The Construction Veteran Podcast

Patron of the Bold: Christian Gournay's Impact on Veterans

November 19, 2023 The Construction Veteran
The Construction Veteran Podcast
Patron of the Bold: Christian Gournay's Impact on Veterans
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Join us as we share a remarkable conversation with our special guest, Christian Gournay, a well-known supporter of the veteran community. Christian brings his unique viewpoint, influenced by his family's strong military background, to our podcast. His tales of growing up with a respected grandfather who served in World War II, and the invaluable life lessons he gained from him, is sure to resonate with many of our listeners.

Our discussion doesn't stop there, as Christian takes us behind the scenes of his latest project- the construction of a McLaren Special Operations (MSO) space. This is not your everyday construction project. It's a place where car enthusiasts can personalize their dream machines down to the smallest details. Christian's vivid description paints a picture so real; you can almost smell the new car scent!

In the final leg of our conversation, we explore Christian's involvement with MVP, an organization dedicated to supporting and encouraging combat veterans and former professional athletes. We also touch upon the upcoming sporting clay classic, a significant event benefiting MVP. The conversation then moves to the topic of the increasing support for veterans in the Dallas area, specifically within the construction industry. We guarantee that you'll finish this episode with a newfound appreciation for Christian's dedication to his community and the cause he supports. Tune in for an episode filled with personal stories, unique insights, and the passion to make a difference.

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Speaker 1:

And I think all those traits from the US Army and being in World War II translated down through his family.

Speaker 2:

This is the Construction Veteran Podcast, connecting and celebrating veterans in construction. Now here's your host, scott Friend. Welcome back to the Construction Veteran Podcast. I'm Scott Friend. I'm excited to bring to you someone who's very well known in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of the industry, christian Gornay. Although Christian's not a veteran, he gives quite a bit back. Let's dig into it, hey, christian. How's it going? Good, scott, good.

Speaker 1:

Glad to be here.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm glad I appreciate you doing this very much. So Christian's actually a current client of mine. We're working together on a project here near Dallas, and we actually met my first day at my current company too, because we've done quite a bit of work with him. So yeah, christian, let's talk about you. So you're one of my few non-vet guests. I love having people on here that support the veteran community. But let's talk about what your personal connection to the service is.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, not only do I have a bunch of friends that have served, but I had three family members that served too by marriage. My wife's uncle and my wife's grandfather both served, both in the Air Force. Neil Witton served in World War II. He was a pilot, Don Witton the same, but Don was not in World War II Generation. Later he served stationed in Guam. I did a lot of transport things like that and then basically moved on to commercial airline pilot. But my grandfather served in World War II as well. He was a US Army sharpshooter and he was stationed in various locations throughout Germany. I was raised by my grandparents and a single mom and my grandfather taught me everything there was to know about shooting and I still remember his words. Every time I'm hunting large game, I get a big buck or an exotic out in front of me and I get excited. And I remember exactly what he used to always tell me as a sharpshooter in the Army. He said take three deep breaths let them out.

Speaker 1:

Take the fourth, let it halfway out and squeeze the trigger. And more than that, he taught me about being a respectful, honorable, disciplined person, and I think all those traits from the US Army and being in World War II translated down through his family.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I love that man. Thanks for sharing that story too, and that's a really good sound bite. So thank you, christian, that's really neat. Yeah, very cool. I mean, that's something you do to this day. You hunt quite a bit.

Speaker 1:

I'm a Navidad outdoorsman. I probably take two to three large game hunts a year. I probably take three to five bird hunts a year and I'm thankful that he introduced me to that because obviously I didn't have a father at home and he was instrumental in introducing me to shooting in the outdoors.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome man. What a blessing too.

Speaker 1:

Very much so.

Speaker 2:

Soon to be a sixth bird hunt. We'll get you out to the Dove Lease one of these days. Yeah, sounds great. So obviously you had your grandfather, karen's grandfather and uncle that were in the service. But why are you such a big supporter, to this day, of our current vets?

Speaker 1:

All the sacrifices you guys make and you don't get enough recognition. You know we need to be very thankful. We live in the country we live in and we're protected by you guys and I don't think that gets enough press.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's awesome, Christian.

Speaker 1:

So that's kind of pushed me into looking at some opportunities, if you will, in our industry.

Speaker 2:

Okay, yeah, let's talk about those opportunities a little bit.

