Senior Project Manager Jerry Langford has worked on and led projects across the country and overseas. After more than 35 years as a Haskell team member, Langford says “this Haskell, like my blood family, means everything to me.”

May 26, 2022

Team Member Spotlight: Jerry Langford Relishes the Big, Tough Jobs

Well-known and well-respected, Langford had many mentors as he rose from apprentice to Senior Project Manager, and now he's glad to give back.

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In 1986, Jerry Langford, fresh out of Ed White High School in Jacksonville, Florida, was a young carpenter going from one construction site to another framing houses when he heard Haskell was looking for project carpenters. He didn’t know much about Haskell, but it sounded like interesting work.

The project was the Barnett Bank Southside at The Avenues and was one of the largest projects Haskell had done at the time. It gave Langford a taste for large, complicated projects that he’s never lost.

After a year, he was hired as a Permanent Craft Employee (PCE), spent four years in an apprenticeship program and graduated as a journeyman carpenter.

For the next 10 years, Langford traveled the country working on Haskell projects and rising through the ranks, from Carpenter Foreman to Assistant Superintendent to Superintendent.

In 1999, he was offered an opportunity to come in out of the field for an office job as an Assistant Project Manager.

“At the time, going from a field superintendent to a project manager was an unusual thing,” said Matt Gulden, Vice President of Construction in Haskell’s Consumer Packaged Goods Group. “A field superintendent had a lot of authority and actively managed dangerous, complicated work, while a project manager spent more time in an office environment. Jerry knew what he wanted to do and was willing to advocate for himself and make that transition.”

Langford said that when he was offered that position, he asked, “Do you really want a yard dog in the house?” They did. Over the next five years, Haskell facilitated training in project management, computer skills, communications, scheduling, and negotiating. He was promoted to project manager in 2005.

“I got a lot of personal grooming by some great people,” Langford said. “That’s one of the advantages of working at Haskell: They allow employees the latitude to grow and stay in the company if they want to change career paths. That adds extreme depth. That’s what has allowed us to grow as a company. Everyone understands what it means to be in the trenches.”

Langford was an assistant project manager under Gulden for the renovation of what at the time was Alltel Stadium. It was a high-profile, high-pressure job.

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver wanted Alltel to be the “best NFL stadium in the country.” 

The project included expanding the seating, improving transportation and adding entertainment venues and a press box at the site of the former Gator Bowl. The project had a hard deadline – Super Bowl XXXIX.

“With all his experience in the field, he was willing to go out and do anything,” Gulden said. “He was getting pulled into field management. He was able to go between the two, working on the computer and working in the field. He was willing to have a good working relationship, very personable, very willing to do hard work.”

Langford said the stadium renovation was one of the most challenging projects of his career.

“Working with an NFL team and having to accommodate Sunday games and be ready for the Super Bowl. That game was going to happen no matter what,” Langford said.

Over the next decade, Langford continued to work around the country and sometimes in other countries in his new role.

A project at the NASCAR Homestead Raceway faced a similar deadline. “A race was coming hell or high water, and you’d better be ready,” Langford said. “It was a tag-team effort to bring it across the finish line. We went through three hurricanes.”

A project for Spirit AeroSystems was done during the Great Recession. “I think we had four project superintendents and project managers. It was very challenging, but it kept people paid during the downturn,” he said.

Langford rose through the ranks working as Senior Project Manager, Project Director, Director of Construction, and sometimes as a Project Lead Superintendent on “Special Recovery assignments.”

“Jerry likes those big, complicated projects, the kind where you have to just get out there and roll up your sleeves,” Gulden said. “We put Jerry on those projects because we know we can trust him. He is committed to his team and will do whatever he needs to support his team and his project.”

Langford said what he likes the most about those big projects is working with large teams.

“You are able to understand people’s strengths and weaknesses and allow them to excel,” he said. “If you set brackets and give people some direction, especially in this industry, they are self-motivated. They usually know the waters they are in but not necessarily how deep they are. The key is to stay close enough to give them a lifeline and let them know you have their back.”

Langford said one reason he likes to mentor people is that he has been mentored by so many.

“I had the opportunity to work with Danny Parmenter, who taught me to educate myself and get into the details of projects,” he said. “Harold Coleman Jr. schooled me in surveying techniques and layout. Wayne Owens taught me to slow down and be precise. Matt Gulden took me on as an APM and taught me the business side of construction, and Mike Woods showed me how to persevere as a team on several ‘Special Recovery Assignments.’”

Project Manager Michael Johnson has worked with Langford on several projects and considers him a mentor.

“Jerry really introduced me to what had to be done as a project manager at Haskell – Project Management 101 – both on site and in the office,” Johnson said. “He excels at passing along that knowledge and asking questions and leading us down the path. We find the answers, but he guides us along the way.”

Gulden said Langford is known for his “beer summits.”

“He likes to get people out of the conference room into a casual environment so they can talk,” Gulden said.

Haskell has grown four-fold since Langford joined the team, but he said that no matter how large it is, it’s still family.

“The people I’ve worked with from the field through executive level are family,” he said. “They are the backbone of the company. It’s been a pleasure to work and learn from these people. To be able to be a mentor to a lot of people who are now my boss, that’s the epitome of Haskell.”

5 Questions with Jerry Langford

What drew you to your career?

It's in my blood. My dad was a project superintendent, so I grew up around construction.

Where is your favorite travel destination, and why?

My wife and I enjoy the islands, any island. Amelia, Florida Keys, Jamaica, Leeward.

Complete this sentence: I couldn’t make it through the week without …

A good sweat, running, cycling, weight training.

Who is your role model and how have they influenced you?

Christ is my influencer and role model. Servant leadership, love before hate, peace in the storm and provider of all good things.

What does being a Haskell team member mean to you?

I've been a family member some time now, this family, like my blood family, means everything to me. I'm not sure how other companies do it, but my Haskell family has always been there in the good times and the tough times. This family gave me a place at the table when I was ready to get off the road, has always provided the resources when needed and has always taken the time to stop and ask, "How are you doing, today?" 

Haskell is hiring! Learn more about joining an organization that offers a variety of projects and supports career advancement and expanding horizons.

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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