When Amicon’s Adam Mopsick Saw a Gap in the Market, He Made His Move
How the construction CEO became a South Florida player
With more than 25 years behind him as a builder, Amicon CEO Adam Mopsick never stops. Born in West Caldwell, New Jersey, Mopsick moved to Boca Raton during high school, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Florida, and has been in Miami ever since. It wasn’t long after graduation that the avid Ironman triathlete launched his business and managed to transform it into an industry leader in construction with a varied portfolio of hospitality, and luxury residential projects.
We caught up with Mopsick between workouts and on the upswing, as South Florida construction is surging—and so is Amicon.
We were happy to photograph you with your dog.
That’s Huck, my 2-year-old Mini Australian shepherd, my best friend during the quarantine.
It’s been a rough year. How did you weather it so well?
It’s been one of the greatest challenges of my career, to maintain a sense of culture and community, and figuring out to how service the clients. It was a roller coaster: First it was, are we even going to be able to stay in business? Then it became somewhat stabilized, though we lost some clients, and some projects were on hold. By summer, it became clear that the pandemic was going to be a long haul. We tried different things, some more successful than others. We started Zoom calls for the entire company every Friday morning—we don’t miss it no matter what. We do presentations—a project manager did a cooking show. It’s important to keep staff—especially younger, junior staff—engaged and motivated in a creative way so it doesn’t feel like their mentors have disappeared.
And now that landscape has completely changed.
We predicted this. We are busier now than we’ve ever been. I have never seen a surge like this in my entire career in terms of what’s happening in South Florida. There are more projects, and they’re bigger. We had a whole meeting today about ramping up for the future. We have 50 people now, and we’ll probably hire another 25 percent more staff in the next few months. We’re anticipating doubling the size of the company in the next two years.
You started your own construction company at the age of 24. What inspired you to be so entrepreneurial at such a young age?
I wasn’t making much money at the time, and I had the opportunity to do an apartment renovation, where I thought I make as much money in six months as I was making the whole year. I didn’t have a lot of responsibilities, and sometimes those decisions are the easiest to make early on, when you don’t have as much to lose. By the end of that year, I had done what I’d set out to do, made a lot more money. One thing led to another, and I began to do more projects, bigger projects. I started out doing apartment renovations and then ended up building houses. I don’t know that I’d recommend this path to everyone, but it’s been a good path for me. I think there was a lot of education that took me longer to get, which I recognize now. I maybe could have gotten some places faster had I been in a bigger company a little longer. These are lessons you learn when you do things on your own.
Around 2005, you saw a void in the marketplace, and then your business shifted. How did that happen?
I felt that in South Florida in general, there was just some really poor service in the construction industry. A lot of projects were misguided, a lot of projects went on for too long, and there wasn’t leadership. And we felt we could offer some additional services, such as owner advisory. We and kicked it up in a big way during the Great Recession, as a way to add additional work to our construction company. And we started out doing one residential project, pretty much the same way I built the construction company. One thing led to another, and we did a condo association, and fast-forward 10 years of heavy pursuit of owner adviser-ing, and we’re the largest locally based owner representation firm in South Florida. There’s a huge need in South Florida—so many owners don’t know where to start, and we found that there’s a niche of being able to help and provide a better quality of service.
Can you discuss an early project that defined your early career, and what it felt like to see it come to fruition?
The first big project we did was the Espírito Santo Bank, now called the Brickell Arch, and we were able to do the build-out of that job. It was probably the really first significant construction project that I’d done, and there was just such a tremendous sense of pride to finish a project of that scale and really put the firm on the map in terms of doing those corporate interiors in the Brickell area. At the time, we didn’t have much of a name or reputation and that became the core part of our business based on the success of that project. Prior to that, if you want to talk about the way things feel, landing the first project you ever get, having a client write you a check, there’s just no feeling that compares to that. I tell my kids that, and I think everyone needs to have some of that in their life.
Talk me through a project in the last year that made it through the pandemic?
We just finished a restaurant project called Uchi, a really high-end sushi restaurant that just opened in Wynwood. About a year ago, we were in the middle of the project and it was suspended when there was so much uncertainty in the market. To hear in the client’s voice how concerned they were about what was going to happen when the hospitality industry was shut down—we put things on hold for them, then restarted and finished. And now you can’t get a reservation there for months. We have some amazing testimonials from them about how happy they were with the service, and it gives you a sense of satisfaction. Everyone says that, but it’s really true. We just had a whole meeting about that this morning—about how we track our clients’ satisfaction in what we’re doing. At the end of the day, that’s what the metric for success is—how satisfied the client is.
—Adam Mopsick portrait by Brett Hufziger