As Atlanta Design & Build celebrates our 20th Anniversary, we also salute our amazing Project Manager, Sydney Contant, who has been with the company eight years now. Sydney was born and raised right here in Marietta. As a child she loved sports and was active on the swim team, earned her black belt in karate, and played soccer for many years up through high school. Her other main interests were art related. While in high school she studied photography, linoleum carving and printing, painting and pottery.
Growing up she didn’t learn much about the construction industry from her father, H. Dale Contant, since she didn’t accompany him while he worked on ADB projects. However, shortly after high school, with Dale’s encouragement, Sydney decided to try her hand at working for her father’s company. “I most likely would not have chosen this as my career path, if my father had not given me the opportunity,” said Sydney. “I’m glad I took the offer!”
In the beginning: Apprenticeship
Sydney worked as an apprentice for five years under ADB project managers, Mike Pike and Jamie Franks. Everyday she would learn something new. With Mike, she learned more about the rough end of remodeling—demo, grading, digging footers (LOTS OF FOOTERS!), framing, and trim work. With Jamie she learned more about the finishing part of the job—paying close attention to all the small details. Each part of her training was just as important as the rest.
Eventually, Dale challenged her to study for the Certified Remodeling Project Manager (CRPM) certification exam through the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). “That class was intense!” said Sydney. “It lasted eight weeks, with just as much reading and paperwork as a college course. I would never have had confidence in myself to take that class if my father had not pushed me in that direction.” Sydney is very proud to have passed the test. It has opened the door to a whole new world in the industry for her.
Sydney Contant, Project Manager
With the CRPM under her belt, Sydney’s official title at ADB is now Project Manager. Her main job responsibilities are: creating schedules for her projects; selecting her sub contractor team; meeting with subs to walk through each job at the beginning, middle and the end; reviewing sub contractor quotes; communicating with customers; demolition; framing; trim work; reviewing sub contractors’ work; ordering materials, and meeting with inspectors for all trades. Her detailed note taking throughout the various stages of each project helped win Sydney the “40 Under 40” award this year from Professional Remodeler magazine. This award commends the best practices of remodeling’s best and brightest professionals under 40.
One of the things Sydney enjoys most about working for ADB is the fact that it is a small company. Teamwork is crucial, since the team members all depend on each other. A job would not be able to be completed without everyone’s hand in it, at least at one point. “Considering the length of time the majority of the people have been at this company, we have grown to be almost like a family,” Sydney said. “We trust and rely on each other.”
Sydney also enjoys every day bringing something new. She has the opportunity to continuously learn. One day she will be helping out at one of Mike’s jobs with the whole crew trying to jack a room on a house back to level, and the next she will be installing trim and doors on one of her own jobs. Or changing a window out. Or assisting a customer in choosing the perfect paint color, etc. It’s always something new.
Outside of work
Sydney spends the majority of her free time making art of all kinds for friends and family. In the past couple of years, the artwork that has taken up most of her time has been letterpress, stained glass, wood working and painting. In the past she has enjoyed screen printing, linoleum carving and printing, photography, woodblock carving and printing, pottery, and much more. She hopes to have time in the future to learn more about all printing processes and marble making, among many other arts.
Other activities Sydney enjoys include scuba diving with her father, traveling, and minor gardening. She stays active trying out hole-in-the wall restaurants around the city, camping, caving, hiking, exploring Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park with her boyfriend and three dogs, and spending time with her friends and family.
“I am one of four daughters in the family,” Sydney explains. “My parents had my older sister and then me. They wanted a boy and decided to give it one more shot and ended up having twin girls. I have always been a tomboy—I’m the boy they never had. My older sister lives locally, while the twins are currently living in other states, but we all remain very close. We (10 of us including all of the significant others) get together for Sunday dinners as often as all of our busy schedules allow.”