We caught up with Brick & Wonder members Eric and Amanda Baxter, the second generation team behind R.L. Baxter Building Corp., an in-demand construction company in the Hudson Valley. Baxter was founded by Eric and Amanda Baxter’s father, Robert Baxter in 1983. When Eric Baxter joined the company as a Project Manager in 2010, the company employed 10 people and brought in just under $750k in revenue. Eight years later, the team is now 70-strong and on pace to deliver $30M in sales in 2018.
We asked Eric what he sees as the strength he brings to the business. “We’ve really put emphasis on creating a fun, competitive culture throughout the company because it not only attracts the top talent in the area but assists in team building. This culture breeds a sense of camaraderie where every employee enjoys coming to work and strives to make Baxter the best in the area.”
We are investing and partnering with professionals who exemplify the utmost talent in their field.
Though Eric first gained experience working for the firm aged 15 (“I needed a summer job!”), Amanda was more reluctant to join the family business. “Once I set off to college I convinced myself that construction was far too masculine for me and that I wanted to do something where I could live in NYC, wear high fashion suits and designer heels to work every day,” Amanda explained. “After two years in NYC and several cheap suits from H&M, I set out to self- discover. I found myself remembering my father’s speeches of how hard he worked to get where he was. He said he only wanted myself or my brother to join the business if we were going to bring something different to the table. Anyone who knows me understands: I’m always up for a challenge, so why not see what this industry is about? It only took two months being part of the Baxter team to know I loved it.”
Amanda left graduate school to begin shadowing her father, discovering an inner creativity that led her to build out an interior design offering within the firm. “In addition to expanding the design-build team we’ve evolved into a much more sophisticated company, using cutting edge technology and management strategies to produce the best service for our clients,” Amanda said.
Though they’ve played different roles in taking the firm to new heights, Amanda and Eric both share the feeling that the most rewarding projects are those that make an impact in their local community. “Whether the project changes the landscape of a neighborhood, creates new jobs, or becomes an establishment where people go to enjoy themselves, it becomes a project I really want to put my energy into,” Eric explained.
Looking toward the company’s future, Amanda also spoke of Baxter’s goal of forming long term partnerships with talented colleagues to deliver growth. “We are investing and partnering with professionals who exemplify the utmost talent in their field. As a result we’ve been able to work with, and learn from, some incredibly skilled individuals. This strategy has created opportunities to build and develop influential projects in our area, acting as a catalyst for growth and allowing us to take on even more exciting projects. Ultimately, this method allows us to do what we do best: build!”