Speaker 1:

Sure, well, I have a very, very strong relationship with another gentleman who was on your show, dan Lombardo, who is highly involved in One Tribe, and before it was One Tribe it was 22 Kill and a whole bunch of other subsidiaries. But Dan and I go back a few years and you know I've got the most respect for Dan. He and my 15 year old son are pretty close too, which is kind of awesome. If you will, I'll never forget the time we were shooting together. My son was so small, he was our puller at a clay sheet out in Defender, and these guys decided to show up and just jump in line. They weren't part of the tournament, they weren't part of the club, they just showed up off the street with guns.

Speaker 1:

No eye protection, no ear protection. And if you know Dan, he's pretty, I'm going to say he's pretty psychotic about ear protection and eye protection, and I appreciate that about Dan greatly. And Dan was just being a nice person as he is and said hey guys, stop, you need your ear pro and your eye pro. Where are they? And they go. Oh, we don't need any, he goes. Well, guess what? You're not going to shoot in my tournament if you don't have eyes and ears and they said, well, we're not part of the tournament. And I saw the look on Dan's face change from friendly Dan to scary Dan.

Speaker 2:

That big red face.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, and I thought, oh my gosh, my son's here, something's about to go down. You're thinking I'm going to get in a fight.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I told Ben, I said, take five steps back, and I'm here to back Dan up, right. But I tell you he handled it perfectly and he was not ugly about it. He just said look, if you're going to be out here, you got to have it, and if you don't have it, I'm getting you off the course. And those guys tucked their tails and they disappeared in about two seconds and I just thought that was really characteristic of Dan, right? So anyway, I'm grateful to have a longstanding relationship with Dan. You know he's been through job change. I've been through job change together. We are very close in friendship and in the industry. He's working for a large general contractor now instead of an electrical subcontractor and he's doing great over there. So I'm really grateful to have his friendship and his trust.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Dan is a great guy. I have nothing but good things to say about him, of course.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I'll tell you it's kind of transferred back to my son. You know that was probably six, seven years ago and my son's 15 now and he has four One Tribe shirts or 22 kill shirts. That's awesome. And probably three or four 22 kill hats. And it's really funny because he's in marching band and I think he's the only kid in marching band with any of that.

Speaker 2:

He's marching with the word kill on his hat and people don't get it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, he's going to public school with a 22 kill hat on.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's scary. Yeah, he's man, he's, he's. He's done a lot in his career too and he's, he's a behemoth, I'll say, here in Dallas, fort Worth, in the industry. And I love that he might work for a competing general contractor, but he'll go to the next GC and really rally everybody around the message of supporting military vets too, and that's, that's not typical and I like that about him.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I agree with you, you know he's, he's super professional, he knows his business and but I tell you, if, if I'm ever in a bar fight, he's my first phone call. I love it.

Speaker 2:

So you guys, you guys have known each other in the while or for a while now and have worked together. So let's talk about what do you do. I mentioned your client of ours. What do you do right now in the construction industry?

Speaker 1:

I'm a project manager. My role, my title, is vice president, but I manage projects throughout the Metroplex, mainly corporate interiors work, unlike the project you and I are working on, which has a ground up component to it. But I typically do 12 to 15 projects a year and they're all for Fortune 500 clients. I've been very, very fortunate at JLL to be given a lot of the special projects and I'm really truly grateful for that. A lot of high end finish out, exceptional clients, one off type projects, not your typical full floor. You know corporate interiors finish out and move on.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you've done some. You've worked with some pretty neat clients. Are there any that you're comfortable sharing?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean I just finished a project for McLaren about a year ago which was a super neat project. It was supposed to be a lot like Jay Leno's garage. The customer, mclaren, did not want anybody to know that there were half a million dollar cars parked in the space and the location was deemed about halfway between DFW and Addison Airport. So if somebody was to come in to look at McLaren's which they didn't have a really a Dallas presence until this project was completed If you were in the market for McLaren you had to go down to Lammon Avenue with the Lamborghinis and the Maserati's and they wanted a special presence here in Dallas.

Speaker 1:

So anyway, we had started this project and it was going to be really kind of a nuts and bolts type project where we were going to buy some used furniture, we're going to wire it up. Nobody needed to know that there were half a million dollar cars parked in this space, no signage, no identification on the outside of the building. And then COVID hit and the project went on hold and I would say it went on hold for probably seven to eight months and when it came back my client called me and he said hey, I got good news projects back and he goes. I even got better news the project's back and it's better.

Speaker 2:

Oh, awesome.

Speaker 1:

So we scrapped all the design. We basically gutted the space. We added scope, we added programmatic requirements to the project. It is now a Dallas. It's identified as a Dallas location for McLaren training, special operations and admin, and so it's really a training facility to teach people how to work on McLaren's.

