Tom Porter

Alltrade Chief Executive Officer +
Barton Malow Vice President

Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, Tom learned key values from family: Honesty and reasoning from his father (a lawyer and judge), the importance of educational excellence from his mother, grandmother, and uncle (all teachers), and carefulness from Grandfather Porter, a fire department captain known as “Mr. Safety.” Throughout the family, kindness and gratitude were recognized virtues.

Tom honed his reasoning skills through the study of philosophy and as a competitive debater in high school and college, preparing him for law school at the University of Michigan. He began his professional career at the US Justice Department in Washington DC.

“It seemed remarkable that, as a twenty-something trial and appellate attorney, I could stand up and say: ‘May it please the Court. My name is Tom Porter. I represent the United States of America.’”

After his government service, Tom settled in Michigan handling diverse business litigation as a partner in a major Detroit law firm. He first met Ben Maibach III while representing him in a non-construction matter and was favourably impressed with his client. Learning that Ben’s company, Barton Malow, was seeking a General Counsel, he took the opportunity and dove deep into the construction business.

From Lawyer to Leader

Recognizing Tom’s leadership qualities, executive roles in safety, risk management, and human resources were added to his legal responsibilities. Tom’s broadening leadership scope led him to hire and manage a legal team, and as Executive Vice President he was responsible for Finance and Accounting, HR, IT, Safety and Risk, Marketing, Corporate Affairs, and of course Legal. He continued to expand his network through active involvement in the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), where he served as National Chairman and later was elected as a Fellow of the DBIA.
Tom left Barton Malow to form his own construction consulting business and pursue several “bucket list” experiences: teaching a graduate-level construction accounting class, leading an industry delegation to China, and authoring a book titled Profit, Risk & Leadership: The Business of Construction & Design-Build. Tom accepted an executive leadership position at LeChase Construction Services in Rochester, NY as Vice President and General Counsel.

Barton Malow and Alltrade

Tom returned to Barton Malow to fill multiple executive roles; some familiar (HR, IT, Safety, MARCOM), and some new (Labor Relations, Lean, Project Controls). Tom also embraced a new responsibility: Managing Barton Malow’s Canadian business interest in Alltrade Industrial Contractors Inc. With his guidance, Barton Malow took full ownership of the company in 2019 and Tom worked with Alltrade’s leadership team to reorient the business for expansion and integration.

“While I had often traveled and vacationed in Canada, doing business there was a new dimension. Working with our terrific Canadian team and achieving a successful transition has been very rewarding,“ Tom explains.

Tom’s compassion, inclusivity, and gentle humour are hallmarks of his leadership style. Tom holds two primary roles: Head of Safety for Barton Malow Company and CEO of Alltrade, which continues to integrate with Barton Malow. He also pursues his avocation by teaching on topics such as negotiation and project delivery for both companies.

Tom and his wife Anne live in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, where they can literally see Canada from the end of their driveway. They enjoy sailing, cycling, and any chance to gather with their three children and their families.