Employee Spotlight: Alex Mallett

Alex Mallett family

Q&A with Alex

I grew up around construction, my dad has been in the industry my whole life and so it was something that I was familiar with. When I got out of the Marine Corps in 2007, the skill set that I had gained didn’t translate to civilian work very easily as Artillery is not commonplace outside of the military. I had an opportunity to get involved in architectural sheet metal and the three-dimensional aspect of it really captured me. October 28, 2009, I was working as a superintendent on a jobsite and ended up losing my right eye. Over the course of the next year or so I was really struggling with what I wanted to do. I had a great friend who was a detailer for a large sheet metal company who started showing me how to use cad, do take-offs and really break the blueprints down. That led to an opportunity with a small company who gave me a shot as a project engineer. I was pulled into a couple of hard-bid projects and found that I had an affinity for estimating. I grabbed that opportunity with both hands and spent the next 7 years absorbing everything I could and learning from anyone who gave me a chance. That naturally led to a shot at becoming a preconstruction manager, a position that I kind of understood but not really. Over the course of the last year, I have found that Preconstruction Management is what I never knew I always wanted to do.

I live in Terrebonne, OR. If you look out my front door you get to see Sisters and other mountains, if you look out my back door, you get to see the beauty of Smith Rock. My main office is in our Bend location. I am a bit lucky though because in my position I am frequently traveling to all our other locations and involved company wide in projects. That may be one of my favorite things about my role in O’Brien. My family relocated to Terrebonne because we love the community. About 12 years ago we went to a wedding at Smith Rock and that sparked a discussion with my wife about where we wanted to end up. It took about 10 years to make happen, but we found our home.

I think the most important lesson to date has been not dwelling on the past, focusing on our identity and who we want to be and making it happen. To learn from the past and not lean on it as my mentor says. As a very optimistic yet competitive person I tend to take it hard when I get bad news. By slowing things down, and taking a moment to Stop, Understand, Plan, and then Act, I have found more success. The last part of that is learning to be the calming presence in the room, the voice of reason moving forward.

A couple of relationships that I have been focusing over the last year on have opened the door to multiple opportunities. I have been able to see the results of the efforts come to fruition in real time. I really enjoy the client development aspect to my job and to see opportunities come through the door has been great!

The first thing I think that new employees should take advantage of is the support system that O’Brien has in place. Help is only a call away, and I cannot think of one person who will push you off. Over the 5 offices that O’Brien has, we have lifetimes worth of knowledge to be shared, use the resources. Secondly, take time to realize and embrace our core values. They aren’t just for show. As a new employee if you take the time to really understand the core values, it will help you to be able to articulate who, why and what we are and want to be. Lastly, take advantage of educational opportunities and the technology available. O’Brien has so many tools that assist in our success, but they require effort and investment by the individual. Embrace it.