Crain Construction is behind some of the most recognizable structures in Nashville, and the company has helped shape Music City’s dynamic skyline into what it is today. People from all over the world will soon see the work of Crain Construction, and you will too. Anytime you’re flying into or out of Nashville, look out your airplane window, and you’ll see the new BNA Hilton Hotel.
Crain’s newest project is a 14-story development consisting of a 10-story hotel and plaza on top of a multi-level terminal garage. The upscale hotel sits directly across from BNA’s main terminal. It’s a massive undertaking that comes with its fair share of challenges, but the Crain team is up for the job. We caught up with Superintendent Alex Ward, who is charged with navigating each challenge and implementing solutions throughout the duration of the project.
Alex Ward joined the Crain family in March of 2022, and the BNA Hilton project is one he’s certainly qualified to handle. The last two projects Alex led prior to joining Crain were Nashville’s Virgin Hotel and the W Hotel.
“The BNA Hilton project is really exciting. It’s high profile being right there at the airport and will certainly be great exposure for Crain. It’s a project we can hang our hat on for sure,” said Alex
While the location of this project makes it high profile, it’s also what creates some unique challenges for Alex and his team.
“Navigating all of the airport traffic, and zero room for laydown and material storage — all of these are obstacles that we’re working to overcome. But I’m very optimistic because I’m working alongside the best team in the business,” Alex said.
Alex isn’t a stranger to challenges. Outside of work, he’s an active father to seven kids, a caring husband to his wife, Jennifer, and he serves in the National Guard. These monumental achievements reflect what may well be his most valuable professional attribute: a capacity for challenge.
“Life presents daily challenges, and learning to deal with adversity while keeping your head and continuing to do the right thing is important. My kids all play sports, and I tell them all the time: It’s not about how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward,” Alex explained.
When we caught up with Alex, he was days away from leaving for a two week stint with the National Guard in Mississippi. He joined the service over a decade ago and comes from a long line of military service.
“My great grandfathers, dad, sister, and cousins all served, and it was always in the plans for me to join,” Alex said. In 2013, Alex was stationed in Afghanistan for nine months. The training in Mississippi will be one of Alex’s final missions with the National Guard. He’ll close out his service in a few months.
“I wouldn’t trade my experience with the National Guard for the world, but 12 years is a long time. It’s a lot of time away from work, away from my family, so it’s a long time coming for me to close this chapter.”
As one chapter closes for Alex, another is opening for him at Crain. The company is built on a set of values that center around people and developing deep, quality relationships. Those values, along with the company’s family-oriented culture, are what drew Alex to join the team.
“I feel that Crain wholeheartedly understands that the culture and atmosphere created is a foundation for individual success. Success is contagious, and it gives a team, an organization, the fuel to thrive based off of each individual,” Alex explained.
Alex’s passion for his family and zest for life is clear. He thrives under pressure and rises to meet each challenge he’s faced, head-on. He’s also one of the lucky ones who has seemingly mastered the work-life balance.
“From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, it’s go go go. It’s a fast-paced life here at Crain, and it’s a fast-paced life at home. I don’t know that I’d know how to live it any other way.”