By Charlie Katz
As part of my series about the “How Business Leaders Plan To Rebuild In The Post COVID Economy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Adam Mopsick, CEO & Co-Founder of Amicon.
As CEO and Co-Founder of Amicon, Adam Mopsick utilizes nearly 30 years of dedicated construction and real estate experience to lead corporate operations and strategic growth at the firm. Adam founded the company along with Ross Adickman in 1996 with the vision of creating a construction company focused on a superior client experience and unique corporate culture based on integrity, work ethic and a team-oriented spirit.
Under Adam’s innovative leadership, Amicon has established a growing portfolio of prestigious local, national and international clients. Today, Amicon is consistently recognized as the market leader for premier general contracting services, design-build and project management in South Florida.
In 2005, Adam identified a void in the marketplace for quality client representation services and formed the entity Amicon Management — a real estate consultancy that spearheads the “owner’s representative” initiative. In addition to the construction management work already being done under Amicon, Amicon Management’s goal is to protect clients’ interests and maximize value in all of their construction and real estate ventures. As CEO, Adam has a unique vantage point and a comprehensive view of the evolving industry. This perspective fuels his vision for Amicon to be an expert advocate, to offer stakeholders an elevated standard of service and to provide end-to-end solutions.
Adam is a LEED-accredited, licensed State of Florida general contractor. Adam graduated from the University of Florida in 1993 with an undergraduate degree in finance and developed an expert knowledge of building luxury custom homes for the award-winning firm, Brookman-Fels.
He is an active member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO Miami) and graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. He pursues continuing education opportunities including the Harvard Business School Presidents program and maintains an active role in mentoring students, entrepreneurs and construction industry professionals. Adam and his wife, Helen, live in Miami Beach with their three sons, Jackson, Trent and Colton. They support the Vision for Tomorrow Foundation benefitting ocular research and Young Musicians Unite. A fitness enthusiast with a history of competing in Ironman Triathlons and other endurance events, Adam also enjoys various outdoor sports, namely fishing, boating and horseback riding.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Igraduated from college and began working as an assistant construction superintendent for luxury home builder, Brookman Fels, when I was 21 years old and earned my general contractor’s license soon after. I tried to absorb information as quickly as I could every day. At 24, I was presented with an opportunity to renovate an apartment which would allow me to earn as much money in six months on my own as I was currently earning in a year’s salary. I had no major life responsibilities at the time and not much to lose, so starting my own business didn’t seem like that great of a risk. I took a chance and hoped I could beg for my old job back if things didn’t work out. From the success of that one apartment renovation, I was able to scrape by — job by job — doing miscellaneous projects, like flooring and bathroom renovations. With the completion of each job, the next one progressively got bigger and fortunately led to the Amicon organization that exists today.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Securing that first contract for the apartment renovation was one of the proudest moments of my life. At the time, the client for that project would hand write all of the checks to the vendors and I was then responsible for paying them directly. I had no designated office space and was working out of my apartment bedroom. One afternoon, I spread all of the checks out on my bed, due to my lack of a desk, while I went to get something quickly from my car. Coincidentally, I also had a brand new puppy that I had found in the street and taken home just a week before. When I came back to my room after running out to my car, I found ALL of the vendor checks eaten and ripped apart. I had never been more embarrassed than when I had to call the client and tell him I needed him to re-write the checks. I was certain I was going to be fired, but he fortunately had a great sense of humor about it. From that moment, I learned a valuable lesson about honesty, integrity and professionalism. Bad and unfortunate things happen to everyone. All you can do is to deal with situations honestly, regardless of the outcome, and the rest will take care of itself.
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to, that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?
Early in my career, I spent most of my time working on small details rather than the big picture. I wasn’t focused on how to grow the business or my own personal growth, for that matter. It took me years to rediscover a passion for learning and how much valuable information is out there. Now I take classes, listen to podcasts and read books on business and leadership every day. There are takeaways from everything that can change your trajectory. Sometimes it only takes one thought to inspire you with something that will change your life. For example, I love topics on business (Good to Great), leadership (Dare to Lead, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and entrepreneurship (How I Built This).
Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven business” are more successful in many areas. When you started your company what was your vision, your purpose?
After years of running a traditional general contracting business, I was struck by how many clients were often misled or who wasted valuable time and money following the wrong path. Clients lacked advocacy and projects lacked leadership. Too many members within the project teams tended to look out for their own interests, and no one was looking out for the client. But I knew how Amicon could help them. As a company, we have always strived to guide clients through the complications of the construction industry, saving them both time and money. Today, Amicon’s mission is “to elevate the standard of service in the construction and real estate industry by providing expert advocacy through value creation, leadership and collaboration.”
Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?
My early mentors have always said, “it’s never as good it looks or as bad as it seems.” There is a solution to every problem and a calm, thoughtful approach is the best. Almost any time I have reacted emotionally and without thinking things through, I have regretted it.
Thank you for all that. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. For the benefit of empowering our readers, can you share with our readers a few of the personal and family related challenges you faced during this crisis? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
My wife, Helen, and I have three teenage sons. While COVID has obviously created a shock across so many aspects of life, I have seen the social impacts that the pandemic has had on my children and their classmates. We always make sure that our family understands how fortunate we are in this time. Yet, I see that children of all ages are missing important milestones in their educational and social growth.
Can you share a few of the biggest work related challenges you are facing during this pandemic? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
Amicon’s unique culture has always been one centered around collaboration and social engagement. While I am extremely proud that the standard of service to our clients has never wavered, it has been challenging to maintain the same sense of community with our employees, partners and clients. We have made a conscious effort to manage our time and focus to ensure that we’re giving important relationships around us the sensitivity and attention they need to remain engaged in the culture we’ve built — whether it be a small gesture like casually calling a client, or larger organized events like a virtual game night for employees. We have become much more deliberate in checking in with our employees of all levels to make sure they feel engaged and appreciated. All businesses are being forced to learn how to deal with this challenge in a way that best suits their organization.
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. What are a few ideas that you have used to offer support to your family and loved ones who were feeling anxious? Can you explain?
I find that having a routine helps keep me balanced. Every morning I wake up early and do some form of fitness. This anchors me and allows me to begin to face the day with a sense of accomplishment. I even have a few Zoom workouts I do with friends from around the country, which adds a social component to it. Beyond that, I think it is critical to find some other interests, outside of work, that help to clear my head.
Obviously we can’t know for certain what the Post-Covid economy will look like. But we can of course try our best to be prepared. We can reasonably assume that the Post-Covid economy will be a trying time for many people across the globe. Yet at the same time the Post-Covid growth can be a time of opportunity. Can you share a few of the opportunities that you anticipate in the Post-Covid economy?
At Amicon, we’re using this time to reorganize our business and plan for our next round of growth. With all of the changes and opportunities across multiple sectors of real estate that we are currently active in, there is a growing demand for our services. While many businesses in South Florida are experiencing reductions, others are growing and this demand for change is one that our network can adapt solutions for every type of real estate owner. This kind of adaptability requires strategic expertise. In this new economy, we are actively helping clients evaluate modifications they can do to make existing real estate spaces such as retail, restaurant and hotel experiences operational in a post-Covid world.
How do you think the COVID pandemic might permanently change the way we behave, act or live?
There will be definite changes to both the way businesses run, and the way we do business. I anticipate business becoming more local, due to the travel restrictions. Business travel has been reduced to essential travel only, therefore prohibiting our traditional travel practices. I do believe that virtual meetings are here to stay as they’ve proven to be time efficient for all parties involved. And for our industry, there will be significant changes to commercial and residential real estate, especially the office, hospitality and restaurant sectors, which is precisely what we are actively helping our clients navigate.
Considering the potential challenges and opportunities in the Post-Covid economy, what do you personally plan to do to rebuild and grow your business or organization in the Post-Covid Economy?
Historically, the construction industry lags in innovation and the client experience can be poor. However, Amicon prides itself on a forward-looking approach rooted in an understanding of client goals. We have an opportunity to transform the way business is done in our industry and drastically improve the overall client experience. Clients want efficiency and value, they always have and they always will. By offering a portfolio of services across multiple sectors, Amicon is built as a modern, full-service construction industry firm. We can reduce layers of overhead on a project and the size of our network allows for us to bring only the top, vetted professionals to each project. We are able to customize solutions specifically to a client’s needs rather than trying to force them into a service outside of our expertise.
Similarly, what would you encourage others to do?
I think it would be irresponsible not to advise all businesses to properly manage expenses and focus on surviving through the next market cycle. This is a time to reorganize and plan for the future. We are excited about what’s next for our industry and South Florida, especially.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
The essence of this quote has guided me in every aspect of my life. While there are obviously measurable goals that I strive to achieve in life and in business, my reputation and the positive effect I can have on others weighs more heavily in my barometer for success. It is my personal and professional mission to teach that to others and provide those around me with a positive experience.
How can our readers further follow your work?
@amiconmangement — Instagram
Amicon Management — LinkedIn
Amiconmangement.us — Website
Meet Amicon CEO Adam Mopsick
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