Following in Family Footsteps, Pebley Leads AGC of Texas in Working to Preserve Transportation Funding
Throughout this year’s Texas Legislature session, “safeguard” is the key word for Trey Pebley, 2019 President of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Texas.
“Our main priority this session is to make sure that transportation funding is not diverted to other areas of the budget,” he said.
Unanimously voted president-elect for AGC of Texas last year, Pebley accumulated a lifetime of experiences to prepare him for the leadership role. “I was born into the construction industry,” he said. “My great-grandfather quarried gravel deposits near the Rio Grande River. My grandfather worked in construction since the 1940s and started his own company, McAllen Construction, Inc. (in McAllen, Texas), in 1962. My father took over that company in 1980 and greatly expanded the business.”
Pebley’s father also served as President of AGC of Texas in 1997. Pebleyjoined his father at McAllen Construction in 1999. In 2013, they merged their business with Foremost Paving, Inc., run by Joe Forshage in Elsa, Texas. Pebley now serves as the company’s Chief Administrative Officer.
Born and raised in McAllen, Pebley spent many years in city government and local community service. Prior to joining McAllen Construction, he served as Vice President of Texas State Bank in McAllen. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in land economics and real estate from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
In his interview with Texas Contractor, Pebley shares more about how he expects this year’s legislative session to impact the construction industry, hispriorities for AGC of Texas, andthe lessons he learned throughout his career.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My father, Howard Pebley, Jr. He got me interested in the construction industry at an early age. He also taught me to have a strong work ethic, be honest, and always treat people with respect. Those lessons have served me well both in business and personally.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
My first boss out of college told me, “Make a decision and stick with it. If it’s wrong, you’ll learn from it.” That helped me be confident about myself early in my career, and I’ve tried to pass that advice on.
What lessons have you learned in your professional life?
You need to be true to your word and listen more than you talk.
What experiences prepared you for your role with AGC?
Being exposed to the construction industry my whole life made me very aware of all the challenges and rewards. I’ve served on the Board of Directors, as well as various committees and task forces, for the AGC of Texas over the years. I’ve also been active in AGC of America, serving as Chairman of the Utility Infrastructure Division, Chairman of the Environmental Steering Committee, and as a member of the AGC Charities. For 13 years, I served the City of McAllen as a City Commissioner and Public Utility Trustee, where I was exposed to the owner’s perspective.
What is your focus for AGC of Texas this year?
One of my priorities is to remind our members how important they are to the success of the chapter. Without a strong and active membership, we wouldn’t have the respect and admiration of other associations, elected officials, or the public at large. We have an incredible staff, led by Jennifer Woodard, but the membership is the heartbeat of this incredible chapter.
What are the legislative priorities for AGC of Texas?
Although the legislature isn’t focused on transportation this session, there are a number of issues that could impact us. Because of hard work and a lot of member involvement, many legislators see us as a trustworthy and reliable source of information – not just about transportation funding, but also issues related to the environment, labor, insurance, and bonding, to name a few.
How do you think this legislative session will impact contractors?
If we can keep the transportation funding intact, I think this legislative session will be very positive for Texas contractors. The voters of Texas resoundingly supported transportation funding when they approved the Proposition 1 and Proposition 7 constitutional amendments. We believe our legislators should keep the promise they made to the people of Texas.