60 years of growing and developing communities in Texas

In 2003, Skanska acquired the construction firm BFW Construction Co., Ltd. (BFW), strengthening its position in Texas. BFW was founded in 1964, and we still have employees with our teams today that came from BFW, including Ryan Aalsma and Dennis Yung, our two general managers - executive vice presidents in Texas.

Ryan Aalsma (left) and Dennis Yung (right).

Over the years, we have remained committed to delivering high-quality projects that not only stand the test of time but also contribute to the growth and development of communities across Texas. Our footprint can be seen far and wide, leaving a lasting impact on the landscape of the state.

We sat down with Ryan and Dennis for their insights and reflections on how Skanska has grown and continues to progress in Texas.

How has the company evolved over its 60 years of operation in Texas?

Ryan: One of the reasons we’ve been so successful is because we’ve embraced innovation at every turn, from adopting advanced building technologies to implementing sustainable construction practices. Most importantly, our commitment to creating a better society through responsible business has remained constant.

Dennis: Our project portfolio has expanded dramatically, including landmark education, commercial development and healthcare facilities. Skanska has grown from a small operation to a major player in the Texas construction industry, allowing us to take on more work and bigger projects.

Could you share a few key projects from our past that have significantly shaped our reputation and impact in Texas?

Ryan: Civic Park at Hemisfair is the first project that comes to mind. We’ve been lucky to work with repeat clients on multiple projects as they grow, including The Alamo Colleges, University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the City of San Antonio. A few key healthcare projects include Methodist Stone Oak Hospital, Main Methodist Hospital & Children’s Hospital, and Lackland Ambulatory Care Center – Replacement of Wilford Hall Hospital.

 Dennis: In Houston, it would be our Bank of America Tower, 1550 on the Green and NRG Stadium. In North Texas, our Collin College Wylie Campus and TCCD Northwest Campus projects stand out. I also have to mention our University of Texas at Tyler Medical Education Building, and the Toyota Music Factory.


Civic Park at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas.

Looking back, what would you say were some pivotal moments or turning points for us in Texas?

Ryan: Pivotal moments that have been essential to our growth trajectory in San Antonio is largely attributed to expanding our core leadership team. Three members of our leadership team have each spent over two decades with Skanska, and their profound understanding of our organizational strengths has significantly contributed to our continued success and expansion.

However, this growth is a collective effort. Every member of our organization plays an invaluable role in fostering authentic client relationships and managing projects with integrity and respect.

Dennis: A significant turning point was when our regional executive officer implemented substantial organizational changes in Texas. He split the region into two markets, each with its own general manager. As a result, we drilled deeper into our core markets in our core geographies, focusing on building relationships and making an impact in the communities where we live. Our team members are proud to have a brand with a strong local presence in the marketplace.

Reflecting on our journey so far, what are some lessons learned that can guide our future strategy and decisions?

Ryan: To truly be strategic with our project pursuits and client partnerships, which requires a deep understanding of our capabilities and broader aspirations as an organization.

This involves appreciating what we excel at as a company and leveraging those strengths in areas where they can make the biggest impact. It isn't solely about securing any project or client; it's about creating relationships with partners who share in our commitment to excellence, sustainability and meaningful contribution.

Dennis: One of the most valuable lessons we've learned is the importance of responsible growth. It's important to respect the capacity of our resources and expertise we have within Skanska. This means allowing our people to develop and expand their roles responsibly without pressuring them or the business to grow beyond its actual capacity.

Overstretching our resources not only risks quality but also leads to burnout among our team members.

It’s essential that we maintain a balance between workload and resource allocation while recognizing individual strengths and assigning tasks accordingly. By doing so, we can create an environment where employees feel valued and capable, thereby promoting sustainable growth and talent retention.


1550 on the Green in Houston, Texas.

Can you talk about our commitment to workforce development within Texas? How has this focus influenced our success over the years?

Ryan: Workforce constraints have been a continuing concern in the industry, and we are focused on building awareness around construction as a career option for younger individuals. We have taken proactive measures to engage with middle and high school students, aiming to change their perception of working in the construction industry.

We actively communicate with students and host events and Days of Discovery, highlighting the wide range of jobs available within the industry. Construction offers opportunities in fields such as sales, marketing and finance. By showcasing these diverse career paths, we hope to inspire young people to consider construction as a viable and rewarding profession. This hands-on experience helps them understand the breadth of possibilities and potential pathways in construction.

Dennis: Over the years, we have implemented various training and development programs aimed at equipping our employees and craft workers with skills and knowledge. These initiatives span across diverse areas such as safety practices, technical proficiency, leadership capabilities, and even softer skills like communication and teamwork.

Our commitment to workforce development has profoundly impacted our success in Texas. It has enabled us to maintain a strong team of highly skilled professionals who not only deliver exceptional results consistently but also adapt quickly to the ever-evolving construction industry landscape.

How will our presence in Texas evolve over the next decade? What are some goals and objectives we aim to achieve as part of our continued growth in Texas?

Ryan: The steady population influx to Texas directly fuels the demand for infrastructure enhancements and expanded public services such as schools. Despite ongoing challenges in securing efficient and qualified labor due to sustained construction activity, Texas' historical resilience during economic downturns and its continually growing population paint an optimistic picture for the construction industry's future.

As a city on the rise, San Antonio—along with the I-35 corridor—is destined to experience significant growth and closer ties with Austin. Long celebrated for tourism and conventions, San Antonio is making substantial strides towards incorporating features that not only attract visitors but also enhance residents' lifestyles. Whether it be healthcare, higher education, downtown redevelopment, entertainment or parks, our involvement in various building and infrastructure projects is indeed reshaping how we live, work and play in this region.

Dennis: We’ll continue to grow our presence in our core markets, specifically in higher education, healthcare, and light industrial, while we strategically expand into new markets that will allow us to tap into new opportunities and diversify our experience.

We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership with Skanska’s Commercial Development team in Houston on future projects as they continue to grow. To ensure resilience and adaptability, our goal is to create a diversified portfolio that allows us to navigate market fluctuations effectively. Should one market experience a slowdown, we have established a substantial enough footprint in other sectors that will allow us to thrive.

Above all, we remain devoted to investing in our people and promoting team development continually. In the past couple years, our team has grown exponentially, and I’m so proud of the people we have with us who are working to help us grow and are pushing us to get better as an organization.