Cindy McCree-Bodine is the VP of McCree Contractors and Architects, a company started by her great-great-grandfather.
McCree Contractors started with the dream of bringing the planning and building of projects together to help save clients time and money. The first company of its kind to bring contractors and architects together, McCree has thrived under the sun in Orlando, Florida.
DOZR sat down with Cindy to hear about her experience as a woman in the industry, what kind of projects McCree works on, and what she’s most proud of in her 15 years in the industry.
A Family Business
McCree Contractors is a 93-year-old, 4th generation family firm in Orlando Florida that was building up the city before Disney came around. The dream behind the McCree company is what has continued to set this company apart from others for almost a century: the blending of architecture and construction under the same roof and the same company.
Image borrowed from McCree.
“The founder had eight children and my grandfather went to Georgia Tech and came into the construction side right around World War II-era… What he found was there was an adversarial relationship between the architect and the contractor – a lot of butting heads, blaming, this and that.
What he also said was, ‘wouldn’t it be great to have a contractor involved in the beginning because you can be pricing and while drawing, do an estimate early on to see if the project is going to be in budget?’ That’s where the design-build process started.”
Being a Female Leader in Construction
As proud as she is to be seen as a female leader in a male-dominated industry, Cindy pays homage to her encouraging family for her success. The door to construction was thrown open for her from the very beginning as she spent summers working at the family company and pursued a career at McCree’s after getting a degree in education.
Cindy believes that working in a family business is a privilege. She joined McCree after 10 years of teaching and, as she said, “I never looked back.”
“I’m very fortunate that I had a family business in the construction industry that I could come into and they welcomed me with open arms. They provided me with opportunities. Not to say I didn’t work my tail off to get where I am because I did. I will tell you I think from my personal opinion, I never looked at it as ‘I’m a woman in construction’. I looked at it as ‘I’m in construction. What do I need to do to get the job done?’
When I became the first female chair of the Associated Builders and Contractors, they kind of made a big deal about the fact that I was the first woman chair. And I said, ‘you know what, I think it’s cool that I’m the first 2nd generation chair.” My dad was chair in the 70’s and I think that’s really cool. “
Your Story, Our Story
McCree is a big believer and supporter of working with companies to help them achieve their building dreams. The idea of “Your Story, Our Story” drives their business and their relationships with their clients.
“Let’s say you’re wanting to build a building and you have a business. You have started your own personal journal as a company but you’re ready now to build a building. That is your story. We want to understand our clients’ story when we’re working with them because it’s not just about hiring contractors for us, or them simply hiring an architectural firm.
Yes, we’re a business, Yes we want to do well, Yes we want to give back to the community and for our employees to thrive and do well. But we also want to help the businesses we work with thrive as well. So that’s where it’s not just our story, it’s your story too. How do we as a contractor, as an architectural firm help you with your story?
The building itself tells that story.”
What Comes Next for McCree?
Over the past 93 years, McCree Contractors and Architects has focused on being true to their beliefs, supporting the community and helping to build the stories of businesses across Orlando. Moving forward, Cindy hopes to continue to lead the company with family and culture as priorities.
The next generation and the generations after will be able to look back on what the company has built and how it has grown under the leadership of a strong female VP and a proud member of the McCree Family.
Check out the podcast to hear the rest of Cindy and McCree’s story.