Construction has been a part of Jeff McLinden’s background for as far back as he can remember. When he was 8, he moved into a development with his family where new homes were being built. Jeff was known to hang around the worksites, offering to sweep up or help in any way, to be allowed to stay. The workers turned a blind eye when Jeff foraged for dropped nails and grabbed whatever scrap pieces of lumber he could carry to construct his own cabins in the woods.
At 13, he rebuilt his family’s sun deck and took apart the broken washing machine to see if he could fix it. Unfortunately for the machine, it never went back together, but he definitely learned a thing or two in the process.
His earliest construction job was working for a neighbor, Leo Dalpe, who was a well-respected custom home builder and remodeler. People would wait years for Leo to work on their homes because he was known for his quality work. Leo became a mentor and second father figure to Jeff during these years. Leo was a great teacher and had very high standards. If Jeff messed up, Leo would make him redo it. He was an old-school, tough manager, but he always had Jeff’s best interest at heart. While the lessons flowed freely, the perks and benefits of this job did not.
After four years, Jeff moved on to his next construction job with a company that had all the great benefits (health insurance, paid holidays, etc.), but was run by an extremely difficult and overbearing manager. Through all of these early experiences, Jeff learned what he liked and what he didn’t like, to bring to his own company one day.
Jeff moved on to work as a subcontractor, maintaining 44 condo units for a company in Rhode Island. As a subcontractor, Jeff was truly self-employed for the first time, so he needed to pay his own taxes and buy his own vehicle, tools, and insurance. These steps toward business formation were the beginnings of what would become JM Construction Inc.
JM Construction, as we know it today, was established in Franklin in 1986, with a move to Blackstone in 1988, and then to Holliston in 1994. During those early years, Jeff admits that he was a workaholic. Building his own company was definitely a labor of love. In 1990, he hired his first employee, a Carpenter’s Helper, to share the workload. Today things are much more manageable.
As the President and owner of JM Construction, Jeff serves as the general manager and sales manager. When asked to describe his role, he says, “I help direct the overall operations of the company by working with my management team to steer the ship and maintain and instill JM Construction goals and values in all we do.” Not a small task for a company with ten employees.
Outside of work, Jeff’s favourite activity is running, something he has enjoyed for the last 20 years. Running enables Jeff to de-stress. It provides the space for him to think things through; it’s a form of meditation for him. He finds peace through running, and since he has run in 31 marathons so far, this has given him a lot of road time to find that inner peace!
His family is his greatest passion. He says, “JM Construction would not be here if it wasn’t for my wife, Denise.” Her support through the good and bad years has been crucial. Jeff loved being an actively involved dad to his three boys. He participated in everything that he could – chaperoning school events, volunteering in the classroom, and coordinating their mission trip adventures around the country for the last ten years.
Last year, after their boys had all moved out on their own, Jeff and Denise sold their family home in Holliston and moved to a new condo in Medway. They are now officially “empty nesters,” looking fondly back at those fun busy years but also looking forward to what this next phase of life will bring.
Learn more about JM Construction from Jeff McLinden: