David Stallman is a Project Executive with 16 years’ industry experience who is currently leading projects and pursuing opportunities in higher education, multifamily, office, retail, and industrial projects.
1. What’s your day-to-day look like?
As Project Executive, I start my day with a short morning review of my accountabilities/tasks to help me focus on priorities. The day is typically filled with production reviews, jobsite visits, follow-up, work output and/or meetings. I work to keep our teams motivated and focused on communication with our clients, architects, and trade partners and keep pulse on all five cornerstones of the projects: Safety, Quality, Schedule, Budget, and Relationships.
2. What’s the one lesson you’ve learned in this industry that’s stuck with you?
Prioritize, Communicate and Be Proactive. It’s difficult to pick just one; however, starting the day with 10-15 minutes dedicated to planning, communicating your plan and focusing on the priorities to stay out in front of critical issues will yield measurable results that help projects stay on/ahead of schedule and on/under budget.
3. What’s the last thing you did to help make a project run smoother/last thing you did to serve a Higher Education client better?
One of our Divisional goals is to achieve Preconstruction Excellence. I was a part of an early design phase pull plan which was a collaborative meeting with the stakeholders (Owner, Architect, Engineers and Contractor) to understand expectations, align goals and map out a detailed plan/schedule. Beginning with the construction start date, we pull plan scheduled activities required to complete design and permitting against the current timeframe everyone is working within. We were able to identify critical path design activities, milestones and set realistic goals in order to start construction on time without impacting the final delivery of the project.
4. How did you get started in the industry?
My Father was in oil & gas construction which initially exposed me to the building industry. I also befriended some high school buddies whose families were in the construction industry. I had the opportunity to work a summer job as a drywall finisher which provided me with boots-on-the-ground jobsite experience and then subsequently discovered the Construction Science Program when enrolling at TAMU. Once I experienced (and passed) Robert Segner’s Construction Materials and Methods course, I knew it was for me.
Teamwork, nurturing existing and building new relationships. We are fortunate to be in an industry that provides such a variety of unique projects, new relationships, and team experiences. Learning what motivates individuals, problem-solving, and finding the most efficient processes and procedures through the elimination of wasteful activities keeps me challenged to continually improve every day.
6. What’s your most memorable Higher Education project?
The University of Houston Fleming Teaching Laboratory Building. We partnered up with PGAL for a new, design-build, 4-story Science Teaching Lab Building. Some of the most unique/memorable aspects were the underground tunnel which tied into an existing utility tunnel to provide services to the new building and the stainless-steel ductwork required for ventilation associated with the laboratory fume hoods.
7. What’s your fondest or funniest memory from your time with Hoar Construction?
Working on the Harris County Jury Assembly project, we submitted product literature and shop drawing information on the assembly room seating. The Architect requested a full-size sample of the seating which we obtained and had in the trailer at the jobsite. The review process was taking a considerable amount of time and we were approaching our drop-dead date. During the OAC that week, some questions were being asked about the quality and durability of the seating, so the Superintendent grabbed the full-size sample, put the tray table out, stood on it and began jumping up and down to simulate its durability and strength. We received approval on it the very next day.
8. What’s your proudest accomplishment?
In 2012, Hoar had an opportunity to donate our management services for a lobby renovation at The Center operated by the United Way. I was young in my career, busy with ongoing projects and was ‘volun-told’ to help lead the effort so my attitude was not exactly positive at inception of the renovation. As I met the United Way’s team and the individuals that reside at The Center, my outlook and experience began to change rapidly. At the Grand Opening ceremony, the United Way and tenants handed me a small plaque that reads “Presented with Gratitude to Hoar Construction” with a picture of their group, along with a round of applause, smiles and cheers which really resonated with me. As I stood there realizing how the lobby renovation impacted their lives, I couldn’t help but remember how I felt at the beginning. I still have this small plaque hanging in my office which reminds me of this and to tell the story to our new employees as they grow in their careers.