We had the opportunity to chat with Memo about his career and perspective:
Q: How has KBD helped you in your career development? A: I have become a better superintendent over the years by working in all areas of the field. In 1989, I started as a carpenter with Kajima and have worked many jobs with a lot of supervisors. Some were good and some were bad, but I have learned from each of them. I picked up many sayings and printed them to hang on the wall in my office trailer. These sayings have helped to improve my personality over the years and have played a role in changing the mindset of our subcontractors and other superintendents.
Q: What do you find the most challenging at KBD? A: Working away from my family! In my job, sometimes there are challenges, but like one of my old superintendents told me: “There’s no issues in our job, just opportunities.” (Jeff Stiner)
Q: What do you like most about KBD? A: I love my job so there is not one item or area I like the most, but I love to work with all types of people from different areas and backgrounds.
Q: What has been your favorite project? A: I have had a lot of projects over the years and there is not one I can call my favorite. I love the feeling of knowing I was there from start to finish, seeing the first sub-contractor on site to coordinating grand openings with the owners. I love the feeling of accomplishment knowing the owners are satisfied with the work we have done .
Q: What is your proudest moment at KBD? A: I have had many proud moments with KBD. Some of my favorite moments include the day I was hired as a carpenter when I was 21 years old; the day I was promoted to team leader; and the day I came back in 1999, as a superintendent. I am very proud of being here after all these years.
Q: How do you balance your career at KBD with your family obligations? A: That has been one of the biggest challenges being a traveling superintendent. My wife has been my biggest motivator, staying strong and looking after our home and raising our children often on her own. I come home every other weekend, but we talk every day and whenever she needs me, I am just a phone call away. My KBD supervisors allow me flexibility in case I need extra time or an unexpected visit home. They have never questioned my time away from work. I have a great family with seven children and twelve grandchildren and another on the way, and a great KBD family that I love working for. Loving my family and my job makes it easier to balance them in my life.
Q: What advice do you have for prospective KBD candidates? A: Learn how to love your work and enjoy it every day. What might seem like a bad thing today will turn out to be a great experience and opportunity for tomorrow. Learn from others: If you see something you do not like from someone, don’t use it. If you see something good, not only use it, but make it better. I tell my children to listen and learn: “A person that talks too much cannot listen too well.” Stand behind your word, think before you say something you might regret, and treat others how you would like to be treated.
One of Memo’s favorite quotes sums up his character: “It’s better to try something great and fail than to try to do nothing at all and succeed.”