Mark Webster, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at MacDonald-Miller is featured board member in the Sheet Metal Journal of Western Washington – Summer Issue 2019:
Meet the Board: Mark Webster, Director
Executive VP and COO, MacDonald-Miller
Mark Webster is a director with the SMACNA-Western Washington board, serving his third two-year term. He also serves a president of the Mechanical Contractors’ Association (MCA) in Western Washington and sits on and is past-chair of the Industry Advisory Council at the University of Washington.
Webster has been with MacDonald-Miller for 34 of his 37 years in the sheet metal industry. MacDonald-Miller is a full-service mechanical contractor servicing the Western Washington area with a specialty in downtown construction, hospitals, tenant work, and service.
He started out putting his mechanical engineering degree to good use as a consultant, when Mac-Miller contacted him with an opening. He went to work for the company and has never looked back.
“I like the people in the industry, and I like learning new things,” Webster says. “And I like building things and so all those things go together in this job. I have been very fortunate to have many different positions at MacDonald-Miller and opportunities to learn many things.”
As Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer COO, Webster has an important perspective on what makes a company successful. “If you are not building projects in the company, you are building people,” he says. “And that is even more important than the projects. They deserve as much or more attention and quality of your time than any project.”
He has seen many changes, challenges, and opportunities unfold in the sheet metal industry over the years, not the least of which is the demand for more complicated projects in less time than ever.
“Thankfully, we have the technology to help achieve these projects,” he says. “I think the technology is both a challenge and an opportunity because it can be immensely helpful, but challenging to know when to incorporate it so it makes the company better and not because it is the latest and greatest.”
Tying in with the rise of technology is the influx of young people to the industry—a trend Webster says is the biggest opportunity moving forward. “The younger people coming into our industry are very smart, hard working, and driven to be successful,” he says. “All of us need to understand how to tap into that talent, because what they are looking for isn’t necessarily the same as what we were looking for. Every generation needs to learn what motivates the next. It’s going to be a big opportunity to see where these bright young people are going to take our industry.”
As the industry moves forward into its bright future, SMACNA will have three important roles, Webster says. “The first is to continue to attract young people and make opportunities available to them,” he says. “Next, we must continue to develop a good relationship with labor because they are on the same team, and if we are both focused on the problem we will both be more powerful than working against each other. Finally, we must become better today than we were yesterday by always working on improving and being better and never being satisfied.”
This last point is an important part of what Webster hopes to bring to the industry and make his mission during his time on the board. “I would say my personal mission is to make us be better tomorrow than we are today,” he says. “I am going to work with labor to develop a good working relationship, and I want to make sure we set goals and objectives in SMACNA that will truly make SMANCA and our industry better. I also want to make sure we get the right people working on those goals and objectives.”
“I’m very grateful for the career I have and that I’ve been afforded a lot of great opportunities,” he adds. “I want the next generation to have all of those and more.”