Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee Board President Matt Tadisch has a year to make positive changes, but the time can go by fast for someone in his position.
The association announced in late January that Tadisch will serve as the new board president, stepping in for Scott Heberlein of Mortenson. The organization elects a new board president each year and they are tasked with growing organization membership, attracting new talent to the industry and representing its members’ interests in politics.
Though his roots are in the Green Bay area, Tadisch has served as the president and CEO of Wauwatosa-based Selzer-Ornst for six years and lectured at the Milwaukee School of Engineering for 12 years. He said he’s met tremendous people while working in Milwaukee redevelopment and served on the board for Real Estate Alliance for Charity and Revitalize Milwaukee.
Tadisch said his vision includes continuing to support members politically with issues like permitting, fostering the future with enhanced safety and building a future workforce both in the office and on job sites.
The Daily Reporter: Tell me about your new role and how you’re settling in.
Matt Tadisch: In reference to the AGC, we had our first board meeting on Thursday. It’s interesting, you look at a position and say, “We have a year to make some positive changes,” and unfortunately that seems to go by way faster than you expect. So I’m diving into the different initiatives of what we have, which is doing what’s in the best interest of our members. We appreciate what Scott Heberlein has done for us in the past and want to continue to move forward.
TDR: Can you tell me about your experience with Selzer-Ornst?
Tadisch: I took over the organization at Selzer-Ornst almost six years ago. I was blessed with the opportunity to take over as the CEO and president. That’s been an upward trajectory, where we have taken an organization to the next level and built a team of now 58 people. It’s a humbling experience and a little bit stressful to make sure we can provide for 58 different families.
TDR: What was your experience with REACH and Revitalize Milwaukee like?
Tadisch: One of our big initiatives globally is about giving back to our community and being the fabric of our community. So, we lend insight, connections and expertise to both Real Estate Alliance for Charity and Revitalize Milwaukee, which help families do home improvements who can’t afford it. We’re continuing to support it and lend a hand as much as possible.
TDR: What is one key takeaway you had after working in Milwaukee?
Tadisch: There are tremendous people out there trying to do good for the world we live in and it’s exciting to meet those people and work with them, see their view of the world and continue to make a positive impact.
TDR: How was your work as a lecturer for MSOE? What hopes do you have for students?
Tadisch: It’s fun and humbling to get in front of the classroom. I’ve done it for 12 years now, but the focus stays the same: This is about giving back to the community. To teach those students and help them learn from my mistakes as much as I possibly can. Every time I teach I try to improve the class and connect with students individually, which isn’t easy to do. Hopefully, those students become better as they enter the industry.
TDR: Can you tell me about your commitment to safety in construction and dealing with issues like mental health?
Tadisch: Mental health is one of those things we continue to talk about in safety and how we can make sure people can go home at the end of the workday. As we continued our research, I went to a national convention where they talked about mental health in the construction industry. We’re first and foremost an industry where you must have a tough individual mentality, so it doesn’t enable us to be candid and have a conversation when we’re hurting and we’re struggling.
We also have many outside factors. We are a service industry, so it’s about very intense and stressful client demands. It comes back to not only mental fatigue, but there’s also physical fatigue. People get hurt, strained and use their bodies to put work in place. All those factors make us one of the industries most prevalent for mental health challenges. If we’re truly concerned about taking care of individuals, it’s not just about giving them hard hats and safety glasses, it’s caring for their well-being physically and mentally.