Although his company has grown up in St. Louis, Mike Ward, president and CEO of Project Management Solutions Group, still has some roots in Mississippi. Now, he wants to expand his business to the Magnolia State.
His company takes on government and private sector project management assignments, and he’s worked with the Veterans Administration, the Corps of Engineers, Homeland Security, and other agencies.
In a recent conversation, he discussed why he likes Mississippi as a business location.
“I’d say Mississippi is ideally positioned for doing business throughout the South,” he said. “I see a lot of advantages in doing business here — people have a great work ethic, the state is growing, and there are lots of opportunities.”
Ward is presently looking to open an office in Mississippi and expects to be working on projects in the state in the next year or so.
“I love my work,” he said. “Being able to work in strategic planning, creating a vision, and then make things work as they’re supposed to — that’s what I thrive on.”
Ward has lived and worked in 14 countries during his career, and prior to starting his own firm, worked for companies such as AT&T and American Express. His firm has now been in business for eight years, and he has 47 employees.
“Over 90 percent of my employees are veterans,” he said. “I’m proud of that, and also proud of the work ethic of my people, and their achievements.”
As Ward sees it, a company such as his is more of a family, with the people working together as a team to solve problems and make things happen.
He works with local contractors, and construction represents about 25 percent of his assignments.
“It’s like assembling a puzzle,” he said. “You have to understand first how the pieces fit together, and then work hard to make it happen…what you have to do to make things work as they’re supposed to. That’s the core of our business.”
Asked if he had advice for other entrepreneurs, Ward said “you have to have the right people. You have to have a good accountant and attorney. And above all, you have to know your business better than anyone else can ever know it.”
Contact Mississippi Business Journal publisher Alan Turner at email@example.com or (601) 364-1021.