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Politically active from the start, Brandon Mabile was working in Washington, D.C., with no degree when he realized that in order to advance in his career, he’d have to go back to school. He headed home to Baton Rouge, graduating from Louisiana State University with a degree in communications and political science. 

There, Mabile found a job alongside his father at Performance Contractors—one of the largest heavy industrial general contractors in the country, employing more than 10,000 individuals (primarily in the Gulf Coast region). 

For two years, Mabile was a student worker and, upon graduating from LSU, he was offered a position with Performance as a craft recruiter. 

He never anticipated a career in construction, but found he absolutely loved the people he worked with at Performance. After a few years in his craft recruiter role, he moved to Texas in 2009 to become the Texas-region human resources manager. He was asked to perform business development tasks part-time, but within six months the team realized that the position warranted much more attention and moved him into a full-time role.  

In just five years, Mabile helped to take the Texas region from $40 million in annual sales to more than $500 million—just one of the reasons he’s been named Associated Builders and Contractors’ 2019 Young Professional of the Year.

“Being a part of the tremendous growth of Performance’s Texas division over the past nine years is easily my biggest professional achievement,” Mabile says. 

In 2019, Texas was the biggest division of the company—the first time any of Performance’s regional divisions surpassed the home office in Louisiana. In that time, Mabile helped to land the first three megaprojects in division history with contract values of $400 million, $450 million and, most recently, $800 million. 

“I learned that [in this role], you’re going to hear ‘no’ a lot, but you have to keep pushing through,” Mabile says. 

In addition to the tremendous growth the Texas region has seen under Mabile’s tenure, he’s also worked to ensure that Performance’s core value of safety is at the forefront of everything they do. Besides regular safety meetings, interview programs and stand downs, he proposed a “Family Night at the Ballpark” initiative to raise safety awareness on their projects, which recognizes craft workers who go above and beyond for safety with six tickets to a Houston Astros game.

“The messaging behind this program is that safety doesn’t start and stop at the turnstile. We must be safe with and for our families at work and at home,” Mabile says. 

AN ABC INNOVATOR 

As a business development manager, Mabile has taken advantage of every opportunity to speak publicly and get the company’s name out, and he credits his involvement with ABC for Performance’s rapid growth in Texas. In fact, ABC has been part of Mabile’s life from day one. His father was chairman of the ABC Pelican Chapter in the late 1990s, and he grew up attending various events and learning the merits of the merit shop philosophy. He was always impressed, realizing that ABC would give him the opportunity to give back to the industry while helping to jumpstart his career. 

ABC’s Greater Houston Chapter’s Young Professional program, founded in the early 2000s, was somewhat floundering when Mabile and a few other folks got involved and rejuvenated it. Their primary focus was interfacing with student chapters and building scholarship applications. Historically, the group received between four to seven scholarship applications each year. During Mabile’s first year in charge, they received 27. 

Sandy Lynch, vice president of public affairs and member services for ABC National, heard of the resounding success and approached Mabile to spearhead the creation of a national Young Professionals group, so he dove into that enterprise with equal aplomb.

But the Young Professionals group is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ABC involvement. He’s always been interested in politics, which has naturally led him to become a part of ABC Greater Houston’s PAC Committee. He was elected PAC chair in 2011 at age 26, serving for five years. 

In 2013, Mabile got on the chapter board of directors, becoming secretary in 2016 and, in 2018, he joined the ABC National board. Currently, he’s serving his second year as the national Free Enterprise Alliance chair and his third year as a national board member. 

“Making connections with people who have different perspectives from you is so important, and I’m so grateful ABC has afforded me the opportunity to meet folks who have become my go-to sounding boards,” Mabile says. 

Last year, four months before his 36th birthday, he was sworn in the youngest-ever board chairman of the ABC Greater Houston Chapter. “I am greatly humbled and honored by the great trust that my colleagues and peers have placed in me to lead this amazing organization,” Mabile says. 

In the near future, Mabile plans to run for regional vice chair. In the long term, he wishes to continue his involvement in FEA and become part of the membership and chapter development committees.

BEYOND THE BOARDROOM 

Considering all the ABC groups Mabile has a hand in, both at the local and national level, it wouldn’t seem possible that he could be even more civically involved—and yet, he still manages to make time for giving back to his community and engagement with young people in order to foster interest in skilled trade careers. 

From 2011 to 2013, Mabile served as ABC Greater Houston’s student chapter liaison at the University of Houston, Texas A&M and Sam Houston State University.

He is currently serving as chairman for the chapter’s education affiliate, the Construction Maintenance and Education Foundation (CMEF). As chairman, he has executive oversight of programs that provide craft training and apprenticeship to more than 3,000 students at 66 Houston area high schools, as well as more than 2,000 students at CMEF and three local community colleges. Last year, CMEF began in-house craft training and maxed out their capacity in all classes. 

“Where you can lead, you need to lead. If you have a talent or a gift, you need to put it to work,” he says.

THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY

Mabile admits that what drives him is leaving the world and the industry a better place for his three daughters, Maggie, Katie and Annie. “I would love to see this industry be a place where my daughter could turn 18 and say, ‘Dad, I want to be a welder,’ and I know she would be welcome,” he says. “I am working to make this industry more welcoming to women, and more open to all people. I am not sitting idly by to wait for this goal to be achieved by others.”

To help accomplish that goal, Mabile has spoken to more than 4,000 high school and community college students about pursuing construction as a viable career path. He’s also taken part in several professional and academic conference panels where he’s spoken about opportunities in the industry and the great need for diversity of both people and thought in construction. As chairman of ABC Greater Houston, he approved the foundation of the LOGIC women’s peer group committee, and he has spoken to that committee about the path to the board of directors at ABC.  

“For our industry to continue to be a leader on the world stage, we need the best and brightest this country has to offer. I am convinced that as this industry opens its doors to more women and people of color, we will see amazing increases in safety, innovation, quality, productivity and financial gain for the entire industry,” Mabile says. 

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