This past Friday, our team spent the afternoon celebrating long-time Bradford employee Charlie Swain as he retires from the construction industry. We took time to share stories and a few good laughs over burgers and brews at Jack Brown’s .
Charlie has been a part of the Bradford team for 19 years and has been involved in over 50 projects.
We took a few minutes to ask Charlie about his time with Bradford.
When did you start working at Bradford?
In 1997, I’ve been with the company for 19 years.
Favorite project you’ve worked on & why?
Advanced Auto, it was my first project with Bradford as a superintendent and we were able to do more of them.
Do you have any interesting stories from your time at Bradford?
This story is best told by another long-time superintendent, Brad Hobbs. While working at the 1900 Building downtown, Charlie had an interesting experience with the elevator. The original building had an old manually operated traction elevator. One day the elevator operator was sick, so Charlie volunteered. Not knowing that cranking the operating wheel builds momentum before the cab actually moves, Charlie cranked away and found himself flying to the top. To counter, he started cranking the other direction and flew back down to the bottom. When he figured out what was happening, he eased it to the nearest level, walked off the elevator, and kissed the floor. A crowd of laughter welcomed him.
Most valuable lesson to others in construction industry?
If you mess something up, try to fix it before asking for help. Don’t make it someone else’s problem. If someone asks if you can do something and you don't know how, be honest or ask questions. Don’t go ahead and make a mistake.
Why Bradford? What makes Bradford different from other companies?
Bradford is a family atmosphere. Everybody looks out for everyone else. There’s not a lot of companies out there like that. It’s somewhere where you’re not just a number. Supervisors think about their people. They’ve been good to me. The managers and Kevin have plenty to worry about, but they’re always available. The other superintendents are more than co-workers, they’re friends and family.
What do you plan on doing now that you’re retired?
Vacation with my wife, work on my ’55 Chevy and 1962 pickup & spend time with my grandkids.
Charlie, thank you for your years of hard work, your friendship & helping our company always build better! You will be missed!
The Bradford Team