Wayne Owen shares a moment with his supervisor – and Living the Values Award nominator – Janet Ahr.

August 22, 2022

Kind and Helpful, Longtime Carpenter Wayne Owen Lives the Values

The Living the Values Award celebrates the great pride and positive attitude that have made Owen a valued Haskell team member for four decades.

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Wayne Owen swells with pride every time he visits the Stadium District in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. There’s a historic landmark smack dab in the middle of a busy pedestrian area where Owen’s precise carpentry is on display and draws great interest.

The Old St. Andrew’s Church is situated down the left-field line of 121 Financial Ballpark, home of the Triple-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, across the street from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and just across a parking lot from TIAA Bank Field, home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

The building was constructed in 1887 on a single level using brick masonry and encompassing a massive front corner tower with a louvered belfry and a steep spire roof.

The only major downtown church to survive the Great Fire of 1901, St. Andrew’s exudes a sense of history. Yet just over 25 years ago, the building was deteriorating. It was termite-infested and riddled with bullet holes from law enforcement training functions. Columns and trusses were wearing away, and the entire structure was in jeopardy of coming down. The Jacksonville Historical Society stepped up to raise more than $1 million to restore the facility in hopes of making it an event venue and its own headquarters.

In stepped Haskell and Owen, a Carpenter Journeyman with the company, who eyeballed the project with a sense of professionalism and emotion, to complete the project in April 1998. It is seen as one of the finest specimens of 19th-century architecture in Northeast Florida, a dream spot for meetings, weddings and other civic events and was the site of the ESPN Super Bowl XXXIX party in January 2005.

“This wasn’t a remodel but a restoration,” Owen said. “It’s pretty to cool to walk out of one of those stadiums downtown and see the steeple sticking up the air. It gives me a sense of pride. The work needed inside was very detailed. We had to rebuild all the archbishops’ sculptures, rebuild the stained glass, all the carvings were specially shaped. That project required a lot of patience. A lot of very prominent people in Jacksonville were a part of that project and can see it every day.”

Owen’s pride in this project and other high-level carpentry projects such as renovations at a UPS Distribution Center, Disney World, the Florida Theatre, Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital and a Winn-Dixie grocery have been evident during his Haskell career. As a result, Owen was recently nominated by Janet Ahr, the Director of Administrative Services, for the Living Values Award because he consistently displays Haskell’s Core Values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust with commitment and passion during his long career as a Carpenter Journeyman.

“His ability to work with others and the quality and accuracy of his workmanship sets him apart from his peers,” Ahr wrote in her nomination letter. “Technical knowledge and dependability make Wayne one of the most dedicated and hard-working people at Haskell. He is also kind, has a great sense of humor and never misses the opportunity to help others.”

Owen began his carpentry career in woodworking and framing apartments and houses before starting full-time work with Haskell in 1981. When not wielding construction tools, Owen can often be found casting a fishing line in Jacksonville’s many waterways or vacationing with his wife Darlene and the rest of his family. Through each activity, Owen’s positive attitude contributes to his success.

“I just always think about everybody being my customer,” Owen said. “There are a lot of work orders every day and it’s essential to always be pleasing and go with the flow with those you work for and with. Almost everything I do in buildings we’re working on, and even the Haskell headquarters is all hands-on. It keeps me very busy, and I like that.”

As a bonus, the Living Values Award honor was announced and presented to him on July 20, which was Owen’s 68th birthday.

“Quite a birthday present,” Owen said with a smile.

Haskell is hiring! Explore the many options available to join a growing company where the Core Values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust inspire everything we do.

Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,000 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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