But the firm founded by his father, V. Jay Wadman, in a business the younger Wadman once thought was the "stupidest," had revenue of about $88 million in 2012 and is one of the state's leading building contractors.
The elder Wadman, credited by his son "for helping me learn how to work," died on Jan. 5 in Pleasant View, Utah, of natural causes, says Wadman Corp. He was 85.
Jay Wadman started a company predecessor, Wadman Construction Co., in 1951, following U.S. Navy service from 1944 to 1948. It did small remodeling and repair jobs, including work at Hill Air Force Base, near Ogden. Wadman learned the construction business from his father, Ben, who owned his own small firm.
Wadman Corp., which now has 100 employees, has since completed 1,000 public and private projects throughout the West, including Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming and California.
These jobs include a $31-million, 52,000-sq-ft terminal expansion to Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Airport in 2010, the 173-room Dakota Mountain Lodge & Golden Door Spa (now the Waldorf-Astoria Park City) in 2009 and a $16-million nuclear laboratory at the U.S. Energy Dept.'s Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls.
The firm is currently building the 208-ft-tall, 96,630-sq-ft Payson Temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The temple is set to finish in 2014.
David Wadman was named company president in 1984 and CEO in 2007.
Wadman Corp. ranked on ENR’s list of the Top 400 Contractors in 2010 and 2009.
Wadman was active in the Utah chapters of the Associated Builders and Contractors and Associated General Contractors, serving in various leadership roles.
He received the AGC of Utah’s Eric W. Ryberg Award in 1980 for his lifetime of industry service as well as an honorary degree from Brigham Young University.
Jay Wadman also served for many years as chairman of American Indian Services, a Provo, Utah-based non-profit organization that provides more than 2,300 annual college scholarships to Native Americans, based on both financial need and academic performance, according to its website.
Donations in Wadman's memory are requested to be sent to the organization, located at 1902 North Canyon Rd., Suite 100, Provo, Utah 84604.