Pin on Pinterest

McCarthy Holdings, Inc., is kicking off its 150th anniversary celebration this month, firmly cementing the company as one of the oldest American-owned construction companies with offices nationally. McCarthy’s work in Texas dates back 35 years with offices in Dallas and Houston and projects throughout the state. Founded as a family-owned business in 1864 during the height of the Civil War, McCarthy is now the nation’s eighth largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2013) with 2013 revenues exceeding $3 billion.

“When McCarthy began, the focus was on serving customers in the local community and building with the highest quality,” explained McCarthy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Bolen. “The same principles that helped get the business off the ground in 1864 still guide us today: a focus on meeting each client’s needs, a willingness to work hard together to bring exceptional value to every project, and genuine people committed to improving people’s lives.”

Founded by Irish immigrant Timothy McCarthy, the building company began as a lumber business focusing on constructing farmhouses and barns around Ann Arbor, Mich. Three of the founder’s children went into the family business, and in 1907, incorporated the firm in Missouri. 

Over the next 50 years, the company completed projects at the World’s Fair in San Francisco, in Alaska and in the Panama Canal Zone, building a thriving business through two World Wars, the Great Depression and decades of civil unrest. In the 1970s, McCarthy began its ascent to national prominence in healthcare construction management, as well as becoming the nation’s largest design-build parking structure builder. In 1984, Michael M. McCarthy, great grandson of company founder Timothy McCarthy, assumed the position of chairman of the board and went on to lead McCarthy’s continued growth in healthcare and further expansion into the semiconductor, biopharmaceutical, educational, R&D and general manufacturing markets, with the company becoming a major player in each. 

In the 1990s, the company continued to expand with a focus on tackling the most complex construction challenges, becoming a national leader in the science & technology, laboratory and water treatment markets. In 1996, the McCarthy Employee Stock Ownership Plan was created, and on April 12, 2002, Michael McCarthy sold his majority ownership interest in the company to its employees. He was the final family member to have an ownership interest in the firm. Today, McCarthy is structured as an S corporation employee stock ownership plan (S ESOP) with more than 1,700 salaried employee-owners, positioning the company as one of the largest employee-owned companies with this structure in America.

Throughout the 2000s, the company continued to respond to changing client needs, becoming an industry leader in sustainable, renewable energy and entertainment projects. In 2005, MC Industrial, Inc., an independent McCarthy company, was created to meet the highly specialized construction needs of the industrial marketplace.

“Our new adventure as a 100 percent employee-owned business began during an extremely difficult time for our nation, right after the events of September 11, 2001,” explained Bolen in 2012 as the firm celebrated a decade of 100 percent employee ownership. “Despite the nation’s economic highs and lows over the same time period, employee ownership has literally transformed our company. It’s made us even more client focused because it’s in everyone’s best interest to meet or exceed client expectations. Moreover, with the addition of the ESOP, our employee owners now have an additional retirement benefit — an outstanding advantage from which all Americans could gain.”

In addition to this significant ownership transition, just a few notable McCarthy highlights over the past 150 years have included:

  • Cultivated and maintained an entrepreneurial culture where employees are empowered to respond to changing client needs;
  • Successfully streamlined processes and implemented industry-leading techniques to become one of the safest builders in America;
  • Remained committed to being a true, self-performing builder to better control schedule, quality and cost in support of the company’s mission to be The Best Builder in America;
  • Developed and rolled out a multitude of technology innovations to enhance building efficiencies in the field, ranking McCarthy among the industry’s leaders in the use of virtual design & construction;
  • Launched the innovative McCarthy Quality Without Question program, focusing on proactive planning for quality and tracking of quality incidents to improve superior results for clients;
  • Focused on developing the best builders in the business, positioning McCarthy as the #6 training organization in America by Training Magazine in 2013, the highest ranked contractor on the list

Clients have trusted McCarthy with thousands of projects over the past 150 years. A sampling of notable projects from the Texas Division include: The W Victory Hotel and Residences in Dallas (2007); The Headquarters for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas in Dallas (2009); AT&T Performing Arts Center Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas (2009); The Port of Houston Bayport Wharf Extension in Seabrook (2010); The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Alkek Hospital Expansion in Houston (2011); Dallas Country Club in Dallas (2012); the Fort Worth Westside Water Treatment Plant (2012); the Denton Army Reserve Center (2013); Klyde Warren Park over Woodall Rogers Freeway in Dallas (2013);  Savor and Relish Eateries at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas (2013); Dallas City Performance Hall (2013); the Texas A&M Wellborn Road Grade Separation (2013); Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Replacement at Fort Hood by Balfour Beatty | McCarthy joint venture  (projected 2014); the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) design/build, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Cogeneration (COGEN) facilities at the VA Dallas Medical Center (projected 2014); the Maritime Administration (MARAD) Beaumont Layberth Facility (projected 2014); the Red River Army Depot in Fort Worth (projected 2014); San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) Surface Water Facilities in Conroe (projected 2015); The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Victory Lakes Specialty Care Center expansion in League City (projected 2015); The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center The Pavilion expansion in Houston (projected 2015); the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Houston (projected 2015) and the Fort Bliss Replacement Hospital in El Paso by Clark McCarthy Healthcare Partners II (projected 2016).

“Few companies ever get the privilege of making it to 150 – not just in the construction industry but in any industry,” commented McCarthy President and Chief Operating Officer Derek Glanvill. “Client focus, inspired leadership, dedicated builders, a willingness to take risks and an overall commitment to doing what’s right are the foundational elements our company stands on today. We are proud to share this milestone achievement with those we call our McCarthy family today, along with clients, industry partners and our communities. We are looking forward to sharing together in the next McCarthy chapter that is already being written.” 

“McCarthy’s rich history of placing people first, working with high integrity and learning from our 150 years of experience are at the forefront of how this company continues to exceed the expectations of our clients and customers” states McCarthy Texas Region President Michael J. McWay. “After building in Texas for the past 35 years, the Texas marketplace continues to be an excellent fit with McCarthy values, and culture and provides great growth potential for our organization.”


About McCarthy

Celebrating 35 years of building in Texas, McCarthy is the nation’s eighth largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2013) and a leading community builder. At McCarthy, we’re just getting started. For 150 years, McCarthy has been building communities across America, both by constructing essential projects communities rely on, as well as by helping those who need assistance An employee-owned company, McCarthy performs general contractor, construction management and design/build services for the following project types: hospitality/entertainment, mixed-use, retail, educational, parking structures, office buildings, bridges and highways, water/wastewater, federal, port/marine, healthcare, laboratory, biotechnology, microelectronic, industrial facilities, and tenant interiors construction. In addition to Dallas, McCarthy has offices in Houston; Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego and Newport Beach, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; St. Louis; New Mexico; Kansas City, Kan.; Collinsville, Ill.; and, Atlanta. More information about the company’s history is available online at or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.