Meet Tom Forney of Forney Construction – by Voyage Houston


Today we’d like to introduce you to Tom Forney.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Tom. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a fourth generation born Houston Native and attended Memorial High School before heading off to Texas A&M University to study Building Construction. After graduation in 1980, I began my professional career in the industry with Linbeck. In 1988 I founded The Maxwell Company with two other partners. That company grew and eventually we underwent a merger in 1998 to become Spaw/Maxwell. With the intent of expanding a positive footprint within the community, I founded Camp Aranzazu in 2003 which has become my life’s work ever since.

The camp, which serves children with chronic diseases and disabilities is located in Rockport, Texas. This work and purpose is what eventually led to the founding of Forney Construction in 2008. I founded Forney Construction as a value-driven company based on the guiding principles of purposeful profits, earning to give away, and our Core Values of SERVICE. Some of our exciting milestones include the move to our own building in Spring Branch in 2012 and the launch of our self-performing contractor services in 2017.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been many personal struggles throughout the process; most of them personal and self-inflicted. The economic downturn in 2008 was a difficult time for many and came at an inopportune time for my business; my approach was to start over from the bottom. Learning to start over at 51 years old taught me, all over again, the importance of hard work and what it really takes to be successful.

Forney Construction – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Forney is a value-driven construction firm with a purpose. As an organization, we dedicate over 33% of our net profits to be invested back into the Houston community, whether it be through pro bono management work, in-kind giving, or cash donations. With almost a decade of Impact under our belt, we’ve expanded to 103 employees, averaging 42% of our profits in giving to date, and 580 projects for top clients like The Houston Zoo, The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, The Boy Scouts of America, Memorial Hermann, River Oaks Country Club, and many more. In addition, we make it a point to serve as a partner for non-profit clients such as The Salvation Army, SEARCH Homeless Services, Memorial Assistance Ministries, etc.

By marrying profits with purpose, we seek to expand our positive footprint within the community. For almost 10 years, Forney Construction’s value-driven business model has brought some of Houston’s top talent under one roof to create an organization that delivers quality product, committed partnership, and tailored delivery with every project we build and every client we serve. By combining the flexibility of a small firm with the tenure of our experienced professionals, Forney competes with the top firms in Houston. Last month, Forney attended the 2017 Houston Landmark Awards honoring the top real estate projects in our city and took home 3 of the 15 categories.

One memorable feature of the Forney Headquarters, located in Spring Branch, is the free-range chickens roaming throughout our parking lot! They were awarded the “Cutest Pets in Houston” by Houstonia Magazine and live up to the name. I’m most proud of my wife, Holly and our two children Muriel (28) and Drake (26), who have stuck with me through all the hard work. We went years without vacations and I worked a lot of hours to be successful in business. They always met me halfway, I could not have achieved any level of success without them. For 38 years Holly has cooked me a hot breakfast every morning, makes a big difference when you start the day of fed and knowing you are loved.

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