decades, 13 years of which has been spent with Balfour Beatty, Brad has earned a reputation as a leader who lives out the principle, unity is strength.
Brad’s tenacious focus on teamwork can be traced to the four years he spent serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, which included two combat tours, Operation Desert Storm in Iraq and Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. “[In the military] you’re trained to be a problem solver, to look at the most critical issue and take care of that first while never losing sight of the main goal,” says Brad.
Construction was a natural career transition for Brad, who grew up in a family where home repairs were entirely self-performed. From hanging drywall to laying tile, Brad inherited the handy gene. It would serve him well over the years, starting out as a laborer and rising through the project management ranks.
Brad began working for Balfour Beatty in Texas, and in 2006, relocated to join the company’s Atlanta operations. There, he would have the opportunity of a lifetime—building a 1.5-million-square-foot mixed-use redevelopment project in the heart of Atlanta's premier entertainment and retail district. Then named “The Streets of Buckhead,” the project temporarily stalled for several years during the Great Recession. Brad, like many construction workers, was personally affected by the economic downturn and needed to seek work with another contractor. But he never lost his desire to return to Balfour Beatty and was able to do so in 2009.
The job came with an unexpected ask: the Atlanta team needed Brad to transition into a field leadership role. Brad didn’t have to think twice. He was a builder at heart—whether that meant crunching numbers from behind a desk or managing trades on a jobsite.
“I’ve always tried to break down divisions between the office and the field,” affirms Brad. “The best projects are the ones where every team member, including our trade partners, understands his or her ability to impact the budget, scope or safety.”
Brad brought his rich project management expertise and team focus to the resurrected Buckhead project, which was renamed Buckhead Atlanta in 2011. His responsibilities included work on two of the project’s three major parcels as well as hardscape/landscape for the entire development. Since completing that iconic project, Brad has gone on to cement his legacy in Atlanta, contributing to noteworthy developments like Icon Midtown and Piedmont House.
Currently, Brad is serving as lead superintendent on a project of national significance for Balfour Beatty, the Osprey. It is the company’s first project to leverage Precient’s modular construction technology and off-site manufacturing platform.
“When we talk about being a ‘great builder,’ we always talk about how we strive to be the best in the industry at planning and teamwork. Brad has been instrumental in the planning and execution of the Prescient system on our Osprey project,” praises Mike Macon, senior vice president and business unit leader in Atlanta.
Brad has also helped ensure successor trades are immediately prepared to mobilize following Prescient’s completion of each floor, helping meet the owner’s desired pro forma.
Brad’s impact extends far beyond the projects he builds. In fact, he’s touched lives across the globe. Days after the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, Brad provided boots on the ground relief efforts. He’s traveled back four additional times to serve the Haitian people, who are still in the process of rebuilding nearly a decade later.
In 2018, Brad was a member of Balfour Beatty’s Bridges to Prosperity team, which built a suspended footbridge for the Espiritu Santo community of Bolivia. Today, the bridge offers safe, year-round access for over 1,400 people, providing enhanced opportunities for trade and welfare.
Builder, servant, team player. Brad Vawter embodies the essence of what it means to be a Relentless Ally—for his projects, company and community.