Archives for Our People

Take 5 with Alder’s Women in Construction

Jess Howell, Rachel Griffiths and Sammy Amos are part of our network of women in construction working across the diverse areas of our business and today we take 5, to learn about their roles, what it takes to succeed and their advice for young women looking to carve a career in construction.

Jess Howell  |  Bid Coordinator

What does your role entail?

My role at Alder Constructions is within the Pre-Contracts team, as Bid Coordinator/Tender Writer. As part of my role I am to establish, lead and manage the submission requirements for all incoming bid proposals. While there is a lot of behind the scene aspects to the role, like maintaining the tender database, identifying improvements for the submission processes and developing engaging material for submissions – my priority is ensuring all tender submissions are executed effectively, on time and enhance the customer journey, leading us to successfully secure works.

What personal qualities help you succeed in your job?

I believe effectively being able to communicate, motivate team members, time manage multiple deadlines and having a keen eye for detail are crucial for the succession in a role such as mine. Secondary but as important, is being proactive, always being one step ahead at all times; how do we differentiate our submissions, how do we stay ahead of our competition and how can we best serve our client.  Being confident in your ability to be a team player while simultaneously being able to work autonomously is also a key factor in being successful in this role.

What is the biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction?

Construction is perceived as a very, male rich environment. Which, as women we should be embracing. In my experience, one of the challenges in such environment is being heard. A challenge, it is like anything able to be overcome. With the right patient, persistence and confidence, the movement around women in construction should be on par with those of their male colleagues, not a differential.

What advice would you give to someone interested in working in construction?

Find your fire. If that is an aspect or every aspect of construction, then absorb it. Learn, challenge, inspire and grow from it and in it. It’s one of the most dynamic industries we are lucky to call work. Everyday, there is something new. Everyday there is something to learn.

What makes you proud of the work you do?

Being in a highly visual and content driven role, being able to push boundaries, and enhance the customer journey is what makes me proud to do my role. I love a challenge, it’s in my DNA.


Rachel Griffiths  |  Project Manager

What does your role entail?

At Alder Constructions, I’m a Project Manager within the Building Team.  My role is project delivery of commercial builds, so I spend a good portion of my time engaging with our site team, subcontractors, suppliers and working with our clients and consultants to deliver the best project outcome. I am a problem solver, working within time and budget parameters constantly, it is challenging, but rewarding when you hit that completion milestone.

What personal qualities help you succeed in your job?

Building relationships is important to me and a key to success in my role. Being accountable and reliable builds mutual trust and that is so important when you have tight time frames and need to work collaboratively with your network of trades to get a job done.  I’ve also had to become a great multi-tasker – juggling trades and projects!

What is the biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction?

Trying to stand out, be confident and be heard is a challenge in such a male dominated industry.  At Alder, it is an inclusive environment, but sometimes you still get resistance on sites.

What advice would you give to someone interested in working in construction?

Be prepared for a challenge!  For anyone looking becoming a Project Manager or Contracts Administrator, spend as much time on site as possible and ask your site team and subcontractors plenty of questions – that is key experience.  There is no such thing as a stupid question.

What makes you proud of the work you do?

It makes all the hard work worth it when you see a finished project that benefits the community, children, the disabled, the elderly and families.  That is what makes me proud of what I do.


Sammy Amos  |  Commercial Assistant

What does your role entail?

My role at Alder Constructions is Commercial Assistant and I support our Commercial Manager and building project delivery teams.  I’m a bit of a jack of all trades and provide assistance and support in multiple areas including accounts, contract administration, site mobilisation and help improve our project management systems.

What personal qualities help you succeed in your job?

Willingness to learn new things, ability to work in ‘reactive’ circumstances when new priorities arise and managing my time are key.  I can also have a laugh about it all, because it can be a challenge to have a whole team with competing priorities wanting everything done at once!

What is the biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction?

The ideology that it is predominantly a ‘mans world’ or that women don’t have as hard a shell for this particular environment; when really, males also have a tendency to show quite a bit of emotion and it really shows in this industry.

What advice would you give to someone interested in working in construction?

Go for it! Great industry, and very rewarding. Lots of opportunity to work your way up the ladder which is what I am working on myself, to hopefully step into a Contracts Administrator role in the future.

