Abide Systems Founder
Chief Executive Officer
Abide Building Component Systems* founder, Mr. R. P. Mick’s education, experience and management over nearly four decades dedicated to the construction industry from “under the ground and through the roof” brings business development skills, progressive creative leadership and a penchant for innovation to Atlantic Cascade Corporation’s new division. Here’s his story in his own words.
My first job at the age of 11 was digging irrigation ditches by hand in the avocado groves of Oceanside, California for my father’s employer, M. “Shorty” Shull. It was 1967. I was soon running the farm tractors. Not much later it was bulldozers and finish grading equipment. When Shorty retired, my father took over his business. I was barely 17, obtained my commercial truckers license and drove 18 wheelers with pups and transfer trailers for the family demolition and grading business. By that time I’d already been working with the crews for several years. We were building roads, installing underground utilities, water and sewer mains, sidewalks, curbs and gutters and paving roads etc. I remember forming and pouring concrete foundations for houses, condo projects and shopping centers before I was 18. Less than 2 years later, in 1976 at still only 19, I became the youngest-ever General Engineering contractor licensed in the State of California.
In 1981, after the family business was sold and the Mick family had relocated to the east coast so my father could realize a life-long dream of operating a farm, I took a job as an assistant administrator for a small union-affiliated wall-panel and millwork manufacturing company in Thornwood, NY – Duke Millworks. Four months after joining the company, now at the age of 25, I was appointed as the estimating and office operations manager of the company. Studying basic programming, office administration and project management courses at Pace University, and information management training at the offices of Wang Laboratories in Stamford, CT, for three years I oversaw the company’s migration from the manual into the electronic age.
An unlikely series of events in 1984 led to a position in outside sales with Miron Lumber in Newburgh, NY as a millwork expert, and I learned the lumber and truss manufacturing business. By 1985 I was supplying millwork, lumber, trusses and carpentry labor to the 3,000 condo-unit Vernon Valley / Action Park ski resort and the 4,000 unit Johns-Mannvile sponsored development “The Hills” in Pluckemin, NJ. From New Rochelle, NY to Middletown, NY and Danbury, CT to New Paltz, NY, I supplied dozens of builders with carpentry labor, lumber, doors, windows and interior trim on hundreds of houses, multifamily complexes, hotels, shopping centers and commercial buildings.
In 1986, I moved to Guilford, CT to start a new family. Striking up an alliance with Howard Lerner at West Haven’s Continental Lumber, I sold a large lumber package to an out of state developer who lost his framing contractor. There was a huge construction boom in those days and a severe labor shortage. I brought in carpenters from across the US and Canada, formed a company called Builder’s Edge Contracting and was soon operating one of New England largest wood and light gauge steel framing companies with over 220 workers; mechanics, technicians, equipment operators and laborers. Building dozens of hotels, apartments and condo projects, shopping centers and commercial projects, I eventually formed Atlantic Cascade Corporation as a construction management and real estate development firm to build a variety of projects; single family subdivisions, larger multimillion dollar luxury homes, and more apartments, condos, commercial building and shopping centers. During prolonged “working-vacations” in 1987 and 1988, I went to Provo, Utah and completed coursework in business planning and marketing at the Jefferson Institute – sponsored by Howard Ruff, a notable investment strategist for over 50 years now.
Having always had a keen interest in new technologies, energy conservation and general “save-the-planet” ideals, I formed another company, Central Control Systems, to market and install environmental-automation systems. In conjunction with a subdivision in Durham, CT where Atlantic Cascade built Connecticut’s first real model “Smart-House” in 1988, Central Control Systems installed the first of several “Unity Systems” (manufactured by a company of the same name out of Redwood City, CA) HVAC/Lighting/Security whole-house automation control systems. The region’s economic crash in 1989 hit the construction industry hard, and though Atlantic Cascade avoided bankruptcy, the contracting and development work came to a standstill.
In 1991, after the death of my father, and the completion of the final project on Atlantic Cascade’s books at the time (the Old Lyme Shopping Center /Burd Building Corp.), I returned to California. Newly divorced, frustrated with the construction industry and still financially sound, I took a two-year-long hiatus and began accepting consulting work, developing marketing and business start-up plans for a variety of industries – including hospitality, lumber, veterinary facilities and medical-related businesses to name a few. In 1993, while traveling in Mexico as a marketing consultant for Tradewest Lumber of Wilmington, CA and the American Hardwood Lumber Association, I met my wife Claudia (recently enjoying an 18 year anniversary). The other result of that trip was the formation of Commercial Forest Industries – a lumber and plywood export/import company providing American Hardwoods to furniture factories in Mexico and importing sheet goods for furniture factoreis here in the states from manufacturers in Mexico and Indonesia. Business progressed at a lively pace until the Mexican economy crashed in December of 1995, abruptly stalling after that.