Speaker 1:

So there's, a very large warehouse space connected to some training rooms, connected to a small open office area with some private offices. But the meat of the project is in the training areas and they've got. You can probably today, if you drove over there and you were lucky to get in and get through security, you might find 10 McLaren's in there, all ranging from, you know, four or five hundred thousand dollars to over a million dollars.

Speaker 2:

Wow.

Speaker 1:

And some interesting special client projects if you will. That I can't talk about, but we added a lot of scope to the project. When it came back and the the the neatest part of the pride, the project scope that got added was called MSO, which stands for McLaren special operations. So you know McLaren's a hand-built car and when you buy a McLaren you're either going to buy a used one or you're going to design your own and you got to wait till they build it. So the MSO space they got added is a two-room combo.

Speaker 1:

The first room you go in and there's a lot of flat files and material samples and you pick out your leather, you pick out your reverse stitching, you pick out your steering wheel and your dashboard configuration. All this is done on a heavy AV package on a big screen at the end of the room and when you're done they say thank you, have a great evening, thanks for coming and having whiskey and charcuterie. We celebrated just bought your McLaren, we'll call you when it's ready. And like a year to a year and a half later they don't. They call you it takes that long.

Speaker 2:

That was that customized. That's awesome.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. So they call you back and let's just say you're buying your, your first McLaren Scott. So you go back to the same room. You're clinking whiskey glasses, you're having some more charcuterie, you're excited about your car. On the screen where you designed your car, they will show footage of them testing your car on the track. They'll interview the mechanic that built your engine. They will have footage of them assembling your car and you're getting all excited. You're like where's my car? And then they you push a button and up goes the screen and on the other side of the screen is your car.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah they're doing it right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the price is right, Only a lot cooler than that. And so there's drama lights and we veed out the turntable, but it's a pretty super cool setup. And then, in order to get the cars in the space, we had to build a McLaren friendly ramp in the back. And when I say a McLaren friendly ramp, if your average truck court is four feet below your finish floor, you can imagine how long that ramp is. Yeah, so we built a ramp. When the contractor finished the ramp, they were going to test it and I said let me know what day you guys do that so I can go on vacation. I don't want to be around when you guys are driving a half million dollar car up that ramp. And then we built a I like to call it an Afghanistan proof wall in the back that allows them with covered parking that allow them to store some McLarens in the back. It's an undisclosed location so I can't tell you where it is, but everybody knows it's in Coppell.

Speaker 1:

The other interesting piece of the design and construction of that project was the wall. We got about I don't know 25% through the construction of that wall in the back scot and the owner came in to the meeting, the weekly OAC meeting and he says time out. We got to redesign the wall. He said what were you talking about? He goes well, because we just had an incident in LA. They stole six McLarens and he said they use the first cars, the sacrifice car. They hot wired them and drove the first one through the wall and the next five went unscathed. Oh, wow.

Speaker 1:

So you know, I don't think like a criminal, so I never would have thought of that, but it's an interesting design project. It was a local architect, local contractor. If you count the, if you cut out all the hold time on the project from design to construction, it was probably 18 months Wow.

Speaker 2:

And I'm so glad that this is the project you brought up, because when I asked that question I'm thinking, please say the McLaren job. Please say the McLaren job. I'm so glad you talked about that. And who would have thought, getting into this industry I mean I've had a chance to work on some pretty neat and complex jobs I mean, who would have thought when you got into this that you would be building something like that and you still got runway ahead of you. So you're going to be building some other cool things. That's awesome.

Speaker 1:

Yes, thank you for reminding me of that Not too much runway.

Speaker 2:

You have more, less runway than I do, so there you go.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I don't have a type of runway but 747 runway yeah.

Speaker 2:

Right, yeah, exactly. So for those who don't know, tell me what is JLL. So you're a PM for JLL? Who is that?

Speaker 1:

JLL stands for Jones Lang LaSalle. They are a global corporate real estate company. We have service lines and brokerage, transaction management facilities, management, project management, valuation, you name it. And so we're the soup to nuts solution from picking a site to brokering the deal, to designing the space for the building and delivering that building.

Speaker 2:

Very cool. So you didn't always do this. So let's talk about what you studied in college and what you did early on in your career.

