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Christopher Mills

EVP, National Business Development

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Past Employer/Position:

President & COO, Plaza Construction

years industry

Years in the Industry:

30 year(s)

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Boards

ACE Mentoring of Greater New York
Fordham University, Real Estate Institute Executive Advisory Council

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Community Involvement

Villanova University Center of Excellence Career Compass Mentoring Program

What is the most exciting thing about working in this business? What is your professional passion?

I have always loved building and creating things. Early in my career, one of those most exciting aspects of the business was knowing that you would complete each day seeing a new part of a project that wasn’t there the day before. The ability to stand on or in something you helped create is like no other feeling to me. At this stage of my career, I now take great pride in passing on my knowledge of the business to the younger team members. The construction industry has provided me with so much, so I never miss an opportunity to give something back.

What do you love to do when you aren’t at work? What is your personal passion and why?

When I am not at work, I try to spend as much time as possible with my family. I find great enjoyment in watching my children play sports. When I can, I spend time boating, fishing and improving my golf game, but I also appreciate building my own small projects at home. My father was in the construction business and taught me the value of knowing what it takes to work with your own hands. I always felt strongly that you can’t manage a construction project if you had no framework of what it takes to do the work yourself.

What is your favorite community cause or philanthropic organization to support and why?

As a graduate of Villanova University, I give quite a bit of credit to that institution for the person that I am and my professional achievements, so I give back as much time as I can to mentoring students, providing career opportunities and assisting them with advice. After graduation, I was fortunate to meet a fellow alumnus that took the time to meet with me, make introductions and become a mentor to me throughout my career. I never forgot that and never miss a chance to pay it forward.

What sport did you play and how did it help you professionally?

In my younger years, I played football, and I routinely draw from many of those experiences to maintain discipline and persevere to overcome professional challenges. In later years, I have found that golf has continued to challenge me to continually improve and sharpen my mental focus.

What is your favorite quote?

“Well done is better than well said.” - Benjamin Franklin.

What book has helped you most in your career?

I read a lot of nonfiction, mostly historical accounts of great achievement and quite a bit of military history. “The Great Bridge” by David McCullough is a book that stuck with me over the years. I really enjoyed reading about the technical challenges workers overcame in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, the new construction methods the team developed, the idea of a single master designer/builder, and the manner in which multiple Roebling family members played a part in seeing John Roebling’s vision through. It is an amazing story of perseverance and incredible accomplishment, which always serves as a source of inspiration.