Mechanical Construction, Engineering & Service

2017 Foreman Focus Friday

Posted January 26th 2018 (permalink)

Thank you again to all of our wonderful Foreman Focus Friday folks from 2017!

Foreman Focus Friday: Darren Holmquist

Posted December 29th 2017 (permalink)

Early on, Darren Holmquist wanted to become a car mechanic. He enjoyed working on engines and troubleshooting mechanical problems, but like many others in the trade, he found working with HVAC systems to be very similar and the new career choice seemed to make sense.

Now as Hermanson’s North-End HVAC Service Foreman, Darren enjoys tackling customers’ problems by troubleshooting their mechanical systems to find solutions. With almost 30 years under his belt, his industry experience ensures that he can quickly identify and resolve mechanical & plumbing issues, keeping the customer’s experience smooth and hassle-free. He finds customer satisfaction to be his primary motivation and takes pride in providing quality customer service.

Darren considers safety to be the most important part of his job and has adopted Hermanson’s “Safety: An Attitude for Life” motto into his daily work. As a single father of three, his goal is to return home in the same condition he left in – “I have children that rely on me, so being safe on the job and getting home in one piece is my main focus every day.”

Outside of work, Darren’s three children keep him busy! He has two teenage sons, Jared and Jacob, and a four-year-old daughter, Ava. He spends most of his time with his kids, but when he has time, Darren likes to get out on the boat and fish or head to the shooting range to sharpen his skills.

Thank you, Darren! We appreciate your dedication to serving customers and especially to “thinking safety” every day!

Foreman Focus Friday: Chris Walker

Posted October 27th 2017 (permalink)

Twenty-eight years ago, Chris Walker joined the Local 32 union to become a Steam Fitter.

In 2016, he joined the Hermanson family as a Fitter Foreman. Chris found that his
beliefs aligned well with Hermanson’s core values and company philosophy, so it was an obvious choice.

Chris has constructed eight commercial high-rise buildings in his career, most notably the University of Washington Molecular Science building and the AMLI/TILT49 project. The UW building was a challenging project, as it had twelve different mechanical systems. Since its completion, the University of Washington offers paid tours of the building to interested engineers. His first project as a Hermanson Foreman The AMLI/TILT49 project was also very complex, as the project required two high-rise towers to be constructed concurrently. “Being entrusted by Hermanson management to simultaneously run two buildings at the same time was an honor. The project was a remarkable success and was awarded Job of the Year at Hermanson’s annual meeting. I am extremely proud to have been a part of it,” says Walker.

Although originally from San Diego, Chris was raised in Seattle where he played state championships in both track and basketball, setting two state records in track. From high school, he played basketball around the world after joining the United States Navy. He went on to coach basketball - both Youth AAU and Men’s Pro-AM. Chris has always committed himself to a lifestyle of exercise and fitness, but after three knee surgeries, he has narrowed his activities to golf and bowling. He is a career 200+ average bowler and he enjoys year-round golfing and bowling with his wife, Adelene (“Addie”).

Addie and Chris have three grown children: Catherine, Jorell, and Nathan. His oldest son is currently serving in Korea with the United States Marine Corps and his younger two are both graduates of the University of Washington. Last year, Chris and Addie celebrated the birth of their first grandchild, Avianna. In his personal life, his biggest passion is serving God and serving in the church and sharing his faith.

Chris’s commitment to his family, faith, and values make him an exceptional foreman. Thank you, Chris, for being part of the Hermanson Team!

Thanks Chris!

“The most important part of my job is to inspire and to be an example to my crew and anyone I’m associated with, by taking the high road in every situation. A compassionate attitude toward people goes a long way for crews on a collective job site.”
- Chris Walker

Foreman Focus Friday: Todd Morrison

Posted September 29th 2017 (permalink)

They say it’s the quiet ones you should watch out for – well Todd Morrison is no exception.

