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As the son of Perry Contracting, Inc. Owner Jim Perry, it’s safe to say construction is in Luke Perry’s blood. “Like it or not,” he says, “being the owner’s son comes with a stigma—and often not a positive one. Both my father and I knew that gaining and keeping the respect of employees would be the most important thing I could do as I worked toward a leadership position in the company.”

His career plan, which started when he was a freshman in high school, kept this goal in mind. “I was doing grunt work, demolition and clean up with the field guys to show I was not afraid of hard work or getting dirty. I worked in the field every summer until I graduated college.” To further prove himself, his father required him to do a five-year stint with a different general contractor to cut his teeth and hone his professional skills. 

As a project manager for Clark Construction, Perry worked on the Bethesda Naval Hospital project for four years, where he led interior renovations of the existing hospital. “The level of care required in medical construction work is incredible and, as the contractor, you are where the buck stops,” he says.

The biggest advantage to his time working for another contractor, Perry believes, is the credibility it gave him with the team at Perry Contracting. “At this time, I do believe I have gained the respect of my colleagues. I have proven myself capable and have completed many successful projects with our team. The mission now is to keep and grow that respect as ownership of the business continues to transfer from one generation to the next.”


Tom Weathers remembers the surreal experience of walking across the stage to receive his bachelor’s of art and design degree at MIT as if it were yesterday. Prior to that moment, he says, “I wasn’t fully convinced I belonged or that I would pass the rigorous course work.” Despite failing two classes his freshman year, Weathers turned things around, earning straight As and the backing of a professor who so believed in him that he lobbied for him to receive the financial aid needed to continue his journey. That same tenacity has led to Weathers being named a finalist for ABC’s Young Professional of the Year award.

In his more than 16 years working for two different general contractors, Weathers has managed a variety of unique projects, including the careful restoration of the Dana Palmer House—circa 1821—for Harvard University; a complete renovation of the 4-star Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans (while occupied); and the ground-up Cambria Hotel in New Orleans, an Eagle Award recipient and Productivity Award winner in the 29th Annual ABC National Excellence in Construction® Awards.

Yet despite all this, Weathers says his biggest accomplishment is his role as a a change agent who leads the New Orleans Community of Practice for the Lean Construction Institute, which brings lean training and networking opportunities to local ABC members and other industry stakeholders. 
He credits ABC and other organizations with continuing to support his personal and professional development and enabling him to lead others in the same pursuit of excellence. 

“I am energized by seeing those whom I mentor thrive. I look forward to continuing those efforts and building on past successes and pitfalls.”


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