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Securing the future with Pat O’Hare

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By: #TEAMmac

29.09.2020

An interview with Pat O'Hare

Meet Pat O’Hare, Operations Director of Construction at mac. Pat brings with him over 25 years of Construction Management experience. Having previously held the role of Contracts Director with Graham Construction, Pat was responsible for the delivery of multi-million-pound construction projects and frameworks within traditional, D&B and NEC contract environments.

A Chartered Construction Manager with experience in delivering difficult and technically complex projects in challenging environments, on time and to highest quality standards.

We sat down with Pat O’Hare to ask him about his career highlights so far and for some insights into his role here at mac.

Delivering on our commitments and ensuring a quality end product is delivered to them every time will ensure we build on our positive status within the construction industry

Pat O’Hare Operations Director of Construction at mac-group

What was your key takeaway as Contracts Director at Graham Construction?

I was responsible for many major projects in my 20 years with Graham. The delivery of the HFS Healthcare framework for the NHS in Scotland was extremely challenging but also rewarding. I delivered close to 100 projects in 6 years with a total value of approximately £200M across every NHS region in the country, expanding their existing estates and enhancing the quality and efficiency of healthcare for many people within Scotland.

The reason for your success there?

It’s all about hard work and honest, respectful leadership which in turn builds a strong and loyal team. You are only as successful as the people you surround yourself with. Graham always delivered quality and compliant projects which enhanced the company’s reputation and profile ensuring that Graham always had a healthy pipeline and return work.

Why did you come to work at mac?

I’d achieved all that I had set out to achieve with Graham and more. I had the opportunities to work with other major contractors however I felt that I would have been taking on a similar role, in a similar organisation. I was very attracted to mac’s collaborative and partnering approach to construction, and the opportunity to be fundamentally involved at this stage in mac’s development and being able to influence the way mac do things going forward is a challenging and exciting prospect for me.

What has been your most notable achievement since you started with mac and how did you achieve it?

Since I started at the end of March I hit the ground running with the BD Medical Framework and the live Drogheda project during the height of the COVID lockdown and then assisted in more tenders for the client. This allowed for further development of our portfolio with BD across 3 major plants in ROI and the UK. Like everyone, we’ve all had to adjust to the new norm and mac as a business has coped very well. I’ve settled in reasonably well considering!

Tell us about your career highlights before mac.

As I mentioned earlier, the HFS Framework in Scotland was an enriching experience. Being brought up in Belfast City centre in the 1970’s you could say I saw some pretty radical changes in the cityscape over that turbulent period. Two buildings that were very well known to me growing up was Belfast City Hall and the bomb-damaged Windsor House office block.

In 2009, I completed a 2-year refurbishment of the iconic Belfast City Hall which saw it being fully opened to the public for the first time in almost 40 years.

In 2019 I completed an 18-month, £43m refurbishment of the Windsor House office block transforming the almost dilapidated structure into the 24 storey Grand Central Hotel for the Hastings Group, which now dominates the Belfast skyline.

You started at mac as the pandemic began, how are you feeling now that you’re in the role a few months and what is your typical day-to-day work like?

First of all I would like to thank the whole mac team for welcoming me into the business at such a turbulent time. It made my transition from my previous employer a lot smoother and a lot less stressful!

At the end of March until the start of May, like most people I worked from home. A very new experience for me and an unfamiliar way for me to do business as I’m very much about talking to people face-to-face.

We currently have a project with BD Dun Laoghaire and we are about to embark on a series of projects with BD Plymouth. We’re also currently on-site with BD Medical in Drogheda, a 25,000 sq. ft. warehouse expansion. Read about this project here.

What is the most challenging part of your role? 

Ensuring a high standard of safety for all in a COVID world is the primary challenge. At mac, I have seen a very proactive approach to health and safety and I think I have engaged very well in my short time here with Darren and his Health and Safety department to ensure the BD sites are fully compliant. Managing client expectations, ensuring high quality and compliant delivery and keeping contracts on budget and on schedule is a constant challenge, not just for me but for the business.

Communication is key to ensuring we are a success and keeping in constant contact with clients, colleagues, the sites and personnel is absolutely critical.

You’ve been tasked with taking the lead on securing new contracts during the pandemic, how do you feel about this? I’m sure it comes with the added pressure in comparison to pre-COVID 19 times.

We’re fortunate that the BD Framework has a secured 5-year pipeline and although we will still competitively tender within this framework, we have started very well on the live projects and current tenders. Maintaining a focus on the client’s requirements and expectations will ensure we have continued success throughout the entire framework period.

Winning work is all about building trust and mutual respect with current and future clients. Delivering on our commitments and ensuring a quality end product is delivered to them every time will ensure we build on our positive status within the construction industry, which continues to rival all our competitors and ultimately delivers return work.

Do you have a project you’d like to talk to us about? Reach out to #TEAMmac today cbrady@mac-group.com

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