How did you get into this industry?
I ended up in safety because I wanted to help people. Originally, I was a psychology major at Keene State College and switched over to safety my sophomore year. I have a strong desire to build long-lasting relationships and make a difference in people’s lives by helping them. I felt safety was the right path for me.
What was your education/background before joining the team?
My background before joining the team started with moving to Iowa after college to be a safety officer for a general contractor on a 400-acre fertilizer plant build. As that project began winding down, I had to decide whether I was going to go to Texas and work on another project with that company or come home and find a safety position.
I ended up choosing to come home. I landed a job with a consulting company that specializes in industrial hygiene sampling for general industry and construction. After being happy with the position and company, I was contacted by a safety manager with a construction management firm out of Boston regarding an open position they had. I sent in my resume and was offered a job. I worked there from January 2017 up until I started with Sargent in March 2021.
My role in Boston was mainly building construction as they were a general contractor. The projects I was responsible for included large residential wood frame developments, a movie theatre, precast parking garages, 25-story cast-in-place concrete buildings, steel erection of new buildings, dorm renovations, interior fit-outs, and special projects.
What are the main responsibilities of your position?
The main responsibility of my position at Sargent is to ensure the safety and health of all Sargent employees through our safety management system. This starts with working closely with our superintendents and field staff to ensure they have the right tools and knowledge to execute our projects in a safe manner. The key to this is building strong relationships with our key players so they can not only properly plan for the safety of our projects, but also feel comfortable coming to our safety team with questions, comments, or concerns.
What matters most to you when it comes to your job?
What matters most to me is building trust within our team. Employees need to know that we truly care about them and their well-being. The only way to ensure this is by building trust. There is no better feeling than when you work through a tough situation with an individual by coaching them, and they understand how much you care. That is where trust and lasting relationships are built.
What are some of the biggest challenges you encounter day-to-day in your role?
The toughest day-to-day challenge we face in our industry is navigating different personalities in tough situations. Often, your approach in a situation with one individual does not work with another individual in the same situation. Having the ability to appreciate how an individual receives information according to their personality is essential to our industry.
What do you enjoy most about your job/being a part of the industry?
What I enjoy most about my job is having the opportunity to see something different every day. Construction is constantly changing, and at Sargent, we have projects across different states and regions. Traveling to our projects throughout the company provides insight into some of the geographical challenges we often experience and the variances within our projects and their scope.
Will you tell us about a time when you were especially proud of a project you worked on and why?
It is not necessarily a project per se, but what I am especially proud of is attaining my ASP and CSP certifications. For starters, I am not a strong test-taker and both the ASP and CSP have 200 multiple-choice questions that require 5+ hours behind a computer. I failed my ASP on my first attempt, and it took me four attempts to pass my CSP. Some might consider this a negative, but I consider it a lifetime accomplishment and learning experience.
The reason I am so proud of this is that I showed perseverance through failure. As discouraged as I was at my failed attempts, I reassessed my goal and how to attain it. In the end, we must learn from our failures and never stop reaching for our goals.
What do you value most about being a part of the Sargent team?
What I value most about working at Sargent is how they make you feel like part of the family. Before Sargent, I lived in New Hampshire and packed up my life to move here and be a part of the team. The Sargent family was extremely supportive in this endeavor and assisted any way they could to ensure I was ready to take on this role.
How do you think our industry can recruit/appeal to younger generations?
I think that incorporating more technology into our industry will help in recruiting younger generations. However, we cannot just use any technology. We need to use the right technology that will add value to our industry and, in turn, add value to our career paths — both for the younger and older generations.
Who do you look up to in life?
There are countless family, friends, and mentors that have guided me to the path I am on today. But the one person that I look up to is my previous supervisor, mentor, and friend Jason Edic. Jason is one of the best safety directors in the industry. His approach and knowledge have helped shape the safety leader that I am today. I could not have asked for a better mentor and friend.
How do you like to spend your free time when you’re not at work? (Family? Any additional hobbies or interests?)
In my free time, I enjoy getting outdoors, whether it is hiking, fishing, mountain biking, camping, etc. if I am outdoors, I am happy. Recently, I started building furniture out of pallets. I enjoy working with my hands and it gives me a sense of accomplishment and purpose knowing that “I built that.” I also enjoy spending quality time with family and friends, usually around a bonfire.