Q: How did you get into construction?
A: I grew up around a small family business called Edgewater Development. My dad started it in 1972. I started sitting in my dad’s lap on a piece of machinery at about the age of five. As a family, we built and owned our own apartment complexes as well. In 1996, after graduating high school, I joined the Marine Corps. I did four years of active duty, and then I came back and worked in the family business from 2000 until 2008. My dad passed away in 2007, and then unfortunately the economy went to crap, and there went our small family business, like so many others.
Q: What was your next step at that point?
A: After the downturn of the economy, I worked as a site superintendent and foreman for a demolition and vegetation management company. I worked there for three or four years. I ran the demolition crews, and also helped out with logging.
Q: What do you like about working in construction?
A: The change of scenery, and always doing something different. I don’t like the monotony of doing the same thing over and over every day. I’m not a repetition and monotony person. I like being challenged, having different tasks and objectives. You have that feeling of accomplishment when you get something brought to completion. I take pride in my craftsmanship.
Q: Why did you make the move from there to Rino?
A: I had previously worked at two different companies with Fred Sas. He likes my expertise and craftsmanship, and he likes to bring me along to work with him. Jason Wood comes across as a very humble person. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty with everyone else. That’s important for me, because growing up in a small family business, I worked right alongside my dad. So, for me, it’s very important to work for a business owner who is willing to be right there knee-deep in whatever’s going on.
Q: What is it about Rino that keeps you here instead of looking someplace else?
A: The company and the personnel at Rino come across as a family unit. Many of the guys here came from humble beginnings. It’s that feeling of belonging to a family instead of just being a number. That makes the difference for me personally.
Q: What would you tell someone who’s currently in high school and is considering going into the industry?
A: Any younger kid that has the aspiration to run equipment, or anything that has to do with the trades, we’re coming up on a point where a lot of the personnel that know what they’re doing are getting older. They’re retiring, so there’s a huge shortage of qualified people. If there’s anyone that would be interested in learning, and they’re motivated to grasp what’s going on, there’s lots of room for advancement.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your personal life?
A: You really want to go into my pretty little nightmare? [laughs] I’ve been with my current girlfriend for 13 years. My older daughter is in the Air Force, and then I have a 16-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter as well. I also do some metalworking as a hobby. You could call me a garage home shop machinist, or a handyman craftsman. If it needs to be done, fixed, or made, I can come up with a way to do it. Growing up in a family business, I do so much more than just dirt work. I can be a plumber, an electrician, I can do drywall and tile, you name it.
Q: Just from your experience, what type of career path can you expect to take to get to a position like yours?
A: You start as a laborer. If you show interest in running machinery, you progress to running a backhoe or a mini-excavator. You get a feel for that, and then you keep working with bigger and bigger machinery. Just keep climbing that ladder until you get to where I’m at today.