Our Story, Purpose & Values

Our Story

Ascent was founded by Adam Cooper in 2014 with the idea of helping local electrical contractors be more successful. Based in Atlanta, Adam had been working for over 20 years in the commercial and industrial construction world and saw a gap in the marketplace.  While there are plenty of general business consultants, most do not have direct knowledge or experience in the Construction industry and therefore don’t understand or know how to solve the challenges many of these businesses face every day. As an experienced business owner and successful contractor, he believed he could provide the answers they were looking for by starting a construction consulting firm. Ascent Consulting was born.

After just a few short months, his client list came to include plumbing, fire alarm and general contractors who were also seeking help with their business.  Ascent Consulting was on its way and Adam began hiring people to assist him with his clients.

In 2016, Ascent was awarded our first project outside of Georgia and began working with clients in multiple states.  We were also awarded our first marketing projects, helping local contractors grow their business revenue through strategic marketing campaigns. By 2017 we had worked with clients in seven states and reached the West Coast with our first client in California.

By 2019, the majority of our clients were located outside of Georgia and Ascent became one of the top construction management consulting firms in the US.  Currently, no other firm offers the expertise, depth and variety of consulting services specifically for construction companies.

Our Purpose

Ascent Consulting’s purpose is to improve the performance and profitability of every client’s business. By utilizing our comprehensive industry knowledge, real-world experience and team of dedicated professionals, we create innovative, customized solutions to help our clients get to the next level of success.

Our Core Values

Client Satisfaction

Serving our clients is our highest priority. Everything we do serves this purpose directly or indirectly. We respect our clients, take the time to understand their strategic goals and ensure our work delivers impactful results. We provide unbiased advice, guidance and solutions. Each satisfied client is a milestone for Ascent Consulting.

Employee Satisfaction

We help our employees realize their strengths and desires, acknowledge them for their contributions, support them in delivering outstanding value for our clients, and provide authentic and timely feedback.

Integrity

We do what we say we’ll do. We honor our commitments to our clients and our team members. We communicate openly and authentically, and encourage our employees to adhere to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in everything they do.

Community Participation

We involve ourselves in our industry as active members and contribute to our community. We provide valuable, free content and information, and believe that our current participation is a reflection of our long-term relationship with our community.

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Rhonda Hudson

Construction Accountant

Rhonda has three decades of diverse Controller experience that spans various aspects of construction, including manufacturing, mechanical, electrical, flooring, and residential building contracting. Rhonda has an Associate’s Degree in Accounting and has consistently demonstrated expertise in optimizing operational efficiencies, tracking financial performance, conducting annual audits, and building a process around the monthly close process.

In addition to her accounting work, Rhonda has a broad proficiency in a wide range of accounting software platforms and has a knack for adapting to new technologies swiftly. She has facilitated smooth transitions during software migrations and provided system training to numerous companies.

Bridgit Lawhead

Marketing Project Manager

Bridgit is a Marketing Project Manager, bringing a proven track record of managing accounts and marketing for diverse industries. Prior to joining Ascent Consulting, she was a Marketing Strategist for a small marketing agency that focused on transforming financial advisors’ businesses. Working with Marketing, Sales, and Upper Management to ensure strategic performance and management of tasks to appropriate team members, Bridgit helps manage the planning, development, design, execution, monitoring, and completion of all of our client marketing projects. 
 
Bridgit holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication, with an emphasis in Public Relations from Valdosta State University. 

Kellie Barber

Office Manager

With a career spanning over 25 years in both the public and private sectors, Kellie stands as a seasoned professional and a valuable asset to our Ascent team. A dedicated, results-driven individual, Kellie brings a wealth of experience to the organization.

She is no stranger to the world of construction and has a comprehensive understanding from both the project management and engineering perspective.  Kellie has a keen eye for detail and a commitment to delivering excellence.

Nazia Hasnain

Project Coordinator

Nazia joined Ascent in the role of a project coordinator. Before joining Ascent, she served as a Web Project Coordinator.

With a rich background of 5 years of experience in the digital realm, she has been at the forefront of coordinating and managing web projects from concept to launch. With a blend of technical expertise and project management skills, she is dedicated to contributing to the success of diverse projects to ensure that projects not only meet but exceed expectations.

Gary Johnson

Consultant

Gary grew up working summers from 7th grade through graduating college for a large plumbing and process piping contractor in Mobile, AL. After graduating from Auburn University with a BS in Computer Engineering, Gary spent the next 16 years working in the industrial automation industry with The Foxboro Company and the ERP software solutions space with JD Edwards.  

The 7 years with JD Edwards were primarily focused on the construction business, providing ERP software solutions to both large general contractors and large homebuilders. In 2003 Gary acquired a small residential plumbing contracting business in Pace, FL.  Over the next 17 years, Gary grew this business to three physical locations and more than 130 employees, performing commercial and residential plumbing projects in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. 

In 2020, Gary sold the business and continued to work for the company on a consulting basis for 2 more years. The unusual background, including providing construction industry ERP software solutions as well as nearly 20 years acquiring, growing, operating and ultimately selling a large subcontracting business, gives Gary a unique perspective on the operations of a construction company. Gary holds master plumbing and gas fitter licenses in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

Stephen Crawford

Project Coordinator

Stephen possesses nearly a decade of extensive financial, operational, and leadership expertise spanning diverse professional sectors, primarily centered on construction, development, and construction management. Before joining Ascent Consulting, he spent five years as a CPA at Ernst & Young. He then made significant contributions to an electrical construction company in an internal consulting capacity. Subsequently, he pursued multiple freelance roles, including a pivotal position as a Fractional Chief Transformation Officer (CTO).

Throughout his career, Stephen adeptly guided companies through various rapid growth phases, overseeing crucial financial matters, driving strategic growth initiatives, and managing back-office functions. He holds a BBA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy from The University of Georgia.

Zachary Hickman

Project Coordinator

Zachary brings 10+ years of project management experience as an owners representative for clients and from the developer side of the business.

He began his career as an assistant project manager with a masonry subcontractor in Florida, before moving to Atlanta.

Daphene Koch

Consultant

Daphene’s construction experience began working in her family’s mechanical construction company.

Next, she worked for a large EPC firm on projects in Texas and Malaysia. With over 15 years of construction industry experience on commercial and industrial projects. Her roles have included project manager, safety manager, construction services leader, and pipefitters helper.

While a professor at Purdue University in the School of Construction Management, she worked as a consultant to help construction companies improve processes, project management, workforce development to name a few. She has a BS, MS, and PhD from Purdue University and resides in Indiana.

Hakeem Slaughter

Marketing Coordinator

Hakeem is a brand designer with over 10 years of experience. He has been a freelancer for about 9 years working with many different clients and industries under the following subjects: brand design, graphic design, web design, and social media marketing.

 

During that time freelancing, he also worked at many companies as a graphic and web designer. As well as taught disciplines of Art and Design to students varying from middle school age to college. As mentioned, he has a “jack of all trades” range but is quite proficient at WordPress and uses that knowledge to design cutting edge websites!

 

Hakeem specializes in branding, design, and creativity and is bringing his talents, skills, and passion to take Ascent Consulting to a new level!

Aimee Collier

Project Coordinator

Aimee joins Ascent as a Project Coordinator supporting our Senior and Procore Consultants. With construction industry experience both in-field and back-of-house (ranging from project site coordination to contract management to software administration), she brings a holistic perspective of the day-to-day challenges faced by our clients. Her varied professional roles include software implementation and training, technical content creation and design, and coordinating across teams to bring projects to successful completion. She is excited to direct her passion for people and processes toward our customers.