Hill & Wilkinson is known for having a work culture that cares about its employees. With company values that prioritize respect, quality, safety, commitment, training, fun, and community, everything we do is focused on the people we work for and with each day. This is reflected in the fact that H&W is repeatedly named a top/best place to work, with the most recent being ranked #5 on both the Dallas Morning News Top 100 Places to Work and the Dallas Business Journal’s Top 10 Best Places to Work.
But the depth of a company’s culture only holds as much importance as the depth of character of those who are leading it. That is why we are so proud to share that our CEO, Paul Driscoll, was named Top Midsize Company Leader by the Dallas Morning News!
Paul has been at Hill & Wilkinson for almost 40 years, and he has been CEO for the last 12. His leadership has been marked by integrity, thoughtfulness, patience, and care. These words come directly from the people that he leads.
Cindy Cox, VP of Field Operations Accounting, has worked at Hill & Wilkinson for 42 years. When asked about Paul’s leadership qualities, she said his integrity is most admirable. “He is always fair and never judgmental,” she said.
“He is the epitome of the H&W Way and our values, and he truly believes in continuing and backing our culture.”
Camille Haley has been at H&W for 17 years and is VP of Human Resources. She recognized how Paul always puts the team above himself. “Paul is the epitome of a servant leader,” she said. “In every aspect of his leadership style, he continues to put the employees first, which is why he is so highly respected at H&W and in the industry.” Being in HR, Camille has a behind-the-scenes perspective on the health of H&W’s culture and notes how much Paul has contributed to its growth.
“Paul has dedicated almost 40 years to H&W; in that time he has seen the company grow from 25 to over 300 employees. The culture has naturally shifted through these decades. Paul has been a steady leader focused on honoring our core values while being open to change within the culture to meet the needs of employees’ best interest along with the success of the business.”
COO Mike Oswald has been a part of the H&W family for almost 19 years. He admires Paul’s poise and composure. “He is patient with business, people, and life,” he said. “It teaches you to slow down a little.” Mike’s personal experience with Paul when he first came to H&W was instrumental in ending up where he is today.
“I’ve known Paul since I was 21 years old. In many ways, he became a father figure for me due to how far I moved away from home to be at H&W. I think both of us have grown so much together over the years and we continue to challenge each other to this day. I don’t think I recognized it at the time, but his leadership style and subtleness of his delivery has been exactly what I’ve needed over the years to continue to grow within the walls of H&W.”
We got the chance to hear from Paul directly about his time at H&W and how it shaped him personally and professionally.
What has been your favorite part about working at Hill & Wilkinson?
It’s got to be seeing our people succeed. Either the success of internal promotions and/or the success on their personal side (like weddings, children, sports, etc.). I love to see the growth of our folks.
What’s something unexpected that you’ve enjoyed in this position?
How much our executive team is on the same page. I guess this group’s combined years of H&W service makes us united on many fronts and compatible on many decisions and opportunities.
What is the most valuable leadership skill/quality you’ve learned while working here?
Making the work environment “fun.” The construction business is tough enough on its own and there is no need to make our workplace something you don’t want to get out of bed for.
Who has had the greatest impact on you personally and professionally while working here? Why?
Greg & Fritz. They have both taught me how important it is to live and lead by our company values and to always do the right thing.
How do you think a company’s culture influences a company’s success?
Culture is everything! One of our company values is “culture trumps everything,” and I truly believe that our success over the years has been due to our culture.
What makes your job worthwhile?
Seeing our employees succeed. I love it when our employees live by our values! For example, when they volunteer to help in our communities.
If you could give one piece of advice to a brand-new CEO of a company, what would it be?
One would be to not take yourself too seriously. The other would be that when making decisions, always think about if there is any potential collateral damage before implementing.
In what ways are you determined to leave this company better than you found it through this position?
Financial Strength: Having the ability to build any size and/or type of work that our owners want us to do.
Strategic Plan: Being more disciplined to work on our strategic initiatives for growth.
What do you hope people remember that you contributed to H&W?
As a company grows, the culture becomes more at risk. I have worked very hard on growing our culture alongside the growth of our business.
We are incredibly thankful for Paul and his dedication to serving our employees and clients with kindness and integrity. In the words of Cindy, who has been here since Paul’s first days at the company, “Paul is absolutely the best boss anyone could ever hope to have!”