Speaker 1:

So I went to Texas A&M. I have two college degrees from A&M. I have an undergraduate in a major called environmental design. That was a broad base degree, if you will. And A&M always has to be different, right? If you go to architecture school and any other college in the state it's a five-year program Tech, UT, U of H, Rice, they're all five-year programs. A&m had to be different, so A&M has a four and two program. So the first four years is like a broad-based design background, if you will, Everything from architectural history to drawing to almost like a Beaux Arts degree, if you will. And then they allow you to take a two-year master's program which varies from 52 hours as an architect, which is a really serious program and aggressive. It's hard to get 52 hours in two years and then or down to 30-plus hours as a developer. And then you can go into landscape architect, you can go into building construction, lots of avenues. But by golly I had to be an architect.

Speaker 1:

So I stayed. The market was terrible in 93. So I stayed and I got into graduate school. I'd already packed my stuff up, Scott, and headed home to be with my mom and my grandparents and I hadn't heard about graduate school. I didn't know what I was going to do and the dean of the college called me. I'd already applied. And the dean of the college called me in July and he says, hey, you really want to come to graduate school here? And I said, sure, absolutely. He says, well, we're going to let you in, but we're going to let you in on probation. So my claim to fame is I got into graduate school on probation.

Speaker 2:

You made a comment the other day on site too. That kind of made me chuckle, because this was the days before finding out by text or email or cell. So this is not a quick process to find this out too, so I bet you're just waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, it's just a knuckle-biter, right, and it was weeks. You'd send all your stuff in your portfolio, your applications, your letters of recommendation, everything, and then he just box it up in a FedEx box and send it away and then wait for them to call you. No email, no websites, none of that stuff.

Speaker 2:

Man, that's a white knuckle Just waiting the whole time. So back before this. So did you always have an interest in design? Did you know that's what you were going to go for your undergrad and eventually grad school for?

Speaker 1:

Yes, Ever since middle school, and that's the direction I wanted to take, and my grandparents were very supportive. My grandfather actually wanted me to go to the Air Force Academy and I had a congressional letter to go, because his brother another person I failed to mention earlier was a test pilot for the Air Force, and so I had a congressional letter to go. And then my grandfather said I don't think you really want to go and do this, do you? And I said no, sir, I don't. He said okay.

Speaker 2:

That's neat, though I mean especially guys of his age and era. That's really cool that he didn't try to push you and force you into it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, he didn't force me into it and I wouldn't have met my bride that I have today. She went to A&M as well. Things would have been a lot different. I probably would have been serving somewhere.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, very cool. Well, so you get into design, you graduate grad school and then you went into the architecture industry. How long were you doing that?

Speaker 1:

I did that from 1995 all the way to 2010. So 15 years.

Speaker 2:

Have you been doing the same job you're doing now ever since then?

Speaker 1:

Yes, so in architecture people tend to move around and firms are different firms or different firms. Right, Management styles are different. I've worked for small firms, big firms and I'll be honest, Scott, I just kind of got tired of being a let go when the economy was bad.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

It just seemed like when things were good, Things were good and when times were bad, things were really bad. And I was on a project. It was after I passed my licensure. I was on a project it was a warehouse project a couple hundred thousand, maybe three hundred thousand feet south of town. And there was a guy on that project that was a construction manager. I went boy, that's the gig, If I could find something like that. There's no liability, it's basically, you know, herding cats to get the project done, whatever that takes. So I, after I had moved from firm to firm, I thought maybe I ought to look into this.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, very cool. Now it's neat and, man, we've enjoyed working with you. I'm not just saying that because you're a current client, but I appreciate you having that varied background too, because that helps us out in the field with getting your insight, and not that we're skipping the chain of command, but we can go to the architect with a better understanding, maybe a better option that'll work for you and them. So that's pretty cool.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it comes into play.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, for sure, and I like the fact you know you can speak intelligently to some of this stuff and already have the answer ready to go before we have to wait on it. So that's been really cool to see your side of things and understand how the things go together and work too, so I think that helps you out. So you do a lot, man, to support military vets. I know JLL is a company does as well. A lot of the larger companies really key in on trying to hire vets. I want to talk a little more about some of the organizations that you're involved with. So we already talked about Dan and One Tribe and 22 Kill, but what other organizations are you directly involved with right now?

Speaker 1:

Great question. I have gotten connected with MVP. Mvp stands for Merging Veterans and Players. It was founded by Nate Boyer and Jay Glazer. It empowers combat veterans and former professional athletes together by connecting them. After the uniform comes off whether that's a football uniform, a basketball uniform or a military uniform and I think when you're in the military and when you're in professional organized sports, you're part of a team and you live and eat and breathe that team and when you leave that team, there's a definitely a postpartum feeling and guys are struggling with that right now. So this organization brings both veterans and professional athletes together to come alongside one another and encourage one another. It's a really super cool cause and it tackles all the things that veterans and players are dealing with when they leave their team environment.