The year was 1996, and a diverse compendium of business interests developed including the construction of my fourth restaurant and a Mexican art gallery, “Epicas” in San Diego’s Gaslamp District. A trip to Maryland later that year to duplicate the concept led to a visit with another client in Massachusetts – and a request to return to Connecticut to complete a contract truncated six years earlier by the economic downturn. In 1997, I came back to Connecticut with my wife and infant son Ethan to begin preconstruction work on what was to become a 226 unit apartment complex in Middletown, CT. It was the continuation of a what had been a condominium construction contract in the late 1980′s known as “Forest Glen.” Crescendo of New England was born as a joint venture between Valley View Construction and Atlantic Cascade Corporation, and several projects were started during the next few years, including the Windshire Terrace Apartment complex and two residential subdivisions; Steeplegate in Middletown and Aviara in Sherman, CT.
In 2001, Atlantic Cascade contracted to reconstruct a derelict shopping center in Brattleboro, VT. Over the next couple of years the former “Fairfield Plaza” would become the new darling-spot of the quaint little town with a name change to ”Royal Square.”
Between 2001 and 2007 Atlantic Cascade Coporation built numerous commercial, hospitality and multifamily projects for a variety of clients including TD Bank, Staples, Peebles Department Stores and Cormier Properties among numerous others. A number of diverse businesses were also created during those years: “Panasian” a sushi restaurant with Asian-fusion cuisine; “Pawsville” a pet-care superstore including a “Pets Inns of America” pet hotel and a veterinary clinic, pet grooming-spa and dog daycare facility, (including a Starbuck’s for waiting and watching dogs in the daycare area, and “Che Mon-Ami” a bakery and food-service for dogs and people); Vermont Wild! a 40 unit boutique hotel at Mount Snow and “Spice Traders” an early American nautical themed restaurant with an applewood fired grill – would all be conceived. Some of the businesses were sold before they were opened, others were eventually sold, and others are yet in operation still today.
From 2007 to the present, I’ve continued with a substantially pared-down Atlantic Cascade as an independent business development and construction management consulting service. Projects engaged for preconstruction work have been mainly smaller commercial projects, (but some were a little larger, like the new Greenwich Public Safety Complex – $47 million), including marketing direction consults for companies as varied as a NYC scaffolding contractor and a CT insulation company – and even a complementary construction/marketing consult for a Kosher sushi restaurant in NYC.
In September of 2011, a short consulting stint as Director of Markets Development for an up-and-coming young insulation company included factory training for marketing of spray and injected foam technologies and comprehensive coursework in Building Science at Icynene in Toronto, CA. Several meetings with mechanical and insulation systems manufacturers, delegates of the local carpentry union, architects, engineers, LEED specialists and building performance analysts triggered the formation of Abide* Building Component Systems – the company which is the subject of this website.
Dedicated to achieving the highest quality of engineered building cores (envelopes), while at the same time minimizing growing dependencies on forest resources, fossil fuels and public utilities, Abide’s purpose is to provide the builder and consumer with superior construction and building operating systems for less than the cost of constructing the now-obsolete conventional designs. The long term benefit to builders is astounding: eliminating 80% of the issues associated with building failures: the poor design and execution of the construction of the envelope, and extended manufacturer’s warranties at no additional cost. The benefit to consumers is even more amazing: eliminating between 50 to 100% of the cost of operating the building by a reduction in the utility bills.
Mr. Mick enjoys composite graphics design and has decades of experience as a business development, marketing and estimating consultant for start-up companies, larger construction projects and real estate developments, and as a developer of feasibility analysis, marketing strategies and operations management components for business planning purposes.
Also a music director, musician, keyboardist and songwriter, and a fledgling screenwriter, he’s known in the music and entertainment industry as “Mick Roberts.” Keep an ear out for his symphonic rock group “Fear No Frontier!”
For additional information on Mr. Mick, see his online resume at: http://visualcv.com/rpmick
* May be known as Abode Building Component Systems in some states.