Hank and Carol at the Valley office

Employee Spotlight: Carol Depiante

Carol is a good team member to spotlight because her evolving role clearly shows how O’Brien is working to elevate and promote people. When I first began working with her, Carol was in a training role in which she created an environment of trust and a can-do attitude while helping our team learn and better use our technology tools. A couple months ago, Carol transitioned from her part-time admin support role to a full-time project management role. Carol brought with her several years of experience as a PM prior to coming to O’Brien. It has been a pleasure getting to know Carol and I am happy that she has joined the team here in the Valley office. In just the last couple of months, she has helped create the upbeat office environment that we have today.

-Hank Smith, Area Manager, Valley Office
Our team smiling at Cho Winery
Carol and the Team at the site of Cho Winery

Q&A with Carol

I started right after college. It is a family thing–my mom was an architect. My stepdad, my stepbrother, and my brother-in-law all work in construction management, so I gave it a try after college. I enjoyed seeing the projects come to fruition and found it very exciting to work so hard and to see it all built out. I started because it was a family thing and then I stayed for enjoyment. My dual college degree was Business Administration and German – the BA comes in handy in construction. I moved to Germany and got married, and completed my Masters in Supply Chain Management. While I was doing that, I was working with O’Brien as a Training Specialist and I came back to the US and am working now as a PM…..it has been quite a move!

I like to see all the projects come to fruition. I also enjoy that we get to work with a lot of different people. Not only do we work with the project owners, but also, within our company we are able to work with people from so many different backgrounds. Our subs bring different experiences and nationalities, and you learn a little bit from every one of them. We also get to work on nice jobsites. Right now, I am working at Cho Wines and they have the most beautiful view of a lake and wineries with vineyards all around – not a bad part of the job!

When I first started my career, I opened two new offices in California for a different construction company. I was in my early 20’s and I was sent out to secure office space, get a team hired and set up, get a client base, etc. The offices did pretty well the first couple of years, and it was cool to have that experience at such a young age.

I am working from the Valley Division in Dundee. When deciding to move back to the US, I really thought about which office I would like to work from, and I asked if they had space for me in Dundee. We have a great team here. We have such an open dialogue and just really help each other. Hank is also someone that I knew I could learn a lot from and the projects here are pretty exciting. We are mostly working at beautiful wineries.

I enjoy trying out the different wineries. Recently I went to Blakeslee, which is a small winery with the owners’ house right next to it. I like how small they are. They have their dogs running around the property and the most beautiful view to their vineyards. Near the Dundee office there is a really cool restaurant, Red Hills Market. They have the most amazing fried chicken sandwich.

The need for teamwork. It doesn’t matter how many years of experience you have in the industry, if you have never built a winery, there are so many elements that you need to consider. We really need each other to successfully complete projects. I was previously training people and so while I understand the big picture, I have been relying a lot on the other team members to assist me in this new position transition. Teamwork is the most important thing in this industry.

I finally got to meet my nephew/godson, Leonardo! I didn’t get to meet Leo until he was nine months old because I was in Germany. It is extra special to be around him, seeing him grow, and watching the new things that he is doing every day! Leo is nearly a year old and is walking and talking now – he is very sweet and cuddly.

Take the time to visit the different offices and meet the different people we have in the company. Everyone brings a special knowledge and talent, and by knowing them, you know whom to contact when you need help. At the end of the day, we are all one company. We are all here to help each other and we are all here to step in when needed. I was lucky enough as the Training Specialist to meet pretty much all the people from all of the different divisions. The executive team takes time to find the best talent and hire great people, so knowing who is out there in our team makes a big difference. Also, learn Vista and really use it – if you are not putting the information into the system, it is just going to mess up your project.

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