Q: What is your role with Sargent, and what are the responsibilities of your position?
A: I’m the chief estimator, and I have three estimators that work under me. I’m responsible for the selection of bids and bid reviews, and also just for the general oversight of the estimating department.
Q: What are the biggest challenges of your role?
A: My biggest challenge is outside competition. We’re competing for projects against other companies, so I need to balance being the low bidder with our ability to turn a profit on a given project. Being competitive and securing work while also ensuring that we’re able to make money is always a challenge.
Q: What did your career path look like before joining Sargent?
A: I’ve been with Sargent since March of 1988. I have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Maine, and I actually started working here six weeks before I graduated from college. While I was in school, I had summer jobs with the Maine Department of Transportation, but I’ve been with Sargent ever since then.
I started out as an assistant estimator and project manager. I did that for six or seven years. Then, I moved to Virginia and opened up an office with my boss down there. I worked down there running that side of the Sargent business from 2001 until 2010. I came back up to Maine in 2010 to start the materials division before moving into my current role in 2013.
Q: What do you enjoy about your job?
A: I definitely enjoy the actual work I do, and I also enjoy the competition and challenges. This job runs the full gamut. I feel like I’m challenged every day, and I like having those opportunities to prove myself.
Q: What is it about Sargent as a company that makes this a great place to work?
A: I have always been treated very well here. There are plenty of opportunities for advancement through the company, and this is a company that always does exactly what they say they’ll do. They’re honest and upfront in that way. Sargent is genuinely concerned about its employees and it shows.
Everybody pulls their own weight here. There is a true team philosophy at Sargent. The guys in the field do a tremendous job, which makes my job so much easier because we have that great field reputation to fall back on. Those guys bust their asses in the field, so it’s my responsibility to give estimating that same level of effort.
Q: Are there any accomplishments in your career that you look back on with pride?
A: I took a lot of pride in my work in Virginia. That job gave me exposure to every side of the business. I was in charge of bidding on projects and also planning how that work would be done once we got a contract. That’s probably the achievement I’m most proud of in my career.
Q: How do you think the construction industry could do a better job of attracting the younger generation?
A: I think we’re already ahead of most companies in that area due to our Sargent Construction Academy. One other thing we’re trying to do is move people around and get them some exposure to different parts of the company. In the winter, we’ll also bring people in for training sessions in the office. Exposing young people to different areas of our work allows us to acknowledge and recognize their talents and see where they fit best.
Q: Is there anyone in your life that you’ve looked up to as a mentor?
A: Tim Folster was always a great mentor for me. I worked with him for basically my entire career until he retired in 2019. He was the main guy I looked up to and tried to emulate. He’s a great leader, and he also knew how to be tough when he needed to be. He was a straight shooter who always did things the right way, and that’s how I want to be remembered at Sargent.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I’m married and I have two grown kids, so we obviously like to spend a lot of time with our kids and their families. I’m also at that age where I typically have projects. I’ll build a garage or renovate the house — things like that. I’m a jack of all trades kind of guy. I’m a sports fan and I try to keep active as well, so I also enjoy playing tennis and golf.