In today’s mobile society, it can seem only natural to change employers every few years. So Skanska is fortunate to not only have many long-time employees, but to have numerous colleagues who have spent decades working for us. This week we will be celebrating and sharing the stories of a few of our colleagues who have dedicated their time and talent to Skanska for at least forty years.
All in the family
Jeff Barber, Senior superintendent, Seattle
Jeff Barber represents three generations of Skanska service: his father, Don, spent 33 years with Skanska (beginning when it was still Baugh Construction) before retiring in 2000. Barber’s son, Scott, spent 17 years with Skanska before leaving our organization last year when he was a field superintendent to start his own business.
As for Barber, he’s busy running projects at Sea-Tac Airport and for Boeing, while adding new service stickers to his hard hat. He’s had to get a bit creative with those decals: Skanska doesn’t have service stickers above 40 years, so he uses two stickers: one for “40” and another for “3.”
Barber’s construction career began when he worked under his father as a laborer on a Nordstrom addition in Tacoma. He’s stayed with Skanska and construction for his entire career – he’s worked on about 70 projects – because he’s excited by the challenges of the projects he builds, and energized by the colleagues with whom he gets to work.
“Bob Baugh set the tone of treating people fairly, building them up and giving them challenges,” Barber said, referring to one of Baugh Construction’s founders. That approach continues today, he added, pointing out that several of our Seattle superintendents have also been with Skanska their entire careers.
When Barber finally decides to retire his Skanska hard hat, what he’ll miss the most is “all the great people in this company.” When you’re retired, he said, it’s hard to stay in touch.
“Everybody says, ‘Just give me a call’ – I’ve heard that over the years. But the people retiring don’t really do that,” Barber said. “You don’t want to impose on those who are running jobs – they’re busy.”
But in reality, maybe that’s a connection people on both ends of that call would appreciate.
Richard Redmon, Vice president of operations, Tampa
Richard Redmon, center, with on the left Fred Hames, executive vice president, and Bill Flemming, Skanska USA Building president and CEO
Looking back over his 51 years with Skanska, Richard Redmon said his most satisfying projects have been those with a high level of cooperation amongst the owner, designer, trade contractors and Skanska. That has happened most completely on two of his projects: a major expansion of Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Virginia, and Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida.
“If you can end all projects with everybody in a good mood because they’re proud of what they did, with a building that’s going to function well and with an owner who can’t wait to move in – that’s the kind of outcome I like,” Redmon explained.
More than just good feelings, such happy conclusions – which he said start with proactively offering to assist in addressing project challenges – mean good business. For instance, Roanoke Memorial Hospital – now part of Carilion Clinic – was so pleased with the project’s results that they went on to award Skanska about a billion dollars in other projects, he said.
Originally from Atlanta, Redmon worked in Atlanta, Nashville and Virginia before moving to Florida in 1994 to help Skanska establish its building construction presence there. Wherever he was, he has focused on building healthcare and office projects. The demand for those building types has always balanced out in a nice way: when one of those sectors would slow down, the other would pick up.
Yet for all his construction knowledge and experience, making far-reaching industry predictions isn’t Redmon’s style.
“Who knows what the future is going to bring?” he said. “We just hope it’s going to need buildings.”