“Break all the stereotypes out there about contractors.”
Craig (Charlie) Haveson was born in Pittsburgh, PA. Grandson of the founder of Havco Construction in Trenton, New Jersey (known for restoring historic landmarks at the time), Craig learned to swing a hammer at a young age.
“As a kid, I’d visit my grandpa in the summer and watch him tear down walls to find layers of history behind them,” he reflects. “I’d ride around with his employees to see the different construction sites and absolutely loved it.”
This experience sparked Craig’s interest in construction. Spending three summers in high school volunteering to build homes for Habitat for Humanity only solidified his desire to build. After two years at University of Pittsburgh, a move out West, a semester at sea, Haveson finished his degree at Seattle University’s Albers School of Business. In 2000, two days after graduation, he started STS Construction with one goal in mind: To set the standard (STS) by breaking stereotypes in the construction industry.
“In general, people have a poor perception of construction companies,” explains Haveson. “They believe contractors are unreliable, inconsistent and often fall short of expectations. More often than not they’re right! My goal was, and still is, to break those stereotypes.”
Haveson runs his business on a self-performance model: to perform what you promise, be there to get the job done on time, and get it done right. Keeping this practice as the company’s North Star has rocketed STS from its beginning as solely a remodeling and waterproofing company in 2000 to a condominium envelope remediation, new construction residential developments and apartments projects company 20 years later. In 2014 STS also opened a branch in L.A. that focuses on amenity space tenant Improvement, new construction apartments and development services. Currently Haveson manages well over $100 million worth of projects annually.
“I’m motivated by growth. I’m a high-energy person who gets excited by what we do,” Haveson explains. “I love to see homes get transformed from awful to great, and to build something from nothing.”
With 150 employees and very little turnover, STS is one of the region’s leading construction companies today. Haveson attributes STS’s accomplishments to the quality of his employees.
“The key to our success has been our people,” reflects Haveson. “Building a team that can meet clients’ expectations is number one. I leverage the experience of my peers, and a majority of what I’ve learned over the years is simply from listening to clients and people who work with or for me.”
A husband and father of two, Haveson is also an advocate for families. In fact, he employs multiple members of the same family in many cases. Creating a great place to work is one of the company’s core values.
“We spend most of our lives at work, so we make sure our people laugh and have a good time too. I know I don’t take myself too seriously,” he smiles. “One of the favorite parts of my day is picking up my kids from school. I’m just a big kid myself, so we have a great time.”
Haveson’s vision for the future of STS is to continue to scale the company while holding tight to its values as a family-oriented company that continues to break stereotypes at every turn.