John Riggins, President, Talley-Riggins Construction
2019 ALC Chair
Please Note: This interview has been edited and condensed. You may listen to the complete version on The TREC Podcast.
As a member of the 2011 Associate Leadership Council class, does it feel a bit surreal for you to return as the program’s 2019 chair?
It is surreal. I never thought that this would be an opportunity until Linda McMahon tapped me on the shoulder at an event and asked if I would be interested. I needed to clear it with my employer, as it is one heck of a commitment, but as you can imagine it was a huge honor and it was all I could do to keep from answering with an emphatic YES!
The ALC program is one of our flagship opportunities for younger industry professionals to network and grow their careers. What effect did your participation in ALC have on your career?
There were two huge benefits to me personally. First, having grown up in Dallas, I was insulated from the various issues that are seeded throughout the city. So the class really opened my eyes to the different challenges this amazing city faces from a socioeconomic and education standpoint. It allowed me to be exposed to many things I did not even know existed. The other would be the network of contacts that I made in my respective class. I had just transitioned from an operations role at the company I worked for at the time to a sales and business development position. The only contacts I had for new business were the clients that I had built for in the past. The class experience catapulted my network and it just began to take root across many different professions. I credit the program for my success to date.
You recently left MYCON General Contractors to start Talley-Riggins Construction with Doug Talley. How is business so far?
Doug and I have been working together in various capacities over an almost 20-year period and he was actually my first boss after I graduated from Texas Tech. We really feel that you can be successful in the construction business and have a ton of fun doing it. We spend so much time at work, we need to have fun doing it. The thought is that this culture will merge into our relationships with our clients. We want the relationship with our clients to be more of a partnership than a traditional owner-contractor mentality. Our first project starts in mid-August and we have a handful lining up behind that one so that is exciting as well. Our website is live now so feel free to check it out and see our plan in motion.
A career in commercial real estate often provides you access to unique vantage points across the city. What’s the best view in Dallas?
There are a few looking north from the south, in the Oak Cliff area. I think Oak Cliff has some of the most majestic views out there. I will say this, the view looking back across the Trinity River from Trinity Groves is pretty amazing, too.
TREC’s guiding principle and challenge to its members is to “Build the City You’ve Imagined.” What kind of city do you imagine? What kind of lasting impact do you want your career in commercial real estate to have on Dallas?
The things that TREC has had involvement in, for example, Klyde Warren Park, are truly game-changing for our city. It connected uptown to the Arts and CBD districts. Just amazing. I love taking my family down there all the way from Lucas! To create a walkable culture, you must provide the means right? Well, I see more projects, such as the park, really taking shape to provide the city I’ve imagined. Walkable, sustainable and safe. Those are very important to me. As far as lasting impact? I’m working on that right now, it’s just in it’s infancy. I want to build a company that stands for community and integrity. At this point, we are ways away from that, but there will be a point in time where you will see Talley-Riggins making an impact in the community. I guarantee that.