"The area that has always set our company apart from others is the ability to adjust," said Robert V. "Buddie" Barnes Jr., president and CEO of Dee Brown Inc. (DBI), Dallas. These adjustments included cross-training employees, adopting new construction techniques, creating new divisions within the company, and forming alliances with outside firms.

When Barnes joined DBI in 1969 as an estimator, the company was logging between $4 and $6 million a year – already a very large masonry contractor. As business soared during the 1970s, Barnes took the lead in integrating computer technology into the operations. Throughout the 1990s, DBI consistently placed among the country’s top five masonry contractors, and last year completed $46.2 million of work and ranked #4 in MASONRY CONSTRUCTION magazine’s 2002 listing of the country’s top contractors.