WPC - Our People - Spotlight
Larry Muller has been a part of WPC culture as long as anyone can remember, literally – he has been working here longer than any other full-time employee. Larry has “been around” as they say, for over 45 years to be exact.
A young Larry, just 20 years old, somewhat new in his career as a carpenter with a passion for building things. Larry was part of the original crew led by Tracy Forest, Founder of Winter Park Construction (as WPC was formerly known). From WPC’s early days as a Winter Park based General Contracting firm focusing mainly on renovations – to today as one of the most successful Central Florida based GC firms operating on projects coast to coast - Larry has quite literally seen it all. He began a professional trajectory in the construction industry that would span decades and across multiple sectors including timeshare, multifamily, student housing, commercial, residential, and more. Larry has held positions from assistant carpenter to project supervisor and later into advanced leadership positions such as general superintendent.
It is no secret in the construction industry that WPC’s iconic founder, Tracy Forrest has left his fingerprints on all aspects of WPC culture. Larry recalls the early years on jobsites, stopping to pick up lunch or just being in the lumber store and he would often hear “You work with Tracy…I know him!” And it did not stop there, Tracy built a reputation for himself and WPC that has remained unsurpassed in the construction industry, which still rings true today. On a more personal level, Larry collaborated with the teams to build 3 personal residences for Tracy over the years.
Larry shares, “There has always been an immense pride working for a company that people want to be associated with. From the early days and throughout the years – reputation is everything – being part of a team that does great work – we do what we say we’re going to do – always have.”
As construction life goes, a job timeline ranges on average 18 months and for that time your clients, your crew, and your subs become your family. Larry has led and supported many projects across multiple industries in many aspects over the year. He’s now acting superintendent on the Sonata at Lake Mary a $62 million resort-style campus being built in Lake Mary, Florida. Located on a seven-acre site within the 153-acre, $750 million Lake Mary Wellness and Technology Park mixed-use development, the signature property will feature a mix of 193 assisted living, independent living, and memory care apartments.
As timelines go, Larry shares that he is coming to his last job with WPC. “When this project ends, I think I’ll begin what will likely be my last project as a full time WPC employee, I plan on working part time in some capacity – for a couple of years after that”.
A now more textured Larry at nearly 65 years old, still calls back to core values instilled by Tracy in his early career, “Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan”. Larry adds, “I believe I am a product of what I’ve learned from other people along the way. I was able to grow, while WPC was growing”.
Through market ups and downs, Larry has borne witness to WPC’s ability to adapt to unique environments and challenging circumstances. He has enjoyed his many opportunities to work alongside Tracy’s brother, Jeff Forrest President of WPC and Kevin Corrado, COO of WPC.
When asked which project meant the most to Larry, he thought for a minute and said “In the 1980’s, six of us would meet outside Tracy’s apartment (and office) just a half mile from Rollins College. Where we would set out to remodel different projects around town.”
Fast forward to 2021 where WPC completed the Lakeside Neighborhood project at Rollins College, where Larry played a leadership role on this $71 million student housing project. WPC is proud of our relationship with Rollins College. In 2019, the Winter Park-based college leveled the former McKean Hall near Lake Virginia and constructed the new Lakeside Neighborhood. The student housing area accommodates 496 student beds. Including a chilled energy plant, full kitchen, offices, resort style pool, and fitness center.
Jeff Forrest, President of WPC, “Larry is the kind of guy that has always been there, always will be – you can count on him. He has impressive reserves of hard-earned industry knowledge and shares it freely and frequently. I am honored to work alongside Larry, he is a big part of the WPC family.”