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Adam Outlaw, McElroy’s project manager, recently completed the MCAA Preparatory Institute for Project Management.


Team Adam Outlaw: Gaining Knowledge and Insights

September 24, 2021

Experience is the best teacher. When you can gain from the experience of a seasoned professional, as well as the those of a wide variety of your peers – all the better. “What I liked best about MCAA’s Preparatory Institute for Project Management was that the class included about 60 people – from Boston to Hawaii,” said Adam Outlaw, McElroy’s estimator and project manager. “The course included time to share each other’s project management styles, what works and what doesn’t. It was a great way to get fresh insights I wouldn’t otherwise have.”

Certificate of Completion earned by Adam Outlaw of McElroy’s for the MCAA Preparatory Institute for Project Management.

Adam graduated from the University of Kansas with a mechanical engineering degree and worked as a copper press fittings sales rep for a couple of years. He came to McElroy’s in September, 2020 with a desire to expand his technical knowledge. Last spring, Dan Beal, McElroy’s president, asked Jimmy Thomas to help Adam get some continuing education. “I’ve taken training from the Mechanical Contractors’ Association of America (MCAA) and found it valuable,” said Jimmy, McElroy’s project manager. “In addition to reviewing fundamentals he knows, Adam would learn from people who are thinking and doing things in innovative ways.”

Pitch In and Share

“There were 12 two-hour classes over 14 weeks,” Adam explained. “Each class had about 90 minutes of instruction and 30 minutes of Q&A and discussions. We were all meeting virtually, on camera, and everyone was expected to pitch in and share.” Like Adam, all participants are mechanical contracting professionals. Project management experience varied, with some fresh out of college and some with as many as 10 years of field experience. “The variety of backgrounds and real-world examples made for very engaging discussions!”

John Koontz, Lead Instructor

John Koontz, MCAA’s director of project management education, was the lead instructor. He began his career with 15 years employed by MCAA contractors in various project management roles. A former tenured professor in Purdue University’s Department of Building Construction Management, John has been teaching since 1992. “John’s deep experience was very helpful,” said Adam. “He also brought in a variety of expert guest speakers.”

Adam Outlaw, McElroy’s project manager, knows the value of strong, efficient partnerships between office and field staff.

“We learned that the project manager’s preparation, planning and decisions are key to the success of each job,” Adam explained. “That said, the efforts of the foremen and technicians at the jobsite determine the quality of daily progress – so having a strong relationship between the office and the field is huge. That takes efficient, clear communications and expectations. Strategies, techniques and processes to create solid office-to-field partnerships were my main takeaway from the course.”

Constantly Evolving

McElroy’s ability to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations is a key reason why our organization recently celebrated our 70th anniversary. “Since those expectations are constantly evolving, we are too,” said Dan. “Helping employees like Adam to gain new insights from MCAA experts and peers across America is one way we maintain our innovative edge.” From our engineers and project managers to our expert field staff, you can count on McElroy’s to continually be upping our game to meet our customers’ needs!

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