Jokake General Superintendent Looks Back 20 Years

General Superintendent Terry Scott entered 2019 as a 20-year veteran at Jokake Construction. Beginning his career at Jokake as a Superintendent, Terry now oversees the Superintendents, offering years of experience and lessons learned. Reflecting on 20 years at Jokake and 30 years in construction, Terry shares a number of mentors and pieces of advice that helped him navigate through his career.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received, and from whom?
Lee Gagne, a Superintendent I worked for in the early 90s, told me “you will not ever be a successful Superintendent without the ability to listen and lead by example.” I took that advice and made it a habit that I use in all facets of my life.

What mistake did you make early on in your career that you learned from?
Early on in my career, I was leading a training, and I was not fully prepared and it showed. To this day, I am always prepared and have contingencies in place.

Where do you attribute your success?
I had a lot of people in my life that have mentored me through the years, starting with my mom and dad always being supportive with every decision I made – right or wrong.  Lee Gagne of DPR trained me to be a Superintendent and encouraged me to be better, teaching me how to learn from mistakes and move forward from them.  Jokake’s VP of Field Operations Dave Alben gave me an opportunity and believed in me, and he has become a mentor over the last 20 years. Dave took me out of my comfort zone showing me how to elevate myself. These days, I pick up things from everyone – from friends, clients, subcontractors to my coworkers – they all have an impact on my growth. I have been given a great opportunity to work with great people, and I try really hard every day not to let them down.

Which industry would you try if you started your career again?
Years ago, I tried making it as a commercial diver, but soon found out it’s a lot better being a recreational diver. I like what I do, and looking back, I have no regrets – I chose my career path correctly.

One piece of advice you’d give the next generation of construction professionals?
I can’t give just one:

  • Be prepared and always follow through with your commitments.
  • Listen, never be a know it all, be humble.
  • Learn from mistakes because you will make a lot of them.  
  • Own your decisions never pass them off on someone else.