He may be quiet and reserved, but he is a talented master of his trade! Todd has spent the last 11 years of his 30-year career with Hermanson, starting as a Journeyman and now a Sheet Metal Foreman. When Todd was 10 years old, he was helping clean up job sites in his residential community in California and it was suggested to him that he may be interested in working in the trades. Once the idea got in his head, he never considered any other career path. After high school, he attended Universal Technical Institute in Arizona and graduated with a degree in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, Heating and Solar Energy in 1985. In 1995, he started his own residential sheet metal and service company and began his lifelong career in the mechanical construction industry.

As one of Hermanson’s Sheet Metal Foremen for the Major Projects division, Todd specializes in hospital work. Most recently, Todd has completed projects at Swedish Hospital, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Good Samaritan. While he considers himself a “hospital guy,” his favorite Hermanson project to date is the tenant improvement work for Redfin at Hill7 because it gave him a chance to break out of his comfort zone and work with a different crew in a new environment.

With the personal philosophy of “Do what you say and hold yourself and others accountable,” Todd embodies the Hermanson core value of Character Counts. Along with his rock-solid work ethic, Todd’s strong technical skills, as well as his dedication to 100% customer satisfaction have made him a highly sought-after partner by his co-workers, general contractors, and building owners.

Outside of work, Todd coaches and plays on a unified softball team for the Special Olympics. He got involved with the organization seven years ago at the suggestion of a friend. As a lifelong softball player, it is a natural fit! His team is set to go to nationals this year – they are just waiting to hear if they qualify. He enjoys helping the kids “get their feet on the ground” and work towards their goals.

Thanks Todd!

Todd is also a family man. He and his wife Nashira have four children – Kayla, 29, Nick, 25, Andrew, 18, and Emily, 8. Their youngest, Emily, is involved in cheerleading. Andrew, a recent high school graduate, is considering a career in the mechanical construction industry! In the summer, the Morrisons spend most of their time with their children on their ski boat, inner tubing and kneeboarding on Kitsap Lake.

Foreman Focus Friday: Daryl Owens

Posted August 25th 2017 (permalink)

Daryl Owens is a 4th generation UA hand.

Daryl’s great grandfather was a steam fitter in Nebraska, his Grandfather a Local 32 Plumber and King County Plumbing Inspector, and his father is a retired Local 32 plumber. After helping out at the family plumbing shop as a youth, he decided he would follow in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and carry on the family tradition. Daryl explains, “I could see that the plumbing trades offered more than just a good income. In this industry, you have the ability to do anything that you set your mind to - from field labor to running work, to project management, design and detailing, company owner or construction law.”

As a Hermanson Plumbing Foreman, Daryl has the opportunity to work on a variety of interesting projects, each with its own new set of plans and unique challenges. Of his favorite projects are the University of Washington Bothell Discovery hall / STEM Building and Microsoft Building 83 in Redmond. Discovery Hall offers UW Bothell students access to everything from 3D printing to full-on clean rooms. The Building 83 project was mostly standard office workspace, but the center attraction was the build out of the food service area for Microsoft employees. This space has become the new standard for all future Microsoft cafeterias and the building itself is showcased to Microsoft employees around the globe. Daryl credits the success of these projects to the professional crew of Hermanson plumbers, fitters and sheet metal workers.

Daryl’s advice to other Foremen, Journeymen, and apprentices in the mechanical construction industry is this: “Always push to learn something new every day. Take the time to build friends in the trade and surround yourself with the type of people that you want to be like. Not only will this allow you to make it to the next level, but it will also help keep you safe on site! Most importantly, there is no such thing as a dumb question. If you do not know or you are unsure, just ask! There is a wealth of knowledge here at Hermanson and we are all eager to help.”

Thanks Daryl!

Daryl raised his three children (now grown) on his own as a single father. “They have found their way in the world, and I am quite proud of them.”

Daryl’s career in the trade has allowed him to follow his lifelong dream and passion for automobile racing. In his free time, Daryl spends his time designing, building, and racing many different vehicles.

Foreman Focus Friday: Wade Jarvis

Posted July 21st 2017 (permalink)

Wade Jarvis has always been interested in mechanical systems.

