Quality Earthwork Is More than Moving DirtAll Excavation Is Not Equal

The Nordby Team

Craig Nordby

Craig Nordby


As CEO of the Nordby Companies, Craig Nordby leads not only a family business with over 40 years of history, but a group of companies that together form one of the premier construction companies in Northern California. Growing into the multiple companies under the Nordby umbrella you see today, Craig has carried the belief that ownership provides an unmatched level of motivation and success, and that a company is at its best when personal and company ambitions are aligned.

Full Bio

Craig comes from a long line of builders that reaches back to his great grandfather – a carpenter who moved to California from the Midwest in 1936 – and roots in Sonoma County, where he and his three brothers were raised. The brothers spent their formative years working alongside their father Wendell Nordby, who founded Nordby Construction in 1978. A strong work ethic was a given. Craig joined Nordby Construction, after graduating with a degree in business and marketing at Sonoma State University, (and writing a thesis on family-owned businesses). 

Craig came up through the family business not in the field, but in operations. His business background gave him the ability to study the business and see the gaps – in marketing, business development, technology innovation, insurance and, as he jokingly describes it, “everything no one else wanted to do.” He proved himself valuable in a short period of time, and at the age of 36, took over operations. Along the way, he had developed a global view of the company that would prove invaluable in eventually leading it. Company ownership gradually evolved as first one brother, then his father, then his second brother transitioned out of the company. With a straightforward leadership style, a head for business, and perhaps most importantly, an affinity for people and partnerships, Craig has fostered an entrepreneurial outlook that has come to be one of the defining features of the Nordby Companies as a whole, and for each of its divisions as well.

As is true of any company with a history that spans multiple generations, the company has weathered ownership changes along with the highs and lows of multiple economic cycles. Along the way, Nordby launched the Wine Caves and Nordby Signature Homes divisions, both timely and targeted responses to opportunities in the market that the company was uniquely positioned to meet. The launch of these divisions early in his career trajectory would prove to be a defining moment for Craig, revealing a talent and taste for entrepreneurship. 

The company’s growth and successes in the years since the recession of 2008 stem from a singular emphasis on customer service and quality over quantity of work. He describes his leadership style as a combination of strategic thinking and fortitude. “After the recession, our remaining team was made up of leaders, highly focused on customer service. We also had the creative confidence to know our worth.” The transition to this latest phase in the company’s history gave Craig the opportunity to bring on people who are truly aligned in their objectives, creating what he likes to call “a space for possibilities.” One of his favorite phrases sums up the company ethos he has created: “It’s all about opportunity.”

james whitfield

David Schroeder

Partner & President

As president of Nordby Signature Homes and Signature Builders Idaho, David oversees residential construction company wide. He joined the company in 2000 as a project manager, became vice president in 2005, and became a partner and president of the company’s custom residential company in 2011. With a singular focus on client relationships and business development, David has played a key role in developing Nordby’s large network of repeat clients.

Full Bio

Armed with a family history of engineering, design, technical construction, Dave initially studied architecture at Arizona State University. Following the advice of a mentor who knew his preference for being in the field, Dave made the pivotal decision to enter the university’s Del Webb School of Construction, and finished with a degree in construction engineering and management.

After five years in the field, Dave made a second pivotal decision, returning to his native Sonoma County in 2000. A mutual contact introduced him to the team at Nordby, where the immediate connection between like personalities, Sonoma County roots and a symbiotic outlook on life and business proved to be a perfect fit. Initially hired as a project manager, he quickly accumulated knowledge and experience with the company’s opportunity-driven firm culture. Five years into his tenure at Nordby, the Signature Homes division needed leadership. Dave responded to the opportunity to lead the division, beginning with what is still one of the firm’s largest custom home projects.  In 2011, he became a partner and president of the division.

Dave maintains that a shared vision and participatory culture are the keys to Nordby’s success. “For me, it’s all about relationships,” says Dave. “We are all about opportunity, both for the company and for the individuals within the company. We support each other, but we also support a level of entrepreneurship within the company that is unique.”

As a golfer, Dave recognizes the value of individual determination; as a father and coach, he embraces the equally important value of a strong team. In his role at Nordby, he fosters both.

james whitfield



As vice president of Nordby Signature Homes and Signature Builders, a new Nordby company based in Idaho, Brian oversees the highly collaborative and detailed process of custom home construction and will spearhead an exciting new expansion for the company. With over two decades of experience in the field, Brian brings a broad range of knowledge to his role. His experience includes work on custom homes, subdivisions and commercial projects, with companies large and small, in roles ranging from framing to detailing to customer service and management.

Full Bio

Brian grew up in the lumber business, and his career began behind a desk, an experience that quickly taught him he preferred a career in the field. He then spent several years “with bags on,” absorbing the business from the ground up. His first leadership role in the field left him largely to his own devices, an experience that fueled his entrepreneurial spirit. He mastered the art of learning by doing. “I’m really good at asking questions,” he says. As the scale of his projects grew, Brian grew alongside them, and was soon running large subdivisions, several at a time.

