WINDERMERE — Isaac Lidsky, a resident of Windermere, is no stranger to personal and professional challenges. But as the CEO of ODC Construction, he was recognized by Gov. Rick Scott last month for his company’s success.
Scott visited ODC Construction July 17 to speak about the increase of jobs in Florida since last year. Orlando is the leading metro area in the state for job creation, and ODC Construction has contributed to that statistic, Scott said.
Scott then presented the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award to ODC Construction, which was a surprise to Lidsky.
“It made me feel extremely proud of my team and their hard work,” Lidsky said. “I wish I had a few hundred of those (awards) to pass out to everybody in the company.”
In 2011, Lidsky and two partners, including the current president of ODC, Tony Hartsgrove, acquired a small and struggling residential contractor. This was the foundation of ODC. At the time, the company was losing money and had just 100 employees, but since then, its revenue has grown sevenfold, and it now employs 300.
“We’re now profitable and thriving,” Lidsky said.
Lidsky said ODC expects to finish out the year having built 2,000 homes in 2015 between Tampa and Orlando.
ODC has constructed local subdivisions such as Hickory Hammock and Orchard Hills (Winter Garden), Parkside (Dr. Phillips) and Windermere Trails. The company has been known to have the best project cycle times among its competitors.
“In addition to having great quality and safety, we get the work done quicker than anyone else,” Lidsky said.
OVERCOMING THE ODDS
One thing that makes Lidsky unique as a community leader is that he has overcome a big personal challenge to reach his goals and accomplishments.
When he was 13, Lidsky discovered he had a retinal disease, which caused him to progressively lose his vision until he became completely blind at about age 25.
“It’s obviously been a challenge in many ways,” he said. “But at the same time, it’s also given me great insight and, in a lot of ways, helped me to reach my potential and to achieve and, most importantly, to enjoy my life.”
At first, Lidsky was afraid of how the disability would affect his life. But he soon learned the benefits of focusing on solving one practical problem at a time.
“Rather than try to tackle this amorphous boogyman of blindness, it was a very empowering shift in focus that also squarely rested the responsibility where it belongs—with me,” Lidsky said.
Lidsky graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and Harvard College. Before joining ODC, he had founded an Internet technology startup in Manhattan, as well as Hope For Vision, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping others who had suffered from blinding diseases.
Since Lidsky founded Hope For Vision in 2004, it has grown to serve 12 cities nationwide and has raised more than $5 million for research purposes.
When Lidsky and his wife had triplets in 2010, he passed on the leadership of Hope For Vision to his mother. But he has transferred the same passion he had at the nonprofit to his current business endeavors at ODC.
“We take our work seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously,” Lidsky said. “We have a lot of fun. We have a phenomenal team. … I’m constantly amazed by what they’re able to pull off.”