He started his career in Wyoming where he performed mine maintenance and gained valuable experience working on pumps and electrical systems. From Wyoming, he moved to Wichita and eventually settled in Washington where he began working in the mechanical construction field.

It was the company’s core values that brought Wade to Hermanson almost eleven years ago. While employed elsewhere, Wade was working long hours and on-call every other week. When his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, he made the move to Hermanson in search for a more family-focused company. He wasn’t disappointed. Once joining Hermanson, Wade met others whose families had been burdened with cancer and experienced first-hand what the core value ‘family matters’ truly means.

Wade’s wife of 34 years, Julie, has since beaten cancer. They spend their time on their 2.5-acre property in Maple Valley where Julie raises goats – 25 goats to be exact! Julie and Wade have two grown children, their daughter Josie, an occupational therapist, and their son Jake, who runs the fabrication shop at MacDonald Miller. Jake is the second Jarvis generation to join the mechanical trades!

As a plumbing foreman in Hermanson’s service department, Wade answers service calls from all over Western Washington. He has worked on projects as far south as Centralia, as far North as Marysville, and even spent some time in Port Angeles! He specializes in troubleshooting boilers and has extensive knowledge servicing and repairing pumps, but he enjoys working on anything mechanical - “I like the interesting challenges. Each project is like a puzzle that I get paid to complete!”

Wade is a Journeyman Plumber and an active member of the UA Local 32 – Seattle Area Plumbers and Pipefitters Union. He currently is an instructor with the union’s JATC program (Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee) where he teaches and mentors apprentice plumbers. As a teacher, he encourages his students to watch industry trends and to find their niche. He advises them to always consider the client’s needs first and always look for ways to help improve their systems.

Wade is a stellar employee, loyal co-worker, talented foreman, and Hermanson is lucky to have him! Thank you, Wade, for all of your hard work!


As a Journeyman Plumber, Wade brings to Hermanson over 30 years of experience and skill to our Service Department. Wade is a key component in making sure Hermanson clients receive the best quality and function from their mechanical systems.

Favorite Projects:

  • Vashon Island School District
  • Tahoma School District

Most important part of Wade’s job:
Safety- “The most important part of my job is returning home safe to my family at the end of every day. When working on boilers, you always want to keep the safety of yourself and others at the forefront of your mind. It can be very dangerous.”



Foreman Focus Friday: Ryan Highland

Posted June 16th 2017 (permalink)

Ryan Highland is an indispensable member of the Hermanson team.

Currently managing an impressive 16 jobs in the downtown Seattle area, Ryan’s fun-loving personality and constructive approach to team management have given him a reputation for being a favorite plumbing foreman on his job sites.

Believe it or not, Ryan did not grow up dreaming of becoming a plumber! He chose his career on a whim one day while he and his wife were researching job opportunities. After completing a five-year apprenticeship with the Local 32, Ryan went on to have a promising career in the mechanical construction industry. Now a Hermanson Plumbing Foreman, Ryan has come to love his chosen profession - so much so that he inspired his brother, Taylor, to follow in his footsteps. Thanks to Ryan’s encouragement, Taylor has just completed his first-year plumbing apprenticeship!

As a Plumbing Foreman, Ryan wears many hats. He oversees the coordination of material, manpower, and the installation of plumbing and pipefitting systems, as well as the organization of subcontractors on full mechanical projects. His position allows him to experience new places and meet new people regularly - Ryan’s favorite part of his job. On a daily basis, he adopts the Hermanson core value of “Team” by maintaining a positive attitude and encouraging a collaborative environment with clients, industry partners, and fellow employees.

Outside of work, Ryan is a family man. He has been married to his wife, Mandi for 17 years and they have two children together – Alec (14) and Rylynn (3). They also have two dogs, a dachshund named Scooter and a schnauzer named Hurley. Alec plays baseball year-round and the whole family gets involved. The Highland family even takes vacations centered around Alec’s young baseball career!

