DAVIS X Tyler Dunning

Tyler Dunning

With the help of our subcontractor community, DAVIS is bringing renovations to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington’s headquarters building. We talked to Tyler Dunning, DAVIS, a Project Superintendent and former Boys & Girls Club volunteer, to get his thoughts on the project. Click here to read the full story on the new renovations at BGCGW!

Tyler, what’s your story and how did you end up at DAVIS?
So, I went to school at East Carolina University and wanted to get a head start on internships—not many companies from the north were coming down to ECU at the time, but my professor got me in contact with Carl Hirrlinger at DAVIS. I was a DAVIS Intern two summers in a row, and started full-time after graduating.

When were you a Boys & Girls Club volunteer?
At ECU, I was in a fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi, and we worked with the Boys & Girls Club for community service and philanthropy events. At one point, I was the philanthropy chair, and worked closely with the organization to fundraise for them and host activities for the kids. We even had a tradition every fall—a Haunted Hay Ride. We’d put make-up on, fill some trailers with hay, and bring the kids on a ride at dusk. They loved it.

What did it mean for you to be a part of those community outreach efforts?
To be able to provide a service to those kids is something really valuable to me. When you volunteer, you make a connection with them. To be as fortunate as I was and to be gifted what I had early on in life, it’s important to be able to pass on that kind of experience to them.

DAVIS is currently renovating the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington’s headquarters in DC. As someone who knows how important their work is, what are your takeaways?
For DAVIS, I think it’s a huge accomplishment, and it speaks volumes about our mission. To be able to use our services to say to them, “You’re appreciated, and you’re valuable,” is really important. The staff at BGCGW are doing the day-to-day work that you might not see on the news or hear about, but it’s hard work. They’re with the kids every day, and they take the emotional toll of that home with them. They’ve been doing so much with the resources they have, and we’re able to help their conditions so that they can do their jobs even more efficiently, like giving them a great conference room so that they don’t have to stress about not having enough chairs or a system that can support them.

The COVID-19 pandemic must put even more stress on them.
Even before COVID, it was hard for projects like this to get done, and the fact that we’re still able to commit to this work during the pandemic is remarkable. Anybody who has volunteered knows how genuine the organization and its people are. They’re doing so much for their community, and they rarely ask for something for themselves. DAVIS is letting them know that their impact is being felt, and it’s awesome to see.

Tell us about your construction background. Did you always want to be in the industry?
(laughs) I was on a backhoe at six months old. I always wanted to be in the field. My dad and uncles were all carpenters when I was growing up, one of my uncles had a custom home company, and my grandfather was a mechanic and ran trucks. I grew up doing everything I could with my hands, rebuilding things around the house.

After two internships, you started full-time right after school. What did you see in DAVIS?
The thing I noticed right out of the gate was everyone’s drive to be great. We want our projects do be perfect or as close as it can be. People at DAVIS are always looking to improve—we’re always hungry for that next step.