Interview With DAVIS' Adam Abramson Project, 2024 Subby Awards Project Manager of the Year!

A man in professional wear stands in a hallway.

Adam Abramson is a Senior Project Manager at DAVIS and is currently helping deliver the Riggs Crossing Senior Residences project, an affordable housing complex in DC’s Fort Totten neighborhood. Adam was recently recognized as General Contractor Project Manager of the Year at the Subby Awards, the signature event held by the American Subcontractors Association’s Metro Washington chapter!

How does it feel to have been voted GC Project Manager of the Year?

I was surprised, but it feels nice. The votes come from people we directly work with, and to me that says they want to work with me again, which means a lot. At DAVIS, we’re here to build relationships and connections that last. One of our new initiatives to refer to subcontractors as trade partners, because it’s truly a partnership. 

Honestly, though, it’s a testament to the strong-team aspect we emphasize. While this is an individual award, none of this success happens if our teams aren’t performing at the highest level. So I got an award taking the credit for our awesome team (laughs).

What’s your approach to ensuring a successful team dynamic on a project?

For me, what’s most important is communication and consistency, but also timeliness. There are often difficult conversations to have about payments, or change orders, and I’ve found that trades are receptive when we’re transparent and communicative. When both sides can have those conversations instead of shying away from conflicts, the relationship is productive, and everyone understands we all have the same goal at the end of the day. 

My approach is hands- on, though, so I get out in the field, I QC—the bulk of my priorities are office work, documentation, etc. but I have to be in tune with what’s happening outside of the trailer.

Are there any big success stories from your work on the Oakwood Meadow Senior Residences in Fairfax County?

We implemented a very stringent and comprehensive QC program at Oakwood Meadow that encourages open dialogue. While DAVIS bears the brunt of checking for quality, our trades take steps to minimize any mistakes and keep us updated. I encourage the type of relationship where we can count on trades to build things the right way, and if there are any deviations, we can fix them easily. That level of trust goes both ways—they trust us to get our job done, and we have to have faith in them that they know how to best do their job.

A group of people (two women and one man) stand together. The man in the middle holds an award.

What’s your goal for the next phase of your career?

My role has been slowly changing from doing things to teaching things and fostering a team mentality. It’s a unique position for me where my problems are less of day-to-day problem solving, but training the next level of Assistant Project Managers, Project Engineers, Project Superintendents, so that they can hit the ground running. My goal is helping the next set of people to advance in their careers.

When it comes to training the next set of people, does that come naturally for you?

I do consider myself a people person, but interestingly I’ve gotten more reserved as I’ve gotten older, so it’s not completely natural. I sometimes struggle with the emotional intelligence aspect of things, and something I’m working on is balancing my natural emotions and keeping team chemistry at the top of my mind. 

Since being hired full-time, you’ve only worked on residential projects. Is there something about those spaces that you really identify with?

Coming from a civil/structural background, I wanted to see foundations, and concrete, and I was so excited to be placed in the residential sector at DAVIS. My dad is actually a residential home repair and improvement contractor, which is funny—so I can talk shop with him, and I can connect with the nuances and detail that he deals with. I love residential building because at the end of the day, you see people move into a home. We truly take pride in our work and give the client and end user the best quality possible.