Celebrating lifelong careers at Mackenzie Construction

Over the years our business has changed but one thing that’s remained steady is our commitment to people and promoting from within. One person who’s been there through the changes is Contracts Manager, Greg Deehan. He shares,

“I started in 1996 as a Trainee Engineer and I remember even from those early years there’s always been regular news of promotions from within the business so it’s not a new concept. We’ve always been aware that if we work hard the opportunity to progress is there.”

Greg, who was promoted earlier this year into the role of Contracts Manager, has moved up through various roles in the business and was always motivated knowing there was the opportunity to progress. He said,

“Mark Wilson (Construction Director) started a few years before me and I saw him progressing through the same route that I could take so this always kept me focused and looking ahead to the next step.”

In 2022, the business has made a number of notable promotions, including those of former foremen Ritchie Bennett and Tam Baird into the newly created role of Site Manager. Both men have been in the business for over 30 years and have played a big role in ensuring safety and quality standards are maintained on our sites whilst passing their knowledge and skills onto our younger generation. Their hard work and dedication has seen the business move them into management roles where they will now have the responsibility of managing a wider remit of sites and ensuring standards are upheld by all of our site teams and subcontractors.

Ritchie joined Mackenzie Construction from school, starting out as a Labourer specialising in cement finishing and worked on the tools for around 10 years before moving into the role of Foreman. He shared,

“At that stage I felt ready to take the next step and wasn’t sure if there was a position for me. When I spoke with management they listened and promoted me into that role, so I respect them as an employer for giving people the chance when they think they are ready for the next step.”

Tam, who also started out in the business as a Labourer, believes this newly created role will motivate the younger foremen in the team, he shared,

“I’ve had three or four guys work under me that have come up to foreman level and now they’ve seen me being promoted into this position and that the opportunity is there, hopefully it will give them a new incentive and something to aim for.”

With both Ritchie and Tam having previously reached the highest foreman level there was no clear route for progression which, with the creation of this new role, is no longer the case. Ritchie shared,

“With the Foreman role, once you’d reached the top level there was nowhere further to go but with the creation of the new Site Manager position the younger foremen are going to realise there’s another step up. It’s also provided another route into a management role without needing the academic qualifications – this route isn’t for everyone, especially with site-based roles where we tend to prefer to be very hands on.”

For Greg, Ritchie and Tam, the step up to the next level has also seen them move further into mentor roles for our younger generation. Greg shares how the mentors in the early stage of his career helped shape him into who he is today,

“I’ve had various mentors over the years, all with different management styles and I learnt a lot from that which I now take into my own management role.

“One of these was Finlay Niven who was completely ahead of his time in regard to setting out. I tried to take on board all of his skills and knowledge as well as his approach in embracing new ways of working.”

Now, having come up through the ranks, Greg is in a strong position to coach our young people. He said,

“I’ve been in their exact shoes so I do find it easier to mentor our younger people. As I’ve come through the business I know what is expected at each level and there has always been very high standards. I try to instil this work and quality ethic into the next generation as well as our safety, quality and service values that we always strive to achieve.”

Tam believes that for our young people to succeed they need to be committed to their learning and development. He shares,

“I’ve always taken the time out to teach anyone who is willing to learn and who will give me the time back. Mostly they do as they know without that commitment they are going to struggle to progress.

“I think if someone knows that in their role there is another goal to reach they’re not only going to do their best for the business but also for themselves.”

Greg, Ritchie and Tam have all progressed their careers at Mackenzie Construction and demonstrated years of hard work and commitment to the business, our clients and their fellow colleagues. When asked what’s kept him in the business for all these years, Ritchie shares,

“Every day is different, and every day is a school day. With any new job there’s a new approach which gives you a challenge and keeps things fresh.”

Greg echoes this, sharing,

“The main thing is the variety of work. We work across a wide range of heavy civils, bridges, roads, water tanks – every job is different.”

He added,

“The people also make Mackenzie Construction what it is. There’s a lot of good people in the business and they become your friends rather than just colleagues. Teamwork is at the core of our business and our successes and failures are shared as a team – everyone knows we’re all in this together.”

We’d like to extend a big congratulations to all our people who have received well-deserved promotions this year.

Mark Wilson: Construction Director   |  Alan Montgomery: Contracts Director   |  Greg Deehan: Contracts Manager

John Hollocks: Water Manager   |   Raymond Bennett: Senior Estimator   |  Stuart MacNicol: Project Manager

Jonathan Hall: Project Manager  |  Chris Magee: Project Manager   |   Ritchie Bennett: Site Manager

Tam Baird: Site Manager   |  Paul Dunne: Site Agent   |  Kevin Houston: Site Agent

Thomas McGuigan: Senior Contracts Engineer  |   Keir Adrian: Senior Contracts Engineer  |  Bernard Lee: Contracts Engineer

Greg Williams: Contracts Engineer  |  Yusuf Williams: Contracts Engineer