Ryan’s advice to others in the trade is, “Stay positive. Your mood drives everything! If you’re in a bad mood, you’ll have a bad day, but if you stay positive, you will have a better day and your coworkers will thank you for it!”

Thank you, Ryan! We appreciate all of your hard work!


“Ryan is easy to get along with and doesn’t get overly stressed. He is always willing to help and can tackle situations before they become problems. He is dependable and hard-working, a vital member of my team.”
– Scott Ponsler, Hermanson Superintendent

Favorite Projects

  • Toyota of Seattle
  • Player’s locker rooms at CenturyLink Field


Foreman Focus Friday: Dave Gordon

Posted May 19th 2017 (permalink)

Dave Gordon has worked in the mechanical construction industry for almost 35 years.

He credits his success to the excellent daily support he receives from his coworkers: “I could not do my job without the fab shop, shipping and receiving, purchasing, and detailing. Because of these folks and the rest of the Hermanson team, I can get the tools, materials, and information I need to do my job without hassle or delay.”

A true team player, Dave embodies Hermanson’s core values of “Team”, “Appreciate” and “Character Counts” with the mantra “Don’t be a part of the problem, be a part of the solution!” His advice to others is to plan ahead, communicate well, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Outside of work, Dave is a family man.He has been married to his wife, Denae for 33 years. Together they have three children (and two daughters-in-law!) and their youngest is currently attending Western Washington University. The Gordons also have a family dog – an energetic black lab named Moose!

Dave comes from a family of plumbers and pipe fitters. His grandfather and uncle were both plumbers and his brother was a pipe fitter, so his career choice makes perfect sense!

Thank you, Dave for all your hard work! Hermanson is lucky to have you!


“He is the most kindest, generous man, and his children absolutely adore him!”
– Denae Gordon

“I nominated Dave for Foreman Focus because he is motivated and dependable. He’s always ‘chomping at the bit’ to get his work done and get it done now!”
– Nick Zuclich, Fitting General Superintendent

Foreman Focus Friday: Travis Getts

Posted March 17th 2017 (permalink)

At age 18, Travis Getts was facing down one of life’s greatest existential questions. HVAC or Plumbing?

Not long after being confronted with this decision, he had a lucky encounter with a Local 32 Plumber which helped seal the deal. By 20, he started residential plumbing work and at 22 he joined the Union and served a 5-year apprenticeship. For 17 years now, Travis has been a proud plumber, the last 10 of which have been with Hermanson.

And we are lucky to have him! Travis has a tremendous amount of passion for quality, cleanliness, and execution. This philosophy exudes Hermanson’s “Character Counts” core value.

Clients First, another Hermanson core value, is also a huge priority for Travis and this shines no brighter than in his work with MultiCare. He’s an expert with not only plumbing, but also medical gas. With Travis’ help and the expert skills of all our Southend plumbers and pipe fitters, MultiCare uses Hermanson as their preferred mechanical contractor.

In his own words: “Hermanson has given me the platform to assist in growing talent, contribute to a team-focused approach, and have input in all things associated with the greater good.”

Travis has been married for nearly 13 years to his wife Heather Getts and together they have three children, Tyler (16), Makena (11) and Bryson (7). The Getts family also has fun-loving labradoodle named Jax.

Travis, you are an exemplary employee. We’re proud to have you in the Hermanson family!


Travis is a family man through and through. When he’s not at work, he’s at play. Travis loves playing slow-pitch softball and coaching his kids’ sports teams.

Foreman Focus Friday: Jack Angeline

Posted February 17th 2017 (permalink)

It never ceases to amaze us how many great folks are second and third generations in the trades! Our wonderful Owner Direct Projects (ODP) Field Supervisor, Sheet Metal Foreman Jack Angeline represents generation #3 in his family!

You see, Jack’s grandfather was a lifer in Local 66, as was his father, Jack Sr., who retired from Hermanson Company in 2014, having spent the last decade of his career with us. His mom also worked in the industry, so it’s not a surprise that our guy – Jack Jr. – chose a career in Sheet Metal. Jack has been at Hermanson Company for over 20 years now, the last ten working with Scott Ponsler in SPD and now as the field lead for ODP.

