Get to know
I always wanted to be a teacher when I was in high school. It set my path for college as I started at Hope College. Growing up with sports, I wanted to focus more on health and athletics but I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.
My dad was a major role model for me. When I was growing up, he was always working because he had this drive to take care of me and be the provider. I admired his drive and currently, see that in myself as I work now and raise my family.
I absolutely knew I wanted to go into education and into motor development. It’s so interesting to me to learn the process of a child learning their motor skills and then developing their ability to throw a ball. I added a minor in psychology because I was fascinated with learning why people do what they do.
As I worked on the job sites, I started to have a desire to become a project manager. There was this underlying question about how a building could go from a design on paper to the massive structure in front of you that your hands built.
My dad worked at Pioneer Construction for many years, so when I turned 16 I spent my summers working in the yard doing the little things I could. I washed cars, swept floors, and delivered tools until I turned 18 and joined my dad on the job site. It started off as rough carpentry work but I got to work on door and door hardware. I loved getting the chance to come into an almost completed site and see the progress before the final clean.
I returned to the field in 2006 to rely on the steadiness of construction. I asked Pioneer for whatever role they would give me because I was ready to work. I worked in the steel division for 13 years and was truly lucky to grow into a role that allowed me to work on some great projects with some great people.
With hopes to follow in my father's footsteps, I pursued becoming a superintendent. To get there, I took a safety leader role in partnership with MIOSHA at Grand Valley State University - right next to a building that my dad built! After three years, I really valued the safety role and wanted more of it.
I was lucky to get a chance to work with Architectural Metals Incorporated as their Safety and Education Director. I got to build up their safety program from the ground and work with their apprenticeship students for two and a half years. In this role, I helped bring the program to WMCI and spent a year teaching on the WMCI instructional team. It seemed like a no-brainer to seek this director role when there was an opening.
I believe that WMCI has a lot to offer our community and I want to play a role in getting people in the door to show that there is so much value in the skilled trades industry. In the skilled trades, you have this opportunity to be a part of something bigger, work with great people, and build structures that will last longer than ourselves. To me, that’s pretty damn cool.
3 ways YOU can help build the future of construction in West Michigan: