Damian Duke, Managing Director BRL Contracting Profile

Christine Sheng
Client Director
Rogers-O'Brien Construction (RO)

Damian Duke, Managing Director BRL Contracting Certificate

“Your company should serve people ”

SSince 1969, third-generation commercial contractor Rogers-O'Brien Construction (RO) has led Texas’ construction and growth. Christine Sheng manages client relationships, directs projects, and builds communities and buildings with partners as a client director. She focuses on Central Texas education, religion, and civics. RO’s Team and projects are top-notch. They build corporate, retail, interiors, mixed-use, multi-family, K-12, higher education, worship facilities, healthcare, mission-critical, senior housing, industrial, and science and tech.

Christine's first project manager after graduation called her a "relentless improver." She thought every procedure and drawing could be improved. The Strength-finder assessment revealed that lifelong learning is her greatest organizational strength. She always sought knowledge, practice, and experience. She also shares that one of her 10-year project directors influenced her. She asserts he has been with the company for almost 30 years and built almost every type of project and building. When asked by an owner about his favorite project, he sobbed and replied that it was the last school he had constructed, where he discussed neighborhood childcare, design and construction speed, and on-time school openings. On the first day of school, opening day, he gave elementary students high-fives for their modern facility.

Christine worked for another general contractor who teamed up with RO at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital before joining RO. She learned the company's culture after winning the assignment. She witnessed RO's unique culture through a director friend.

Kansas City became her workplace. Two years in the Midwest led her family to Austin, Texas. Joining RO was her best decision, and she has supported top-down innovation since joining the company. At RO, she freely shares and tests her ideas and always takes risks to succeed. With this perspective, she can focus her desires and efforts on improving herself and her community.

Christine became a manager to grow the team and improve Central Texas and RO. She shares team goals and progress. Mistakes and feedback taught her management honesty and transparency. Though difficult, honesty affects her team and organization the most. She was sometimes vulnerable, humble, and uncomfortable, but she knew she needed trust and courage to have difficult conversations. Christine built end-user projects for cities and towns, mostly public or nonprofit. She chooses projects and clients to engage users. She succeeded, but her values shaped K–12, higher education, religion, non-profits, and civic programs. She enjoys building hospitals, museums, cultural centers, dormitories, and schools in underserved areas.

RO has grown and adapted to new people and processes. Their core value, “A Better Way," emphasizes leadership, especially in generational transitions. Christine verified the organization transfers. Regional presidents, directors, the CIO, CFO, and CEO comprised RO's leadership council. Christine said the council regularly reviews company issues, and leaders teach the CEO, Leaders and support divisions were strategically funded and supported. These services help RO Operations complete projects. RO's three-year strategy prioritized people, projects, and execution.

RO's predecessors promoted openness and critical thinking. Christine chose a rewarding but less profitable job. These projects inspired RO members to build more for their neighborhood. Management regularly discusses strategy and listens to many. Strategic workshops attract RO leaders. RO Connect's town hall shares session results with the company. Meetings update regions, present short- and long-term goals, and solicit feedback. At RO Connect, leaders discussed three-year impact strategies. Optimization outweighed profitability, and work-life balance, ideation, and support departments all improved, reflecting an economy that values long-term gain over financial success.

RO has been built mostly for private developers for decades. Public and community-funded projects have many constraints like scheduling, finances, contingencies, contract language, and construction diction.

They serve communities unfamiliar with public sector and civic project processes. over the past few years, RO has continued to improve its customer service. Christine believes they have improved in learning, listening, communicating, finances, contingencies, contract language, and construction diction despite challenges. They instill community, future, and education values in future generations.

Christine thinks their product is innovative. Unfortunately, most data is budgetary, and people subjectively rate their rooms based on design and psychology. Occupants should assess the project's success. Austin's first all-girls academy teaches science and leadership, and its space has a global impact. This school molds students in woodshops, robotics and scientific labs, collaboration spaces, naturally lit rooms, and other facilities. Design helps students innovate. Christine loved being part of the team that brought this vision to life—from the first community meeting to the design meeting to the dirt being moved, the wall going up, the steel joists, the windows, and the roofing system—everything was done to make the school building usable and effective for future generations.

RO believes that planned and proactive procedures across multiple departments will help find and deal with current and future risks, problems, opportunities, and impacts. They do environmental scanning by looking at industry peers, studies, conferences, seminars, and networking with experts to find external trends, risks, and opportunities that could affect their business.

Their department of operational excellence looks at their internal assessment and reviews procedures, technology, and staff skills to fix problems that are related to risk. When setting regional and company-wide goals and important results, their R&D team does opportunity assessments for new markets, technologies, and consumer preferences. Innovation allows employees to try new ideas and profit from them since company ideas foster innovation, exploration, and learning. Finally, continuous improvement evaluates risk and opportunity management to react to changes and avoid problems.Weekly and monthly training maintains skills, safety, and people, which enhances competition and operations.

Christine loves public projects—federal, state, and local governments working together to meet needs. Specialization limits projects, income, and economic resilience. Diversifying helped Rogers-O'Brien. Clients value its building quality and execution despite market fluctuations. It meets market and customer needs. Christine said leadership announced a three-year optimization and calibration strategy to improve internal and external business. Since they're still implementing, She’s confident RO will change for the better.


Rogers-O'Brien Construction (RO)


Christine Sheng
Client Director
Rogers-O'Brien Construction (RO)


For the last 50 years, RO has consistently proven that there is A Better Way to do things, whether that’s in how we build buildings or foster relationships. We’ve applied that same philosophy and way of thinking with technology and innovation. Since 2011, RO has been a leader in construction technology around the world and we don’t plan on changing that reputation – the future is bright and the opportunities are endless.

Inspiring Leaders Magazine 2023