Grade Tech is proud to welcome Vern, Project Manager and Ready Mix Vice President, to the team. The Salt Lake City native and lifelong resident brings decades of experience and a true tradesman mentality to the job.
Rory Hall explains that Vern is a rare find in today’s job market—a dedicated, lifelong tradesman who has a passion for the trades and the job. “I am grateful for the opportunity to bring Vern onto the Grade Tech team,” he said. “Vern has been around the Utah construction scene for a long time and still has the fire in his gut to get out there, learn new things and get the job done right. We can all learn a lot from his experience, his go-get-‘em attitude and his work philosophy.”
Vern’s work philosophy can be summed up in three words…”make a decision.” He says that the only bad decision on the job “is the one you don’t make.” He thrives on the challenges that arise every day and understands the importance of keeping things moving. “In the construction business, you can have 30 trucks coming your way and you have to figure it out right away, you have to solve the problem or find an alternative quickly because it’s costing money every time those trucks stop,” he explains. “I’ve run a lot of jobs for a lot of years, and I have learned that the office can’t help you out; they don’t know what you’re doing on the job and by the time they walk down the hall to make a decision, it’s already too late.”
This seasoned tradesman is old school and believes that the key to success in the trades is as simple as motivation. His advice, “Get out of bed every morning and go to work every day whether you want to or not. Don’t be late. Be dependable. It’s that simple.” He explains that this work ethic was the norm when he started in the business. “In my generation, your job was your number one thing. You respected that and you did that every day to pay the bills,” he says. “If you weren’t there when it was time to go, you’d be fired and replaced. And there’d be plenty of guys ready to take your place.”
Vern has learned a lot over his 57-year career in the construction business, including the importance of having an open mind and being willing to learn from others. He says that he loved learning from the older guys. They taught him that nothing is a crisis, just a problem to be fixed—take it as it comes and get it fixed. “When you get excited about an issue, worse things happen and you can’t calmly and collectively solve the problem,” he says. “Now, if a truck rolls over I can calmly realize that it is a problem that can be solved.”
He also says that, “I learned from the old boys that you learn everything you can from the older generation. What was good then, is still good today. I’ll try to give new guys advice and if they say, ‘oh I know that’ I’m done, and I’ll walk away because I know they can’t be taught.”
Vern says that he is excited for the opportunity to make the Ready Mix component a strong asset for Grade Tech, but notes that it may be a challenge due to supply issues—a challenge that he is prepared to meet. “My hope is that the Ready Mix part becomes part of the ‘bread and butter’ or major selling point for Grade Tech, not just a little add on,” he says.
Vern is no stranger to challenges. He has faced many challenges throughout his career, which spans across six decades, several states, many companies, and varied roles—starting out as a laborer and working his way up into project management and other supervisory roles. (He even worked with Grade Tech Co-Founder Billy Hall “back in the day.”)
And he welcomes those challenges. “In life, if you don’t have a challenge, or something to work towards, what do you got? You can wish you had a new car, but if you don’t go out to work for that car, you’re not going to get.” His advice to all tradesmen is to have something to work toward. He says, “Give yourself something to do and something to work towards. If you work in this business, plan to become a boss…you can work your way up. You don’t need a college degree if you put your mind to it. There are a lot of very successful guys out there that don’t have a degree.”
When he is not meeting challenges on the job—he says his job is his main hobby—Vern enjoys collecting construction toys and sharing them with his grandchildren. He also enjoys traveling in his motorhome and “chasing wild women if I can find them.”
Please join us in welcoming Vern to the Grade Tech team!