The son of an engineer, Mark Davis always wanted to be an engineer himself. “My earliest toy was a plastic version of an erector set,” he says now. “I built little buildings with it.”
Mark received a BS in Civil Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, then worked for The Chester Engineers and the Navarro and Dick Corporations. In 1983, he noticed Paul Bridges’ ad in the paper.
“Paul was getting a lot of work,” Mark remembers, “but had no employees.”
Mark answered the ad and the two met in BRIDGES’ first office. Paul explained that Merit Shops were responsible for more than 75 percent of the tri-state area’s construction, and he wanted his own company to be a Merit Shop.
“Do you want to become my first employee?” Paul asked. “If it works out, someday I’ll sell you stock in the company.” Mark agreed. He became a BRIDGES principal in 1989.
The company grew, as Mark and his wife, Jan, raised their two children. Mark attributes his own success at BRIDGES to his willingness to do ‘whatever it takes’ to get the job done, from running the estimating department to superintending to working with his hands in the field.
Once, in 1993, as they were renovating a big Walmart store, Mark and the general superintendent stopped by after dinner to check on the work. They found water from a freak storm gushing into the empty store. They stopped the leak and grabbed buckets and mops to prevent the water from ruining the carpet. They saved the entire job.
He grins. “We’re a hands-on company,” he says.
Beyond work, Mark has consistently been active on volunteer boards. He served as president for the ABC of Western PA, and also for his community’s recreational development organization. He has always been active in his church and other professional organizations such as the National Association of Industrial Office Parks.
An avid skier, he golfs whenever he can. “I have a high handicap, but I just got my second hole in one.” At the time, Mark was playing in a 2015 Pittsburgh Builders Exchange Golf Outing.
His son Nathan’s first question was, “Did you win a car?”
He did not. But his sense of accomplishment remained.
B.S. Civil Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Board of Directors – Associated Builders & Contractors of Western PA, President 1992
Board of Directors – Avonworth Community Organization for Recreational Development, President 1999-2000
Member of Session – Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon
Membership Committee – National Association of Industrial Office Parks