Construction Company on the Move
Faithful experts in restaurants and airport retail, Matrix Contractors, LLC brings its vision to life
With over 150 projects complete throughout Texas since 2008, it’s easy to see why Matrix Contractors, LLC is garnering awards after just 11 years in construction. The company’s team members savor being named one of Houston’s “Best Restaurant Contractors” by GC Magazine. Winning a prestigious Houston Business Journal Landmark Award makes them smile, too, because achieving excellence is their gold standard.
While accolades and awards are wonderful, Matrix Contractors’ Co-Owner and CEO Larry Walther says, “With God’s help all things are possible.” He feels blessed to work on many rewarding and high-profile projects.
Clients give the company their kudos as well. Pappas Restaurants, Inc. presented Matrix Contractors with the tough challenge of building a Pappadeaux restaurant in the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston in only 105 days. The restaurant needed to open before Super Bowl LI in 2017. The team rose to the challenge with success! Other well-known restaurant clients include Eunice, Truluck’s and The Spice Route Company. Matrix Contractors is building Spice Route’s first foray into the U.S. restaurant scene, Musaafer, in Houston’s Galleria.
Even though Matrix Contractors has experience in all facets of construction, the culmination of these and other signature projects has led the team on a journey to specialize in restaurants and airport retail projects.
Matrix Contractors presents solutions instead of problems. The team is proud of its ability to give clients cost-efficient options. Larry, who brings over 40 years of experience to the table, says, “We tell the clients if we build it like the drawings show, it’s going to cost you this; but we can save you 15-20% with alternate methods of construction and still achieve the same look.”
The staff members often share different ways to accomplish proposed designs. They also push to finish on schedule, so they investigate different materials and their availability. Larry says, “Lead time on some materials the architects and designers come up with can take 14 weeks, when we only have seven or eight weeks to build.” Larry knows how to expedite materials to get the job done. He says, “I always tell the client, if you can get it in a week, I can usually get it in a day. There are ways to do it.” Clients trust Matrix Contractors to finish on schedule and per the budget. With outside-the-box thinking, Larry says his business continues to prosper.
Building for the Future
Education and experience are other keys to the company’s success. Larry has a degree in architecture from Texas A&M University and grew up framing houses with his father. He has been in the construction business since he was 12 years old. Larry explains that he went into architecture because he wanted to “design the houses my dad was building.”
Family is a big part of the company’s progress. Larry’s wife, Carol, is also a Co-Owner and Chief Financial Officer. She enjoys making sure everything works like clockwork. Larry says his wife “takes care of the insurance, taxes and everything that has to do with making Matrix Contractors a professional business.” Larry applauds her skills saying, “It’s a big job and she does it well.”
Larry’s brother, Nelson, works as the Senior Project Manager and oversees critical path scheduling, project management and client negotiations. Nelson received his nuclear engineering degree from Texas A&M. He has previous work experience building nuclear power plants with General Electric and Duke Energy. Larry quips, “We tell people we can build you a doghouse, we can build you a restaurant, or we can build you a nuclear power plant—it doesn’t matter what you need, we can build it.”
With the rapid growth of their company, Larry and Carol asked their son, Ryan, to join them after he graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in bioenvironmental sciences in 2011. Ryan currently serves as a Project Manager and Estimator. Carol says, “He willingly jumped in and has become an instrumental part of our business.” She explains that Ryan’s fresh perspective brings new elements to the table. He has already made modifications in the company’s estimating procedures; furthermore, Carol says his ability to learn new aspects of the family business is important for the company’s future. She adds, “It’s been wonderful seeing him work alongside his father.”
Justin Pisciotti has served as the group’s Business Manager since 2012. With his degree in business administration from the University of Florida and his natural entrepreneurial skills, he has been an invaluable asset to Matrix Contractors. Justin oversees day-to-day business operations including invoicing, accounts receivable and payable, contracts and business negotiations. Carol says, “He is always coming up with ways to expand, enhance and help our business be more efficient.” Justin also “gets along well with all of us Aggies.”
Faithful Construction Commitment
The company leaders say they are blessed to have such a wonderful team, and as a thank you offer their employees a 401(k) plan and profit sharing options. Workers also get to participate in team-building retreats at the Walther family ranch in Snook, Texas. Carol says, “We work so hard all the time, we need a little down time to just hang out together and discuss our business in a more relaxed setting.” From their superintendents to their subcontractors, Larry and Carol consider everyone a part of their family. They agree that it’s comforting to work with people you respect and trust. According to Carol, “It has proven to be a great recipe for success.”
While clients are the company’s biggest priority, subcontractors are next. Larry says, “We are nothing without our subcontractors. They are what makes us. It’s a team effort.” Paying subs in a timely manner helps the company get competitive pricing to win jobs. By taking care of subcontractors, Larry establishes trust and respect with them, which has helped his team maintain long-term relationships with many subcontractors.
Business referrals and repeat clients further cement the team’s success and show that Matrix Contractors is on the right track. Much of this company’s growth is due to referrals. Larry says, “We’re recommended by the airport management supervision for projects all the time. We know how to work in the airports while working within the Transportation Security Administration security guidelines—and we do a good job of it.”
Among his many commitments to the community, Larry has a deep passion for the Houston Airport Interfaith Chapels. For the last 10 years, Matrix Contractors has sponsored the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization’s Annual Charity Classic Golf Tournament. Funds from the tournament are used to provide scholarships for airport employees and their children who are pursuing higher education. Because of the company’s longstanding relationship with the Houston Airport Interfaith Chapels, the group asked Larry to build an airport chapel for them. Larry agreed. Matrix Contractors fulfilled the request at no monetary expense to the organization. Carol humbly says, “We built it pro gratis, because it means a lot to Larry, so it means a lot to me, too.” Larry renews his faith by helping others at the airport connect with theirs. Giving back to the community in which he works is important.
Committed to Customers
The team at Matrix Contractors strives to be accessible to their customers during all phases of a project. Carol states, “We work 24/7, we have clients that call us at 10 o’clock at night or on the weekends. We’re there for our clients. That’s a big deal for us.” The level of commitment even extends to when the owners are on vacation, as they remain readily and easily available.
Carol wants clients to know that Matrix Contractors will treat you like a friend. She says, “Clients are in good hands with us and they can count on us to get the job done.” The company’s goal is to “come in on time and on budget.”
Prayer and commitment go hand in hand at Matrix Contractors. The company leaders pray that Matrix Contractors does a good job for its clients, subcontractors and the overall business. Larry says, “God is the guiding force of our business and He empowers us to achieve what it takes to have a successful business. I am excited every day to come to work, to grow our company and help our clients achieve their visions.”