Project Superintendent Andy Sonni has led nearly a dozen projects across the continent in his 15 years with Haskell.

February 15, 2024

Self-Made and Self-Taught, Andy Sonni is a Valuable Jobsite Leader

Follow the Haskell Superintendent's inspiring journey from his roots in the Dominican Republic to leading iconic projects across the U.S. and Mexico.

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Haskell Project Superintendent Andy Sonni grew up in the Dominican Republic. One day, when he was about 20, a friend called. He was living in Miami, making good money in construction. They were hiring. Was Sonni interested? He put together the money for a plane ticket and kissed his surprised mother goodbye.

He started out working in residential and teaching himself English by watching television.

Sonni is quick to joke about his accent, which he knows can be difficult to understand. He offers to repeat himself as many times as is necessary.

“He says that to everybody,” said Lane Sutton, Director of Construction – Healthcare, who has worked with Sonni for about eight years. “He’s incredibly smart. I don’t think I could teach myself any language. That’s remarkable he has the bandwidth to do that.”

Sonni transitioned from residential to commercial and then into drywall and finishing, gradually moving up the state until he reached Jacksonville.

Jacksonville seemed promising. He met his wife, Alicia. In 2005, he started a drywall hanging and finishing business. He had high hopes, but the Great Recession hit three years later. His company didn’t survive, and investments in real estate didn’t either, but he found work as a foreman with Haskell, with whom he had worked as a subcontractor.

“They hired me on a Friday and said, ‘We need you Monday in Oregon,’” Sonni said.

That was the only time Sonni’s wife, 18-year-old daughter, and 24-year-old stepdaughter didn’t travel with him.

“I build whatever I need to build and go wherever they send me,” Sonni said. “All I ask of Haskell is that if they’re going to send me out of town, that it be longer than a year so I can take my family. I love building, and I love my babies. Haskell has sent me all over the U.S. and Mexico. My family loves to travel with me.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple in Tijuana, Mexico, is among his favorite projects. “That was a beautiful project, the way they put it all together,” Sonni said. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime project.”

Another favorite is the Blue Origin Manufacturing Facility on Merritt Island, Florida. “When I was a kid, I loved watching rockets go off, and here I am, building a rocket factory!”

Sonni is currently superintendent of the Neuroscience Institute, the newest addition to Orlando Health’s downtown campus. Senior Project Manager Nate Woodend is working with Sonni on the Orlando project.

“He’s got a great personality that makes working with him fun. He can be a superintendent when he needs to be,” Woodend said. “He works an insane amount of hours. He’s always at the site early and leaves after I do.”

“He’s good with everyone: the owners, the subs, his team. He doesn’t tell you he doesn’t know. He figures out a problem, figures out a solution, and does what it takes to get a project done.”

Sutton has worked with Sonni on three healthcare projects, and a fourth is in the pipeline.

“He’s really come into his own and grown as a superintendent,” Sutton said. “Being bilingual is a real asset when a majority of the workforce speaks Spanish. He can garner attention from the workers at a different level. He knows how to be tough when he needs to be.

“But he’s humble enough to learn as he progresses. He knows he doesn’t know it all, and he’s willing to find the answers or seek them out from others.”

Sutton said that Sonni has adapted to online documentation, loves the latest electronic gadgets and carries his iPad in a special holster.

“Andy works long hours without direction. He does his day job and the documentation piece. He’s doing a great job,” Sutton said. “He’s paid his dues. It’s going to pay dividends.”

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Haskell delivers $2± 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 2,200 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.

Promoting and expanding diversity and inclusion is a strategic pillar of Haskell’s long-term vision and is foundational to creating a team member experience of significance, success and satisfaction. Haskell Together is our intentional and consistent initiative to promote open dialogue and bring about positive change.

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