2018 was a big year for Hutton, as the Wichita-grown company underwent a name change to more accurately reflect their service offerings and expanded their footprint by acquiring a Salina-based construction firm. And 2019 looks like it will be equally as exciting as they are on track to complete $2 billion in projects since their inception in 1992. Some of their notable projects include Doc's Hangar, the Koch Industries Campus Expansion, multiple school bond projects, and renovations of Union Station, Spaghetti Works, and Naftzger Park. But what truly makes a company like Hutton impressive is how they operate with an employee-first mindset. CEO Ben Hutton shares his thoughts about this intentional method of leadership in this Member Minute.
Please tell us a little bit about your company.
We were founded in 1992 and have more than 26 years of experience in design and construction of commercial and industrial projects for clients throughout the Midwest. Hutton is headquartered in Wichita and we have offices in Garden City, McPherson and Salina. We continue to grow and have 275 total employees throughout the state. But beyond the stats of our company, we have a really special group of people who have a passion for what they do. And we do everything we can to support them. In fact, Hutton exists to build life into its employees’ dreams, clients’ vision and community’s future.
What about your organization are you most passionate?
As I mentioned, we believe our purpose is to build life into our employees’ dreams, clients’ vision and community’s future. It’s in that order for a reason: if we focus on taking great care of our people, they can focus on providing incredible customer service, which will have an impact across our community.
What do you find most valuable about Chamber membership?
We value our Chamber membership because of the influence and impact it has on our community and across Kansas. It is vitally important for businesses to be up to speed and engaged in the things happening in Wichita, Topeka and throughout the state that affect business. It is my belief that businesses have a collective responsibility for good, and the Chamber is a great avenue for that.
What is the best thing about working with businesses in the Wichita area?
Wichita is full of incredibly unique business leaders. As they grow their businesses, we serve to facilitate that success. It’s incredibly rewarding to be involved in a business’s growth and change, while learning more about those industries.
Describe a recent success/win.
We recently shortened our name from Hutton Construction to Hutton. Over our 26-year history, we’ve often worked with clients long before they were ready to build or remodel their property, and the name change was made to communicate that we’ve expanded our service offerings to encompass the entire life-cycle of facility projects – from idea through maintenance.
To what do you attribute your success?
I am only as successful as those around me. I am surrounded by great people here at Hutton, and I’ve got an awesome group of friends and advisors to help me out when I screw up!
Do you have any recent news that might interest our members?
At the end of 2018, we acquired Busboom & Rauh, a commercial and industrial construction firm in Salina, Kansas that specializes in healthcare and cold storage/food manufacturing projects. They have an extensive history of serving the Salina area and our companies have very similar values. It was a natural fit for us and bolsters our capabilities in North Central Kansas.
What is something people may not know about you or your organization?
Over the course of our almost 27 years in business, we’ve had the fortune of working with thousands of clients throughout the Midwest, and in fact, later this year we’ll pass $2 billion in completed projects as a company. It’s something we’re really proud of, and it’s fun to see how all of those projects have shaped the communities we live in.
What has Chamber membership brought to you and your organization?
The best thing the Chamber has brought to myself and my organization is the relationships we’ve built with business partners and the opportunity to provide input and influence to other local business leaders.
What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why?
The Chamber’s Honors Night, because it is such a positive event. With all of the negative news we so often hear, it is really refreshing to see people who do positive things in our communities get the recognition they deserve.
Where do you see your organization in five years?
You’ll see Hutton continuing to grow our capabilities, team and our client base. We’ll also remain focused on being active leaders in the communities where we live and work.
Favorite business app?
The Podcast App. It’s an incredible learning tool for easily accessing a variety of topics. Some of my favorites are Business Wars, Revisionist History and Planet Money.
Favorite business book or Ted Talk?
Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni – I encourage all of our leaders at Hutton to read it because it really reflects how we work with our clients.
Great By Choice by Jim Collins & Morten T. Hansen – It’s the perfect message for Wichita in that we get to choose our own destiny.
Is your company involved in any community/civic activities?
Hutton takes pride in being an active community member throughout Kansas and the communities where we work. We are involved in many different causes each year and are always interested in ways we can provide our support, especially to entrepreneurship, education, people-specific and client-related causes.