A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

History and Heroes

This series of articles is designed to honor the rich heritage of the commercial construction industry in Houston.  The series will focus primarily on people and their companies, as many fine publications already tell the stories of Houston’s most recognized buildings and acclaimed structures.  It will feature general and specialty contractors, but with discussion of their essential partners, owners, architects and engineers.  The articles are meant to be educational and inspirational, creating pride in our shared and abundant inheritance.

All of us in the industry today are beneficiaries of their remarkable achievements.  Yet, the current levels of prosperity and stability achieved by these multiple generation firms often obscure the struggle and sacrifice of their early days.  Their repeated success in present times stands in sharp contrast to the monthly questions of survival that plagued their formative years.

The hallmark common characteristics of these pioneering founders were competency, courage, and character – reinforced by faith and optimism.  They lived by principles and values that formed the deep foundations of their companies and the building blocks of their cultures.  They dealt with everyone employing honesty and integrity, and with their building partners demonstrating respect and collaboration, as well.  These professional relationships, often true friendships continued by their successors, are what distinguishes the commercial construction community in Houston from other markets.  All on watch today must honor, preserve, and expand this unique legacy.

- Pat Kiley
  Founding Principal, Kiley Literary Legacies, LLC

As Charlie Kubin retires from W.S. Bellows after 63 years, Kiley shares some of the many ways this accomplished builder has shaped the Houston skyline, and a few of the stories...
Kiley’s new blog series “History and Heroes” begins with Tellepsen: Houston’s oldest, locally owned, commercial general contractor.  Opened in 1909 by Tom Tellepsen, the...