Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born, raised, and spent the first 29+ years of my life in California. My wife Megan (also a native Californian) and I are coming up on our 9th anniversary in September and are the proud parents of Judah (5) and Evelyn (1).
I took a traditional path into the Construction industry…first attending college to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, followed by another Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Prior to working for RQ, I worked 6 years in the music industry at a band and orchestra instrument and accessory retailer, most recently as one of their Southern California store managers. In January of 2016, my wife, son, and I sold just about everything we had in CA, packed up, and moved to GTMO to join the RQ team down there. We have spent nearly 3 ½ years in GTMO and have just relocated up to Northeast Florida to continue the development of the RQ Logistics and Maritime operation.
With two young kids, we spend most of our recreational time together as a family and are currently in the process of re-acclimating to life in the States and familiarizing ourselves with what Florida has to offer. So far, we love the St. Augustine area and are looking forward to establishing roots in a new place to call “home.”
How did you find RQ and why did you want to work for us?
For this, you can place the blame squarely on James Hahn. I have known Jimmy since our high school days of playing football together, and we’ve been close friends for more than 15 years. In the summer of 2015, my wife and I were having dinner with Jimmy and his wife in Southern California, and the conversation turned to Jimmy’s recent transition out of the Army and into working for RQ. I was vaguely familiar with RQ at the time, having known Don Rogers and his side of the family for several years, but had no idea of the growth and opportunity available, particularly down in GTMO. I was looking to make a career transition, having advanced as far as I could with my then-employer, and both my wife and I were eagerly willing to relocate out of California. As our dinner with the Hahn’s was wrapping up, I jokingly asked Jimmy if RQ wanted to hire any more PEs to head down to GTMO with little (or no) construction experience. He paused, and replied, “Maybe? You should apply… you never know!”
So, I applied and was hired for a Project Engineer opening to head down to GTMO. One thing led to another, and the next thing I knew, I was starting my first day as an employee of RQ Construction on December 31st, 2015. Eight days later we were living in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In retrospect, it still amazes me how everything unfolded, and it’s a credit to RQ’s corporate culture and view of hiring that they were willing to give me a shot. You can teach somebody to do the job if you make sure you start off by hiring the right individual. At 3 ½ years in, I love working for RQ. I believe in the values of the company and I enjoy working side-by-side with our people. It’s a great place to work, and I am thrilled to be a part of the RQ family.
What is your current role at RQ?
I am currently our Maritime Manager, a part of our Florida-based Logistics Team. When it became apparent that the GTMO construction projects would be needing more substantial logistics support than what the base barge and supply chain could provide, RQ took it upon themselves to venture into the Logistics and Maritime industries, with a primary focus of supporting our Operations down in GTMO.
In the past year, our knowledge and capabilities in Logistics and Maritime have grown exponentially, and I am primarily responsible for managing everything to do with the “water” side of our Logistics operation. This involves interfacing with a variety of agencies and people on a daily basis, from our tug crew, to the U.S. Coast Guard, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Port Operations officials, and more. My other responsibilities include forecasting our sailing and crew schedules, researching and maintaining compliance with local and federal Maritime regulations, coordinating vessel movements between ports, and coordinating our import/export of cargo through Customs.
As this is a new venture both for me and for RQ, it consists of a tremendous amount of learning and discovery, and is a constant exercise in organization, adaptation, and improvement. The relentless desire to excel, improve, and grow is one of my very favorite things about RQ, and it is exciting to be a part of a company that is not content to sit back and simply rest on its laurels. There’s never a dull moment, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.