Jack is always up for a challenge, and this is why he is enjoying the jig-saw puzzle coordination of his recent work completing multi-unit swap-outs of RTU’s for a variety of customers. This includes work at Park East (Phase 1 – 10 units / Phase 2 – 12 units) and Clover Park School District (Year 1 – 53 units / Year 2 – 48 units). In his first job as a site superintendent, Jack worked at Lochburn Middle School, replacing 48 units in just 10 weeks, and he says they had a blast! But the real challenge was a Trane Energy Upgrade project in Redmond in 2009. Working as a Journeyman under Jes Stewart, they changed out 109 furnaces in five schools in just 10 weeks! Now that was fast and furious!

A local kid (Tacoma / Federal Way / Bonney Lake), Jack has been married to his wonderful wife Kari for almost 12 years and they have two great children, 9-year old son Evan and 5-year-old daughter Addy. These lucky kids (and Mom & Dad) are getting ready for a trip to “The Happiest Place on Earth”, DISNEYLAND right now! Jack says that one of the things he most enjoys at Hermanson is that it feels like family! And it’s fun for us to watch Jack and his family grow and thrive as well!

Jack’s advice to others in the industry is to keep your head down and keep on going! Jack, you’ve done that and more, and you are a real asset to Hermanson Company!

Thanks Jack!


When he’s not at work, Jack loves fiddling around with old cars. In fact, he currently has a ’67 Chevelle torn down to the frame and ready for restoration. You know, we really do need to get that Hermanson Car Show idea off the ground this summer! That would give you a deadline, Jack! We can’t wait to see that muscle car out on the street again!

Foreman Focus Friday

Posted January 20th 2017 (permalink)

Saying "Thanks!" again to all of the wonderful Foremen in our first year of the #ForemanFocusFriday!

Foreman Focus Friday: Doug Price

Posted December 8th 2016 (permalink)

Fitting General Foreman Doug Price says that you don’t often hear a lot of cheering for steamfitters – but we are here today to give a resounding HUZZAH! for the spectacular work Doug does at Hermanson! And we’ll hear more about cheering for fitters later on…

Doug is a Western Washington native based out of North Bend. Like many in the Pacific Northwest, he counts hunting, fishing and the Seahawks among his favorite hobbies. Additionally, Doug is a RUSH aficionado (you can’t go wrong with “Working Man!”) and an avid hiker – logging over 1,400 miles in each of the last two years (yes, he keeps track!) All this hiking allows him to indulge in another favorite pastime, wildlife photography. He has some spectacular shots!

Doug has been married to his lovely wife, Karen, for almost 28 years – as long as he has been in the industry – and they have two children, Sara (25) and Matthew (23). It shouldn’t come as a surprise that construction runs in Doug’s family. His father, Gene, was also a Local 32 steamfitter and his brother, Jeff, is a Local 32 Plumber.

In talking with Doug, it quickly becomes clear that jobsite safety is a HUGE passion. He is extremely proud that he has spent the last 18 years injury-free, and Doug believes that Hermanson’s safety attitude – from ownership to superintendents, project managers, and the Safety team – is the best of any company he has seen. In fact, when he brings on new workers, Doug focuses on making sure they understand what is expected in terms of safety, and his words of wisdom revolve around keeping each other safe, “Help your fellow workers and ask for help. There is nothing here important enough to get hurt over.”

Currently, Doug is onsite completing TI work for a “large internet company” in Kirkland, where he is putting his skill in chilled beam construction to work, and he recently finished the Car Toys and HBO build-outs in downtown Seattle. His time here at Hermanson also includes work at SeaTac Airport, resulting in some of his best stories. If you get a chance, ask him about his interactions with TSA and passengers who think it is a good idea to go out on the runway.
Never a dull moment!

Doug, we are thrilled to have you as a member of our team!

