Born: Tacoma, Wash.
Education: California State University at Long Beach, bachelor’s degree, civil engineering
What leader do you admire most?
I think I have to go with the person I learned the most from, the founder of this company: Myron Sukut. He ran the company for the first 20 years of its existence. He built it up from scratch and taught me a lot about how to value people that people were your most valuable resource. He’s always been of the mindset that you just try to get a little bit better every day.
What’s the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
So many businesses and companies are restrained by the owners, by the presidents, by them needing to have control. Then, you’re limited by the energy and talents of that one person. That’s a mistake. So I really opened my eyes to try to leverage myself through a lot of people.
How do you give employees confidence?
We’re very open about soliciting advice. We’re not big on upper management telling project managers what to do and how to do it.
But conversely, we’re very open to project managers soliciting advice from upper management. We do it the other way. That’s why I tell a lot of people who work for me, ‘You have the authority to make a decision.’
So if it’s a good deal, make the deal. If it’s not necessarily a good deal, then come and we’ll talk about it. We can kick around ideas. But don’t let a good deal pass because you think you have to ask permission from upper management. That gives people a lot of confidence to make good decisions if they’re good opportunities. If they’re not, we’re there to help.