12 Apr GGInsights: Q&A with Superintendent Brian Mason
In a nutshell, how would you describe your role as a construction superintendent?
Superintendents are the main point of contact for our clients. We are there to answer questions pertaining to the project, including the schedule and construction methods, and solve problems that arise during the construction process. It’s important that we keep our clients informed and comfortable with the progress along the way.
How long have you been a part of our construction team? What initially drew you to this field?
I’ve been a part of the GGI team for about a year, although I’ve spent the better part of my life with a hammer in-hand doing residential construction. When Tyler (Barnes, GGI President) reached out to me about the position, I jumped at the opportunity to work for a commercial builder and learn the ins and outs of this world.
Can you share a memorable or particularly interesting construction project you have worked on? What made it special?
Dawson Dental was and will probably continue to be one of my most memorable projects. The detail that goes into creating a functional dentist office is impressive. Every detail is meticulously planned and has to be executed perfectly.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? Any specific achievements you are proud of?
The most rewarding part of being in this position is watching a plan come together. As everyone knows, even the most well-laid plans can encounter hiccups. When everything finally comes together and you present your client with an amazing final product, it’s very rewarding.
How do you approach managing and coordinating construction projects? Any strategies you find most effective?
Communication is key! Speaking with your project managers weekly and your subcontractors almost daily is critical to keeping a project on track and helps avoid issues. Sometimes that is harder than it sounds, but being able to anticipate what is going to happen next week or next month and communicate efficiently is critical.
What are some challenges you face in your role? How do you overcome them?
In my experience, most of the challenges that we face arise at beginning of a project. In the beginning of a build, you have to learn your subcontractors and figure out how to work with them most efficiently. It’s a challenge that typically works itself out over time. Once you’ve found your stride with subcontractors, you can communicate in a way that helps them complete their portion of the job in the best possible way for your client.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in construction?
Spend as much time as you possibly can in the field learning about every aspect of the trade. The more field experience you have, the more you will excel in project management or site supervision.
Outside of work, what are some of your hobbies or interests? How do you unwind and recharge?
I spend most of my time with family, my wife and three daughters. We enjoy anything from camping, fishing, hunting, to just hanging out. One of the other things I love doing is barbequing, which is a more recent hobby that I spend a lot of time and effort improving.
Can you share a funny or lighthearted story from your time as a construction superintendent? Something that made you laugh on the job?
Construction sites are always funny places to be. Spending time with the subcontractors always proves to be a good time. When you have a wide range of different people to interact with daily, it’s pure comedy having conversations with them. Construction workers tend to take the quote “ it’s either laugh or cry” to the fullest extent, laughing at pretty much anything.
What is the hottest/favorite lunch place for superintendents on our team right now?
If I had to take a guess, I would say Jersey Mikes.