So, remember that comment about cheering? This has to do with Doug’s favorite project ever – re-piping the Seattle Center International Fountain. The fountain had been closed for a year, and when it was finally done, it was 90 degrees and there were well over 100 kids waiting. When Doug’s team turned the fountain on, everybody around started cheering! It’s something that Doug will always remember fondly. We think you are great, too, Doug!

Foreman Focus Friday: George Shedd

Posted November 11th 2016 (permalink)

From multiple projects at Joint Base Lewis McChord to the University of Washington Bothell Discovery Hall, during his decade as a Hermanson Sheet Metal Foreman, George Shedd has led some of our most interesting projects!

George comes to us from the small town of Hoquiam, Washington – home of the infamous SMACNA Crab Feed (what happens in Hoquiam stays in Hoquiam!) At the age of 19, George felt he was in need of a change. Friends in the Sheet Metal trade convinced him to give it a try, so he moved to Kirkland, signed up, tested and began his apprenticeship. That was over 23 years ago… George loves his work because he gets to see buildings when they are just a hole in the ground and be a part of the process until it’s a complete structure. “It’s a very cool thing - building from nothing to something pretty spectacular!”

George says that he likes working at Hermanson because we provide a good work environment, care about the safety of our crews, and take care of our employees. George has met many great people at Hermanson, several of which aren’t just co-workers, but great friends. George’s favorite project so far is Discovery Hall. This beautiful academic science facility features a lot of stainless steel and all welded exposed duct. The finished product is extraordinary and is the centerpiece of the UW Bothell campus. Currently he is working in downtown Seattle on the Liberty Mutual Restack project at 1001 Fourth.

Married to the love of his life, Heidi, for 24 years, George has two wonderful daughters, Kenzie (19) and Kaylee (14). Growing up on the rugged Washington coast, it is no surprise that George’s hobbies include hunting, fishing and camping. In addition to annual Alaska fishing trips, George loves to golf and relax in Tubac, Arizona.

The advice George would offer to other Foremen, Journeymen and Apprentices is “Work hard no matter how big or small the task you are preforming. Listen, pay attention and be safe so that at the end of the day you can go home safely to your family – because family is the most important!”

We completely agree.

They say that into each life some rain must fall, and George & Heidi weathered a tremendous storm a few years ago. In 2011, Heidi was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and underwent a stem cell transplant in 2012. George is happy to report – and we are thrilled to hear – that the treatment was successful and Heidi has been in remission for the last four years and counting! Congratulations!

Foreman Focus Friday: Keola Fu

Posted October 22nd 2016 (permalink)

Aloha! This week we are celebrating the hard work and dedication of our fun, quirky and extremely talented Plumbing Foreman, Keola Fu!

Keola grew up on the beautiful Hawaiian island, Kauai. Working as a waiter, a young and newly married Keola aspired for better career opportunities and eventually found an opening for a labor position at a local company. One day as he was back filling a plumber’s trench and digging his little heart out, his hard work was noticed and Keola was offered a full-time plumbing job which paved the way for his future career. Approximately six years later, Keola and his family packed up their life in Hawaii to move to the Puget Sound Region in hopes of Keola finding even better opportunities as a Journeyman Plumber.

Keola was hired on by Hermanson seven years ago. He truly enjoys working here and views us as a family-oriented company with a strong vision and a plan for continued growth. Keola is specialized in medical gas and has worked on many complex, secure and critical environment projects including the Tacoma General Rainier Tower mechanical room. He enjoyed this project because overcoming the challenge of converging multiple systems in one room and making the piping successfully fit, function, and look good was extremely rewarding. He finds beauty in the art of creating something from nothing that will serve others for many years. Keola is currently working on our IKEA project in Renton which will be completed soon. His mindset and goal for every project is to exceed his customers’ expectations which he has done time and time again as we can see here:

Keola, Sparky and I would like to thank you for the quality work you performed at Highline Medical Center. The hospital (Jim Cannon) and AirGas field personnel all commented on the quality of your work. Efforts like yours help us all maintain and establish working partnerships with companies in this area. Keep up the good work! -Erik Vach, Project Manager, Turner Construction Company

Keola is a great role model and representation of Hermanson. Even with his incredible drive, Keola still finds time go camping, fishing, take road trips and just enjoy life. His advice to other Foremen, Journeymen, and Apprentices is “Work to live don’t live to work – family time is the most important thing.” This is advice that we should all take!

