The people who plan, manage, and build our projects are all experts in their field, and an integral part of our company’s success. Dennis Parker is an assistant superintendent currently working in our healthcare division. Here’s eight questions to get to know him.
- What’s your current day-to-day look like?
Currently I am at working at Children’s of Alabama in downtown Birmingham. We perform new construction for the hospital, but we are also in a support role as well and have been on standby to convert rooms, sometimes whole floors, to negative pressure at any given time which would help to contain any airborne particles from leaving the area.
Construction is not a 9-to-5 job, it is typically 24/7. Even if a superintendent isn’t physically on the jobsite, our phone never leaves our side. We have to answer when it rings because that is the nature of a project — anything can happen and most of the time it does, but you have to find a balance. An older fella I worked for some years back said he saw a lot of his younger self in me. One day after a long 10-hour day, he saw that I was settling into my desk to knock out a couple of hours of paperwork. He said to me, “Young man, go home. This is how you make a living; this is not your life. Your life starts when you get home.” I’ll never forget that.
I started in residential construction after finishing high school, eventually working up to start my own subcontracting company. An injury pushed me to switch career paths and go to college at Auburn for their Building Science Program which led to a co-op position with Hoar.
Mercato in Naples, Florida. Right before the market fell out in 2008, I was a co-op on Mercato, a huge mixed-use project. The development featured everything from a grocery store to a movie theater, and from an office building to mixed-use condos. It was great being on a project of that size because I got to see so many different types and styles of buildings in different phases of construction. I also enjoyed working with so many different superintendents and learning a little something from each one.
The team I work with at Children’s. We have all bought in on the vision and importance of what Children’s does for the community and state, and that commitment shows in the amount of effort and detail that each person we work with puts into any task we are given.
6. Describe the last challenge you overcame on a project?
We recently replaced the flooring in what the hospital’s materials distribution center, which maintains a staff 24/7 to meet the demand of the hospital. We planned the work in 12 short phases, maintained full ICRA containment for each phase with a crew working at night to do the flooring, and a crew working during the day moving the inventory and shelving to start the next phase that night. It was a challenge, but we had a great trade partner, and worked together to make it happen without negatively impacting the hospital’s distribution operation.
7. What’s your hidden talent?
Superhuman taste buds. I can typically taste something, deconstruct the ingredients, and remake it at the house.
Getting a college degree — there was a time in my life when personal successes, or any accomplishments, were more fleeting dreams than obtainable goals.