What We Do, How We Do it, and the Driving Force Behind it All - NGi Profile with BOSS Magazine
Updated: Apr 21, 2022
At the Nevell Group, there’s no ceiling to success
What do the L.A. Rams, L.A. Chargers, and the athletes of the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics have in common? They will thrill millions from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, surrounded by the work of the Nevell Group. These days, California’s premier interior and exterior commercial wall system contractor, which performed $100 million worth of work with its’ JV partner on the state-of-the-art SoFi project, is becoming as legendary as the venue itself.
Founded in 2002 by Michael Nevell and Bruce Pasqua, the Brea-based specialty contracting firm is in high demand, despite the pandemic-driven delays still plaguing the commercial sector. Some of the heaviest hitters in the AEC space turn to NGI, including marquee players Hensel Phelps, AECOM Hunt, Turner Construction, McCarthy, Matt Construction, and many others.
“We mostly focus on design build and design assist work,” said Christopher Taylor, the firm’s President. “We prefer to work with our GC partners early on by committing to a budget and working with the design team to make sure that the project has an efficient and buildable design that meets the owner’s objectives — and try to have some fun while we’re doing it.”
In addition, NGI’s comprehensive specialty trade services include pre-construction, design, project management, lean construction, and fabrication. From behind-the-scenes craftwork in metal stud framing, wallboard, lath and plaster, and insulation, to creating beautiful exterior panels, rain screens, and specialty ceilings, NGI brings fierce technical prowess and collaborative energy to every project.
“We truly feel the efforts our upfront team puts in on these projects are what separates us from our competition,” he said. “The expertise, the ability to be nimble around a budget and help drive a project toward a particular design that’s buildable from a cost standpoint is truly where we think we separate ourselves from the rest.”
In recent years, NGI has invested heavily in the prefabrication side of their business. Customer demand for faster, smarter, more efficient building solutions fueled the move into an aspect of the business that has significant growth potential.
In addition to partnering with an exterior panel and interior wall systems specialist, the company purchased a new manufacturing facility near its Brea headquarters to supply all levels of prefabrication for their projects.
“We have an in-house design team, about 20 talented individuals that work really hard on the front end of projects that set them up for success, from modeling to shop drawing to actually figuring out how we're going to most efficiently execute the build, to helping customers evaluate and consider design solutions,” he added.
Lean is a central part of NGI’s company culture and approach. “We’ve worked hard to ensure these lean principles are in place for both our design, construction, and our fabrication efforts,” Taylor continued. “We have a great team of folks that are focused on the design and fabrication aspect that we feel are the best in the industry and are going to lead us into the future.”
People make the difference
What began as a $10 million business in its early years has grown its revenue to roughly $300 million annually, with an office staff of 145 people and a field workforce that ranges from 600 to 1,200 professionals, depending on the project. As Taylor put it, “It’s been an absolute labor of love for the leadership team to maintain the culture like it was when we were a small company. We want to be a place where employees love coming to work, love what they do, and develop in their professional lives to their highest potential.”
Construction work can be a very stressful way to make a living, but NGI’s leadership believes it doesn’t have to be. “We want to treat our employees and customers with care and respect. If you’re going to spend two years along with someone building a project it should be fun,” he opined. “There should be a relationship built on trust, respect, and execution. I’m confident that we do these things as well or better than most in our space, and we’re super proud of our team, from where we started to where we are today.”
Over the past several years, Nevell and Pasqua worked on succession planning and leadership transitioning for the union company, and in April 2021 shifted the company structure from privately held to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). “They wanted to make sure the company would continue to excel beyond the time when they expect to hang it up,” he explained.
When a great company’s employees are also owners, the business tends to strengthen; there’s more commitment, more buy-in, and more accountability for creating quality outcomes. “You’re no longer just an employee collecting a paycheck, you’re part of a long-term vision of what the company is. Your contributions matter,” he continued. “Knowing what our ownership in the company looks like going forward gives all of us as employees confidence that NGI is going to be around and be successful for a really long time.”