If Chad Clough isn’t the most interesting person you’ve read about today, you’ve been reading comic books about superheroes or science fiction about mad scientists. Clough, as it turns out, is a little bit of both.
The senior director of construction for dog care services company Camp Bow Wow built an off-the-grid, solar-powered home on the Sea of Cortez in Baja, Mexico. He commuted to and from Baja, while also raising his son and driving, not flying, back and forth to Colorado for business, because he wanted the company of his two golden retrievers. That’s a recurring 5,000-mile round trip.
“They were the best copilots a guy could ever have,” Clough says of his dear furry friends who recently passed away. “The lengths that we go to for the animals that we love, it probably makes sense how I wound up here [Camp Bow Wow].”
Clough came to Camp Bow Wow in 2018 as a construction manager before being promoted to his current senior director role in 2021. He is frank about the needs of his department when first he took on the role.
“I know I’m in the dog business, but this was like herding cats,” Clough delivers, deadpan. “We had a department that needed to get its lane straightened out, and that has involved a great deal of process change internally.”
First Day of Camp
Clough hired two new construction managers and has more hires on the way to keep pace with Camp Bow Wow’s extensive growth. But, despite making it through the pandemic, there are still multiple and lingering issues holding over from the great COVID-19 lockdown.
For one, timelines for permits have nearly tripled, because so many municipalities are either not back in the office or working limited hours. It’s been such a challenge, and Clough says his team is specifically working to address ways to shorten lifecycles in order to accommodate for the current challenges.
Tracking lifecycles and milestones has been enabled by a partnership with the work management platform Smartsheets. The internal team is able to track how much time is being spent in the permitting, zoning, and the countless other phases of a build. “We’re working to identify those long lead metrics that then allow us to focus on them individually,” Clough explains. “We want to open most of our projects in fourteen weeks, so we continue tracking these to be able to drill down on the pain points.”
Camp Bow Wow is currently trying to open twenty projects a year, and the director says that number will likely shift to thirty as the organization continues to perfect its methods.
The Right Member of the Pack
Clough has brought a great deal to his role with his out-of-the-box thinking and significant process improvement chops, but he’s also very deliberate about the people he brings onto his team.
“One of my interview questions when hiring is, ‘Give me an example of a how you’ve helped someone you’ve worked with in the past,” he explains. “Generally, you get two answers. It will be a story of helping someone under them move up the ladder, or, alternatively, helping someone high up in the company.”
He continues, “I want the person who is building someone below them to help them be successful. I was set up for success by someone that taught me well. Those are the people I want around me.”
Saying Clough has “building” in his DNA is as much of a cliche as it is an understatement. He’s a fifth-generation lumberman. His son, Caden, might be the sixth generation of builders in the Colorado area. He owned his own construction services and development company for seventeen years, and his curiosity is seemingly endless.
Clough attended the Solar Energy Institute for months to learn how to service, maintain, and build a solar-dependent home far before Powerwalls and other lithium-ion batteries were popularized.
And, while the senior director is now back stateside, he’s pretty sure he’ll return to Mexico one day. His connection to the culture, his love of the community, and his time devoted to raising his son is always at the front of his mind, as are his two best friends in the world.
Clough lost his two dogs in very short order, and he’s just not ready to dive back in quite yet. Although, he’s still acting as a rescue home for golden retrievers in need, and there’s no doubt a couple of lucky dogs will wind up as permanent guests in the home of Camp Bow Wow’s senior director.
5 Point Fabrication is proud to work with Chad Clough and the team at Camp Bow Wow (CBW). For nearly 10 years, 5 Point has supported CBW with custom metal-fabricated proprietary boarding cabin and fencing components to further distinguish their leadership involving pet care. Chad’s ability to candidly problem solve and work through the construction process related to the product we manufacture is sincerely appreciated. Thank you for your support today and in the future!