Our Senior Construction Manager, Doug, was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. His family moved to California when he was 11 years old. Doug’s Midwest roots made him an avid sports fan and a hockey super-fan. Although his time in the Windy City may have been brief, there’s no doubt he bleeds Chicago Blackhawk red. To hear him describe himself, he’s a gearhead who loves cars, a father and husband who enjoys spending time with his family, and a handyman addicted to taking apart and fixing anything he can get his hands on.
As a Senior Construction Manager the responsibility of ensuring projects are completed in the most efficient and timely manner fall on Doug’s shoulders. The job of a construction manager is to be the owner/city advocate, making sure that the construction work proceeds on time, within budget, safely, and in accordance with the contract documents (plans and specifications). This means coordinating with City personnel, contractors, design engineers, the local community, and many more stakeholders. Doug has to be the one with the answers for nearly every individual involved on a project. He receives about 20 phone calls a day and triple the amount in emails. The composure and communication skills a person in Doug’s position must have to manage such a barrage of concerns on a daily basis cannot be overstated.
Doug’s ability to oversee high profile infrastructure projects can be accredited to his versatile upbringing. He studied at Cal State Fullerton as a Theater Arts Production major. He then decided to become a civil engineer and received his BS degree from Cal Poly Pomona. At first glance it seems odd that a Graduate from the school of Theater Arts would go back to school to pursue a career in civil engineering, but for Doug it was his calling. Through college he worked as a structural steel fabricator, and at a very young age he learned the basics of how to build a home. As a child, his toys were erector sets, model trains, and vacant lots within biking distance of his house where he and his friends would construct dirt jumps to launch themselves in the air on bikes. Reminiscing of his childhood Doug describes what it was like, “It was a different time, my back yard was as far as my bike pedals could take me…when my sons were kids they didn’t leave the block.” Our conversation went from the intricacies of the infrastructure industry to how the challenges and sticky situations one encounters in their youth has a significant impact on their capabilities in their career.
Having been uprooted to Southern California at age 11, Doug learned how to adapt to an unfamiliar environment. Coincidentally, in the infrastructure industry the chances of a project going exactly to plan is slim to none; the way Doug see it is, “Every day there is a new roadblock, it’s my job to find a way to overcome each one.” He wakes up every day knowing there’s going to be a problem he’s going to have to fix, and he enjoys it. Taking care of problems, getting his hands on projects, and making decisions to move a project forward is what gives him the satisfaction and fulfillment to wake up every morning. His natural ability to be presented with an issue, assess all possible solutions and come to a decision that best suits the project at hand in a timely matter is due to a life long history of being in vulnerable situations where he and only he could be the decision maker. Doug launching himself in the air on a BMX bike may seem a bit crazy, but it takes commitment and confidence to pedal you and your bike up to speed, to not hit the brakes as the lip of the handmade dirt ramp approaches faster with every push of the pedal, and to have enough composure to balance yourself 7 feet off the ground guaranteeing a safe landing. As one of our Senior Construction Managers Doug may not have to soar through the air to do his job but he does use that same commitment and confidence managing high-profile public infrastructure projects.