After joining Nordby in 2015 as a superintendent, he quickly moved to project manager and became partner and vice president in 2019. It was in custom homes that Brian truly found his passion. They offered a challenging environment in which no project will offer exactly the same experience, enhancing the sense of accomplishment. “The more specific custom homes become, the more you have to think and engage to get it built successfully,” he says. “In custom home construction, we truly are the architect’s partner. We are not just executing but solving problems and enhancing the project in the field, interpreting the artistic vision behind the design. We are respectful of that vision, asking the right questions to make sure we understand the intent behind the design.”

Brian’s focus is on providing not only outstanding quality, but establishing the high level of trust and communication between his clients and project teams that allows the collaborative process to flourish.

james whitfield

James Whitfield

Vice President, Operations

As Vice President, Operations for Nordby Earthwork, James Whitfield brings over three decades of industry experience, including management of $20+ million projects ranging from underground utility infrastructure to state-of-the-art sports stadium installation. James first connected with Nordby Construction early in his career, periodically collaborating and consulting over the years. He joined the team full-time in 2023 to develop external services for Nordby Earthwork.

Full Bio

James began working in excavation to establish a foundational understanding of construction while attending architecture school. Having grown up on his family’s horse ranch, he quickly mastered heavy equipment and realized his preference for working outdoors with tangible results. He soon found creating a client’s vision from a blank hillside to be intrinsically rewarding.

His strong work ethic and willingness to pursue new experiences propelled James to lead earthwork operations for diverse projects throughout his career. This comprehensive background – from reading blueprints to digging ditches – gives him an advantageous understanding of the entire project and the ability to relate to engineers and field crews alike.

Technical aptitude notwithstanding, James attributes much of his professional success with prioritizing relationships and communication – essential values shared by Nordby Companies. In addition to overseeing business operations, James is involved in all earthwork estimating. He emphasizes detail to cost, ensuring clarity for project specifications, objectives, and expectations from the start.

“The intricacies of earthwork aren’t always well understood by stakeholders,” says James. “That’s where relationships and trust are very important.” He is grateful for the opportunity to build a strong team focused on providing the best quality for the customer.

carson whitfield

Carson Whitfield

Project Manager

Carson Whitfield joined Nordby Earthwork as Project Manager in 2023, bringing an extensive background in operating heavy equipment, civil engineering, and oversight of projects that range from large-scale excavation to detailed, finite operations. His current focus is management of field personnel, oversight of material delivery and equipment dispatching, and evaluation of job site progress.

Full Bio

Carson returns to the earthwork industry after serving six years as an air traffic controller for the United States Army where he was recognized with multiple awards for outstanding leadership and subject matter excellence. As a Sargeant, Carson was instrumental in developing updated aviation standards, formalized in a training manual that bears his name.

His military experience and accomplishments are apparent in the efficient systems and iterative improvements that Carson brings to project operations from start to finish – from vigilant safety and compliance measures and ongoing staff training to integration of innovative technologies and cost-saving improvements for efficiency. His aim is intentional, planned growth to expand capacity and capabilities with quality in mind.

“I am proud to represent Nordby Earthwork, and I am committed to upholding our reputation for excellence in every project we undertake,” says Carson. He believes that, in addition to ensuring that work is completed to the highest standards, exceptional results depend on communication and strong relationships with clients and colleagues.

Meet The Rest Of The Nordby Team

Building Community Through Golf

In 1989, Wendell Nordby set out to make a tangible difference in the community where his business Nordby Construction was thriving. More than three decades and nearly $2 million dollars raised later, the Nordby Golf Invitational continues to bring people together to improve lives. Discover more about our commitment to this remarkable fundraising event.

Our Partners

A blueprint is only the beginning of a collaboration between the architect, the builder, and the property owner. We’ve established trusting relationships with many regional architects as we’ve worked to manage a construction schedule and budget while realizing the design vision of a space. These are a few of the firms we’ve partnered with in recent construction projects.

Chuck Peterson Architects
Daniel Macdonald AIA Architects, Inc.
Dotter & Solfjeld Architecture + Design
Farrell – Faber & Associates
Goring & Straja Architects
Hall & Bartley Architects
Jim McCalligan Architect
Mork Ulnes Architects
Osborn Siegert Architects
O’Malley Wilson Westphal
Signum Architecture
Taylor Lombardo Architects
WA Design
Wade Design
Brayton Hughes
Ned Forrest Architects
Backen & Gillam Architects
BAR Architects

Industry Memberships

North Bay Business Journal

Building Contractors Association of Southwest Idaho (BCASWI)

American Institute of Architects

North Coast Builders Exchange

  • Board Member – Tony Simmons, Owner & President of Nordby Construction Services

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