People make the construction industry what it is today. GroundBreak Carolinas is excited to share the story of yet another member of the inaugural class of GroundBreakers – individuals who are shaping our industry in a variety of ways.
Steadfast, loyal to those who do right, focused, friend, above board, universally respected – all words shared by colleagues about Bill Neely, CEO of M. B. Kahn Construction Co., Inc. The Clemson University graduate joined M. B. Kahn in 1972 as a field engineer. He rose through the ranks to become President in 1993 and CEO in 1996. At every step, Neely has been resolute in his mission to build more than just buildings for the company’s hundreds of repeat clients. His honesty and hands-on approach have led to many long-term relationships with clients, teaming partners, and subcontractors over the years.
Directing one of South Carolina’s Top 20 fastest-growing companies, Neely enthusiastically promotes a family atmosphere and leads company personnel in community activities. He is known for encouraging loyalty. When he moved from the field to the office, he never lost respect for the many talented personnel who remained in the field. In fact, his straightforward support of his fellow coworkers and their families is why nearly half of M. B. Kahn’s 500+ employees have remained with the company for 15 years or more.
Spearheading an award-winning safety culture, Neely has always believed that providing a safe working environment is an absolute obligation. Through his guidance over the last 25 years, the company has been a perennial safety honoree, earning the Associated Builders and Contractors’ Gold-Level STEP (Safety Training Evaluation Program) and South Carolina LLR Palmetto Shining Star awards.
Continuously strengthening one of the state’s 20 largest privately held companies, Neely has ensured the legacy of a diversified, financially secure company. His deliberate growth choices and loyalty has led to a large bonding capacity and a 75-year relationship with Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, which is longer than that of any other U.S. construction company. Through Neely’s leadership, M. B. Kahn enjoys enviable stability in a dynamic construction industry. Daily, millions of state residents learn, shop, bank, sleep, eat, drink, play, cheer, park, cook, work, worship, are healed in, and give back within an M. B. Kahn-constructed facility.
M. B. Kahn is headquartered in Columbia, S.C., with a total of nine offices in South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia.
About GroundBreaker Awards – This annual GroundBreak Carolinas awards program was created in Fall 2018 to recognize people who are making a significant impact on the construction community in the Carolinas. Our panel of judges reviewed a pool of nominations for men and women representing the entire spectrum of our industry – architecture, engineering, construction, academia, government, economic development, real estate and more.