Hester builds know-how in commercial construction

Memphis Standout profile for The Memphis Daily News

Aug. 16, 2013

Len Hester is a project manager for Grinder Haizlip Construction Co., a general contractor that specializes in industrial and commercial projects and has worked on high-profile projects such as the Wright Medical Technology Inc. headquarters in Arlington, New Ballet Ensemble, the Grizzlies Sportsplex and the renovation of Memphis Theological Seminary.

Hester grew up in the construction business, though on the residential side, working summers with his father’s company, Tupelo-based Danny Hester Home Improvements.

He left Tupelo for Mississippi State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in management of construction and land development, returning home to work for his father the year following graduation.

“I decided that I wanted to try something different, came up to Memphis, and Grinder Haizlip gave me the opportunity to work for them,” Hester said. “I started learning the ins and outs of the commercial side of things; instead of a hammer in hand, I’ve got a pencil in hand now.”

That was eight years ago and, though he said it was a challenge becoming acclimated to managing commercial construction projects, he’s risen to the task and looks at himself as “a business inside of a business.”

“I’m responsible for my own projects; I’m responsible for the well-being and success of my project and, in turn, I’m responsible for the profitability that the company wants me to have,” Hester said.

Those projects lean to the commercial side and have included renovation of the Cordova AAA Auto Care Center, Dobbs Nissan, Dobbs Honda and other car dealerships. He’s presently at work on a Porsche/Volkswagen and an Audi dealership for Gossett Motor Cars on Covington Pike . . . (read more)