Despite the turbulence of the past few years, Dallas-based TDIndustries has managed to maintain its financial stability and keep its people working in 2012.

In 2010 and 2011, the firm bottomed out from a revenue perspective. However, this year, things are looking promising. Revenue across the company will be up 15%, says Harold MacDowell, TDI's CEO.

"Our backlog really peaked at a record level in 2011, and it's been holding pretty steady because some of these very large projects are just slow to get started," MacDowell says. "So the reason revenue is beginning to surge is that the big ones start to come through and we benefit from a revenue increase finally after the backlog has been on the books for a while."

In Texas and Louisiana, things are steady for TDI, as the firm posted $287.57 million in regional revenue in 2011, just about $3 million shy of its performance in 2010. Among this year's Top Specialty Contractors, TDI was ranked No. 3 for mechanical contractors, with $201.3 million in revenue, and No. 1 for plumbing contractors, with $86.27 million in revenue (see p. 29).

In addition, TDI has now exceeded its peak employment numbers from 2008.

"While we did have some reductions in force in 2008 of about 150 people, we've now hired more than that back," MacDowell says. And TDI is still increasing its ranks. "There aren't many companies in the country that are hiring right now," he adds.

Given its strength in maintaining a diverse portfolio, recognizing the importance of all jobs from miniscule to mega and remaining dedicated to its people, innovation and long-term planning, ENR Texas & Louisiana names TDIndustries its 2012 Specialty Contractor of the Year.

Broadening Expertise

The lingering impact of the economic downturn had little effect on TDI's project list this year. What's made the difference for the firm has been diversification.

"We do a lot of different kinds of work," says Graham Moore, president of TDI's Houston office. "I've been at TDI for a long time, and over the years we've developed a lot of skill sets among our trades that allow us to do a lot of different types of projects. Our book of work is pretty diverse, and I think that's helped us."