Meet our newest Operations Manager for the Janesville Division, Justin Buchholz. Over more than two decades in the construction field, Justin has spent an impressive 14 years dedicated to JP Cullen. Read on to learn more about Justin!
What are you most excited about in your role?
The ability to interact with a larger network (internal and external), being exposed to more project teams and departments on a regular basis, and being actively involved with the growth & development of newer and younger employees. I will also be charged with understanding and taking a more global approach to challenges and opportunities vs. focusing on the day-to-day details of project management.
What sparked your interest in the construction industry?
I’ve had an interest in drawing and building things for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I helped my dad remodel just about every room in our 100+-year-old house. During high school, I worked with my best friend and his dad who owned a residential plumbing business. I also taught myself AutoCAD at the request of our shop teacher. Having all those experiences at a young age provided a solid base to expand on.
Who has been most motivational to you in your career?
There have been a few, but if I had to pick only one, I would say Jim Schumacher. He took a chance to hire me during the Recession. I came to JP Cullen with a few years of professional experience, but he put me in a field engineer position so I could learn what makes JP Cullen truly successful – the tradespeople at the face of the work. His approach to developing and maintaining client and trade partner relationships, along with his leadership and development of the teams surrounding him, will be an experience that I will always reflect on and draw inspiration from.
What is your proudest achievement?
A data center renovation project in Rochester, MN. It was my first long-term travel project and for a while, I was the only JP Cullen employee there. It was new ground and we had to establish new relationships with the local suppliers and subcontractors. I acted as the Project Manager, Superintendent, and Site Engineer for the entire project duration, helping place and finish site concrete and install security partitions in the data hall. I worked side by side every day with the owner and subcontractor foremen. It was a high-risk project to work around and over top of live data hall equipment. We delivered the project on time, and on budget, with zero incidents or server downtime. It was an amazing growth opportunity to renovate a live, mission-critical facility while being away from the “safety” of home and familiar surroundings.
What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on at JP Cullen?
The three that come to mind are Epic Campus, School District of Milton, and the Meat Science Lab for UW-Madison. The Epic Campus is unique and presents different challenges and opportunities for growth. While working in the School District of Milton, I developed great relationships with everyone involved and stretched my leadership capabilities. The most technically challenging project I’ve been a part of was the Meat Science Lab. It was difficult to stay on top of all the changes and design refinement as the facility was being built, but the process ultimately provided the University of Wisconsin-Madison a one-of-a-kind and state-of-the-art facility that is now referenced by meat science programs from other universities and the meat processing industry in general.
What piece of advice would you give to college students looking to get into construction?
You don’t know what you don’t know – be curious, ask questions with humility, seek to understand. Build your network! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. This industry, like so many others, thrives on relationships. It took me a while to realize and appreciate that.
Interested in starting your career with JP Cullen? Check out our openings: Careers | JP Cullen