What makes you proud of the work you do?

Knowing my contribution has kept the cogs turning and my role may be more behind the scenes, but we are all a team and everyone has a part to play in the success of our projects and our business.

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New appointments propel company growth

The Alder Group of companies continues to expand its operations across south east Queensland, boosted by two key appointments in senior roles.

The Gold Coast development and construction business has appointed Tony Wallace as CFO of the Alder Group and Frank Galvin as Senior Development Manager.

Alder Constructions General Manager Dean Cheffers said the new additions bring valuable skill sets that will allow the group to explore more opportunities, solve complex problems quicker and further improve the level of customer service.

A qualified CPA, Mr Wallace has worked in senior finance roles across development, building, mining, transport and infrastructure, both in Tier 1 companies and start-ups.

“Tony brings pragmatic commercial and financial acumen across project and corporate compliance, reporting and governance,” Mr Cheffers said.

“Having worked for Lend Lease for the past five years, Tony has extensive experience working with both construction and development businesses. He possesses a very diverse and highly relevant background and this will be an excellent fit given Alder’s diverse portfolio across the construction and developments arms of the business.”

Mr Wallace will be responsible for the group’s overall financial management, overseeing the company’s systems, processes and people, while ensuring strong financial control and outcomes are achieved.

“He will provide mentoring, guidance and overall leadership to our finance and admin team and will work closely with the directors and senior management team to meet our key strategic and business goals,” Mr Cheffers said.

With over 15 years’ experience in the development industry, Mr Galvin – Immediate past President of the UDIA Ipswich Branch – has been responsible for the development management of projects from acquisition to settlements, with a key focus on providing products that meet market demand.

“Following a six year tenure at Sekisui House, Frank brings significant knowledge of master planned communities to the team,” Mr Cheffers said.

“In his role as Senior Development Manager, Frank’s key responsibilities will include acquisitions, due diligence, planning, construction management and liaising with local, state and federal government agencies and other statutory bodies.

Founded in 2003, Alder Constrictions, which has building and civil infrastructure capabilities, has a range of residential, education, commercial, industrial and key infrastructure projects between Palm Beach and Mooloolaba.

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Mo’ money for men’s health

For the month of November, Alder Constructions delivered a strong turn-out and much enthusiasm for our Movember campaign to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, mental well being and suicide prevention. Our guys and girls donned their best tashes and walking shoes to raise $2,627 and walk a massive 121.5km! We certainly enjoyed the journey and support from our friends, family, colleagues, valued clients and subcontractors so until next year!

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Celebrating 15 years!

Alder Constructions is celebrating 15 years of sustained growth as the business continues to diversify and expand its operations across South-East Queensland.

The company started from humble beginnings, based out of founder and Managing Director Greg Alder’s Gold Coast residence in 2003. Today, Alder has a workforce of over 60, and has delivered over 200 successful construction projects across the south east.

Greg prides himself on the steady and controlled growth of the company and has maintained his workforce through tough economic times. After 16 years working for a Tier 1 company prior to establishing Alder Constructions, Greg says he was driven to build a company with the horsepower and professionalism of a Tier 1 company that maintained the ‘family business feel’.

“Culture is so important, it’s the cornerstone of a successful business with longevity,” he said.

“I was determined to move away from the large corporate structure where staff are just a number. Our staff form the backbone of the company’s 15 years of success. Our ability to deliver cutting edge, revolutionary projects in a range of sectors while maintaining our family feel is a testament to having the right people.”

Current General Manager Dean Cheffers joined the team within the first six months of operation. This was a big move for Dean, who was in the early stages of building his career as an Engineer.

“It was daunting to join a start up at that stage in my career but we are now 15 years down the track, so it was a leap well worth taking,” he said.

“In the early days, the challenge was acquiring projects through tendering because the brand was unknown in the market. Greg’s strategy was to target projects in prominent locations in the Gold Coast and over time, people started recognising the brand, and associating it with high quality projects.

“We went after the logistically challenging and technical projects that many others would shy away from. We have tackled diverse projects across a range of industries from industrial land subdivision through to state of the art education precincts and waterfront apartments, which is reflected in our company values – Innovative, Diverse and Genuine.”

