Accelerate Magazine October 2020

WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG Tell us a little bit about yourself. I have been in the construction industry for over 31 years and a superintendent with Findorff since 2016. I feel my greatest accomplishment in my professional career was the transition from carpenter apprentice to journeyman, and eventually superintendent. However, personally, I am blessed to have been married to my beautiful wife, Jennifer, for 23 years and raising our two sons, Jack (15) and Nolan (17) together. Why/when did you decide to get involved with construction? From a young age I knew I wanted to build things that would be around for years to come. My father was a carpenter by trade, so I grew up learning about the craft. When I reached my teenage years, I already knew that this was the career for me. The combination of taking a plan on paper and transforming it into something usable is very rewarding to me. What led you to your current career path? I am a carpenter by trade. However, early in my career, I did not imagine I'd set out to be a superintendent of large projects. This has been a journey that started with hard work and learning all aspects of construction. My perseverance, calm, positive and reasonable demeanor lead to leadership skills I didn't know I possessed and career progression. Transitioning to foreman roles and eventually a superintendent would not have been possible without the good work ethic I learned, the positive attitude I approach each day with, the eagerness to learn, and most importantly, the value of treating others with respect. I stay humble by remembering where I started. What is the hardest part about being in construction? The most challenging part of the trades is keeping a steady flow of projects to maintain crew consistency. What’s your favorite part about your job? I enjoy the relationships I develop with clients. Likewise, I also enjoy planning projects that set other trades up for success. In my experience, when others know that they're being set up to succeed, they tend to better support the entire project team. This mentality creates an environment that is positive and enjoyable for all. What would you say to someone who wants to get involved with construction? Work hard and be proud of what you do. Learn as much as you can about every aspect of your trade. Be positive and ask questions. Lastly, don't ever be too proud to pick up the broom. If you do these things you will set yourself apart from others and be noticed – even if you don't realize it! Where do you see yourself going in the future? I would like to continue to be put in positions that positively represent Findorff. • SPOTLIGHT ON THE TRADES MIKE SMARELLI Superintendent J.H. Findorff & Sons Inc. 26