At Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, the motto is “building communities,” and that begins right within its office walls. David Reed, Executive Vice President, Business Development and Governmental Affairs, of the Montgomery-based architecture and engineering firm, has long built up and supported other team members, helping them reach their full potential. Reed is now passing the local leadership torch to Campbell, who says he’s excited to step into his new role and honored to keep Reed’s legacy of employee development alive.
Share the details of the new titles and duties the two of you are taking on at GMC in Montgomery.
David: Cedric is now Executive Vice President of the Montgomery office, and that means he’s taking on the leadership of this office, which includes west Alabama, up to Clanton, Auburn and down into the Wiregrass area. I will no longer be handling the administrative functions; he will. But I’m not retiring. My title is now Executive Vice President, Business Development and Governmental Affairs, and I’ll continue my community affairs duties, serving as a liaison with the city and county, staying active with the Chamber, helping with economic development, and keeping a focus on the strategic growth of our business.
Cedric: Of course, we’ll both still have our engineering work to handle too. For me that’s in property development and the public sector.
What do you love about what you do?
Cedric: Seeing a project come to fruition and making a difference in lives. There are some areas in our coverage that still don’t have palatable water. Bringing something as basic as water to folks, that is near and dear to my heart. And then on the other side of the spectrum, you have a project like EastChase. That was just raw land, and now look at it. So, I like both sides, helping underserved areas and seeing these projects with huge growth.
David: I love being an engineer and also a land surveyor. It’s in my blood. My family goes back multiple generations in the same profession. My father was chief engineer at the Department of Conservation, and I got to see many of our state parks being built. I’ve just always loved seeing dirt moved, seeing pipes going in the ground. Today, I also really enjoy the economic development side of what we do: building neighborhoods and helping shopping centers go up, working closely with the Chamber and the community on projects like HMMA. It’s been great to see the community grow and thrive due to the success of these projects and to see new people come here because of them. And I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing a part in building this company, assisting and mentoring the young engineers coming in here as they learn how to be a good engineer and develop good business practices. GMC has grown about 700 percent in the last 20 years. That has been very rewarding.
Cedric: I agree with David. The growth at GMC has been amazing. We’ve gone from Mr. Goodwyn starting all this in 1965 by going to the unemployment office and asking two guys if they wanted to learn land surveying to having almost 700 employees overall. I also love working with our clients. We are the face of the company to them, so it is important for us to be successful as individuals in that role, but it is great to have this huge company support behind each of us too.
What is your impression of Montgomery’s current heading?
Cedric: Like we have, the city has and is undergoing a transition. There is a lot of positive energy now, and I think we are on the right path for 2020 and beyond. There seems to be more people coming and staying, and that was not always the case. I’m excited to see Mayor Reed continue the success of former Mayor Strange and build on it.
David: It is critical now that we continue moving ahead. Good progress has already been made, but if we continue to improve our school system, we will be at the top of everything in the state. We can’t take a step back on that; it is a detail that matters in a major way.
Why do you both support the Chamber so strongly?
David: The Chamber is the link between the growth of city and the wellbeing of citizens; they link the city and county and state. As long as the Chamber stays strong, I think Montgomery stays strong. Look at all the things happening with the Air Force and MGMWERX and all the smart city initiatives downtown. The Chamber is at the forefront of much of that; the Chamber was at the forefront of much of the downtown renaissance to make it an area we can all be proud of and actually use. And then there’s the F-35; we still haven’t grasped of all of its positive effects, and the Chamber was a huge part of that.
Cedric: I’m on the Chamber board and really happy to see how well the Chamber understands and supports Maxwell-Gunter AFB; the Chamber is focused on that relationship and that benefits everyone here.
You’re both Montgomery natives. Where do you hope to see your hometown in 10 years?
David: I’d love for people looking to come to Montgomery to look at it as a city that has a real sense of place, a city that has an atmosphere and environment where they can say, “I want my kids to grow up here. We feel welcomed here. My kids can get a great education here and can come back here to live.”
Cedric: I’d like to see the perception of two things improved: education and public safety. That would entice more people and entities to come here. I don’t think things are actually as bad on either front as they sometimes seem. But we can’t get complacent; for more improvements, we need to get everyone involved and collaborating on these issues.
What are your interests outside of work?
David: I love being on my farm. I’m trying to create a good quail habitat there, and I do a lot of plowing, planting and bush hogging. I like driving large equipment! I also work with bird dogs and love that. I love quail hunting and fly fishing. And I enjoy going to the lake and spending time with my family.
Cedric: I like being outdoors as well, and I like to hunt, but I like the social aspect more than the actual hunting. I have a strong passion for golf too.
“There are three points to success: Take care of your clients; work like hell; and watch your bottom line. Everything else will take care of itself. It really is that simple.” - David Reed