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Industry Folks - Shawn Babb, Alpha Building Corporation

image Shawn Babb, Operations Manager

SAN ANTONIO - For four years, Shawn Babb has served as the operations manager for Alpha Building Corporation, but before that, he served in the military for 21 years, cutting his teeth on construction as a U.S. Navy Seabee.





    “I learned a lot about construction from every level through every trade,” explains Babb. “Because at one point or another, I was in charge of electrical shops, plumbing shops, carpentry shops, and I was a heavy equipment operator so that was my specialty. And I learned a lot about educating people, because I was an instructor for five years of my military career, teaching heavy equipment construction.”
    Having grown up in Little Rock, AR, Babb graduated high school while in the Navy and spent over two decades traveling the world. He estimates that he has been around the world six times, seeing many places, both good and bad, and then he retired in 1994. Now, at 61 years old, Babb is a three-time war vet, having served at the end of Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War, and Operation Just Cause in Panama.
    His civilian construction career began as the quality control safety manager with Brown & Root at Little Rock Air Force Base. After moving up to the project management side, Babb left Arkansas to do an $8 million lead abatement job in Chicago.
    Then, he moved to San Antonio working at Fort Sam Houston as a project manager for the Job Order Contract there. After four years, he joined Johnson Controls as a senior project manager on performance contracting. And after five years there, he joined Alpha as a project manager at UTSA.
    Enjoying the challenges of a job, such as repurposing a historic building, is what Babb loves most. He is currently working on just such a project in Brownsville. It’s a building downtown that is more than 100 years old that they razed with the exception of the exterior walls and they are building it back up to be a cultural center when it’s completed.
    Today, his wife, Kathy Babb, has been an administrative assistant with Alpha Building for five years, and his son-in-law, Kevin Rainey, is a senior project manager in Alpha’s Austin office. Babb has three children; his oldest, Shawn Jr.; his daughter, Shannon Rainey; and his youngest, Christopher. Shawn Jr. is still on active duty, having followed in his father’s footsteps as a Navy Seabee. Shannon is a retired hospital corpsman who was assigned to a Naval construction battalion. Christopher is a senior project manager at Rackspace. Babb also has four grandchildren.
    In his spare time, he enjoys golfing, fishing, and shooting. An avid shooter, Babb used to be a range instructor. –mh

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Mary Hazlett mary@constructionnews.net