Speaker 2:

One thing I want to note too is MVP is all over the US too, because there's a lot of people that listen from different areas. So MVP Merging Vets and Players you can go onto the website I think it's vetsandplayersorg and find a local chapter. Tell me a little bit about what they do. So when they pair these people together, what activities do they do? What comes out of it? How do they help them?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, surprise, it's organized around a workout. Yeah, very good. So I went to my first workout. This is kind of a funny story. I go to my first workout to see what this is all about and keep in mind I was three weeks, four weeks, out of hip replacement surgery, so I roll up to the workout and I don't have clearance from my doctor to do anything other than sit in a chair.

Speaker 2:

Oh no.

Speaker 1:

And I ran into Denver Morris and a couple other guys that are local representatives of MVP and they say, oh, you're here for the workout. I said I'm really here to watch. Yeah, and I have a good excuse.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

But they do it. They do it around a workout, and I think that's one of the smartest things you could do to provide a venue for these two entities to intermingle.

Speaker 2:

I love that and so this is basically a big community of getting these folks together. That left that team and I can say there's a good comparison between the military and athletes and the construction industry too, because that's one thing I know I personally found is just kind of going through the muck together in the field and you know we're all on the same page. There's a lot of parallels even with the guys that haven't ever served. We have that mutual respect of just the hard work and dedication to get the job done or get the mission done, and so I love that this program MVP excuse me provides that for these folks. So tell me who qualifies for this, who can get involved.

Speaker 1:

Anybody, even a schmuck like me. You know, I'm non-military, right. I walk in this room and there's all these military guys and they're sizing me up when I come in the room and I'm telling myself it's going to be okay, it's going to be okay, but no, anybody can join, anybody can volunteer. In fact, a good example of that is a good friend of mine in the industry, shane Arrant with AOS Engineering. He and I have organized a benefit for them on March 7th of 2024. We're going to have our inaugural sporting clay classic to benefit MVP. So let's talk about that a little bit.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so where can people find out more about it? Where can they join? Who can join?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, actually, you can go to wwwmyonecausecom or you can go to the MVP website and you'll find all the information you need to find about the event coming up. We're gonna hold it at Dallas Gun Club. We'll have veterans and players paired with each team. We're gonna have some Navy SEALs and Delta Force guys. We're hoping to even have the 2012 Medal of Honor recipient. The sponsors are all coming Scott, from the design and the construction industry. That's awesome. So we're gonna have several auction and raffle items. I've even reached out to a lot of my relationships in the market and merchandisers like Yeti Duck, Camp, Beretta, Pancho. They've all jumped on this Quickly, Every shooter will get a Yeti bucket with a lid filled with all kinds of cool stuff, but it's gonna be a great event. We've already picked up some sponsorships just in the last two weeks. We sent the save the date out about a month ago and we have all the pricing structure for the sponsorships established. And if you go to that one cause, myonecausecom you'll see all the information.

Speaker 2:

We'll do. I'm gonna definitely check that out myself. One thing I've noticed, at least in my time in the industry, is that there's a lot of organizations like this that are ready and willing to rally around and support military vets. Has that because you got a couple more years in the industry than me? Has that always been the case, you think? Or has this something that's popped up in the last decade? What do you think?

Speaker 1:

I feel like it's something that's popped up in the last five to 10 years. You know, I like to say Dallas is the biggest small town. There's a lot of truth to that, but I think that I think this focus has only been in Dallas for the last five to 10 years. And word gets out so quickly that you know if you've been in the industry as long as I've been in it. You establish a lot of contacts, a lot of super strong relationships, and it just takes a few phone calls. And what's interesting is this the awareness of veterans in the Dallas area, as just it seems like it's tripled or quadrupled in the last five to 10 years.

Speaker 2:

Man, I would definitely agree with that, and I don't know if that's just because I've been getting so much more involved in this space, but I've seen some very high net worth individuals getting involved, like you said, a lot of athletes, former and current. It's definitely motivating to see that. I mean people are spending some big money to sponsor these events and support these organizations. You and I recently went to a shoot at the Dallas Gun Club for another organization, not specific to vets, but just to see the sheer amount of money that people can raise and the people that are willing to give. It's really encouraging.

