Brad Hildebrand, Jr. has been with RS&H for 10 years and currently serves as the Texas Gulf Coast South CEI Leader, located in Houston, TX. Brad has recently been recognized as RS&H’s 2023 Project Manager of the Year.
This award was created to recognize the outstanding performance of an individual project manager who consistently demonstrates successful delivery of contractual project services to clients and upholds the highest standards to ensure client satisfaction.
What was the first thing that came to mind when you heard you were selected for Project Manager of the Year?
I was actually very surprised and honored. There are a ton of great project managers at RS&H. I work with a lot of talented project managers so to be nominated and selected was a cool feeling.
I understand you stepped into an area leader role quickly after some staff changes. What was your approach to managing the new team, the ongoing projects, and the client relationships to ensure that we were delivering a great project on time and of the highest quality?
I would say what made me successful was the team. The team had worked hard to build trust with the client, and it showed. The client had a lot of faith in the team and trusted that they would do–and continue to do–a great job. Stepping into that role was stressful. Personally, I had a lot going on with relocating and trying to find a place to live quickly, but the team made it easy to step into the project and continue to support the work they were doing.
You’ve exemplified, through your work, a high level of client service; can you talk through your process in managing client relationships and why that’s so important to you and our work?
At the end of the day, we provide a service—it’s a highly technical service, but I truly believe we are in the service industry. If we don’t understand what our clients want, need, and prioritize, we simply can’t deliver a good project for them. It’s all about listening, understanding, and adapting to the needs of the client to ensure they are getting exactly what they need from us.
Do you have advice for an aspiring project manager?
My advice would be to try to get involved in everything and my mantra early on was, “Don’t say no to any task.” I learned under some great mentors and raised my hand for any task that came up to get done. I worked hard to understand everyone’s role—from in the office, to on the field.
Why do you like working with RS&H?
I like the culture and team at RS&H. Everyone has each other’s backs—there is something about the support and camaraderie here that I’ve always loved and appreciated.
What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on at RS&H?
This is tough! It’s hard to pick one. We are currently closing-out a project on I-10 for TxDOT and I’d have to say this has been one of the most rewarding projects that have offered plenty of opportunities for learning and growth. What’s been most exciting about this project is it’s had a little bit of everything in terms of construction—steel girders, concrete bridges, sound walls, retaining walls, and more.
Which one of our values resonates with you the most?
The two values that speak the most to me are forward-thinking and ownership. Like I said earlier, being a good partner to our clients means listening to what the client needs. I consider our values and forward-thinking stand out to me the most because we must provide the best solution to our clients to get the job done. To that point, we need to own the decisions and approaches so having that ownership mindset helps us make the best decisions for the project, client, and team.
What is a go-to break you take during the day to re-energize?
Truthfully, I don’t take a lot of breaks. But one thing that re-energizes me is driving the projects. It’s cool to step back and see what’s going on and talk with the team in the field. It breaks up the day and allows me to step away from the screen.
What’s your favorite downtime activity?
I enjoy playing hockey and try to do that at least two times a week. I’ve also recently started gardening. I currently have 100 different pepper plants and I must admit that the engineer in me came out and I built a spreadsheet to map them all out.
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