“By hiring, growing and supporting high performers within Willmeng, we collectively foster the altruistic service corporate culture within our core values, which means doing the right thing for the right reason, contributing with true purpose, and do more than your share.”
James Murphy, Willmeng’s CEO, was born and raised in the expanses of the West, including Texas and Idaho, though he calls Arizona “home.”
He earned a bachelor of science degree in Construction Management from the Del E. Webb School of Construction at Arizona State University and a master’s degree from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at ASU.
In college, James was an intern for Martin K. Eby and the Lawrence Livermore National Lab in Danville, Calif. Mardian Contractors, Inc., was his first full-time home, working as a project manager while going to school as an undergraduate. Projects completed while at Mardian range from a 400′ tower on top of South Mountain to several new facilities at the Chrysler Proving Grounds in Wittmann, Arizona.
James joined Willmeng in 1999 as a project manager, hired by then owner and founder Jack Willmeng. The concept of an eventual buyout and the opportunity to work with and for Jack is what brought James to the firm. James had a very clear vision of who he wanted to learn from, “I wanted to learn from an owner/operator that had a clearly successful track record in the industry. That was very clear in Jack. He had positioned himself to retire in his early 50s; his reputation proceeded him, and I wanted the chance to see if I had what it took to continue on with the company in due time.” James purchased the company in 2006 and became President and CEO.
James has spent time in every position in the firm, including project manager, estimator and vice president prior to his current role. From the top down, the entire team is committed to do what it takes and, “Make it Happen” for their clients.
James has been named Most Admired Leader by the Phoenix Business Journal, honored by ASU’s Alumni Group as a four-time inductee into the Sun Devil 100, and being named to the Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.
He serves on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley, and is committed to training the next generation of leaders through NAIOP Arizona’s Mentorship program and through teaching programs at the Arizona Builders Alliance and the Del E. Webb School of Construction at ASU. James has spoken on local, regional and national levels through many associations and companies such as the Associated General Contractors and NAIOP, seeking his insight and guidance on such topics as building an exceptional culture, hiring, strategic planning and organizational environments.
If it’s happening in the great outdoors, chances are that’s where you will find James when he is not working, particularly hunting and fishing. He can also be found on a baseball diamond or football field coaching his son James; and spending time with his daughter Audrey.