Tony Thompon, president of Kwame Building Group (KWAME), has been paving the way for minorities and women in construction for decades.

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A solid dose of business expertise, a generous amount of relationship building, heaping quantities of grit and a healthy measurement of self-awareness are ingredients in the recipe for success of minority business enterprises (MBEs) working in St. Louis’ construction industry.

MBE firms of all sizes and specialties are woven into the fabric of St. Louis’ built environment.  While a sizable number of MBE firms got their start in connection with a major construction project, the genesis for others was a transition from the trades to the office. Still others found their path to MBE ownership via education, be it from the walls of the university or a one-on-one mentoring relationship. Many have built upon working relationships with larger first in the private sector, working on their projects.

Regardless of the avenue through which they traveled to launch an MBE firm, determination, hard work and extroversion equipped and motivated them to succeed.

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Twice each year, Kwame Building Group CEO, Tony Thompson, shares his wisdom with Executive MBA students at St. Louis University. Tony shares candid reflections and lessons learned from his decades of experience working for Fortune 500 organizations, government entities and running a successful construction management firm. 

Some of the key messages that impacted the students this semester were about breaking through barriers as an African American business owner, the importance of a ‘why’ in your business, management best practices, lessons for growing a business and the importance of giving back. 

Students provided detailed feedback about how the presentation impacted them at this important stage in their careers. 

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Photo Credit: HOK and Snow Kreilich Architects


More than 900,000 craft hours of work have been completed to date

ST. LOUIS, MO – The construction team has completed the structural steel and pre-cast phases of the St. Louis CITY SC’s state-of-the-art Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium project. The final steel beam of the stadium’s superstructure was put in place last month by the joint venture of Mortenson | Alberici | L. Keeley (MAKjv) with Kwame Building Group as the construction project manager and ownership group representative. This milestone begins to integrate the stadium into the St. Louis skyline and the growing urban landscape in Downtown St. Louis. The concrete floors on all of the decks also have been placed, marking the end of the pre-cast phase.

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Photo credit: Fentress Architects

ST. LOUIS, MO – St. Louis construction firms are invited to an informational event this Friday, September 24 to learn about bidding opportunities for the Cervantes Convention Center expansion project at The America’s Center (AC Next Gen.) The event will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Cervantes Convention Center, 701 Convention Plaza, Room 100. Guests should use the entrance at 8th Street and Washington Avenue. Contractors representing all trades are invited to attend and should pre-register at https://acnextgenproject.com/contractor-informational.

 

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ST. LOUIS, MO – Kwame Building Group has been selected as one of 12 businesses to participate in the Port of Seattle’s inaugural PortGen Accelerator program. The PortGen Accelerator works to connect minority and women-owned small businesses with the training and tools to make them more competitive in the bidding. Based in St. Louis, Kwame Building Group operates a location in Seattle to manage projects in the Northwest United States. Clients include Washington State Convention Center and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

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ST. LOUIS, MO – Kwame Foundation will host its 17th Annual Golf Tournament on Thursday, August 19, 2021 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Topgolf in Chesterfield. Proceeds will fund scholarships for students who otherwise might not attend college because of financial constraints.

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Minority participation goals for construction projects in the private sector should be achieved in the same data-driven, specialty-inclusive manner as with public-sector jobs, general contractors agree.

“Your minority participation goals are like your high school GPA,” said Tony Thompson, CEO of Kwame Building Group.  “If you expect to achieve a 4.0 when you graduate, you need to earn 4.0s every year. You can’t just wait until your senior year to make that goal.”
Thompson draws a comparison with how some contractors strategize to reach their minority participation goals on a construction project.

 

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8 project management best practices to keep projects on time & within budget

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Indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts, which may secure a construction manager for an undefined number of projects during an extended time period, are highly beneficial for owners with ongoing construction needs. IDIQs allow owners to use one construction manager for multiple projects, help the team to operate more nimbly and create management team consistency.

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