Spotlight: An Interview with Chad Thomas, Project Manager at Crain Construction

Chad Thomas, a dedicated Crain Construction team member, in a professional portrait

As a Nashville native, Chad Thomas has seen a lot of changes to the city’s skyline. But one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is Chad’s commitment to Crain Construction. He’s been with the company since he was 15 years old. 

“I started in the summer of 1991 when I was a student at Mt. Juliet High School. I liked it so much that I came back the following summer and the summer after that. I officially started full-time in May of 2001 after graduating college, and this summer I’ll hit the 22-year mark.” 

Chad’s tenure with Crain speaks volumes about the way the company treats its employees. 

“At Crain, they allow you to thrive, and you really feel like you’re part of a team with one goal – to give the client a great product and do it the right way. There is such a family feel here. There is no better feeling than getting up in the morning and enjoying coming to work.”

As a project manager, Chad runs projects and works hand-in-hand with superintendents to oversee jobs. Chad makes sure everyone on the team is equipped with what they need to do their jobs, then he says he gets out of their way and lets them get to work. He says taking care of his team ensures projects run smoothly and on time, which is the ultimate goal. 

“There’s no bigger success than handing keys to an owner when that building’s done and seeing that excitement and joy on their face that they’re getting to move into their space. That’s a win for me.” 

Chad is currently working on multiple projects including a 16,000-square-foot expansion for Verizon and a design/build for a 45,000-square-foot expansion for Feintool Tennessee. He says both jobs are unique because they have many electrical and mechanical components, a challenge Chad really enjoys. 

“I love building things and using my hands. I went to college to be an architect and ended up with an Electromechanical Engineering degree from MTSU.” 

These days, Chad enjoys spending time with his wife DeeDee of 20 years and making college visits with his 17-year-old son who, like his dad and mom, loves design work and wants to be an architect. Chad also has a 14-year-old daughter who stays busy with travel cheerleading. Up until a few years ago, Chad coached youth and middle school sports for over 10 years and travel ball for the majority of that time. Getting the chance now to just sit back and watch his kids work hard and enjoy what they do is a real joy. 

“Being a coach for so long has helped me to be able to lead by example. I’ve always been one who likes to have my boots on the ground in the field. Working my way up through the years from a laborer and a carpenter to a project manager gives me perspective to understand what my teams are dealing with. I think I bring that confidence and leadership to my teams. We’re all here to achieve a common goal and get to the finish line. I’m just happy to help everyone get to that point and do a job we can all be proud of.”

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