Ken Reese, CGMP
Kenneth “Ken” Reese, CGMP, is Vice President and Director of Operations at AFG and brings more than 40 years of extensive construction management experience. He has worked successfully on federal, laboratory, biomedical, and commercial projects while coordinating multiple projects simultaneously, meeting aggressive construction schedules, and running well-managed and safe construction sites. A retired Master Chief with the US Navy Seabees, Ken recently celebrated his 15th year of employment with AFG, so we thought we’d ask him a few questions about his experience in the AEC industry and at AFG.
Congratulations on 15 years with AFG! How did you come to work with us?
Michael O’Connor [AFG President] saw my resume on Monster, reached out to me saying, “I have a soft spot for retired Veterans”. He then invited me to lunch in Baltimore to meet an NIH Project Manager for a project at the NIH Bayview Research Center. Michael said if everything went well I’d be at work by Tuesday, and well, the rest is history.
How did you become interested in Construction Management?
As Seniors in High School, a friend of mine and I decided to join the Navy, and the initial test they gave us pointed both of us in that direction. I pretty much had been doing construction all my life and was tired of swinging a hammer.
What has been your favorite project?
With AFG, it’s definitely the NIH Bayview Research Center project, since it was a ground up 250,000 SQ ft project. Watching it come out of the ground was fun.
Overall, the one I had the most fun at was a 45-day deployment with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Five (NMCB 5) down to Honduras. 35 guys, 45 days, 8 separate projects, and we had a blast.
What has been the most challenging project that you successfully managed?
It wasn’t just a single project in this case. It was the 12 years (2004-2016) AFG worked at NIH. Many different projects with different customers and the AFG team was able to complete them all successfully while still keeping everyone happy. The team earned many accolades from the NIH staff during those years.
Outside of your work, where can we find you?
With the dog, in the boat, fishing or just outdoors.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out in AEC?
If you are an engineer or doing design work, get out in the field and learn how the project goes together because a lot of times what you drew on paper will not work in the field for a variety of reasons. If you are an inspector or field engineer, talk to the engineers and designers about why they choose certain products or designs. Basically help each other get better at what you love to do!