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On the Level: Michael McMillan, co-owner of McMillan Construction Management

Michael McMillan said he’s just completed what will likely be the most important project of his career.

Lives in: Mountain Island Lake

Age: 36

Family: wife, Kathleen, 42; children, Amelia, 8, Jack, 7, Mary Frances, 5

Education: bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing from University of Dayton, Ohio

After college, Michael McMillan came to Charlotte from Pennsylvania to work for Ryan Homes in 1998.

Three years later, the Pittsburgh native began a five-year stint with Simonini Homes, where he was able to develop his passion: building sciences. He then ventured out on his own, first in consulting for new construction companies and then in 2009 as a building contractor doing residential and commercial projects.

Last year, he was awarded two silver Excellence in Remodeling Awards from the Home Builders Association of Charlotte, including one for the renovation of a 1940s-era brick bungalow in the Chantilly neighborhood.

The co-owner of Charlotte-based McMillan Construction Management said he is working on a home renovation in Quail Hollow.

This year, the Navy reservist completed a project that was close to his heart: the Cornelius veterans monument, which was dedicated Nov. 11.

How did you become involved in the monument project?

I was asked by the architect to bid on the project. I assumed maybe I would just be the third-bidder-type of scenario. When I saw it, I sat back and I thought about how to approach it, and I didn’t see it as a profit center. I wanted to make sure I covered all my costs and I didn’t go in debt on the deal.

And working with the architect and knowing the design and how he set up — it was great to have a collaboration with the architects, Gary and Elise Funkhauser — I was able to see it on the plans and know what the true cost was going to be, because there wasn’t a lot of waste. He didn’t have to cut block, he didn’t have to cut tile, and the tile on these stones was really expensive. Having a collaboration with the architect on the front end is very important.

Where does the monument rank in your career?

This is probably the most important. From an individual standpoint, a person’s home is always the most important to them, and I always want to make sure I treat it that way. But from a macro look at everything, this has been the most important project from a meaning standpoint.

There are 1,100 and some names up on those granite slabs. All those slabs got delivered to us, and every name is so important. It was a little overwhelming. It was emotional.

What’s your next big project?

I’m working with my church right now raising funds for a memorial to the unborn at St. Mark Catholic Church. We’ve had some roadblocks with legalities and 501(c)3 because of it being pro-life and that’s pretty frustrating. It’s going to be a pretty substantial memorial. It’s not just for babies that are aborted, but also babies that died at birth and in miscarriages. Everyone is touch by it. It’s emotional. The Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus are passionate about that.

What kind of roadblocks?

I’m a member of the Knights of Columbus up there. The Knights of Columbus is not a 501(c)3 because we are pro-life. PETA can be 501(c)3, but we can’t because we are pro-life. There’s a lot of hypocrisy out there, and that’s one I’d like to shed some light on.

Anything else you’d like to share?

That darn veterans monument is something. We’re so honored to be a part of that, just from a validation standpoint that the town had the faith in myself and the trades to build that for them and they’re happy with it. It’s going to be there for generations, and my kids will be able to bring their kids there. I don’t know what else can come my way that’s that unique. We’re honored. We’re thankful to the town and the architect that invited us to bid on it.

Ramsey can be reached at tara.ramsey@mecktimes.com.

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