Location: Denver, CO
Joe Slavik’s preferred approach in his role as president of Howell Construction is to remain humble and lead through graciousness, he said.
“Approaching situations from a humble heart is not a tactic used by enough leaders,” he said. “Demonstrating an authentic concern and perspective for the other parties will create better solutions and create better relationships long term. You can always use the ‘hammer’ if a more gracious approach does not work.”
Howell Construction is a commercial construction firm that has been building client relationships since 1935. “We have fun. We love to build. Our passion is evident,” the company said.
Slavik joined Howell Construction in 1995 as vice president, and he took over as president in 2001. The five years before Slavik arrived at the company, it averaged $8.5 million in revenue. Revenues for 2022 are forecasted at $160 million. The keys to that meteoric growth, according to the company, are a focus on relationships first, consistent performance, commitment to entrepreneurial culture and finding and hiring the best people.
“The vision for the next five years will not stray far from the last 20,” the company said. Howell Construction will continue to provide “the high caring and exceptional service of a mom-and-pop shop, with the sophistication and resources of a large national contractor. And … will seek and accept growth only if it does not negatively impact [its] excellent performance standards or company culture.”
Slavik is immensely proud of Howell’s consistently low level of employee turnover, which remains below 5% while many competitors see turnover closer to 20%-30%. Slavik has led the company to tackle projects in new markets, including healthcare, life sciences, biotech, government and higher education.
Slavik has been active in multiple organizations and boards over the years including: Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors and Associate Board; AGG Board of Directors; Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation; Board of Governors Avista Adventist Hospital Foundation Board; YPO Colorado Chapter and YPO-Gold Rocky Mountain Chapter. He’s also supported or served on committees for many other business and philanthropic causes and taught at the business college at UC-Denver.
“When I first started at Howell, my impression of Joe was marked by his focus and drive,” Howell Vice President Andy Stewart said. “He is the most intense individual I have ever met. Whether it is mentoring a senior leader, coaching a project team, reviewing a proposal or leading a meeting, he gives 100%.”
"Demonstrating an authentic concern and perspective for the other parties will create better solutions and create better relationships long term."