Q: What do you do here at Sargent? What are your main responsibilities?
A: I started working here back in 1997, and worked my way up from a laborer to a surveyor to a foreman to a superintendent. Today, I am the operations manager for northern New England. I assign personnel and equipment for jobs, according to the specific needs of each project. I manage anywhere from 100 to 120 employees on six to 12 jobs each week.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
A: Trying to put the best team together for each individual job is always a challenge, just matching up the right personalities and skills for each project. Another challenge is keeping everything organized and making sure everything is going according to plan.
Q: What were you up to in your career before joining Sargent?
A: I actually came to Sargent right after college. I graduated with a surveying degree from Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York. That was a two-year degree, and I had planned on going to the University of Maine after that, but I took a summer job here at Sargent — I knew a guy from my hometown who worked for this company.
I loved working at Sargent from my very first day. I was still thinking about going back to school until I realized that I wasn’t going to get as many transfer credits as I expected, so I decided to just stick around and build a career in construction.
Q: What do you enjoy about your job?
A: I love the fast pace. I love playing in the dirt and just getting it done. Even more than that, I love working with these people. My work family is up there with my real family. I really enjoy the family atmosphere. We spend quite a bit of time on the road, and I enjoy spending time together hanging out at the hotels.
Q: What is it about Sargent that makes this such a great place to work?
A: I feel like I’m part of the company. These days, we’re employee-owned, so I’m actually buying into the company. But even before that, I never had any desire to leave. They’ve always made me happy with pay and benefits, and it’s just a great place to work. I really love it.
Q: Is there any aspect of your job that you’re especially proud of?
A: I take a lot of pride in building my legacy with this company. We’ve been around for almost 100 years now. You hear stories about all of these guys who worked here for 40 or 50 years, and I’m going to be one of those guys. When I retire, I’m going to be one of those people that gets remembered by future generations of Sargent employees. I’m very proud of that.
Q: How do you think our industry could do a better job of attracting the younger generation?
A: The industry is changing worldwide. The way we used to do things is not the way things will be done in the future. Things like working 70-80 hours a week — that’s not happening anymore. We have some very good young people in the company right now. Society is changing, and we’ll be able to adjust right along with it. Everybody wants to know “what’s in it for me?” That’s definitely a challenge, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out.
Q: Is there anyone in your life that you consider to be a mentor?
A: I had a wonderful mentor named Harold Hobart when I started here. For my first decade here, I worked under him. He taught me so much about this industry, and I looked at him as a second father. He took me under his wing and he was hard on me, but he knew when to give me compliments too. I learned a lot from him, and I owe him a lot.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: My wife and I have triplets — two boys and a girl. I just enjoy spending time with them, watching them play sports. I do enjoy hunting and fishing with my kids too. I love it.