Wednesday, April 1, 2015

High Performance People Series: Interview with Tom Rea

Tom Rea is the manager of the Pavement Management Group division of StructureTec Group. He has brought significant impact and growth as leader of his division. Tom’s enthusiasm is contagious and is demonstrated through his passion for what he does.
Tom is our newest addition to the High Performance People interview series, we hope you enjoy!
How long have you been working with StructureTec Group?
This is my fifth year. I made a pledge when I was talking with Jeffrey Brittan (CEO of StructureTec Group) during my interview to, within a five year period of time, take the new paving division to the point of being StructureTec’s largest division by revenue. It looks like this may be the year that we can get there, and this is my fifth year.
How long have you been in the industry?
When I was going to school in Ann Arbor Michigan back in the late 60s, as soon as I wrote my last final I immediately went to work for Ann Arbor Construction Company, so I guess about 45-48 years.
What significant changes have transpired since you joined StructureTec Group?
There was a steep learning curve early on as it relates to the heavy civil division. In the beginning there were a lot of checks and balances and a lot of conversation. As a new division in the company, we had to work together to develop a full understanding of the capabilities of the Pavement Management Group and how it is different from roofing and restoration.
What is unique about the Pavement Management Group?
The most unique part of it is the speed of which the projects are handled. A three-quarter million dollar restoration job takes a 3-6 months to complete. A three-quarter million dollar pavement job, only takes three weeks. So process from start to finish is vastly quicker.
What is your most memorable/rewarding/challenging project?
The American Axle manufacturing plant in Mexico. We went there to do a job and had only one week to complete. Ended up taking a week and four days because we had to work with local contractors in an area where they were 20-25 years behind the current specifications. We ended up taking 2-3 days in dialogue to get them up to speed on the specifications. We were able to help them get 20 years ahead of where they were in terms of quality product.
Where do you see the direction of StructureTec/Pavement Management Group going in the next decade?
I think further technological developments in our CAD department will take us to the next level and allow us to handle more projects at one time. These developments will include the implementation of a 3D CAD program. I also anticipate that we will move into a much more global market as we have already started to move this direction in the last four years. 
What makes StructureTec unique? What sets us apart?
The confidence and knowledge level of our personnel. No question, everybody in the organization is on the top of their game and is extremely well prepared for the task. We have the people, and the right people in the right places. Also our national accounts that are light years ahead of similar companies who are trying to do the same thing. Our ability to grow is supported by those two facets.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The job itself, the accomplishments. Being able to look at a task and follow it through to completion. That to certain personalities is infectious. My greatest reward is following the project from start to finish and having a satisfied client when complete. For me it’s the biggest thrill.

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