Editor's Note: Patch profiles the recent winners of Dunedin Chamber of Commerce's business of the year honors.
It takes a specially trained contractor to build or remodel large hospital facilities. That firm has to pass multiple inspections by licensing agencies, work around infection control barriers, be cognizant of all the latest special building codes and make sure medical staff can continue to care for patients.
The ability to handle large scale construction projects recently earned local firm Terbo Construction the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce Medium Size Business of the Year Award.
Terry Hodge, president and owner of The Terbo Group for the past 25 years, said he was surprised and proud to be recognized for the award. Hodge almost missed the awards ceremony because he was planning to be out of town, but chamber officials tipped off his wife, who arranged for him to be in attendance.
Hodge said he is especially proud of the fact that BayCare Health Systems, operators of Morton Plant Hospital, Mease Dunedin Hospital, and three other hospital facilities, is his largest and oldest client. He recalls completing his first project for Morton Plant in 1988.
Medical construction has very demanding regulations that are more strict than most local building codes, Hodge noted. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration inspects and approves medical construction, making sure that hospitals and medical centers are remodeled or built to a set of rigorous standards. The Terbo management team regularly attends AHCA training sessions, and Terbo has never failed an AHCA inspection, he added.
“We build long term relationships with our clients. Our clients have confidence in us, and they know we will deliver on time and under budget. That is the reason that we have been able to do so many projects for the same companies,” he said.
Lynn Wargo, Dunedin Chamber president, said “Terry has been part of our community and chamber for many years. He was chosen for the award because he always does an outstanding job; he is a very fair, trustworthy and professional business person. Once you are his customer you also become his friend.”
Hodge, who earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Tennessee in the 1970s, said the part of his career that still gives him the most pleasure is starting a project and seeing a set of design plans transformed into a finished project. Being trained in architecture allows him to provide his own expertise to design plans during construction.
Most of his employees have been with him for the last 10 to 12 years, he said proudly. Terbo has a complete in-house staff, including estimators, including six job superintendents. With the poor economy affecting the building trades, it’s especially difficult to find superintendents with the experience to oversee specialized projects, he said.
Terbo also has extensive experience in commercial and retail construction, with clients that include the Florida Aquarium, Honeymoon Café on Honeymoon Island State Park, and Embassy Suite Hotels.
A good contractor has to control costs in an economy where the price of building materials is constantly on the rise. Dealing with workers' compensation and insurance is the least fun of his job, he added.
Hodge said his future plans include taking on even larger construction projects. For the larger projects, he plans to participate in joint ventures with Tampa-based Clark Construction.
He said he is happy being located in a building he owns at 1410 Santa Anna Dr. in Dunedin and proud to have been recognized by his hometown chamber. For a full list of project Terbo Construction has completed, visit their website at terbogroup.com.