CoatingsPro Magazine

MAR 2017

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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70 MARCH 2017 COATINGSPROMAG.COM M uch of Darin Cielocha's career can be summed up with one word: drive. At the beginning, working as a territory manager for a family-owned ready-mix aggregate and concrete producer, that meant literal driving. Now that he's vice president of McGill Restoration, that drive is more figurative. He's continuing to work hard, lead by example, and help grow the company. e contracting firm's recent growth can be attributed at least in part to his contributions, which can be seen in the change from under $9 million a year in revenue in 2013 to almost $15 million in 2016. Learning From the Past Cielocha's personal background may have helped contribute to his current successes. Not only did he play sports throughout grade school and college, but he's the youngest of four siblings. Competition came naturally, as he attests. In his current role at McGill, Cielocha uses his competitive nature — along with his strength in strate- gic planning, desire to move the ball forward, and communication skills — to help himself and those around him succeed. "I try to use their strengths," Cielocha said of his direct reports. "I put people on projects that require they use their certain skill set. My job is to put opportunities in front of people where they can succeed. I'd never, as a boss, ask someone to do something I wouldn't do myself." But success doesn't always mean doing things right the first time. In fact, Cielocha sees benefit in making mistakes. "rough failing, there's learned opportunities," he said. "Not every project goes exactly as you want it to, and there's always something that can be learned. e thing is to survive the failure, learn something, and be better the next go round." Cielocha is "also someone who doesn't have to be right. I like to be challenged, I like when people challenge me, and vice versa." Working in the office also allows Cielocha to enjoy the things he loves: hunting, fishing, and watching his kids begin their adult lives. "It's important to understand in the beginning that the things you start personally — getting married and having kids — that a career can sometimes offset or upset that, so it's important to be able to have a work/life balance," Cielocha advises. "It's important to understand that it's just a job, but it facilitates the life that we want to live." For the Future "I love this industry," Cielocha succinctly said. "I think it's important that what you take from an industry, you give back for future contractors. Sharing best practices with other contractors is good because when people raise their work capabilities, it's best for the industry." Cielocha's advice is direct but effective. Some of those best practices regard working with customers. "Listen first," he said. In addition, he suggests that it's important to "understand their objectives, always under promise and over deliver," and remember that the customer is always right. For contractors, or craftsmen as he called them, Cielocha notes that the "first two years are the toughest." In the beginning, though, you should "do as many things as you can." He believes in on-the-job experience and also says that "cross training," or "understanding what other trades do beside you" is key. You can't just look at the job through your own set of glasses, according to Cielocha. W hat you do, when you do it, etc., can affect other parts of the project. "As a contrac- tor, what we're selling is production," he said. According to Cielocha, "the hardest thing to do is hire good people." And that leads to one of the indus- try's biggest challenges right now: workforce. "We don't know where we're going to find our next group of crafts- men, and that's concerning," he said. "So we have to constantly be developing and hiring." Finding this generation's workers has been challenging because they think construction isn't a noble way to make money, according to Cielocha. "We're hoping that some of that is starting to turn a corner — that there's a bit more pride taken. People are now looking at making a lifetime career, working in that company or that industry. I can see that progress." It comes back to the drive: the on-the-job hustle ("you're perform- ing, meeting deadlines, negotiating," Cielocha said) as well as the passion to find, keep, and foster a talented workforce. CP Photo courtesy of McGill Restoration By Stephanie Marie Chizik Writing His Own Driver's Manual ProFile: Darin Cielocha Hard Work & Craftsmanship

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