The winner and finalists of Procore’s third annual Hard Hat Hero may differ in their construction roles, but what they all do have in common is an unwavering passion and commitment to doing work that matters. Whether that’s being a mentor, an exemplary worker, or giving back to their community, the three are solid examples of what it means to be a Hard Hat Hero.
Jobsite recently spoke to the HHH winner and finalists to learn about their work and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.
Coming in third place is Quality Control Manager, Chris Jamieson of Lee Kennedy Construction. Going above and beyond to develop one of the most effective quality programs in the New England area, Jamieson has consistently demonstrated the traits of a Hard Hat Hero throughout his career.
For Jamieson, “the urge to never stop asking questions” has been the most valuable lesson he’s learned while working in the industry.
“The men and women who actually wear the hard hats are the ones with the most knowledge. The construction industry has always interested me and asking questions is the best way to learn how everything comes together.”
When it comes to advice for young professionals starting out in construction, Jamieson suggests that workers try to experience as many departments as possible so they can find out what they feel the most passionate about.
As a newcomer to the industry, Jamieson started out as a project coordinator, moved into estimating for a short stint, became an assistant project superintendent, worked as a safety manager for a year, and then finally worked his way up to the Quality Manager position.
“To this day I can’t thank Lee Kennedy Company enough for letting me explore different options of the industry until I found the one I love. I encourage all young professionals to do the same.”
Jamieson has clearly established his ability to lead with motivation and energy, making him a natural-born Hard Hat Hero.
Procore’s second-place winner is Jennifer Rhoads, a Sr. Project Manager at Balfour Beatty. Rhoads has dedicated her life to helping others; she created an organization that supports children affected by abuse and has been previously named “Most Successful Fundraiser” by Balfour Beatty.
According to Rhoads, one of the most important lessons she’s learned during her time in the industry is “communication is key to a united team.” In order to ensure that a project is done right, it is crucial for a team to be united, no matter how small or simplistic the project might be.
One piece of advice that Rhoads would like to pass on to the newest generation of construction professionals is the value of finding an experienced mentor.
“The country is facing shortages in skilled construction positions everywhere, the future is in your hands.”
For Rhoads, engaging the industry head-on is the best way to tackle the ongoing labor shortage.
Rhoads would like to dedicate her award to her own Hard Hat Hero, her late father, William C. Abbott.
Through her charity work and generosity, Rhoads is both an exceptional Hard Hat Hero as well as an inspiration to the entire construction industry.
Last, but certainly not least, the first-place winner of the Hard Hat Hero competition is Wes Bowlin, a project manager at Rabren General. Bowlin is best known in his community for donating the majority of his personal time to students who would benefit from learning valuable construction skills.
Whether teaching local high school students how to build a tiny house or spending time with his church doing volunteer building projects, Bowlin never asks for credit.
One of the most valuable lessons Bowlin has learned is to always be respectful and never burn bridges.
“It is easy to take things personally and let your emotions get the best of you, but if you stay respectful to others, you will get the same respect in return.”
As most in construction probably know: its a large industry, but a small world.
In his time mentoring students interested in the industry, Bowlin has always emphasized the importance of learning something new.
“There is an infinite amount of information to be obtained in this industry and the more you can learn, the better off you will be for it.”
Through consistently pushing himself and his mentees to experience new opportunities, Bowlin is propelling his community and the construction industry at large into the future.
As Procore’s top finalist, Bowlin truly embodies everything it means to be a Hard Hat Hero.