Employee Spotlight: Andrew Adams

Welcome to our first ever O’Brien Employee Spotlight, where we will regularly post interviews with team members so that we can better get to know and appreciate each other.  Please reach out to me with suggestions on people whom we might want to feature in future posts.

When I asked Stephanie Phillips, Operations Coordinator, why she suggested that we feature Andrew Adams for our inaugural spotlight post, she said to reach out to Derick Handley, Senior Superintendent, Coast Division, as Derick had shared with Stephanie how much he admired Andrew’s strong work ethic and career goal to be an accomplished carpenter.

“I have been in the construction industry for about 45 years and in that time, I have worked with many, many people. I first worked with Andrew on the North Haven project in fall 2022 and he impressed me with his eagerness to learn all aspects of construction.  He is a first-year apprentice who is meticulous and good at problem solving.  Andrew is a great person to have a conversation with if you can get him to not be shy or bashful, which he tends to do. He wants to learn everything and put it into practice, which he does with patience and humility and intelligence. All the way from putting up security fences to digging ditches, when I give him a task, he completes it and learns from it. He has a strong interest in woodworking and spends a lot of his own time working with wood.  I gave him a little router so that he can use the tool to make signs and such. I have been Andrew’s Catalytic Coach this year and he not only embodies our core values of trust, collaboration, and innovation – he is going to make one heck of a finish carpenter and the sky is the limit with Andrew at O’Brien.” 

Derick Handley, Senior Superintendent, Coast Division

Q&A with Andrew

I gravitated towards working with wood in my early teens and have continued woodworking for several years. One reason I keep working with wood is that I really enjoy watching plans progress from paper to physical objects. My goal is to transfer that enjoyment to being a carpenter, and so I entered construction as an apprentice.

I am currently in the Oregon registered JATC, or Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee through Central Oregon Community College. I am working through the curriculum, job hours, and tests required by this 4-year apprenticeship program. When looking for a job, I searched for construction companies affiliated with the JATC and reached out to all of them.  O’Brien was the first company to call me back and that is how I got hired.

I am always looking for more opportunities to work with wood and this job is moving me towards my someday goal of being a finish carpenter.  I hope that in the future, I can work specifically with trim and other visible parts of finish carpentry.

I work out of the Newport office. My parents moved to the Oregon coast and so I have good reason to be living and working here.

I am a homebody and spend most of my free time working in the woodshop that we have set up in an old horse barn.  We cleaned it out really well and it doesn’t smell like horses anymore.

Attention to detail is critical – both for avoiding actual problems and for creating a nicer finished product.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally bought a wood planer, which has been on my list to buy for several years now, that was a big day. I am having a grand time using it on woodcraft projects.

Show up on time and ask questions.

If you know a team member whom we should feature in a future Employee Spotlight, please reach out to me!

Michelle Winningham

Director of Marketing

(503) 516-3774