SALT Construction Management Takes on Cutting Edge Industries with the TeeHC Open
SALT Construction Management, Inc., or SALT CM, was founded by Thomas O. McCormick to bring more strategy and leadership to the construction industry.
With over 30 years of experience, Tom built a full-service, national general contractor and construction management firm to serve cutting-edge industries, such as cannabis, retail, and mission-critical markets.
Each and every project undertaken by SALT CM is driven by a dedicated success team. With this white-glove approach, SALT CM has built a phenomenal reputation for integrity and quality – and we are proud to have them as one of our main sponsors of the annual TeeHC Open.
We sat down with Tom McCormick of SALT CM to chat about the brand’s journey in business and the importance of networking.
What inspired you to start SALT Construction Management, Inc.?
When Tom was beginning his career as a carpenter, he knew he didn’t want to be working himself into the ground for someone else. He always had a mentality around making it by himself and creating something of his own.
As he started to build up his experience, he began a few businesses that eventually morphed into the foundation of what is now known as SALT Construction Management, Inc. Whether it was a side business or actively working on full-time projects, Tom remained committed to his goal.
After getting several years of construction consultancy under his belt along with hands-on experience with construction, Tom was approached by a client that wanted his help to fill in the gaps that were left by employee time off, such as sabbaticals or maternity leaves.
From there, Tom began building the SALT Construction Management brand. Because of his relationships in the industry, he was able to grow his business steadily over time and identify key specializations.
In particular, SALT CM began to work intimately in retail and data warehousing industries and quickly pivoted the brand to emphasize strategy. In fact, the name itself is an acronym for Strategy And Leadership Team.
As in, SALT is the team player you need to get the job done. In Tom’s own words, he says, “We have the ability to lead the project from conception to completion.”
With this specialized clientele, Tom and his team came to understand the industry-specific regulations and best practices that allowed him to expand into more innovative industries, including cannabis.
“We try to be a leader in the industry so we continue to learn and educate others as we grow,” says Tom
Dispensaries, in particular, have very unique setups that can be deeply troublesome to new cannabis business owners. Similarly, cannabis grow operations have highly specific regulations and timeframes that echo data warehouse spaces.
“Whether it’s apparel or cannabis, we understand the proper building requirements within a construction project.” For Tom and SALT, it’s not just about building what is requested; it’s about adhering to the specifications, timeframes, and budgets of each industry.
What helped you grow the most in your first few years of business?
Tom did not hesitate to answer this: “My word and the integrity that stands behind that.” Whether it’s showing up on time or sticking to the time frame or budget of a project, Tom has prioritized establishing trust through his work ethic since the beginning of his career.
He recalls that when he was first starting out, he would ask others in the industry how they became so successful. One connection said, “your word is your bond,” and this stuck with Tom from that day forward.
According to him, integrity is critical in building long-lasting relationships with clientele. Not only as the owner of the company does he have a financial and legal responsibility to be honest, but it’s also essential to his client’s projects that they complete the work as agreed.
A project’s success is measured based on reaching those small milestones, and developing relationships with clients helps everything go smoothly. It’s an enormous factor in business as well as in your personal life.
“We build trust on every single project,” says Tom. “And that gets you to the next level, the next project, the next client.”
How important is networking to your organization?
“Networking is probably my lifeline,” says Tom. He mentions that when he was a carpenter, his answer would be very different, that his essential tools were actual tools: a tape measure, a hammer, and so on.
“As a business owner, networking is the most important piece of my business.” Networking mitigates risk. There’s a lot at stake when you have to quickly pull in new resources to get a project done. Grabbing someone from the yellow pages doesn’t cut it.
Whether it’s for construction-specific insight, such as plumber recommendations in a new service area, or more broad advice, such as for marketing, Tom finds networking to be a key ingredient in the bread and butter of his business. “That web is so incredible, and the more I grow, the more potent I think that network is.”
There’s a domino effect in both a positive and negative way. You could burn bridges and lose access to wildly intelligent people in any industry, or you could build really meaningful connections and have incredible people fulfill your professional and personal life.
“I’ve made so many incredible friends through my professional network.”
For Tom, the key is to not be transactional when networking. When you look for something in return, you can never build a real connection with anyone, and unfortunately, that’s how many networking events turn out.
However, when you approach networking with more authenticity, you can really attract people into your network that are in alignment with your own values.
What’s your best piece of advice for other entrepreneurs?
“Keep your word. Go out and do it, try it. The worst thing that can happen is you’re in the same place you’re in now. The most important thing, though, as I said before, is to keep your word and have strong ethics and integrity. You can’t go wrong. It will attract other quality people in which you can surround yourself. It’ll increase the value of who you are, and take your associates with you as you go.”
Connect with SALT Construction at the TeeHC Open
Tom has no plans of slowing down when it comes to entering cutting-edge spaces.
SALT Construction has been officially contracted by the State of New York to be one of only 10 hand-selected firms available to social equity licensees for design-build contracts as New York enters the recreational cannabis market.
It takes a lot of capital to enter the cannabis industry, and social equity applicants deserve to fully own and operate their businesses without that burden. As it aligns with Tom’s personal values, he is looking forward to helping pioneer the New York recreational cannabis industry.
As one of our key sponsors of the TeeHC Open, both Tom and his team from SALT are active attendees. When you register to attend, you will get the opportunity to meet innovative minds like his (and more!).
Much like how Tom remained authentic in building relationships to grow his business, you and your team will have the same opportunity at the upcoming TeeHC Open.