The team outgrew the home operation in 2006 and transitioned to an industrial unit in Biggera Waters. Eight years later, the company made a strategic move to a prominent position on Siganto Drive at Helensvale, building a $4.5million headquarters. Alder Constructions took out a Master Builder’s regional, state and national awards in 2015 for the design and construction of ‘Alder Place’.

“From our home base on the Gold Coast we have expanded to other regions in the south-east showcasing our capabilities to new clients and local government authorities,” Greg said.

“Alder has delivered a range of residential, education, commercial, industrial and key infrastructure projects between Tweed Heads and Mooloolaba and as far west as Warwick.

“We have delivered key pieces of infrastructure on behalf of multiple Councils across South East Queensland, State and Federal Government as well as private developers and clients.”

With both building and civil infrastructure capabilities, Alder has successfully completed iconic projects including the Seaway Jetty, the Gold Coast Turf Club, the Tweed River Art Gallery, Gold Coast Hockey Centre and part of the Gold Coast Desalination Plant Project.

Alder has also established itself as a leader in the private and independent education sector.

“We have delivered multiple progressive education projects including the award winning learning centre known as ‘The Pod’ at Coomera Anglican College, The Southport School Multi-Purpose Hall, and the Emmanuel College Auditorium,” Greg said.

“We are currently constructing A.B. Paterson’s new $13 million state-of-the-art learning precinct, which set a new benchmark for educational facilities in Queensland.”

Greg’s vision for the future of the company was to generate its own work and create a self-sustainable business. As such, the organisation has evolved into an agile development and construction business which is innovative, genuine, diverse, resourceful, and collaborative.

“Alder Developments has now been operating in its own right for four years and generating a stream of work for both the civil and building arms of Alder Constructions,” Greg said.

“Aura Apartments at Varsity Lakes was Alder Developments’ flagship residential project and was a sell-out success.

“Our current portfolio includes land holdings of 65ha across the Gold Coast and Logan, with a key land holding at Pimpama on the M1.”

Alder Developments is currently delivering 11ha of High Impact zoned land at Yatala known as Aspire Industrial Park. Works are also underway on Spanns Road, a 2.36ha site zoned for mixed-use in Beenleigh.


As we celebrate 15 years, a very special mention goes out to our 10+ club – Dean Cheffers, Terry Smith, Nick Gardiner, Shane Pelczer, Rob Odgers and Gavin Consadine.

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New appointment bolsters Alder’s expansion plans

Gold Coast based construction company Alder Constructions has appointed Ian Savage as its Building Manager, as part of an overall growth strategy.

Alder Constructions will continue to expand its operations across south east Queensland, with Mr Savage responsible for the procurement of new projects, with a focus on client relationship development.

“Alder has been on a steady, controlled, and continual growth path, with a diverse range of active projects across many industry sectors,” he said.

“As the business continues to expand into new regions across the south east, I will be overseeing the execution of many of these projects, to ensure they are financially successful for all stakeholders, and delivered in line with client requirements, to HSEQ standards.

“A key part of my role will be the identification and procurement of suitable new projects to meet turnover and profitability lead indicators, to help the business to build upon this growth.”

Mr Savage brings 32 years of industry experience in commercial, multi-storey residential, retail, industrial, defence, education and infrastructure projects working within Tier 1 contacting firms. He was transferred from New Zealand in 2012 with a multinational company, specifically to project manage a $300 million commercial project in Brisbane.

More recently, he held the position of National Construction Manager and Infrastructure Business Unit Manager within a nationally operating business.

Alder Constructions General Manager Dean Cheffers says Mr Savage will play a key role in leading and mentoring the building team from cadets to project managers.

“Our current workforce of 54 is the backbone of the company’s 15 years of success and our ability to deliver cutting edge, revolutionary projects in a range of sectors while maintaining our family feel is a testament to having the right people,” he said.

“We are currently in a growth phase of the business, and Ian’s appointment has been timely.

“Ian is a strong leader with fantastic people skills who provides a collaborative management style approach to his staff. He brings a wealth of experience in a range of roles across a broad spectrum of projects that fits in with our business model and the diversity of our projects.”

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