HPM’s Beginnings: A History Built on Standing in the Gap (Part One)
By Mike Lanier, President
Join us on this look back in time as our founding president reminds us in this two-part series about how HPM was founded and how it continues to grow.
HPM is in the business of leading. Sometimes, that looks like shepherding more than it does signaling a full-scale charge from the front.
While others in our industry focus on getting plans on paper or aim at the best ways to compile bricks, concrete, and steel, we focus on what’s most important to our clients at any given moment. HPM serves as a trusted advisor who stands in as the owner’s advocate in a capital building program.
And that can look like a lot of different ways to lead and serve.
A Little History
Our unique story of this servant-leadership style began in 1940 when Friend Reed (F.R.) Hoar founded the F.R. Hoar Construction Company in Birmingham, Alabama. Over the decades, the company has grown across the US with new projects, new clients, and new colleagues.
I began my career with Hoar Construction in the mid-1990s doing pre-construction work in the retail industry, and very quickly, I noticed many of our clients needed help beyond that of traditional contractors. I happily provided them the guidance they needed simply because it was the right thing to do.
Rob Burton, CEO of Hoar Holdings (which owns HPM and Hoar Construction), served as the Executive Vice President of Hoar Construction at the time I joined the company. He and I recognized the market needed someone that could help clients reach success by managing all the intricacies of their construction projects – from planning, design, and construction through to owner occupancy.
After a serendipitous lunch with his daughter at her school where a construction project was in disarray, putting students at risk, Rob met with the District Superintendent and offered our services. This led us to pre-construction work for school districts and municipalities who struggled to proceed with projects because they constantly seemed to stay overbudget, behind schedule, and/or beyond their capabilities.
In 1997, Hoar Program Management (HPM) was founded as a division of Hoar Construction to serve as advocates for our clients. During this time, we guided Hoover City School District during all phases of their construction projects which put us on the map in Alabama for K12 and which has now expanded to include school districts throughout the country.
HPM team members now shepherd school superintendents and school boards through the planning, funding and site selection phases of capital bond programs through design and into construction and move-in.
In 2003, we graduated into the corporate world with our partnership with Regions Bank. Regions utilized our program management services to help stay on budget and on schedule while they rolled out new bank branches across their multi-state footprint. More than 15 years later, we still partner with Regions Bank and have expanded our services into interiors planning and move management.
In 2004, HPM made the leap into higher education when a large university in our home state hired us to provide program management support for six different simultaneous construction projects on campus. And, we’re still there today due to our deep relationships with the staff and leadership team and a successful 15-year track record. Since 2004, we have completed more than $2 billion in capital building projects to facilitate the university’s rapid growth.
And that was just the beginning…