Building Dreams

Dan Reedy '82 (Photo provided)

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November 13, 2017

By Heather Baker

Many people go to Florida to vacation, but Dan Reedy ’82 went there to build a career. When a Chicago general contracting firm offered him an opportunity to work on a project in Florida, Reedy headed to the Sunshine State immediately after graduation from Bradley University and never left.

Reedy came to Bradley for the strength of the Civil Engineering and Construction program, the intimate school size and the perfect distance from home. He left with a close-knit group of friends and the education to launch a successful career.

“Bradley has a great construction curriculum,” Reedy said. “I remember the hands-on experience of surveying all over Laura Bradley Park and building structures out of toothpicks to understand how to make a building strong.”

His passion for construction came from his father, who worked as a civil engineer for a general contracting firm. Reedy spent summers working for the company and learned to love the idea of creating a long-lasting structure that leaves a legacy for a community.

Once in Florida, he worked for five years on tax-payer funded new school construction. When the projects were completed, Reedy took the opportunity to break into high-end residential construction. He joined a project for a large house on Jupiter Island, one of the wealthiest zip codes in the United States and home to many pro-athletes and celebrities.

Reedy made great relationships through the project with architects and with the client. His Catholic Midwestern background set him apart from local contractors. Unlike many local contractors who often left the job site to surf, Reedy believed that hard work breeds success. He carried this attitude as he started his own business, Onshore Construction & Development, and created a company culture of “honesty, hard work and absolute dedication to successful projects and satisfied customers.”

Reedy believes, “You are only as good as your last job.” He added, “Jupiter is a small community where word of mouth is everything. Keep your clients happy no matter who they are. Make things right by them, even if you think they are wrong, and it will come back to you two-fold.”

His first clients were golf legends Nick Price and Greg Norman, and those projects opened the door for him to create homes for many of the 65 PGA players living in the Jupiter area. He also built a $38.5 million oceanfront home for Celine Dion during the 2007-08 recession. “That project put us in a good position through the recession. I was able to keep people working and therefore build loyalty with them down the road.” Today his mid-size company specializes in large custom estate homes in Palm Beach and Martin Counties.

While Reedy is modest about his success, crediting some of what he has to “luck and timing.” He is sure to pay forward what he has earned and believes it is important to “Share a part of your pie no matter your situation.” He added, “Whether it is 2 percent or 10 percent, you need to give back. If you don’t, you are doing an injustice to yourself and to the community that has given you so much.”

Reedy has three organizations that mean a great deal to him. Renewal Coalition’s mission is to help wounded soldiers transition back to civilian life. Reedy finds it very rewarding to be able to lend his boat and WaveRunner to let these soldiers enjoy a fun day where they can forget about their injuries. The other two charities allow him to use his talents for those less fortunate. Hannah’s Home provides housing for unwed single mothers and KidSanctuary provides housing and care for foster children who have been removed from their foster homes because of abuse or neglect. Many local businesses, like Reedy’s, donate materials and labor to build the residential facility, which is continually growing. The materials are often high-end, like granite and marble. Reedy hopes seeing what they can have will help inspire the kids to aim higher. He has similar advice for today’s Bradley students, “Shoot high and hope it works out. You might fail but if you don’t try, you’ll never get there.”