Jim Martin, J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Jim Martin, director of project management, J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.

1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

Over the last couple of years my focus has shifted from managing construction projects to working with our project management staff. The most challenging aspect of my job is finding more time to meet with staff. It’s important to me that they know I am a resource for them, and that they can maximize my experience within their own projects. The most rewarding aspect of my job is learning about someone’s career goals and helping that person gain the needed experience, become successful, and accomplish their goal.

2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

I admire any leader who has the ability to look into the future and envision the need for a new product, technology, or service. Not only are these innovators able to identify the need, but they also have the courage to commit everything they have in order to accomplish their goal.

3. What has been the high point of your career so far?

One of the reasons I like working in the construction industry is that I’ve had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of great projects. For this reason it’s hard to pick only one pinnacle. Some of the larger and more rewarding projects I’ve worked on include Overture Center, University Square, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Lambeau Field, and the remodeling of 180 Associated Banks. Each one of these projects was unique and exciting for different reasons and allowed me to grow professionally.

4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Get a good education. Work hard. Know the technical aspects of your job. While these are all important, it’s the relationships you build over the course of a career that will make you a successful leader. In my current position, I have the opportunity to meet with college students and young professionals. I often give them this advice and let them know that early in my career, I received this same advice and I wish that I had listened and spent more time building relationships.



5. What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

The best part about living in Dane County is the overall quality of life. I grew up in the Chicago area and everything about living in Dane County is easier and more relaxed. Dane County has great schools, a lot of activities for kids and families, and the commute to work is pretty easy.

6. Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I don’t have any secret talents or abilities, but in my free time I enjoy coaching my sons’ hockey teams in Verona, scuba diving, and traveling. I also enjoy working on home improvement projects and learning new skills, such as installing a hardwood floor and ceramic tile.

7. What are your guilty pleasures?

The closest thing I have to a guilty pleasure is that I enjoy watching documentaries. Sometimes I indulge in watching documentaries on PBS or Netflix. I’ve been known to bore my family with useless facts I learned after binge watching a certain genre of documentaries.

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