Meet the President: Get to Know Jerry Doherty
EDiS President Jerry Doherty spent much of the last three decades as the company’s Chief Estimator. In fact, Jerry has worked in estimating since his career began almost 40 years ago. But Jerry tells a funny story about how he, EDiS former Chief Estimator, was not hired on to estimate at all. Jerry was first hired as an Assistant Project Manager (APM) for EDiS.
“I actually interviewed at EDiS for an estimating position, and did not get the job,” Jerry says. “Fortunately, (then President) Ted Dwyer (pictured with Jerry below in 1997) saw something in me and hired me on to assist (former EDiS Operations Manager) Alan Redford on a major project he was working on at the time, Heron Point in Chestertown, MD. This job had everything – heavy infrastructure, sitework, complex HVAC and electrical, pre-manufactured elements…you name it, this job had it.” The job also included Jerry being stationed out in the field. It was a complicated first test, but Jerry was well-prepared for the challenge, having worked for eight years after college for the site development company where his father, a civil engineer, worked as the General Superintendent. He also spent several years in estimating and project management for a commercial electrical company.
Why did Jerry like this first job so much? He smiles as he says, “Well, you can say that infrastructure and MEP were kind of my thing, and I loved being stationed out in the field.”
His passion for the business started at a very early age. Jerry remembers visiting job sites with his father and brothers at nine or ten years old, and immediately taking to construction. “My dad used to take me and my brothers out on the job sites with him during the summers. We visited local sites he worked on like the Imperial Chemical (ICI) site (which became Astra Zeneca and is now Avenue North owned by Delle Donne Associates), Hagley Museum, and the Getty Oil Refinery (now PBF Energy). As teenagers, we all worked on the paving and utility crews. My dad wanted to be sure that by the end of the summer, we were all determined to go back to school and earn our degrees!” Ironically, those locations are past, current, or future EDiS projects.
For Jerry, construction stuck. “It was in my blood,” he says.
After eight years as an estimator in site/civil construction, and then three years in commercial electrical, Jerry set his sights on working for EDiS. “The EDiS reputation was, and still is, the best in the business. There was no place else I wanted to work.” Jerry had encountered EDiS several times in his early career, but one particular project stands out. EDiS was about to break ground on a new office building in Wilmington, and at the time Jerry’s company was the successful bidder for the site work. They completed the job, and a few years later when Jerry joined EDiS, he was given an office in that same building – the current EDiS Company headquarters building.
After the disappointment of not getting the open EDiS estimating position, Jerry received news that he would be joining Alan Redford’s team as an APM, which turned out to be a pivotal point in his career. He did not know it at the time, but Jerry admits that he could not have had a better pathway for his career. Under the guidance of three key leaders, Andy DiSabatino, Ted Dwyer, and Alan Redford, he had the great advantage of learning the entire business, from the field to corporate management.
“Not many people are offered the opportunity to work directly with the key decision makers throughout their career,” says Jerry. “Working with these professionals as I transitioned from project management to building an estimating department, and then to running construction operations, I always had support along the way.”
Shortly after his stint as an APM, Jerry was able to follow his passion into the cost management side of the business, where he was tasked with building an estimating department. After building a department of five full-time estimators, he was eventually elevated to Chief Estimator, then Operations Manager, and finally, to President.
So, what does Jerry hope people know about him? Jerry says that is simple: two things. “I want to be known for having a broad base of experience, and hope that people see me as someone that can guide them through the often chaotic construction process. Second, I hope that I am perceived as being fair – I have learned that you can’t always give everyone everything they want, but you can be consistent in your decisions and treat everyone with respect and fairness. EDiS Company has the reputation of providing experience and craftsmanship to our clients while treating our contractors fairly. Their actions stand that test on a regular basis. I try to conduct myself in that same way.”