Richard Barth was one of the first employees hired by J.D. Abrams in February of 1967. He was actually working with Jim Abrams Sr. in South Dakota as the conception of the company first entered our founders’ minds. Richard was a jack of all trades in his early days working in nearly every department of J.D. Abrams. He gained experience in estimating, operations, accounting, equipment management and many administrative duties, which eventually lead him to becoming a Vice President.
Richard helped J.D. Abrams develop from what was a primary bridge building company into a construction company capable of major earth moving in the early 1970’s. He helped facilitate the purchase of new equipment which enhanced our scope of work and allowed greater opportunities. Richard also played a key role in hiring knowledgeable, experienced employees and being active in the evolving estimating process that helped catapult the company to success as a heavy civil contractor. Large highway construction projects, bridges and many specialized projects (Granger Dam, Las Cruces Dam, High Speed Test Track- just to name a few) became common work ventures eventually building a large resume of the company’s accomplishments.
He dedicated nearly 40 years of his life to J.D. Abrams and the highway construction industry. Richard witnessed what was once a small, one man operation grow into the large organization that J.D. Abrams, L.P. is today. He watched many changes in the industry as well, with the advancement in technology, the expanding scope of work, the introduction of design-build projects and other project delivery methods. He says the industry itself is difficult for him to evaluate as it seems to be forever changing and progressing.
Richard semi-retired in 2003 but still continued to be active representing J.D. Abrams, L.P. within industry organizations such as the Associated General Contractors of American, more specifically the Texas Chapter which he once served as president and still remains a life time member of. He fondly recalls the excitement of monthly lettings and enjoyment of catching up with his colleagues at different industry and company functions. Mostly he misses the people he worked with through the years which cross his mind from time to time.
In more recent years, he has fully retired and has begun to enjoy his greatest accomplishment of all, his family. Richard is most proud of his wife, Ruth along with their three children and five grandchildren which have become the biggest part of his life. He now appreciates the time he can spend traveling, enjoying leisurely meals and hiking. Richard and Ruth are also members of Lake Hills Church and they donate their time to actively participating plus training new volunteers with the nonprofit organization Mobile Loaves for Fishes http://mlf.org/