Anniversary Spotlight–John Olsen

Senior Estimator John Olsen is celebrating 20 years at Alberici this month. In honor of this milestone, we asked him to share some thoughts about his experiences at Alberici.

In your time at Alberici, which project was your favorite and why?

My favorite project was the River 7000 Project – Selma Plant for Buzzi Unicem. This project was a wet to dry process conversion at an existing cement plant. It involved difficult excavation in rock, complex concrete placement, steel erection of multiple structures of which included a 400’-0 Preheater Tower, installation of 5 stage twin string pre-calcyner system, 2 prototype mills, an 18’-0 diameter x 212’-0 rotary kiln, clinker cooler and a myriad of other equipment and material handling systems. The new process line was commissioned just shy of 35 months from the start of construction. Being involved in the estimate/award process as well as being a part of the on-site management team was extremely fulfilling. Not only were we able to overcome a multitude of challenges but we also successfully juggled the many moving parts associated with the project- all on a relatively small footprint.

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

I enjoy having the opportunity to take an Owner’s concept/design and assist in herding it through the entire project delivery process – from a request for proposal, through the design/estimate development process, to award negotiations, to subsequent procurement/contract issuance activities and finally to on-site management and commissioning. Seeing pages of paper come to life is the ultimate reward.

You’re a Certified Professional Constructor. Can you tell us about that certification and how it’s helped you in your career?

This certification is offered through the American Institute of Constructors and consists of passing an 8 hour comprehensive examination which tests candidates on their overall understanding of the project management and delivery process. Certification benefits all parties involved in the construction industry. The Owner receives assurance that their projects will be managed more effectively; they can use it as a means to pre-screen potential contractors; and Owners know that their contractor management team will maintain the highest level of professionalism. For an Employer, it serves as an independent assessment of an employee’s skills and knowledge; improves marketability to clients; and it provides assurance that employees will continue to hone their skills through the required Continuing Professional Development program (32 CPD hours in a 2 year cycle). For the Certified Constructor, it provides international recognition of construction management skills and knowledge; it is an analysis of individual strengths and weaknesses; enhances the Constructor image as a professional to their employer, their clients and the public; and it provides a marketable credential that sets you apart.

You’ve worked in a number of different markets in your time at Alberici (Energy, Industrial Process, Food & Beverage, Mining, Building). Have you enjoyed that diversity of experience? How has that breadth of experience influenced you?

I’ve very much enjoyed the diversity of experience. Exposure to multiple markets has offered a unique perspective into various processes and types of construction. Gaining insight into a broad array of means and methods has provided invaluable knowledge and experience to take forward to future projects.

What do you like most about working at Alberici?

The family atmosphere and corporate values/philosophies are aligned with my own ideologies. As an Alberici employee, I aspire to build trust and personify experience and maturity while being energetic and open to new ideas. I also try to display confidence and a can-do attitude while showing passion for our work. The family atmosphere and corporate values in tandem with the extremely talented individuals employed here set Alberici apart and places them on the highest bar.

What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting in the construction industry?

Have a positive attitude; display a quiet confidence in your abilities; acquire knowledge from experience and learn from mistakes (they will be made); be flexible in your approach; build relationships and foster them with honesty, integrity and reliability; seek a mentor and be a “sponge”; and last but not least, aspire to be great!