A little bit
About the team
Optimum is founded on friendship. Kendrick Ballantyne and Ryan Lessard met on a job-site. After realizing they had shared the same hometown and high school experience, they began a series of conversations that led to the partnership they have today. This story has repeated itself to grow their company. Friends of friends, old coworkers, respected references have built an entirely organic group who don’t just talk about the value of relationship, but work together as a result of it. To them, relationship is the most real thing in the world, bringing good people together to finish great work.
The story isn’t over, more friendships will turn into partnerships, clients, subs and employees. That’s how we grow, by knowing people well.
Kendrick is one of those people that just lives for genuine relationships. He enjoys knowing people really well, understanding what makes them tick and then working toward a goal. Something that echoes from his time as a former NFL football player. He saw the power of camaraderie, and what good relationships could accomplish.
“I like to bring genuine straightforwardness to people. When I know someone, and know how they operate, I can anticipate exactly how to work well with them. I like the challenge of doing this with the entire spectrum of personalities I get to interact with.”
Not surprisingly, Kendrick is the champion of Plain Talk, an Optimum core value. Telling the whole truth to bring clarity and direction is the most efficient path to get from an idea to the completed project. A straight conversation is the shortest distance between two points, putting an end to confusion. Kendrick focuses his energy on knowing people, because he believes that every person operates with a set of expectations. As President and Owner, it’s his job to know what these are and create alignment. His responsibilities cover the gamut of operations, but this is the essence of his role, aligning people’s skills and expectations to get shit done.
Kendrick was a Receiving Tight End for the Baltimore Ravens, then took a job as Construction Project Manager for Northeastern University. Upon leaving this role, he founded Optimum Construction in 2009. Note: Kendrick has a habit of intellectually defending his frequent consumption of Michelob Ultra and tends to get far too wordy on the topic of Birdhunting, his obsession.
We asked Ryan to come up with some little-known fact about himself, and he could only think of one thing, but that’s typical of him (but that one thing is a mighty good one. Read on). Ryan spends most of his energy listening, rather than talking about himself, making him the living embodiment of our core value of listening. This means so much to him because,
“I want to fully understand where someone's coming from and the details in their mind’s eye. It helps me avoid assumptions.”
Seeing an end-product that reflects Optimum’s culture of relationship is why he comes to work in the morning. His other favorite value, Dura-Beauty, is the physical manifestation of how quality construction work facilitates quality lives (just ask anyone who’s had to deal with endless house problems).
Ryan enjoys working with good people, and likes to build relationships that build trust. For him it’s an environment in which anyone can flourish, from clients to architects to subcontractors. He is essential to creating another person’s vision. As the VP of Optimum Construction, he manages the details of every plan and translates them into execution. He visualizes the end-goal then organizes the path to completion, making each individual “method” work together (because everyone in construction seems to have their own way of doing things).
Ryan has been building in the construction industry for over 15 years, putting hands on over 400 individual buildings during that time. After studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maine, he completed his Green Building Certification from Sonoma State University in 2010. Early in his career, he worked for BC Construction in San Diego as a foreman, then returned to his home state of Maine to work as a foreman for Village Builders in Gorham. Then it was time to start his own business, Building Awareness, a kitchen and bathroom renovation specialist.
And we promised you a Ryan-reported fact about himself: So here it is: as a teen he kicked himself in the face during soccer practice...if anyone can figure out the physics on this, let us know.
More of the team
The companies and individuals we choose to work with say a lot about us. We realize this, but also understand the profound impact they have on our clients.
Knowing subcontractors well allows us to build better.
Building a relationship takes time, so we make intentional space to know these people well. They tell us about family life, hopes and dreams, company aspirations and the things that interest them. Partnering with the right people is essential to our construction process, and we carry the banner of relationship constantly into this area.