Speaker 2:

But I agree with you, I definitely think I've seen an uptick in the last five or 10 years, for sure, but I don't think there's anything bad without it. I love that and I think the next generation coming up, be it veterans or company leaders, are more willing to support that, because a lot's come out about just the struggles veterans have. Or you know, it might not be a mental health struggle, but sometimes just the struggle to find ready or find employment, and I want to talk about that a little bit too. So does JOL do anything specific Like do they have a military recruiter? How does that work, so they're trying to find their people.

Speaker 1:

It's a good question. I don't believe we have a military recruiter. However, our awareness is extremely heightened and when we're hiring we're looking for a lot of those qualities of a veteran that comes out into the workforce. And I would say that if we had our choice, we know which one we'd pick.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so talk to me about those qualities. So what I want to appeal to the people that are transitioning out to get into our industry what are those qualities that somebody like you would be looking for?

Speaker 1:

You know, I think it gets back to, I like to say, tlc trust, loyalty and commitment.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I love that. That's definitely something a lot of vets resonates with them Not all of them, but definitely I'd say 99.9%. So we know kind of the elephant in the room is we need people bad in the industry and that was somewhat of the impetus of why I started the podcast. But how do we do better as an industry, appealing to these folks that are young and able-bodied to come into this industry, grow in this industry, make it better?

Speaker 1:

That's a good question, you know, I think awareness is first right. We've got to do a better job of spreading the word. We've got to do a better job of looking for those opportunities. I think that's where you start.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, for sure. So, and there are ways to do that, getting involved in local transition programs. Get with a base. I do. I will say, man, the network. Like you said, Dallas is the big, small town, or small, big town, however you said that I have to add that, yeah, the biggest small town Like an idiot.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so Dallas is the biggest small town and everybody seems so interconnected in this industry. You know there's the five degrees it's a five or six degrees of Kevin Bacon. It's the same thing in our industry. I feel like I mean, just today on the site I had my concrete guy and our painter, the PM from the painter, and he went man, I haven't seen you in 20 years and it's just.

Speaker 2:

It's really neat how these guys are all interconnected, especially the ones that are from here, and I love seeing guys that you know, I worked with maybe a couple years ago, and we know how each other operates. We've both grown and matured in our roles. I think that's really neat and there's a lot of opportunity out there for veterans specifically to get into a role, apply those soft skills like you said, the TLC and really rapidly grow too, because I think the soft skills are understated a lot in our industry. Yes, we need technical experts, we need the general superintendents that are in their later years, their twilight years, passing on that knowledge for sure, and I think at least my belief is that vets come out with a lot of those already. You know we can train the guys in the technical stuff, but it's sometimes, man, it's really hard to beat into people. I probably shouldn't say beat into people. It's very hard to train somebody to have integrity, respect. I mean, that takes some time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, those are the intangibles. You know you can train anybody to do anything, but if you're not honorable, trustworthy, loyal, respectful, you can't teach that stuff. So I like to call that those of the intangibles, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I find it neat too that a lot of the more senior executive folks I would say that I've met that's one of their biggest strengths is they know how to talk to people. They know relationships are important. Yes, they know what they're doing, but it's being humble enough to ask others of hey, I don't understand. I need your help, but I need to make the final call.

Speaker 1:

Correct.

Speaker 2:

Well, christian man, I really appreciate your time and I'm really glad we got to work together too, since we have a couple of common connections in the industry, in the veteran community, and it was exciting to see you come on board as the PM to this job. We've got a little bit of time left. By the time we produce this podcast we will have been done with the job. So I hope this is not the last cordial conversation that we have, but no, it's. We've had some ups and downs for sure, man, and I've just really enjoyed having you there along the way and understanding all sides of the project.

Speaker 1:

You bet Glad to be a part of it and thank you for having me this evening.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. And if people want to get ahold of you, Christian, what's the best way?

Speaker 1:

If I can put my mobile number on my business card in red, I would do that. I had a former boss that did that and I thought that was the best thing ever. Mobile number 214-236-7242. Or you can always find me on Facebook, or you can always find me on LinkedIn.

Speaker 2:

Very cool. I appreciate it again.

Speaker 1:

Christian, you bet, you bet. Thank you, scott. Have a great evening.

Speaker 2:

Yes, sir, you too. If you're a military veteran in the construction industry or you're in the construction industry and support our military vets and you'd like to be a guest on the podcast, you can find me at Construction Bet Podcast at gmailcom, or send me a message on LinkedIn. You can find me there at ScottBrend. Let's share the stories and motivate others.

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