Robert J. Fitzgerald
Bob Fitzgerald enjoys working for himself. A native Pittsburgher, he spent three years studying at the University of Pittsburgh while working on roofing projects during the summers. He began his career in 1979 with his own construction company, renovating homes for clients and building new ones. In 1985, he founded Dicar Corporation, focusing on commercial interior construction, while he broadened his learning base. In 1995, he accepted a job as estimator and project manager for the Magnum Construction Company.
Bob claims that his grandfather inspired him to work for himself. “I spent a lot of time as a teenager with my grandfather,” he says. “He was an anesthesiologist and chief of staff at St. Francis Hospital, but he was an inventor too. He invented anti-static products and procedures to prevent fires that often sparked in operating rooms, even from static electricity or the use of ether and oxygen in patients. He also worked with 3M in developing new kinds of bandages. He liked working for himself.”
In 1999, Bob learned that BRIDGES, swamped with work, had an opening for an estimator. He left Magnum Construction to take the job, with the possibility of one day becoming a principal. He went on to become a project manager for BRIDGES and, in 2010, became one of the five principals at Bridges & Company.
He was again working for himself.
As part of BRIDGES, Bob oversees operations, and does occasional estimating. He has initiated various training programs for field employees. To keep ahead of the competition,” he says, “we need trained personnel, especially in safety and areas such as electronic communications.”
Bob notes that twenty years ago, BRIDGES would get bids from 50 contractors. “We’d have to send everyone a drawing. Rolls of drawings filled the room, and then we’d have to mail them all. Today,” he says, “we send a link to an FTP site and contractors get the drawings in seconds.”
Yet BRIDGES’ core values remain. “No matter how much the forms of communications change,” Bob says, “we’re still the same company. We keep in touch with our clients. We do what we say we’ll do, and we do it well.”
When Bob’s first wife died in 1986, their daughter, Caitlin, was only three years old, and Bob spent the next 20 years raising her. In 2008, he married his current wife, Peggy, with whom he has two stepchildren. He likes the outdoors, and golfs, bikes and canoes when possible. He and Peggy take camping trips to West Virginia and the Shenandoah National Forest.
“But,” Bob notes, “there’s not always time for camping trips when you work for yourself.”
Associated Builders and Contractors , Member of the Board of Directors Pittsburgh Builders Exchange Member Allegheny Business Network Member Braddock Historical Preservation Society Member MCCI – Estimating and Administration Certification FMI Corp – Estimating Certification