Brad Fullmer, Publisher for Utah Construction & Design Magazine
How did you get started in the industry?
I suppose my official start in the AEC industry was as a sales rep for Monsen Engineering in Salt Lake City selling large-format Xerox copiers. I slogged through that job for 18 months, worked at a rival firm for five months, and then found myself unemployed in the fall of 1998. That October, I answered an ad in the Salt Lake Tribune classifieds that said “Editor, Trade Publication.” I was hired by McGraw-Hill Construction to write/edit Intermountain Contractor, a monthly publication that supported the firm's Dodge Construction News weekly publication. I worked there for a combined six years (1998–2001 and 2006–2009). In between, I worked at three engineering firms as a marketing/proposal coordinator.
When I was laid off in October 2009 due to the recession, I worked through a revolving door of low-paying, part-time jobs for three years before starting Utah Construction + Design. When McGraw-Hill combined Intermountain Contractor with Colorado Construction to create Mountain States Construction, it created a void of editorial coverage in Utah. I was confident I could fill that void once the economy rebounded.
One of my jobs during this low period was at Market Street Grill in downtown Salt Lake. I was in the midst of a divorce and floundering personally. During training one morning, I was sitting in a booth and could see the front door. Dave Layton (President/CEO of Layton Construction) walked in, and I just dropped my head and said, “Oh shit.” It was a bit of an emotional gut punch. The new federal courthouse had just started and was a giant hole in the ground. I vowed right then I'd write about that project someday.
It's been gratifying, and humbling, to see where I am professionally now versus that difficult stretch of time. It makes me appreciate what UC&D has become. But every day presents new, sometimes difficult challenges and life is figuring out how to navigate through it all while having ample amounts of fun along the way.
What is your education and training?
I earned an Associate degree from Dixie College in 1988 and a Bachelor of Communications/Journalism from the University of Utah in 1995. Sandwiched in-between was a two-year church mission to the Midwest (Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska).
Do you have an industry mentor?
Edwin (Ed) Rogers was my newspaper advisor at Dixie College when I served as Sports Editor and Editor-in-Chief during my two years on the Dixie Sun staff. Ed was a tremendous man, someone I looked up to and greatly respected. Ironically, Ed's son, Ben Rogers, is in the AEC industry. Ben is co-founder of Desert Edge Architecture in St. George and I've been fortunate to get to know him the past few years. He is every bit the great man Ed was and occasionally Ben reminds me that his dad is still keeping tabs on me!
Where did you grow up?
Sandy, Utah (10 blocks east of Alta High)
What did you want to be when you were young?
Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years/what is your 5-year goal?
I'm not going anywhere, I hope! UC&D is very much a "dream job" in many ways because I get to associate with industry professionals who I genuinely like and respect. I believe our publication is appreciated by the local AEC industry and offers tangible value to our clients.
What piece of advice would you give to yourself during your first month in the industry?
Get to know as many people as you can and develop positive relationships by being true to the craft of journalism, which is basically get your facts straight and make it interesting to read beyond the first two paragraphs.
What is the last book you read?
Broken Music—A Memoir, by Sting. He's an amazing writer (beyond his obvious musical genius). I tend to stick with magazines and newspapers. I'd like to write a book someday, perhaps a memoir.
Far right photo: Brad with sons Connor (left) and Cody, and daughter-in-law Krislynn, at the trailhead to Havasupai Village, Ariz. in May 2023.