Phil Casaus wakes up every day and leads one of New Mexico’s largest companies.
Casaus, born and raised in Albuquerque, has put in years of hard work to get where he is now — leading nearly 1,000 employees as the president of Brycon Construction, a Rio Rancho-based full-service general contractor that largely deals with semiconductor construction in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Texas.
A graduate of Valley High School and the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in business and a concentration in finance and accounting, Casaus’ work over the years has largely dealt with managing financials for the two companies he has worked at.
Now, Casaus is serving as the 2023 board chair for the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce.
How Casaus got to this point took years of hard work and growing his status at the two companies he’s worked for.
His first stop, which spanned nearly 10 years with Texas-based Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., was while he was still in college. He moved from New Mexico to Houston after graduating in the late 1980s — “(My wife and I) felt like we needed to leave Albuquerque to find work,” he said. In Houston he was a senior project accountant but later transferred over to Phoenix to become an accounting manager for the company.
But family is important to Casaus, so when he and his wife had their second child, they decided to come back to New Mexico. That meant looking for a job doing the same thing he had done previously — working on the financial side for a construction firm.
He found that job in 1997 when he joined Brycon Construction as a controller, then as a chief financial officer, VP of operations and now as president — a title he’s held since 2018.
The company’s list of clients is not small by any means. That includes working with Tesla, Intel, SpaceX and many others, Casaus said.
But he also wanted to encourage economic development in the state, which led him to joining a list of organizations in New Mexico that do just that. He’s held the position of board chair for Leadership New Mexico; has served on the board of Sandoval Economic Alliance; and he currently sits on the boards of NAIOP New Mexico and Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance.
Casaus’ newest title as board chair of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce involves helping small businesses thrive, which is a priority both for him and the organization.
“I believe the statistics will prove to you that (small business is) the backbone of our community, and we have to do everything in our power to try to do our part (to help them succeed),” Casaus said.
What is your role as board chair of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce?
Well, primarily, I feel that the role is as ambassador of the organization.
The makeup of the board consists of many business and nonprofit leaders here in the community, and just rallying them to take on that role of ambassador to the community and be an ambassador of the of the chamber to the community, I feel is my main role.
And making sure that the Hispano Chamber is recognized for the work they are doing for small business in New Mexico.
How has leading a large company like Brycon Construction prepared you for serving as the board chair for the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce?
Well, my management style has always been to make sure that the people that I am surrounded by are leaders themselves.
So, when I am interacting with the chamber and with other members on the board of directors, I know that each one of them has a significant amount of influence in their respective fields of business, whether it’s business or nonprofits.
My job is to remind them of their role to be that ambassador — to try to make sure that the people that they interact with on a regular basis understand the work that the Hispano Chamber is doing for small business, and encourage each one of them to utilize small businesses as much as they possibly can in their day-to-day business. To not only use them as vendors and suppliers, but to mentor them when possible.
They need mentorship. They need access to capital. And they need information that’s not necessarily readily available to small businesses. And I believe that the Chamber provides each one each one of those services to their membership.