Talking Shop with Tim Porter: Driving Future Growth within the Power and Industrial Market

OCTOBER 2016 – Since joining Garney six months ago, Tim Porter has developed impressive growth within the power and industrial market. Porter joined Garney in April 2016 as Business Development Manager with a sole focus to broaden Garney’s client base in the power and industrial market sector throughout the United States. He brings 27 years of experience in the private sector, primarily within the power market delivering large-scale water supply and related infrastructure. This week, Porter sat down to share insight on the direction of the market and the plan for the future.


With more than 27 years of private and industrial construction expertise, what prompted you to join Garney?

Garney is a national leader in the water resource market. With the power and industrial market on a slow but steady comeback, I saw Garney in a great position to where I could help leverage Garney’s leadership role, national footprint, and established industry relationships within the market sector.


What have you learned at Garney within the past six months that will drive future growth in the private market sector?

As a previous competitor of Garney’s, I was surprised to learn the level of commitment to attracting bright young talent. Combining this with the long-term experienced ‘gray beards’ is a solid package for growth.


One challenge is transitioning some of the relationship capitol of the established individuals so the company can maintain a network of layers with our clients and engineering partners.


How will you leverage Garney’s expertise in water and wastewater infrastructure within this market segment?

We have already begun by bringing young talent to lead complicated power and industrial projects.  This exposure will pay dividends for many years to come. It also creates an urgency for managers to share their skills and expertise. The challenge is this requires more time from an already stretched contingency of the company.


From your perspective, what challenges must the power and industrial market overcome with regard to stringent regulations in maintaining existing infrastructure?

The complete lack of a comprehensive energy plan in our country has hindered the power market for nearly all of my career. Regulatory impacts and unrealistic timelines have forced closures of many valuable assets within the coal and nuclear segment prior to the end of their anticipated design life. These types of assets will not be easily rebuilt in a pinch.


Garney stands to benefit from the most recent regulatory assault. The new ELG (Effluent Limitation Guidelines) regulations will prohibit coal-fired power plants from discharging ash related effluent through current permitted outfalls. This in itself creates pipeline and treatment opportunities, but the short deadline creates urgency that will consume all of the capable contractors and vendors’ resources. Garney is working to position ourselves to capitalize on this perfect storm via strong joint venture agreements and building new relationships with Owners.


What is unique about working in the power and industrial market?

The power and industrial markets present tough projects with tight timelines that force contractors to hit the ground running with very little design completed. Contractors who stub their toe early can face crippling damages along with being ostracized in the industry.


What is your strategy for success?

It may sound simple, but I believe in showing up. So many people are content to work through email and long distance communication. It is nearly impossible to build a strong relationship and garner the type of insight necessary to solve a client’s issues from afar. Once you show up, be a resource.  There are plenty of vendors who will buy lunch but fail to deliver any value. If you spend time with the client, it is almost impossible not to learn about the business. Once you do that, try to understand what they want before you get to what you want.