Motivational speaker and leadership consultant Waldo Waldman, a retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col and decorated fighter pilot who is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Never Fly Solo,” addressed Haskell’s 2022 Superintendents Meeting.

May 10, 2022

Superintendents Meeting Offers Field Leaders Information, Inspiration

The gathering featured updates from across the company, motivation from an air combat veteran and a chance to meet a diverse group of team members.


The annual Superintendents Meeting is a Haskell tradition dating back decades. None has been bigger, or a bigger hit, than the 2022 meeting, held in the East Club level at TIAA Bank Field, home of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars.

Not only was it the first time since 2019 that field leadership had come together because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Haskell’s rapid growth meant it was the first meeting ever for a significant percentage of the group. And what used to be a construction-focused meeting now brought out team members from across the disciplines and addressed strategic topics.

“You see architects, engineers, project managers, human resources, the whole company participates now,” Executive Vice President and COO John-Paul Saenz said. “There’s a lot more participation and interest in what we're doing in the field. It’s a chance to get to know new team members. We saw today that probably about a third of the room was new, so it’s important for them to see the value we place on our field teams and on being Field Focused.”

The 1½-day program featured sessions led by the Safety and Quality teams, Haskell Steel and Dysruptek, the company’s innovation arm. There also were sessions on change management, Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and Design, Manufacture Construction (DMC) project delivery. The event culminated in a special presentation by Preston Haskell III, the company’s founder, who spoke to the group on the history and vision of Haskell.

Project Superintendent Chris Rollag only recently joined Haskell and was attending his first meeting. He found his colleagues welcoming and the presentations eye-opening.

“I worked for a company that was somewhat similar to Haskell, but the dynamic here is really overwhelming,” Rollag said. “I can't say enough about how welcoming everybody has been and just how willing they are to help – and that's a rare quality in this industry.

“The diversity that we have, the abilities and the flexibility that we have as an organization with the steel shop and a lot of other things that produce cost savings and time savings is great. Procurement's an issue for everybody right now, and to be able to get steel quickly like that is phenomenal. It's a game-changer.”

Two team members received commendation for performance in the field:

  • Lead Carpenter Tony Lumbi received the Craft Professional Look of Excellence Award. Lumbi started as a carpenter in 2000 and has worked on more than 30 Haskell projects. He has skills in carpentry, equipment operation, UG piping installation and equipment setting, and he currently is the Crew Leader at the Melbourne (Florida) Airport Terminal expansion.
  • Project Superintendent Rick Craven, a 20-plus-year Haskell team member, received the Field Leadership Excellence Award owing to his work on two challenging projects during the evaluation period: Project Helix, a $100 million retrofit of an aged former warehouse to create a state-of-the-art beverage production facility, and the Large Mammal project, which created a habitat for former performance elephants.

The program also featured a presentation from motivational speaker and leadership consultant Waldo Waldman, a retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col and decorated fighter pilot who is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Never Fly Solo.”

Waldman’s philosophy, “You survive solo, but you win as a team,” stresses that relying on “wingmen” and trusting in collaborative relationships with key partners are essential to succeeding in business and in life. The message was a hand-in-glove fit with Haskell’s Core Values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust.

“The wingman concept is great, because in everything I do out on the job, if I didn't have my Gary Willises (Senior Quality Coordinator) and my Danny Bryants (Assistant Superintendent) and the folks back at the home office to support me, I would be no good,” said Project Superintendent Bernice Davis. “It's too massive for one man. I have a tendency to want to keep up with everything, but it's not possible. You’ve got to rely on your wingman, in his terminology, or you would never be successful.”

Success has been a Haskell hallmark for decades, and it has only accelerated in recent years with records set for revenue, profitability and total employment in 2021. With that as a backdrop Chairman, CEO and President Jim O’Leary, a 30-plus year team member, reflected on the most recent of his two-dozen or so Superintendents Meetings.

“It means everything to me to be a Haskell team member,” O’Leary said. “I've been a team member for 30 plus years. Being part of Haskell means being part of something bigger than ourselves and being able to drive toward a goal of enduring success and do it collectively as a family.”

Haskell is hiring! Check out our many opportunities to start – or jump-start – your construction career with the chance to learn from and work with the best in the industry.

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.

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