Investor Spotlight with Nick Nykerk

Posted in News on June 22, 2021

Investor Spotlight with Nick Nykerk



Nick Nykerk is the President of Lakewood Construction, a commercial construction firm that serves clients throughout West Michigan. 
 
Nick leads the Lakewood team, bringing his 18 years of experience in the industry, to help build relationships throughout the community and help clients have a successful building experience. In 2019, he was one of the Grand Rapids Business Journals 40 Under 40 Business Leader Honorees. 
 
Nick is the Board Chair for Compassionate Heart Ministry and also sits on the boards of Lakeshore Advantage Now for Next, Associated Builders and Contractors of West Michigan, and TCF Bank West Michigan. 
 
Nick received his bachelor’s in construction management from Michigan State University. Upon graduation he was hired by McCarthy Building Companies and gained valuable experience working various large-scale projects throughout the western United States before returning to Michigan and joining the Lakewood Construction team. 
 
Questions:
 
Nick, you have years of Senior Executive leadership experience. What has been a lesson learned that you have been able to pass along? 
One lesson I have learned and try to encourage others in is to enjoy wherever you are at in your career now. As I look back on my own career, I realize I’ve had a few seasons where I was discontent because of my title or lack thereof. The reality is that regardless of title or role, I was in a position to learn, serve, and grow professionally. More importantly I was in a position to grow as a person. If you are someone with high integrity and a good work ethic, you will get your shot. Whether or not you are where you want to be right now, enjoy each season as it comes and try to find the lessons you can take from each. 
 
 
Talk to us about the culture at Lakewood Construction. What are some values that you and your team live by? 
I think if you asked many of our employees at Lakewood, they would say that they feel more like friends and family than co-workers, and that is exactly what we want. Our team cares about each other and making sure that everyone is valued no matter their roll.
 
Our recently rolled out internal values help us better articulate who we are and who we aim to be every day using the acronym BUILD. 
 
B – Build Trust. By communicating openly, being personally accountable, and consistently exceeding expectations.
 
U – Utilize Teamwork. By coming together and combining our individual experience, talents, and expertise into one tight-knit team.
 
I – Inspire Innovation. By continuously learning, growing, and pushing to find a better way.
 
L – Lead Through Serving. By treating others with respect, always being willing to lend a hand, and making a point of giving back. 
 
D – Deliver Excellence. By anticipating challenges, focusing on the details, and investing in those who we serve. 
 
 
 
What is your biggest insight from the last year and the disruption that has been navigated? 
The last year has certainly been a year of challenges and growth for everyone. As someone who is a high factfinder (Kolbe Index) and someone who loves strategic thinking, I can sometimes fall into analysis paralysis. The past year has given me the opportunity to push past that and make decisions with incomplete and often conflicting information. In many situations, the right or appropriate answer is obvious. However, throughout the pandemic, we have been challenged to make vital decisions knowing that not everyone is going to agree or even like the ones that you are making. While it has been a hard year for everyone, the silver lining is being able to take valuable lessons from these situations and become better leaders and people.  
 
 
You celebrate 50 years in business this year. Looking back, what would you consider a milestone moment in Lakewood Construction’s history that speaks to the longevity of your business? 
In our 50 years of business, we hit a milestone each and every time a client chooses to work with Lakewood on a second, and sometimes even third, or fourth project. Repeat clients are a true testament to the team here and everyone’s dedication to creating raving fans. We don’t just want a successful project; we want to see our clients succeed in their new spaces for many years to come.  
 
 
What is a book that you have read or an influencer that you watch that has made you a better leader?
Someone I discovered and have been continually learning more about ever since is Dr. Edward Deming. While much of what people know him for is improvement in quality, he was also committed to training people on how they worked and learned together. He eventually created “The Deming System of Profound Knowledge”. This system gives leaders a framework for enhancing and transforming how their organization operates. While he goes through many different practices and thought ideas, one of my favorite takeaways is the emphasis on ensuring that those closest to the problem are empowered to provide the solution.  
  
 
Can you share why it is a priority to Lakewood Construction to invest in economic development?  
At Lakewood we believe that communities with strong businesses can and should lead the way in generating resources for the community and region. Economic development leads to economic prosperity which is the catalyst for a vibrant community. From social services to philanthropy to the people living/working in our community, we want it to be a place where we can all continue to grow and succeed together.