What started as just a job turned into a stable career in the construction industry for Dennis Miller. He was a newlywed working at a lumber yard and going to college when a housing contractor asked him to come work as a carpenter. Many years and job titles later, Dennis is the Vice President of Pre-Construction Services at Branch Civil.
Whether he was the foreman, superintendent, or operations manager, Dennis has enjoyed his time in the industry and has always worked hard to achieve his goals, even if that meant getting a little dirty. His path to leadership included working and attending college full time to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, but he said his experience out in the field is just as important as his education.
“I think a formal education is great, but I also believe in certain fields, like the construction industry, hands-on experience is a huge indicator of how someone can develop,” Dennis said. “I also think hands-on experience is something you need to have to relate to other people.”
And the people are what Dennis enjoys most about this industry. In his current role with Branch Civil, he spends most of his time talking to and negotiating with subcontractors, and even though he doesn’t have the opportunity to go to the job sites as much as he used to, he makes building relationships a priority.
“The great thing about this industry is so many people are passionate about what they do,” said Dennis. “Projects and companies come and go, but the relationships you develop in this business last forever.”
The people around Dennis have also played a role in his success, and he said most of his knowledge came from working with people who were willing to teach him. His advice to anyone in the industry who wants to be part of senior management one day is to work hard and be a sponge.
“You need to absorb everything. If you’re working with a superintendent who is willing to share what it takes to be a superintendent, ask a lot of questions,” Dennis said. “You need to learn about the decisions they have to make and how they make them. Learn from the people you work with and keep an open mind.”
If you’re considering a career in construction, Dennis encourages you to jump in with both feet – no matter your background or education level.
“I grew up on a farm. I went from milking cows and taking care of hogs every day to becoming an officer of a corporation the size of Branch. That’s crazy,” said Dennis. “These opportunities exist in this industry for people who work hard and work smart.”
Branch Civil roots itself in a longstanding tradition of serving the transportation and infrastructural needs between and within communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. The company’s history of planting, cultivating, and growing transparent, professional relationships with its clients has established Branch Civil as a respected name within the civil construction industry of our regions.
Branch Civil offers a dynamic range of services, including heavy civil construction, design-build, and site development. If you’d like to learn more about a career in construction with Branch Civil, please visit branchcivil.com/careers.
For more information about The Branch Group, please visit branchgroup.com.