In this on-going Q&A series, go Inside Baldwin General Contracting to get a closer look at the dedication and attention to detail that goes into each individual project, while also recognizing the talented individuals – Project Managers, Project Engineers, and fellow staff members – who have helped build Baldwin General into an industry leader throughout the Pacific Northwest.
This time, we shine a spotlight on Pat O’Malley (Project Manager) who looks back fondly on growing up working in the construction industry in California and after logging some long years in the business. Now nearly two years after coming on-board at Baldwin, Pat has been instrumental in managing projects for Baldwin that have made an instant impact in the industry and extend well beyond just another build.
He’s also held tight to some words of wisdom that he picked-up early in his career and has provided a personal mantra ever since.
“Growing up in the construction business, I learned that your word and reputation is everything,” Pat explained.
“I realized that Baldwin holds the same values towards people and construction that I do.”
Recently, Pat took time to share these valuable lessons along with other insight he’s gathered by growing an impressive career in the construction business that tallies roughly 28-years of professional experience from California to the Pacific Northwest.
Before getting into your work and time with Baldwin, it’s always interesting to hear how people got their start. Yours included attending Fresno State and studying Criminal Justice. Did you know back then that you would move on to work in construction and as a Project Manager?
This was a profession and career I knew I could fall back on. I first started working for the family business during summers and weekends when I was in high school. I started from the ground up (general laborer and then learning while working side by side with the guys in the field). It was part of the family business in residential construction and swimming pools in central California.
Looking back on those early days in the construction business, what did you learn the most that you still rely on in your career today?
Growing up in the construction business, I learned that your word and reputation is everything!
Prior to Baldwin, you spent 17 years with Lennar working with a national homebuilder. What’s something you recall from those years and experiences that you hold close to you?
That relationship building is the most important aspect of what we do.
Your experience in the business also included working with Holt Homes. Are there particular projects you led there that you look back proudly on?
Building homes in the community where you live is something very special. You see your homeowners around town and want to know they are happy with what you’ve built for them.
When it comes to managing a project, words like “quality”, “value”, and “personal care” are often used to describe the process of doing a build. Since you have been in the industry and business as long as you have, do you feel like that is still the case?
I do, because when we move on to the next project, our clients need to feel that we’ve left them with the finest quality product. The greatest compliment we can receive is a referral from our client.
How did you come to work with Baldwin and how has your nearly two years as a Project Manager with the company?
I had been referred to Baldwin by someone whose opinion I value. After researching the company, I realized that Baldwin holds the same values towards people and construction that I do.
During your time working at Baldwin, is there a particular project that comes to mind when you look back on your tenure with the company?
I’d say the Port of Newport administrative building stands out the most. They had been in a “temporary” office for nearly 8 years, so seeing the relief and excitement on their faces to finally get a permanent home was a tremendous feeling.
What do you think is key to overcoming obstacles through the course of a build? And how do you know when a construction project is well-executed?
By keeping the best interests of the client in mind and doing the right thing. When at the end of the project, you know that you’ve done everything you can and the client is happy.
When it comes to relationship building with clients, what’s the most important part about making those connections on a project?
The relationships between a general contractor and client doesn’t end when the project ends. It really is a lifelong connection. That’s why honesty and integrity are the most important aspects of our industry.
Baldwin has such a storied history in the industry throughout the Pacific Northwest. What do you feel sets Baldwin apart from the competition?
The projects we take on become personal to us. Once you become a client, you become a part of the Baldwin family.
At what point does a project become personal for you?
It’s usually at the first meeting with ownership. That’s when you really get a feel for what the project is about and who it will affect.