Sheridan Construction was founded in August of 1947 as Sheridan-Punaro Company by two cousins who recently returned from wartime service. Angelo Punaro and Chris Sheridan shared the values typical to so many who grew up in the depression and then fought in World War II: have the back of those (who) you work with and work for, teamwork; plus honesty, integrity and hard work. They made a great team due to those shared values and remained partners until they mutually decided to part ways in 1960.
The real beginnings of the company go back to approximately 1850 when Christopher F. Sheridan came from Ireland and moved to Macon as a stone mason. Christopher had two sons, Christopher Farrell Sheridan, Jr. and Robert Sheridan. Both of these gentlemen worked for the T. C. Burke Company which was a building supply house here in Macon. In the late 1920’s Christopher Sheridan left the T. C. Burke Company to open his own business, Chris F. Sheridan Builders and Painters Supplies. Chris R. Sheridan, was named for his two uncles and would tell many stories of working at the T. C. Burke Company as a boy. He inherited his love of building from his grandfather and hung around his uncles as he grew up. He often told stories of making articles of wood with his uncles and going with his Uncle Robert to collect bills.
From the start the company began developing a list of clients who depended on it for all its construction work. For example, its first job for Mount de Sales Academy was in June of 1948 and we still do work for the Academy today. In fact we have done every project for them except two since that time. Our first project for Armstrong World Industries was in July of 1948 and our latest project was completed in the spring of 2011.
Throughout the portfolio section of this website you will see examples of relationships that have lasted over 50 years: 22 projects for First Presbyterian Church since 1956; 56 projects for Timberlake Grocery since 1955 until they sold out in the 1990’s; 6 projects for Highland Hills Baptist Church since 1954; and many others.
Early on the firm did complex work requiring strong building and managerial skills. One such project was the construction of the Administration Building for the Ocmulgee National Monument and part of that project was the reconstruction of the earth lodge. Mr. Sheridan Sr. would tell his grandchildren about that project, how he and the National Park Service scoured the surrounding forest to find just the right trees to form the main columns of the lodge and how they used axes and fire just like the Indians did (after they used chain saws for the rough cutting) to trim the trees. One of his 5 year old granddaughters was on a tour of the Earth lodge when the ranger asked if anyone knew who built it. She proudly exclaimed “it was my granddaddy!” When the ranger tried to correct her, saying “no little girl, it was the Indians”, she protested loudly and had to be carried out. She knew she was right.
During the 1960’s the firm grew in both market penetration and size of work. We completed an 8-story bank building for Home Federal Savings and Loan Association and in 1965 we were the low bidder for the Macon Coliseum. We were 10% low against a regional firm that had just completed the Stegeman Coliseum at the University of Georgia. This was the largest project the company had attempted at the time and on the night of the bid, we did not know if we should celebrate or cry. The project had a 360 foot span cast place concrete roof with precast beams between the cast in place sections and we custom designed the shoring system needed. We then made a deal with a local steel supplier to provide us with the steel shoring that we sold back to them at a predetermined price. The shoring was designed first to carry the loads and then to be sections desirable by the supplier. This inventive thinking allowed us to have the low bid to the benefit of the taxpayers of Middle Georgia and is part of the culture we try to emulate today. Carroll Carter was the estimator for the firm that came up with that idea and today he is Chairman of the Board.
Several years later we entered in a joint venture with the Batson-Cook Company that more than doubled the size of the facility to form the Edgar Wilson Convention Center.
Each decade brought more repeat business, stronger relationships and growth to the firm. In 1971 Chris Sheridan Jr. P.E. joined the firm as estimator and project manager. He previously had worked summers since he was 15 as a laborer and then apprentice carpenter. He received his BS in Structural Engineering and his MBA from Tulane University.
In 1982 Ronny Williams joined the firm and immediately began to manage the complete renovation of the Hilton hotel for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. We were the low bidder on the exterior renovation and then negotiated the renovation of the interior. That renovation was a phased renovation of the entire interior and done while the hotel remained open. Ronny has since become Vice President of Operations, overseeing all pre-construction and construction operations.
In 2006 the firm had grown considerably and the definition of “family” grew with it. We reorganized to be 50% owned by the employees via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. The values of the original owners have been absorbed by the current employee owners and the company has grown accordingly. The value of the employee ownership has grown every year showing the employees the benefits of that ownership.
Sheridan Construction (then named Sheridan Construction) joined the Associated General Contractors of America in 1957 and we have been active members ever since. Carroll Carter served on the board of directors for a number of years and was president of the Georgia Branch in 1991 and 1992.
Each year, one exceptional individual in Georgia’s construction community is singled out to receive the highly coveted SIR award who best exemplifies “skill, integrity and responsibility.” Carroll Carter was a member of that distinguished group of industry leaders who had a positive impact on the construction industry in Georgia, and who have won this award in years past. He received his award in 1998.
Chris Sheridan Jr. currently serves on the Board of Directors of AGC Georgia and the national AGC. He served as President of AGC Georgia in 2005/2006. Sheridan Construction is one of a very few firms to have two past presidents of AGC Georgia.
Throughout our existence we recognize that while we are builders, (that is our passion), we must understand the bigger picture of what building really is. It is building our people, it is building not only facilities for our customers but helping them build their organization every way we can. Likewise we need to build up those we work with from the designers to our trade and subcontractor partners. We as contractors have a unique ability to see the results of our daily work. But our most important legacy must be that we were builders of people and community.
To celebrate our 60th year we called the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity and told them that if they had a lot, we would build a house on it. It turned out to be a wonderful partnership and over the following years we headed up their first capital campaign and have supported them ever since.
The firm continues to grow and develop its leaders for the next generation but the founding values of Mr. Sheridan and Mr. Punaro will never be compromised.
Those values are reflected in our mission statement: We will give back to the community the good fortune that it has given the company and we will encourage our employees to do likewise.
Likewise our employees are active in all sorts of civic endeavors. For example, Ronny Williams
Mr. Sheridan is currently Chairman of the Macon Bibb County Urban Development Authority, and is Chairman of the Mercer Engineering School Advisory Board. He also serves on the Boards of the MEDCEN Foundation, the Lewis Foundation, and the Community Foundation. He is a member of the boards of AGC GA and the National AGC. He has received numerous awards including Citizen of the Year in 2010 from the Macon-Bibb County Chamber of Commerce. All employees are encouraged to participate in community service organizations and many of them do.