Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

SDV Construction lands top spot for small businesses

SDV Construction employees work on Nazareth Hall at St. Joseph on the Rio Grande. (Courtesy of SDV)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A well-paying job is a nice thing. Being appreciated at the workplace is fantastic as well.

Combining the two, well that’s what SDV Construction manages to accomplish and that’s part of the reason it was named the No. 1 small-size business for the Albuquerque Journal’s Top Workplaces 2019.

The regional, industrial and commercial construction company has nearly 50 employees and each one is considered vital to SDV’s continued success.

“Each individual from a staff perspective has their input,” said chief operating officer Paul Farless. “Everybody has a strong suit so it’s a real team atmosphere here. Everybody pulls together within their area of expertise to develop good plans and execute the work as efficiently as possible. It’s real rare where we have a project where we don’t have everybody coming together voluntarily just to get it done as well as possible.”

For the past two years, SDV has won the Pinnacle Award for safety from the Association of Builders and Contractors, which is given to just five companies nationally each year.

SDV Construction employees work on Nazareth Hall at St. Joseph on the Rio Grande. (Courtesy of SDV)

“We put a lot of effort into that because we want to make sure our folds are going home after work,” said company founder and president Kirk McWethy.

In addition to its top pay, SDV pays 100% of employees health and dental insurance, offers a 401K while matching 4%. It also has a profit-sharing plan and annual bonuses are a regular occurrence when goals are met.

SDV also is a veteran-friendly business as both McWethy and Farless are retired military.

“Our goal is to help the veteran community,” McWethy said. “We give a lot of money to veterans organizations. We established a $25,000 scholarship a year ago at UNM for veterans getting into construction management and we hope to get them in our field and utilize them. We’re always trying to hire veterans and help them grow in our organization. Why not? They’re great people and they have a great work ethic.”

Founded in 2005, SDV not only weathered the downturn, but actually grew during it.

“We had good clients and a good group of people working here so we rode through it,” McWethy said. ‘We came out even stronger on the other side and we’ve continued to grow. We’re pretty slow and methodical about how we’re going to grow. Our culture means everything in this company. Every time you add more people, you change the culture. That’s been our biggest challenge with the growth is maintaining the same culture that we’ve always had.”


DESCRIPTION: Guadalupe Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative. It is a vibrant and growing credit union serving the needs of those living in Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Taos, Mora, San Miguel, and Torrance counties. GCU serves a diverse field of membership, providing current members and non-members with financial empowerment. The broad range of services is designed to meet the diverse member needs.

GCU has six full-time financial coaches on staff to improve financial lives. The coaches provide one-on-one meetings by appointment and bring financial education to a vast range of locations in the communities the credit union serves. This has included businesses, senior citizen centers, programs for the homeless and victims of domestic violence, schools, after-school programs, the vendors of the Santa Fe Farmers Market, GED programs, and summer programs.



TOP WORKPLACES: 5 consecutive years

FROM THE COMPANY: Management is committed to integrity and transparency in all their actions. The 92 employees in seven locations receive such benefits as health, dental, and vision insurance for employees and their families with an FSA account. Defined Benefit Retirement and 401-K Plan, and a financial wellness program for employees in which annually employees are given a $50 incentive to participate, and prizes for those who have the greatest success in reducing debt, increasing their credit score, and increasing savings.

FROM THE EMPLOYEES: “My time is very flexible,” a survey respondent said. “I feel heard when I have a question or suggestion in regards to our procedures and policies. My manager is very supportive and motivates me to continue learning.”

Employees receive life Insurance, college tuition reimbursement, gym membership, bereavement leave, interest-free loans for computer purchase, service awards, and more.


DESCRIPTION: Behavior Change Institute is a New Mexico based behavioral healthcare agency specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for individuals diagnosed with autism and their families. It is our mission to inspire hope and improve the health and wellbeing of those we serve through an ongoing commitment to excellence in all that we do. We are committed to facilitating, providing and improving access to high-quality treatment options for all communities, even those in the most remote locations.



TOP WORKPLACES: 4 consecutive years

FROM THE COMPANY: The institute provides complimentary trainings on behavior management to schools, daycares and early childhood programs statewide. It also supports an Autism Friendly Business Program, though which consultation and training is provided to area businesses, helping them to better understand the needs of customers with autism and how they can provide reasonable and meaningful accommodations to welcome them.

FROM THE EMPLOYEES: “Each day is slightly different and I continually feel challenged and that I am learning and growing as a professional and a person,” a survey respondent said. “I enjoy the flexibility of working from home and I feel excited to get to work and collaborate with the rest of our team each day. I feel as if I am contributing to a greater good. I feel there is a lot of potential for ongoing professional growth and exposure to learning new things that are challenging.”

Full-timers receive a competitive salary, performance-based pay initiative, flexible scheduling and ability to work from anywhere, exceptional mentorship and training program, health, dental and vision insurance, 401-K retirement plan, life insurance, dependent care flexible spending account, paid time off and flex time, and more.