Eric Wood is our featured associate this month. [...]
Having a wide range of experience is obviously a good thing when it comes to a civil engineering firm, and it was important to us that this be included as one of our new brand words.
But “experience” is a word with a broad meaning, and one that can mean different things to different people. In this blog post, Joe Meads and Richard Holt each talk about what the word means to them from their perspectives in their different roles at Sain Associates. Joe takes a look from a broader perspective having worked at Sain for many years and being an owner of the company, while Richard looks at it on a more personal level.
Richard Holt: “When I think about the word experience, I immediately think about all of the summers I spent with my dad working in construction as a kid. I worked for the county highway department cleaning out ditches and pipes and pretty much doing whatever needed to be done. As I gained more experience doing this over the summers, I did more advanced jobs in highway construction, such as milling and resurfacing Interstate-65, laying water lines for subdivisions and working on bridge and roadway construction projects. It’s funny that now the connection of past construction experience has contributed to roadway design being my forte. This real-life, practical, hands on experience not only led me to civil engineering, but it helped make me a better engineer.
I think several other Sain employees have unique past experiences that help them in their current roles as engineers and add value to our firm. Becky White, our VP/Organization Development Principal is a perfect example. She grew up in a missionary family and often had to put on her missionary clothes and smile, which I think has given her the unique ability for working with a wide variety of people, challenging them, facilitating meetings and developing mentoring/training programs. Becky has an art degree but turned that past creative experience into a dedicated career as a transportation planner for Sain.”
Joe Meads: “One of the reasons our clients choose to work with us is because of our experience. Sain Associates has been in business since 1972, and hopefully we’ve gained a good reputation in our industry because of that long history. We want our clients to trust that we really consider whether or not we have excellent experience for each project we take on. If we don’t feel like we’re completely qualified, we have great experience at teaming with industry partners to give clients the best possible service. Some might see asking for help as a weakness, but we really see it as a positive and try to teach our young staff that as well. We’ve learned from the past that this is a great approach. I think these partnerships where we combine our experience with that of other firms really set us apart.
Not asking for help has been one of the many mistakes we’ve learned from over the years.
Every year, we have an internal quality control summit to talk about these mistakes and how to take that experience and make things better. These discussions have helped us develop better management practices and systems so we can deliver the best project possible. At our summits and all year, we love seeing everyone’s combined experience. We all have different gifts, strengths and abilities that come together and mesh well.”
These different perspectives really demonstrate that we are fortunate to have such a wide range of experience to help us achieve the ultimate goal of providing the best services for all of our clients.