Q: What is your job title with Sargent? What are your typical responsibilities?
A: I started working here in November of 2018, and I’m the general manager for Sargent Materials at the moment. This coming winter, we’re going to merge into one company, so we’ll all be part of Sargent Corporation. At that point, I will technically be the general manager for the hot mix asphalt and aggregates division.
My responsibilities are overseeing the hot mix asphalt operations, and I also oversee our operations in the Plymouth quarry.
Q: What would you say the trickier aspects of your job are?
A: Currently, it’s just trying to expand our customer base in both the asphalt side and the aggregate side. I’m always looking for new clients and more avenues to move product, and that is always a challenge.
Q: What was your education and career history before coming to Sargent?
A: I graduated from SUNY Canton in 2000 with a degree in building construction, and then I worked in independent testing in the construction field, doing concrete, asphalt, and environmental testing throughout northern New York. After five years of that, I decided to look for a company to grow with, so I joined a major construction company based out of Connecticut. I stuck with them until joining Sargent in 2018.
Q: What do you enjoy about your job? What gets you out of bed in the morning and excited for work?
A: I love dealing with customers. That puts a smile on my face and keeps me going. Just being able to build those relationships and create a team effort with our clients to go after strategic work and get things done.
Q: Why is Sargent such a good company to work for?
A: Even though we’re a large company, we still maintain that small company feel. It really feels like a family. The guys and girls I work with every day all feel like the people above us really care about how we’re doing.
A big part of that is just how available they are. I can walk into the office of the president of this company anytime I need to discuss something, which was never the case at my previous employer. I never had any access to upper management like that.
Q: Is there any part of your job that you take a lot of pride in?
A: Being in the paving industry, I can go around the state and see so many projects that I’ve been a part of. It’s really good to look back on things and realize that I’ve had a hand in all these things that helped out people around the state. I take pride in knowing that what I do has such an impact on the public.
Q: How do you think our industry could do a better job of attracting young talent?
A: I think a lot of it has to do with what’s communicated to the youth of today. If you go into schools, it seems like everybody’s pushing to go to college. I don’t know if that’s what’s really best for everybody.
Some people might be better off just getting out there in the construction industry and seeing what somebody with a high school diploma can do. You can create a great career and be successful at it. We need to update that messaging so kids understand the kinds of great jobs that are out there.
Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
A: I’m married and I have two kids. I spend most of my time with them. We love to be outside. We like to go four-wheeling, and in the winter we’ll do some snowmobiling and downhill sledding. When I’m not with my family, I like to be out on my motorcycle. I like things with motors and I like to go!