Meet The Squad: Justin

Beaches, mountains, and everything in-between is what Southern California is all about. As a California native, born and raised in the City of Fullerton, Justin embodies the California lifestyle. He surfs, rides his mountain bike, and enjoys the sunny weather almost year-round. Unless he’s in the mountains snowboarding, he’d rather not have to deal with 40 degree weather.

As a gifted and talented Project Manager for Onward Engineering, Justin’s responsibilities are vast. As a Project Manager, Justin is the main point of contact for many clients. His chief responsibility is to understand fully the short-term and long-term goals of our client on the projects he is assigned, and to communicate those goals to our design team. He then directs the design team in putting together the plans, specifications, and engineer’s estimate (PS&E). The PS&E package is essentially the step-by-step guide for how a project should be built. As this package is being prepared, Justin must proactively anticipate and respond to obstacles. These obstacles can include external stakeholders, logistical concerns, and budget constraints, among other things. A good Project Manager is able to pivot quickly to keep the project going. Though Justin’s position is demanding and tedious, when asked if working on different projects simultaneously can be stressful at times, he had this to say: “It can be, but I like to think of it as a daily challenge and because of that I’m never bored.” Instead of seeing difficult tasks as chores, he chooses to view them as opportunities to learn and grow. Justin’s “can-do” attitude is one of the many qualities that make him a valued member of our team.

 Our conversation shifted gears as Justin began to elaborate on the intricacies of each stage of a project. “Having the opportunity to play a role in each one of these stages has given me a comprehensive understanding of the infrastructure industry.” Passion and dedication filled his voice. I noticed that even though we were having a casual interview for a blog, Justin paused between thoughts, gave clear in-depth answers, and made a conscious effort to simplify the complexity of his position in terms someone with no industry experience could understand. Mindful of my disposition, Justin spoke in simple terms and answered questions before I could think to ask them.

Justin is comfortable with working on multiple projects at once. At a young age he pushed himself to try new things, and no task was too daunting. For example, before he was in his teens Justin managed to learn and utilize one of the earliest version of AutoCAD. After learning how to use this complex computer software he designed a skateboard that could be used in the same fashion as a snowboard. Years later, he still enjoys self-learning and taking on personal projects that aid in his professional growth. He recently constructed a chicken coop, using photos of similar designs he found on the internet. He and his wife now have six thriving chickens (each named after a Disney Princess by his daughter) who produce an abundance of eggs week after week. Projects like designing innovative snow-skateboards was only the beginning for Justin. The satisfaction and pride of a project well done is what keeps Justin coming back for more.   

Attention to detail, creativity, and innovation are core ingredients for successfully managing public works projects. Holding the title of Project Manager means Justin must uphold those qualities day in and day out. Justin manages to stay diligent with his work, tackle projects and capture OE’s mission to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve. The experiences and challenges he faced in his early years primed him for the position he holds today. Project Managers have to learn how to formulate a plan, set it in motion, and see it to completion. For Justin, it comes natural.