With nearly 40 years of experience in the construction industry, Terry Bradley shares lessons of the trade and life with the next generation
Written by Alison Pappas | Photo by Grant L. Gursky
Construction is something that is bolted deep in Terry Bradley’s family history. His grandfather and great-grandfather were skilled carpenters, and Terry realized early on that he, too, wanted to pursue a hands-on career. Now with 38 years of successful woodworking experience under his toolbelt, it is safe to say that Terry’s grandfather and great-grandfather would
be proud of all that he has built, both literally and figuratively.
Terry was self-employed for 25 years, and during that time, he specialized in woodworking with a focus on staircases and cabinets. He earned a reputation within the local construction scene for his precise attention to detail, and he also grew a loyal customer base. In 2009, Terry decided to leave his self-employment days behind and bring his extensive experience to the team at Tyler Building Co. — an award-winning, family-owned, local construction company.
“Terry’s woodworking abilities were the best we’d ever seen. And, he had all those intangible qualities we look for, like trustworthiness and a hard-work ethic,” shared Will Tyler, co-owner of Tyler Building Company.
While the transition from self-employment to a team environment was an adjustment for Terry early on, he quickly embraced the benefits of working toward a collective goal with his crew.
Unfortunately, Terry was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) two years ago, and his role has slowly transitioned from hands-on work to a customer-service role. His condition has not slowed him down, however, and he remains heavily involved in daily operations. Currently, he spends most of his workdays in the field monitoring the progress of projects and communicating with customers. He typically manages 8 to 14 jobs at a time.
“While he is physically unable to do the labor aspect, he is still one of the most important people in the company. Through his customer-service role, he has been able to keep applying all the knowledge that he has learned throughout his extensive career. Our customers love working with him,” said Will.
One aspect that has brought Terry immense joy is the opportunity to mentor many young trade workers through the local Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.
“It’s been rewarding to help teach these young guys and pass along everything that I’ve learned over the years. To me, well, that is what life is really about — the ability to share your knowledge and life lessons,” said Terry.
While there have been countless highs and memorable projects over the years, Terry credits the most noteworthy aspect of his career as being able to return home at the end of each day knowing that his team has accomplished something that will be enjoyed by customers for years
to come. CS