Q: What do you do here at Moss? What are the main challenges of your role?
A: I just started here in June of 2020, and I am a senior estimator. My role includes putting bids together for our commercial, industrial, public works, and vocational projects. The biggest challenge for me right now is the high demand. We are given so many bid opportunities, and even though there are four of us estimators here, we’re still missing some of those opportunities.
We’re so in demand that we can’t even get to all of them! It’s a good problem to have. I was a junior estimator for another company back in 2008 when the economy collapsed. In my experience, being overwhelmed with bid opportunities is a lot better than trying to fight everybody for the same few jobs.
Q: What were you up to in your career before you came to Moss?
A: Before I took this job, I was an estimator for another construction company in the DFW metroplex. Most of my career has been in construction. About 20 years ago, I took about two years off from working in construction to work at a manufacturing facility, but that’s it.
Q: What do you enjoy about your job? What gets you out of bed and excited to come to work in the morning?
A: I love the work itself. Sometimes, you get that immediate reward when you bust your ass for a whole week to put together a bid. Then, you go up against 10-15 other bids and you happen to be the successful bidder — that’s a great feeling. I like to wake up every morning and aim to put together better bids than I did yesterday.
Q: Why is Moss such a great company to work for? What sets them apart?
A: We’re a younger team compared to other companies I’ve worked for. The previous company I worked at has been around for about 60 years, while Moss just started a few years ago. Although I’ve only been here for four months, I’m happy to be part of a company that’s on the way up. This company is still young and hungry.
Q: Is there any specific project you’ve worked on that you look back on with pride?
A: My proudest project was when I put together a successful bid at my previous job for a $9.5 million utility contract for a Home Depot distribution center. The base contract was $9.5 million, and then we were issued a change order for a separate contract worth $2.5 million. By the time it was all said and done, this contract was worth more than $12 million. We turned a nice profit on that project, and it was really satisfying to be responsible for the bid that brought in so much work for the company.
Q: How do you think our industry could do a better job of attracting young people?
A: Social media is probably one of the best ways to get to that younger crowd. I think advertising about construction on social media is a great place to start.
Other than that, I think the younger generation gets fed a bit of a bad rap about construction. “You’re not going to make more than minimum wage in construction. You’re not going to be able to make a living in construction. You’re going to have to work weekends and be exposed to the elements 24/7 in construction.”
When you’re in high school, you hear a lot of those negative things about construction from your teachers. In reality, there are many careers and opportunities that allow you to make a great living and have a great quality of life. Plus, you get to be part of some really impressive teams.
On a basic level, that’s what any construction project is. Everybody teams up — all of these different experts in different trades — to build a multimillion-dollar school or a $100 million high-rise building downtown. It takes all of us working together, getting along, and communicating well to build this project. It’s rewarding because you get to see the fruits of your labor.
Through utilities, we’re improving people’s quality of life. We’re bringing you potable water, carrying away the rain, and making sure your building doesn’t flood every time it rains. I find all of those aspects to be very rewarding, and you don’t often hear about that stuff when you’re a kid thinking about your career options.
Q: Is there anyone that you’ve considered to be a mentor throughout your life?
A: First off, I would say my father. We grew up building little projects around the house all the time. He had a small foundation repair business that opened the doors for me to enter the construction industry. It was through working with my father that I met my other mentor.
We were repairing the foundation at a house, and the design engineer came over to inspect the rebar. He was a commercial and residential inspector, and he asked me if I would like to go on inspections with him on weekends or vacations when I had free time, and he would start showing me the ropes. I talked to my dad and he agreed, so I started hanging out with him.
He showed me how to put a spec book together and exposed me to so many different things I never would’ve seen in this industry. I would go with him when he inspected everything from small homes all the way up to 30,000 square-foot homes around the metroplex. I learned so much about this industry from him.
Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
A: I have a daughter and I have three Boxer puppies. My daughter takes honors classes, so a lot of my evenings are spent helping with her homework and her school projects. I also like to do things around the house. I’ll repaint a room from time to time, and replace a kitchen sink or a stove cooktop. That keeps me pretty busy.