Alumnus Eddie Stewart Focusing on the Future

Eddie Stewart HeadshotEddie Stewart made great strides this year, selected as the new president of Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America, and most recently, inducted into the National Academy of Construction (NAC).

Stewart earned a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction from the School of Building Construction at Georgia Tech in 1978.

“It may be hard to believe now, but when I graduated from Tech, the construction opportunities were very limited, especially in my hometown of Atlanta,” said Stewart. “But top construction companies outside of Atlanta still sought Georgia Tech graduates, based primarily on its reputation for producing great graduates which translated into great employees.”

“Georgia Tech instilled in me a drive to excel and reluctance to ever give up. These qualities served me well throughout not only my professional life but personal life as well.”

His 40-year commitment to the building construction industry at both state and national levels has been steadfast, to say the least. In addition to his new role and accomplishment, Stewart is the President and CEO of Caddell Construction Company in Montgomery, Alabama, and has worked at Caddell since its founding in 1983; starting as an estimator and serving in various leadership roles including executive vice president and COO.

He is a former president of the Alabama AGC and serves on the State Board of Directors. Not only is Stewart a Life Governor on the Board of Governors and member of the Consulting Constructors Council, but he has served as Chairman of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Committee, Chairman of the Federal & Heavy Division, and multiple terms on the National Executive Board.

“AGC of America is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year, having helped our industry build America for the past century,” Steward said. “This is an incredible achievement and one of which we can all be very proud.”

“Yet our industry is undergoing incredible change. Technology and innovation have changed the way we build our projects. The use of Building Information Modeling (BIM), Virtual Reality, and Lean Construction Practices have significantly improved our ability to streamline the construction process. Innovation in construction has seen an uptick in the use of drones, robotics, and 3-D printing to augment our projects. Prefabrication of construction components has led to improvement in the speed of construction and quality of the finished product.”

Stewart’s 2018 theme, “Focus on the Future,” celebrates the past without resting on laurels.

“We as an organization need to keep abreast of these changes so that we can stay relevant to our members for the future. This entails evaluating all of the services AGC of America offers its members through this ‘future focus’ lens.”

Stewart shared that there is definitely a desire and a need for AGC and the Georgia Tech School of Building Construction to collaborate.

“For the reasons stated above, the future of our industry is heavily dependent upon construction embracing technology and innovation, both in which Georgia Tech excels,” said Stewart.

“Apart from just hiring your graduates, we need institutions like Georgia Tech to partner with us as we seek to solve the many problems which our industry faces. The best place to start is Georgia AGC, one of AGC of America’s 88 chapters located throughout the United States. Any partnership with our institution is a win/win for both parties.”

Stewart was formally inducted into the NAC in October as a member of its 2018 class. The 2018 class included 37 new inductees, and more than 300 leaders were considered for the selective NAC election process.

“Eddie Stewart is an outstanding leader dedicated to his company, his employees, and the industry,” said Wayne Crew, General Secretary of NAC. “The academy will benefit from his leadership.”

When asked what advice he would give to a new BC graduate student looking to make an impact in their professional career, Steward said, “Sell yourselves to prospective employers as understanding the new technologies and being willing to show the employer how to adapt that technology to meet his specific needs. It’s an excellent time to be entering the construction industry, and the reputation of Georgia Tech will set you apart from your peers.”