5 questions for Charlie Eadie
Charlie Eadie is vice president of business development for Claris Construction, a design-build general contractor in Charlotte. Charlie enlisted in the Army as a Combat Engineer and served in the 25th ID before gaining admission to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He won the Truman Scholarship and the Marshall Scholarship and completed graduate studies in London. Charlie served as an infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division — deployed to Iraq as a platoon leader — and as a detachment commander and Aide-de-Camp for the Commanding General of the Rule of Law Field Force in Afghanistan, where he was awarded the Bronze Star. After leaving active duty, he has worked in the construction and commercial real-estate industry as a vice president of a New York firm and as the director of business development for InterCon, and now Claris Construction. He serves on the board of advisors for The Data Incubator, volunteers with Purple Heart Homes and serves as the president of his local West Point Society.
What do you like best about your job?
The people I get to work with and the opportunity to learn something new every day. I am a people person, so I love to meet new people and learn about their work and what drives them. I chase design-build construction projects that vary in type from manufacturing to medical office to athletic facilities, and more. To deliver a great project experience for our clients, I must get to know their business and understand the vision and mission behind the design-build construction project. I love learning, and I have been blessed to learn about some awesome businesses here in North Carolina — and other ones coming to N.C. soon!
What inspires you?
Attitude & grit. I have two quotes that inspire me: “If” by Rudyard Kipling; and “Attitude” by Charles Swindoll. Go check them out again and you will see what I mean. There are many things in this world that we cannot control, but if you can keep your head about you, choose a positive attitude, and “fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it…” My wife, Jame, is a great example of this general theme — and part of the reason I love her so much. For over a decade, she has been afflicted with an undiagnosed health condition that has involved several hospitalizations, daily pain beyond my comprehension and enduring medical treatment. Nonetheless, she chooses to get up and be a positive example and remarkable mother to our children and an inspiration for me every day. She is incredible.
Who should we be paying attention to?
Veteran Workforce Development. As an Airborne Ranger, we always remember and strive to live by the Ranger Creed. The third stanza starts out, “Never shall I fail my comrades…” I know the challenge of transitioning out of uniform, and I do my best to share my insights with veterans transitioning into the private sector. For business leaders who my want to hire veteran talent, it takes effort. The main challenges veterans and companies face in this talent marketplace is the fact that we are both strangers. We have both — veterans and business leaders — been laser-focused on our missions and they are most often very distinct from one another. Yet the parallels between the two are endless — we both train, coach and mentor our teams to plan, manage and execute the best solutions to very different problems. What you need to focus on as an employer or veteran is getting to know each other.
What was your biggest challenge this week?
Planning a fundraiser event and seeking sponsors. I volunteer with a great nonprofit called Purple Heart Homes, which was founded in Statesville by two North Carolina National Guard buddies, Dale Beatty & John Gallina, after they were wounded in by a roadside bomb in Iraq. They are dedicated to providing housing for Service Connected Disabled Veterans that is substantial in function, design and quality fit to welcome home the fighting men and women of America. I am working with the Veteran Golfers Association and my West Point Society to co-host two tournaments to raise funds for Purple Heart Homes, and this week is the launch of the campaign for the first event in Columbia, S.C. Keep an eye out for the Dale Beatty Memorial Tournament in Charlotte this summer.
Favorite N.C. vacation spot?
The first thing that popped in my head is Asheville, but I have a few favorites. Asheville is gorgeous, reminds me a little bit of my hometown, Santa Cruz, Calif., and has incredible historic places to visit. I love going to Pinehurst because I golf — as much as possible — and I always run into people, so it has been filled with serendipity for me. Finally, growing up in a beach town in California, I cannot leave the Outer Banks off my list. I often get out to these places for work and vacation, which is awesome. The Carolinas have a lot of great places to live, work and play.