On Time, On Budget and On Point

Riley Contracting Group
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

Riley Contracting Group began in 1987 under the leadership of Mike Riley. Based in Cary, North Carolina in the heart of Research Triangle Park, the commercial general contractor has established a solid reputation in both North and South Carolina for project quality, its team approach and the timeliness in which it completes projects on budget and to project specification.
Clients’ needs are the primary concern of Riley Contracting Group since client satisfaction, not volume, drives its growth. The company has an annual income of $11 million to $20 million with individual projects ranging in size from $100,000 to $10 million. “We’ve always looked at every project as a stepping stone to the next project so that we could grow our business through them,” said Mike Riley when asked about the evolution of the company.

The success it has experienced over the years is, “a good indicator of how we’ve been able to build such a good reputation because we don’t just try to do well on one project. We want to try to build a relationship and build friendships with our clients that result in a real, long-term relationship,” said Mike’s son Calin. He recently joined the business along with his brother Luke.

Riley Contracting Group has worked on a number of high-profile private and public projects across the medical and laboratory, government, historical renovations and office and retail sectors and has created many important relationships along the way.

Over the years, Riley Contracting Group continued to grow, staying true to its principles and placing an emphasis on client satisfaction. Taking full advantage of its location in the vibrant Research Triangle Park west of Raleigh, Riley can draw from several public and private resources, including North Carolina State University, UNC and Duke.
“We’ve always had the mindset that our clients’ needs are paramount, so we’ll make a point of determining specific logistical issues on a project before we break ground,” Mike Riley explained. Making sure that potential issues do not become problems requires the company to, “pay special attention to those from the outset. That’s just one way of assuring that our projects go well.”

The team at Riley carefully pre-plans and coordinates each project through clear and efficient communication to develop a solid understanding of its clients’ needs. Riley Contracting Group will identify all of the variables of a project, including conditions and environments, to ensure there is a comprehensive plan in place to achieve project success. This results in delivering the best possible outcomes with world-class service and without hindering clients’ day-to-day operations.

Riley Contracting Group’s construction and renovation of buildings that are occupied during the construction phase includes many controlled, sensitive or sterile environments that require adherence to the highest standards.

“We really enjoy the difficult projects, where there are some interesting conditions,” said Luke. The point was reiterated by his father: “That’s absolutely true. We do look for the difficult projects. We seem to excel in work that is very challenging via time restraints or restrictions in occupied places or occupied medical facilities. We tend to do very well in those environments.”

Riley Contracting Group has been publicly recognized for its commitment to quality, receiving a Certificate of Merit from the North Carolina State Building Commission this year. The award recognized excellence in project implementation for its work on the North Carolina State University Watauga HVAC and chiller replacement project.

Although Riley Contracting Group has received past recognition for its project excellence, receiving the certificate of merit was especially important for the team. “That award specifically is relevant and speaks to our commitment to on-time delivery and just delivering a quality product,” said Calin.

Mike Riley attributes the company’s success and growth to the merits of his employees, acknowledging that they have maintained consistent output and are ultimately responsible for the company’s reputation for a job well done. Having the best workers helps Riley Contracting Group maintain an edge in the market and find new ways to improve and change for the betterment of the team.

“We built the business employing the most conscientious, dedicated and qualified, trained folks that we can find in the market,” Mike Riley proudly stated. The importance of team-building extends to both the relationships it forms with its clients and within its organization. “From the outset, we encouraged a team approach with the owner, architect, engineer, subcontractors and our employees striving to accomplish the owner’s goals and the completion of a successful project.”

The company environment continuously empowers employees to be the best version of themselves. The company has hired the most qualified workforce available: professionals who also share its commitment to customer service and quality.

“Our people love working here because they have found a home for their passions where we really encourage their passions to grow,” Calin Riley said. By implementing policies and rewards that create an environment in which micromanaging is not necessary, it enjoys a low employee turnover rate. The average employee, project manager or superintendent has been with the company for seventeen years.

Although Riley Contracting Group is a family business, the positive work culture functions like a family. Luke expressed a sentiment that is echoed throughout the ranks at Riley Contracting Group: “To come to work in a place where you work with your brother and your father, and you are surrounded by people that you have known for the most part of your life, it’s just a great place to come to work every day, and I’m just thankful that I have this opportunity.”

Speaking with Mike, Calin and Luke Riley, you instantly get a sense of their truly genuine commitment to the industry, their clients, their employees and their community. Taking a team-oriented approach and maintaining the family-oriented feel as the business continues to grow, Riley Contracting Group also finds ways to give back to the greater communities of which it is a part.

Before joining Riley Contracting Group, Calin and Luke Riley served as officers in the United States Armed Forces for a number of years. In addition to bringing with them capacities of leadership, organization, and task management from their time in service, the concept of “service above self” is something that is carried over into operations at Riley Contracting Group.

The group is a proud supporter of a several charities and organizations in its community, further extending the relationships it has created in the communities it serves. Contributions have been made to the Wounded Warrior Project, the American Cancer Society, the Rotary Club and the Cary Chamber of Commerce.

“We look for projects that will be an opportunity for us to really showcase our skillset and to really get in and get done, having satisfied owners of the project who want to work with us again. And I think meeting or beating the scheduled completion date, is a major part of that,” said Luke Riley.

Moving forward, the Rileys will be looking for ways to maintain the success that they have built over the last twenty-seven years, and finding new ways to carry that success forward, especially now that Calin and Luke are part of the company. Mike is very proud of having his sons take part in the well-founded and continuing success of Riley Contracting Group.

“With the boys on board, we’re looking at a little bit of growth, and I think we’ll probably just do that through their extra efforts because both of them are involved in the community and have become an asset to the company in a very short period,” said Mike Riley.



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