From tearing apart and re-constructing things around the house when he was growing up to owning a company that manages more than $125 million in construction projects annually, Adam Mays, founder and president of A.R. Mays Construction, has always been a creator, a builder.

As he grew up, it only made sense for him to pursue a career that involved both. Thus, he created his own construction company 31 years ago with the desire to turn his passion for building into a career.

“Construction is something that I’ve naturally done my entire life,” explains Mays. “I really enjoy going to these job sites and seeing people work hard for their dollars because I was that guy with the shovel at one point. I was the guy in the tractor or pouring concrete or framing houses. I know what it takes.”

After moving from his home state of Ohio to enroll in Arizona State University’s construction program, Mays graduated in 1983 and three years later started Devcon Enterprises, which changed its name to A.R. Mays Construction in 2004.

Mays says, there were times in the early days when he was the company’s lone employee. Today, the company consists of 100 employees including 50 superintendents that have worked on projects in 30 states across the country.

The things that matter the most to Mays at work revolve around developing a culture of trust and action, he says.

Mays doesn’t micromanage his employees. Instead, he nurtures them with support and guidance so they can explore their creativity. Mays trusts their competency and ability to get the needed job done and done well, which is why they were hired.

He says, for the most part, the people that he hires are just like him. Hard workers and self-starters who are goal oriented and truly understand that this is an industry where you get out what you put in.

“There’s no substitute for hard work,” he explains.

Mays has always lived by that motto. From an early age, he started and ran various small businesses around his neighborhood from landscaping to odd-job handyman services.

Looking back on his career in construction, a milestone project that sticks out to him is the national award-winning $60 million UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle in Maricopa. This pivotal project helped A.R. Mays Construction rebound from the recession and set a course for where the company is heading today.