Employee Interview: Charles Cochran + Tony Montanaro

Posted by on Nov 13, 2018 in Sain Associates News | No Comments


Today we are excited to be highlighting Tony Montanaro and Charles Cochran! Tony is an assistant project manager with the Infrastructure Department, and Charles is a project manager with the Traffic Team. Both Tony and Charles are celebrating their 5 year Sainniversary this month!  We sat down with both of them to learn more about what they do in and out of the office.


Q: What are your responsibilities in your role?

Tony- As assistant project manager I work with all aspects of design work and production, CAD production and design production but I also still have a toe in some of the project management roles, invoicing and billing.

Charles – As a traffic engineer I work on a variety of projects; everything from signal designs to traffic impact studies to safety studies, which are probably my favorite.

Q: How did you get into civil engineering?

Tony: At first I thought I wanted to be an architect because I had always loved to look at blueprints and plans.  When I started the freshmen coursework at Auburn, I soon realized you have to be an artist to be an architect and I was not! I found other avenues that were more math and science focused, and civil engineering stuck out in that aspect. From there I didn’t have a civil discipline that I wanted to pursue, but transportation seemed to be the best fit and roadway design was something that came very naturally.

Charles: I thought about doing architecture as well, but I couldn’t draw a straight line….I was a lot better at math, so I went into engineering. Once I got into civil I narrowed it down to traffic. I saw that as the quickest way to help out the general public, improve safety and save lives.

Q: You share an office. How is that?

Charles: We have the best view in the office!

Tony: Just no tuna – that is the only rule.

Charles: The only problem is I have to come in and look at all of Tony’s Auburn stuff.

Q: What’s your favorite part of working for Sain?

Charles: We have a flexible work schedule and a family environment. I really like everyone I work with!

Tony: I think the family environment is key. From the Meads brothers at the top to everyone we work with on a daily basis, everyone seems to have a genuine interest in each other and want the best for each other, and not necessarily just in the workplace but outside of work as well.

Q:  Who is your biggest role model?

Charles:  My dad.

Tony: My biggest role model was a “second-father” that I had growing up.

Q:  What words best describe you?

Charles:  Easy going…

Tony:  For me one word would be short, and for Charles is tall.  I’m easy-going as well.

Q: What’s something most people would be surprised to learn about you?

Charles: I have grandma hobbies! I like to cook, and we have a little garden I like to work in. I grow peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Tony: I was the Bulldog Mascot for my middle school basketball team. I had ambitions of being a “friend of Aubie” at Auburn, but quickly realized I was too short and stocky for that.

What’s your favorite travel spot/vacation?

Charles:  My wife and I love going to the beach.  We went to Jamaica on our honeymoon and would love to go back to the Caribbean again.

Tony:  We also love the beach.  Last year we had the chance to go on a two-week vacation all over Italy.  It was the trip of a lifetime, but I would love to go back again.

Q:  What’s your favorite place in Birmingham?

Charles:  I like to go to the local breweries, Cahaba and Good People.  I also like to go watch the Barons at Region’s field.

Tony:  Probably the golf course. Robert Trent Jones at Oxmoor Valley is my favorite.  Also, local breweries and Top Golf.

Q:  What are your hobbies?

Charles:  I’ve already answered about my grandma hobbies.  I also have a dog; an 8-pound Pomeranian.

Tony:  Mostly just playing golf. I also have a newborn baby boy so not much time for hobbies.


Thanks Charles and Tony! We love having you on the Sain team and are so thankful for everything that you do!


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