Get to Know Detailing Operations Manager Mark Deschenes

Mark Deschenes, McKinstry detailing operations manager, believes in treating people the way you want to be treated and keeping a positive attitude.

“As soon as I started working with Mark, it was clear how committed he is to his work,” said Nate Smith, McKinstry business unit manager, Shop & Logistics. “His positive attitude and willingness to collaborate has served well in building a team environment. I appreciate his contributions and look forward to seeing his continued growth and impact on our team.”

Learn more about Mark’s career at McKinstry and his passion for teamwork and collaboration in the Q&A below!

Learn More About Mark’s Experience

Tell us about your background and your career path.

My father is a forester, so I spent a lot of time outdoors as a kid and developed an appreciation for nature. I received a bachelor’s degree in forest management and environmental science from the University of Maine and a master’s in engineering management from Missouri University of Science and Technology. When I was getting my undergraduate degree, I applied for an Army ROTC scholarship to help pay for college, which paved the way for a 30-year Military Career in the Army. Our family had to relocate a lot while I was in the military, and after being stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for a few different tours, our kids started to see the Seattle area as home, so we decided to stay in the area once I retired.

I’ve been at McKinstry for three and a half years. What I loved about being in the military was working with and leading a team, which is a lot like what I do here at McKinstry with the detailing department. A lot of the skills I used in the military transfer over to my work here: you’re building or creating something that is greater than yourself, participating as part of a larger project where incredible things get done.

What impact do you think your work makes on our company values and mission?

Detailing is both central and critical to the delivery of most of our major construction projects. Virtual design and construction — and the explosion of building information modeling technology — provide tremendous promise to the challenge of transforming the way buildings are planned, designed, detailed and constructed. Detailing provides the bridge from planning and designing to prefabrication and construction. We’re at the center of the process and get to work directly with all project stakeholders to maximize the value of our collective effort.

What’s your favorite part about working at McKinstry?

What I appreciate most is McKinstry invests so heavily and genuinely in human capital. It’s easy to put that on your website and say that you value your people, but not all companies put that into practice. McKinstry does. You get the sense the company is invested in its people, and it’s a great place to learn, grow and challenge yourself. Everyone brings their diverse backgrounds and talents to the table. I think that’s what makes the company as successful as it is.

How do you think your area of expertise is evolving or changing in the bigger scheme of our business climate and our offerings?

The detailing department is constantly looking for opportunities to contribute more directly to McKinstry’s vision of making the built environment more sustainable in a safe, efficient and profitable way. We have to stay on top of all the emerging technologies and capabilities we could potentially leverage. We also maintain client relationships as well as the profitability of project delivery. One of the big things we do at McKinstry is make jobsites safer by making components easy to access by operations and maintenance teams.

What do you do when you’re not working?

Retiring from the military allowed me to focus on and appreciate my family. I have three kids and six grandkids, most of them living here in Washington, so my family keeps me pretty busy. I love skiing, biking, backpacking, camping and enjoying the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.

Any wisdom you can share?

Try and treat people the way you’d want to be treated. That’s the golden rule most people know about, but not everyone follows it. I don’t always get it right, either. If you’re able to keep that in the forefront of your mind, it’ll help you recognize when you’re not doing that and hold yourself accountable.

Life doesn’t always have to be as complicated as we make it. If you want to be successful at anything, you have to work hard, but you have to have fun along the way. You can’t be serious all the time. Sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses and enjoy life, even when it’s not going the way you wanted it to.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. You can’t be on your ”A game” every single day. Sometimes just changing your attitude a little bit and trying to have some fun will make all the difference.

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