Wednesday, May 18, 2016

TOP STORY >> McFadden joins Hall of Fame

Leader staff writer

The Associated General Contractors of America recently honored the inductees to 2016 Arkansas Construction Hall of Fame and among them is Jacksonville’s Bruce McFadden.

“I started working in the construction industry in 1960,” McFadden said. “I’m just thankful I had the opportunity to work in construction for 56 years.”

McFadden holds a bachelor’s of science in civil engineering from the University of Arkansas and a master’s in civil engineering-construction from Stanford University, where he was an Albert Sloan Fellow.

He spent four years with the Corps of Engineers and two years at Beaver Dam in northwest Arkansas.

In 1965, McFadden re-turned to Arkansas and worked on the paving of the runway at Little Rock Air Force Base, where he was “kind of a layout engineer and superintendent,” he said.

McFadden worked with Whit Davis and Otis Goodsell, both from Jacksonville, while paving the air base runway. “Those were two guys that were influential and interesting to watch as they were building their businesses,” he said of Davis and Goodsell.

He worked at a Pine Bluff highway construction company with Gordon McNulty and his nephew, Randy, before forming his own company, Improved Construction Methods, Inc., in 1970.

The Jacksonville company, which has locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama, provides “the construction contractor or municipality with the very latest and best in construction tools, equipment and methods of construction,” according to its website.

“We had $100,000 in sales the first year and $20 million a year just before the recession hit a few years ago,” he said.

“When I decided to start the company, I had been around Jacksonville enough to know there were some economical warehouse and office space available,” he said of choosing a location for his business. “As well as the air base,” which continues to provide steady work for local contractors.

Mike Wilson helped McFadden with the legal work when starting the company. J.C. George of AGL laser company was an early investor in ICM. Other notables who helped McFadden in building his company include Tommy Bond, who already had a “nice little consulting business here,” as well as Harold Gwatney, who McFadden says is “an outstanding businessman. He was really a hero, watching him build the Gwatney business.”

“I took some active roles (in the community) and while doing that I got to know Larry Wilson and Mr. Pat Wilson,” said McFadden. “The old S&J company that’s run by Jerry Smith now, was always a good customer. Still is.”

McFadden has served as president of both Jacksonville Rotary and the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. Other positions he has held include president of AGC Arkansas, Arkansas Association of Equipment Distributors and University of Arkansas Civil Engineering Academy. He has also been presented with the AGC Arkansas Distinguished Service and Rotary Paul Harris awards.

McFadden plans to retire soon. He and wife, Anita, have four sons: Greg, Mark, Chris and Clay. They have 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The couple will celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary on June 8.