GR Stovall recalls a stint in the 1990s when he worked as a vice president and estimator for commercial contractor MECO Systems. Little did he know then he’d grow in his career to become president of MECO’s big brother firm, DeWitt & Associates Inc.
“Leading DeWitt is somewhat like a homecoming for me,” he says. “MECO was a sister company to DeWitt & Associates. Some of the same employees I worked with in the past are still at DeWitt today.”
As Stovall says, DeWitt is a “Springfield fortress in commercial construction.” Look no further than these large-scale and regional projects: the $127 million Greene County Jail (as co-contractors with J.E. Dunn Construction), Missouri State University’s $34 million addition of Glass Hall, a $101 million patient tower at Mercy Hospital Springfield (also co-contracted with J.E. Dunn), the $23 million Ozark Innovation Center and the $14.5 million Nixa Public Schools’ performing arts center.
In his role for DeWitt, Stovall says he focuses on its people, culture and strategy.
“When supporting our people, I want them to reach their highest potential, not only at work but at home,” he says, adding, “Building a company culture where we all sharpen each other’s skills and hold each other accountable for the individual work that we do, my hope is that everyone will see how they fit into the strategy and overall efforts of the company objectives.”
Stovall has had a 44-year career in construction – including eight years running his own firm, GRS Construction Co. – to develop this leadership style. But in the last five years at DeWitt, Stovall says he’s learned to better recognize his own strengths and weaknesses.
“Self-leadership is finding my greatest potential,” Stovall says of sharpening his strengths and improving his weaknesses. “When a teammate is facing a challenge, I often tell them simply, ‘Your best will do.’ For me, my best includes continuously learning more about myself and being willing to change and grow.”
One area he’s identified is that of giving back to others building their careers.
“It seems I woke up just a few years ago to the realization that the largest part of my career is behind me. The construction industry has treated me well, as has its people,” he says. “I owe a lot back to those still in their youth and striving to find a career path.”
He’s developed ways to connect with construction management students at MSU and mentor interns and high school students.
Stovall is heavily involved with the Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise, for which he was recognized as district President of the Year in 2018-19, the same year Sunrise was named Club of the Year. He also serves on MSU’s Construction Management Advisory Board and is a member of the Springfield Executive Breakfast Club.
Mercy Springfield Communities relocated a clinic; San Clemente, California-based law firm Gilson Daub Inc. expanded to the Springfield market; and a second video gaming center for Contender eSports Springfield LLC opened in the Queen City.