McKinstry’s Dale Curtis on Leadership in Field Operations

“I really enjoy the idea of repurposing and making the built environment more energy efficient.”

Dale Curtis is the general superintendent for the Western Washington Energy Construction team and has been with McKinstry since 2015. Dale enjoys being a part of the construction process from start to finish in addition to building and leading high-functioning and safe project teams.

Learn more about Dale’s career path in the industry and the most rewarding aspects of his work at McKinstry.

Learn More About Dale’s Experience

What is your role at McKinstry? How did you get there?

I am the general superintendent for the Western Washington Energy Construction team in which I lead a team of superintendents who supervise and manage field operations on our projects. Getting to this position took actual work in the field as a carpenter and many years supervising every facet of construction from the ground up. I’ve had to be constantly curious and willing to listen and learn from the SMEs on the jobsites.

How did you develop an interest in your field?

My interest in the construction world started as a child going onto construction sites with my father who was an architect. I have always been an adventuresome person who knew sitting in an office job all day wasn’t my cup of tea. Construction work is tangible and it’s in your face. Being a superintendent allows you the opportunity to be a part of a construction project from start to finish. What’s unique about construction is what you build is usually around for a while and when you drive by a building you worked on you can say “I was a part of that.”

What does success look like in your role?

Success in my role is developing and leading my team to be the safest, productive and most cost-effective field managers on our projects. In addition to people development, passing along my knowledge of scheduling and constructability to our sales and development team to ensure project success during the construction phase.

What is the most rewarding thing about your work?

McKinstry has a great culture, and you can really see the effort being made to live up to the “People First” value. The most rewarding thing about my work is working with all the people in our industry. From trade professionals to engineers, I’ve been able to work with all sorts of different personalities. The work is great, but the personality traits and behaviors of the people I’ve worked with are what I remember the most.

Within your area of expertise, what are the changes you see happening that impact either our industry or the work that you do?

Most everyone in our industry have been affected by the supply chain issues over the past couple of years. This change has made it difficult to manage resourses throughout the year and hit revenue goals. Finding the right balance to meet supervision requirement on projects has been challenging. Fortunately, McKinstry has a good group of field leaders and construction managers to help fulfill our commitments to our clients.

What change do you hope to inspire through your work at McKinstry?

I really enjoy the idea of repurposing and making the built environment more energy efficient. McKinstry’s Energy department focuses on sustainability and energy efficiency. Less waste and more efficiency help the climate crisis on this planet.  I’m pleased to be working for a company that focuses on making our planet a better place to live. I can only hope that the work we do at McKinstry inspires others to do the same.

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