President & COO of Cianbro Corporation
Degrees from UMaine: Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering, 1993; Master’s in Business Administration, 1998
Why did you come to UMaine?
It was the only school that would accept me. Just kidding. I grew up in Maine and value what Maine has to offer. UMaine allowed me to pursue my interest and education in an environment I cherish. Think of it this way: You can take the boy out of Maine, but you can’t take Maine out of the boy.
How did UMaine prepare you for your career?
The school provided me with a solid education. While at UMaine, I met many classmates who shared similar values, work ethic and interests. I learned how to work with people, how to lead a team and how to think through issues.
How is business in this economy? Have you had to shift your focus?
The economy is very challenging for many businesses. As we all know, consumer spending is a large driver in determining when the economy will improve. Until consumer confidence continuously improves, we will not see any significant change to the current state. Due to our diversity at Cianbro, we have been able to minimize the effect of the recession. As with most contractors, we have seen our backlogs shrink, the price of work drop and the level of competition increase. We have not changed our focus and remain committed to our culture of building projects safely and on time for customers who value quality work. What we have had to do is expand our marketing beyond our traditional geographical markets.
How has the field changed since you left UMaine?
The biggest change is in the use of technology. Computers, electronics and the Internet have totally changed the game. We recently completed a $300 million project that was paperless — yes, paperless. No paper drawings, no faxes, no copy machines. Even the contracts were electronic. Very different, considering the fax machine was just being introduced when I graduated.
Have you been back to campus since you graduated?
Yes. We are currently constructing an addition on the AEWC Advanced Structures & Composites Center.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have…
I tell all who ask this question that they should take business classes as open electives. No matter what you do, those classes provide skills needed in life and business.
Are there any other UMaine grads working at Cianbro?
Cianbro has a large number of UMaine grads working on the Eastern Seaboard. We hire several interns every year and plan to do so in the future. Cianbro is impressed with the abilities of the students we recruit and hire.
Image Description: Andi Vigue