These days, Sonny Carter is an experienced and accomplished project superintendent with Haskell, responsible for planning and scheduling all jobsite activities while ensuring the highest levels of safety and quality are achieved throughout the construction process.
But back in 1993, Carter, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, was a guy who needed a job with an uncle who thought carpentry might be a fit.
“I was just trying to help my nephew,” said Rick Craven, himself a Haskell project superintendent. “He was a fine young man.”
It didn’t take long for Craven to notice the attention to detail that, even as a young carpenter, Carter paid to his craft. Even though he was starting at the bottom, he was determined to acquire the skills that would make him a valued team member. He would take blueprints home at night to study them.
“I liked the challenge,” Carter said. “I liked doing the carpenter work.”
In 2005, Craven and Carter both joined Haskell. Carter began as a carpenter in Haskell’s permanent craft employee (PCE) program, which gives craft workers who are willing to travel full-time employment with paid vacation, retirement benefits, ESOP participation and health insurance.
Travel, Carter did. His Haskell career has taken him from wastewater projects in New York and Texas to consumer products jobs in Kentucky and Connecticut to aviation and aerospace work back in Florida.
It also has taken him to the forefront of technology. His attention to detail led him to become a field engineer, whose primary role was to utilize traditional surveying practices to establish control and transfer drawings to real-life building layout in the field.
As Haskell transitioned from traditional surveying to the use of robotics in laying out projects, Carter was an early adopter and one of Haskell’s leaders in the use of Robotic Total Stations (RTS), in conjunction with Building Information Modeling (BIM). While working closely with Haskell’s Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) group, Carter has played a significant role in transforming all aspects of survey and layout on our projects.
“He’s very much a thinker,” said Tim Mosley, Haskell’s manager of field personnel. “He’s very much a solutions guy.”
Mosley speaks from experience when he attests to Carter’s proficiency. In his previous role as a superintendent, Mosley led construction of the Miami Performing Arts Center, a project where walls were built within exacting tolerances.
“I got there, and I said, ‘I’ve gotta have Sonny,’” Mosley recalled.
To top it off, Carter has become a subject-matter expert in tilt-wall construction and one of Haskell’s go-to superintendents for jobs that feature a significant amount of self-perform work.
“He’s come a long way,” Craven said of his nephew. “He loves his job. He has a passion for it.”
Carter’s current assignment is the San Antonio, Florida, regional headquarters for Phillips & Jordan, a heavy civil and infrastructure contractor. Plans call for the construction of a three-story, 47,000-square-foot Class A office building, and Haskell is self-performing the erection of the tilt-wall exterior.
“He pays attention to the details,” said Brent McMaster, project manager on the office building. “And he gets along well with the contractors.”
The yearlong project is scheduled to be completed in November 2020, and while Carter doesn’t know what his next assignment will be, it’s safe to say he’ll keep growing professionally – and keep moving.
“I like seeing new places,” he said.