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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Michael Stafford


LGE Design Build

Location: Phoenix

Founded: 1994

Industry: Construction

Under Michael Stafford’s leadership as president since 2017, construction firm LGE Design Build has grown its revenue fourfold and received industry accolades, including being ranked as the No. 1 industrial contractor by Ranking Arizona in 2022 and earning the RED Awards’ 2021 General Contractor of the Year.

Stafford spearheads the company’s continued growth in primary markets while driving expansion into new geographic areas and product offerings. The company’s reputation, built over nearly 30 years, has earned it a diverse portfolio of more than 1,200 completed projects in industrial, office, hospitality, mixed-use, medical, educational and adaptive reuse settings. With offices in Phoenix and Dallas, LGE is positioned to provide services to clients across the Southwest.

Stafford said he believes in fostering a culture of ownership in which individuals take responsibility for their work and have the autonomy to make informed decisions. Through ongoing leadership development programs and promoting from within, Stafford ensures that LGE Design Build cultivates a pipeline of capable leaders at all levels of the organization. This focus on development is reflected in the company’s employee retention and its recognition as the best place to work by Ranking Arizona for three consecutive years.

Stafford’s transition from a stable role in a large public corporate contractor to LGE Design Build was a significant turning point that allowed him to test his leadership abilities and make a lasting impact within a growing organization, he said.

“I decided to transition to a smaller, private company to not only test my leadership abilities, but to play a more impactful role in influencing change inside a growing local organization,” Stafford said. “Fast forward six years, LGE has … tripled our staff count, launched operations in numerous states, constructed over 200 buildings over the past five years and positively impacted countless lives along the way. This role transition was a pivotal risk that has materially reshaped my career path for the better.”

Stafford said the most important trait of a good leader is humility because it encourages communication, collaboration and respect.

“A humble leader acknowledges that they don’t possess all the answers and actively seeks input and feedback from their team,” he said. “This approach not only promotes innovation but also empowers employees to take ownership of their work, leading to engagement and productivity. Humility enables leaders to effectively navigate challenges and setbacks.

“By acknowledging their mistakes and taking responsibility for them, humble leaders create an environment where learning from failures becomes the norm. This cultivates resilience and a growth mindset amongst the team, enabling them to adapt and overcome obstacles. Lastly, humility also builds trust and loyalty within an organization. When leaders demonstrate humility by recognizing and appreciating the contributions of others, they create loyal, inspired teams that will always go the extra mile.”

Presented by:

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Comerica Bank

When he isn’t at work, he loves to travel with his wife and 3 kids. If not traveling, you will find Mike coaching basketball or enjoying the Arizona outdoors. Mike has coached youth basketball throughout Phoenix for the past 10 years for his son and nephew from K-8th grade. Mike has a passion for fitness and competition. He competes annually in numerous obstacle courses (Spartan) and Ironman races across the Southwest.


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