Q: What is your job title with Sargent? What challenges do you encounter in your job?
A: I’m the equipment manager for Sargent, and I oversee the equipment department for the company, both in Maine and the Mid-Atlantic, which consists of 40 people. The challenges are being sure the jobs have the most reliable and cost effective equipment to work with at all times. Every person in this department works hard to ensure that the field gets the equipment and support needed for the jobs to be successful.
Q: What was your work history like before joining Sargent?
A: I’ve been with Sargent since 1985. I came to work here straight out of vocational school, and I’ve been here ever since. This has been my only career.
Q: What do you enjoy about your job?
A: I enjoy working for Sargent. It’s been a great fit for me. I enjoy working with the people here as well as dealing with all aspects of the equipment itself.
Q: What makes Sargent a great place to work?
A: I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. With Sargent, you can tell that the company genuinely cares about their employees — all of us, no matter what. They’ve been so good to me here, and they’ve given me so many opportunities that I don’t know if I would have gotten opportunities anywhere else during my career.
The employee ownership aspect is unusual for this industry, and it can be very interesting, especially after the last few years when we’ve seen such big gains. For someone like me who will look to retire in a few years, it’s exciting.
Q: Is there any part of your career that you’re especially proud of?
A: I take a lot of pride in the crew in the equipment department. I’m proud of the way we take care of the company and fill that support role. That’s what I like to do, and that’s the attitude I try to project. I think the whole crew takes that to heart as well and puts that attitude at forefront in their daily work.
Q: Do you have any ideas about how our industry could do a better job of attracting the younger generation?
A: I know we’re promoting it hard here at Sargent, and that’s a big part of why we’re working in conjunction with BuildWitt on the marketing side of things. I don’t have a silver bullet for how we should bring young people in though.
I deal with various trades in my job — we have shop mechanics, field mechanics, shop welders, field welders, and machinist. It’s hard to find people who want to work on the field side. These days, young people don’t want to spend a week in the field away from home. I feel very fortunate to have the guys we have in those roles currently. It may get to the point where we have to hire local guys to go do that work on a contract basis instead of having our own traveling field mechanics or field welders.
We also need to deal with the misconception that construction has to be a dirty job. It’s not just crawling around in knee-deep mud all day. There’s a lot of exciting technology in this industry today, and maybe we need to do a better job of communicating that to young people.
Q: Has there been anyone throughout your life that you’ve viewed as a mentor?
A: I’ve had different people throughout my career that have mentored me from being a mechanic to a manager, I am thankful for those people that helped me along. I would also say the Sargent family, Herb, as well as his father and grandfather were people I respected and looked up to as great examples of being great leaders.
Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
A: I’m married, and I have four daughters and four grandchildren. I love spending time outdoors with them. I enjoy fishing, boating, ice fishing, and other winter activities. Maine is a great place for all of those activities.