Brandon Reynolds worked his way through the trades on his journey to becoming a superintendent. He believes the most crucial skill he’s learned in commercial construction is leadership.
“When I first started this, I was more worried about learning plans and building the buildings,” Reynolds said. “Then I realized building is usually the easy part. Getting the guy who comes in every day and motivating him, that’s the trick. You need to know everyone’s job, which means you need to know everyone. You need to know when he needs to hurry up, and when he needs to slow down.”
Indeed, Reynolds’ emotional intelligence is perhaps his greatest strength in the field, colleagues say. He manages with respect and creates a positive team atmosphere. In return, his teams work hard and well with each other, which results in high-quality execution.
“Brandon is the glue that keeps everyone together and maintains that camaraderie,” said Sean Higgins, a Senior Project Manager who has worked with Reynolds on several jobs. “He's good with managing people. He knows how to get on their level and understands how to talk to people. He always has a smile on his face and is always pleasant to be around. He has a good sense of humor, even when things are tough. People enjoy working with him, and his teams act and treat each other like a family.”
After working construction in the Kansas City area for more than a decade, Reynolds began looking for opportunities that would allow him and his wife, Alissa, to travel together. He accepted a job as traveling superintendent with Haskell in 2018, and the two have been on the road ever since. They’ve lived at rural campsites in an RV and rented apartments in new towns. His wife works as a clerk for his projects several times a week.
Reynolds has worked the last year-and-a-half on the Frito-Lay project in Rosenburg, Texas, one of the largest Haskell has ever taken on for the long-time client. The project began as a single-phase manufacturing expansion, but Frito-Lay added a second phase that expanded the facility to accommodate multiple new manufacturing lines — before Haskell even completed their initial scope.
The increased scale and scope of the project added new complexities, as Haskell had to remove just-installed infrastructure to accommodate the facility’s expanded footprint and build around the existing fire and potable water systems to keep the plant online.
“So now the utilities, infrastructure, and road that we installed outside the original footprint of the building, we had to tear it all up so we could build a bigger building,” Reynolds said. “Remembering how to take things apart when you're used to building things was a new challenge.”
The second phase is scheduled to be completed at the end of this year. Haskell remains on schedule and has kept the facility operational the entire time.
“This work has been complicated, and I've seen Brandon grow tremendously,” Higgins says. “He's sharp and understands the need to plan his work and follow his plan. It sounds obvious, but it isn't always done. He takes ownership of projects, as opposed to letting the project manager figure everything out. Very rarely does he call me with a problem without already having a solution identified.”
Brandon’s work in the field doesn’t just contribute to Haskell’s bottom line. He’s taken a hands-on approach to working with young assistant project managers, many of whom are working their first jobs out of school and living in new places. Higgins says Reynolds takes time to answer all their questions and share his experience. When they’ve clocked out, Reynolds brings his team together to socialize outside of work.
“They all hang out outside of work. They get along. They go out. They're friends. Last Halloween, they all dressed up like the characters from Scooby Doo,” Higgins said.
Reynolds says he appreciates Haskell’s depth of talent and the team atmosphere. If he has a question for an engineer, he can expect an answer by lunch. It may take a week to track down the same information at other companies.
Reynolds also says the job provides him and his wife their ideal lifestyle: living on the road.
“Before I took this job, my wife wanted to live in the city, and I wanted to live in the country. We compromised by going on the road,” he said. “It’s a great life that we love. By the time you’ve seen everything a city has to offer, we’re heading off together on a new adventure. This new lifestyle is incredible and works perfectly for us.”
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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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