Thanks Keola!

Keola likes to practice what he preaches as we can gather from this picture of him spending quality family time with his wife of 15 years, Leah, and his two daughters, Anuhea now age 14 and Luana now age 11.

Foreman Focus Friday: Jeff Walcker

Posted September 17th 2016 (permalink)

A seasoned foreman, and a jack of all trades, this month we recognize the talented Jeff Walcker.

Jeff is a Washington native who has been married to his wife, Pam, for 30 years. They have two adult daughters and four grandchildren. Jeff is also an avid fisher and a car racing enthusiast who was part of a race team at the local speedway for many years and even won a regional racing championship. In addition to this already impressive resume, Jeff has been a member of Local 66 for over 25 years in which he has done everything from serve as a sheet metal fabricator, installer and service technician to building controls and automation to working as a retrofit technician in charge of all phases of install and commissioning on building retrofits. As irony would have it, one day Jeff was approached by the grandson of his first shop foreman in hopes of recruiting him to the growing Hermanson Service Team. You can guess what happened next!

Jeff fits in well with the Hermanson culture because it aligns with his approach towards both excellent customer service and problem solving for the long run. He firmly believes in the “Hermanson Way” or as he calls it, the “Jeff Walcker Way” and takes great pride in the way we do business. A project that Jeff holds near and dear to his heart was our work for Vulcan at the Living Computer Museum. Jeff was selected to help restore microprocessor cooling systems and old school R-12 condensers installed on a 1965 vintage control data supercomputer. This work was successfully completed over a two-year period. Subsequently, Jeff was also chosen as the lead technician in charge of quarterly preventative maintenance on the machine. He is proud to have played a part in restoring such a significant piece of our community’s history. Jeff has also served as a shining star on several of our service jobs including Clover Park School District, North Thurston Public Schools, and the Washington State Fair grounds.

Jeff teaches apprenticeship classes for Sheet Metal JATC at the DuPont training center. In addition, his youngest son-in-law started a building trades apprenticeship this year. These two experiences have allowed Jeff to see first-hand what challenges young technicians face. With that being said, his advice is specifically for other foreman, “It is important to recognize that apprentices and young technicians are our future. It is up to us to teach them, mentor them, and help develop them into leadership roles. Don’t get too caught up in the clutter of time schedules and margins, and remember to pass along the how’s and why’s that make this industry so great.”

A family man with a need for speed, Jeff seems to be in a state of bliss with both of his lovely ladies!

Foreman Focus Friday: Chris Thompson

Posted August 20th 2016 (permalink)

They say it’s the quiet ones you should watch out for – well Chris Thompson, our CAM Inputter, is no exception!

Quiet and reserved he may be, but a talented master of his trade he surely is! Chris, who transplanted here from California at the age of fourteen, has spent the last 14 years of his 25-year career facilitating the daily operation of our Hermanson shop. After graduating high school, a friend of the family involved in the trade gave Chris a tour of his company. He joined the union shortly after and the rest is history! An intellect and free spirit by nature, Chris spends his free time doing the things he loves including cooking, competing in shooting sports, and riding his motorcycle. He is also a big reader and enjoys authors such as Terry Goodkind and Tom Clancy.

Chris has touched every project that has utilized the Sheet Metal section of our shop during the last 14 years. He programs all incoming Sheet Metal work into CAM-Duct and maintains the CAD/CAM database. Ultimately, Chris is an “Improvising Specialist”. As he coordinates between detailing, the shop, and the field, he finds and implements more efficient ways to fabricate common ideas. In addition, Chris specializes in round fittings and serves as one of two regular shop foremen in charge of them.

Chris enjoys working for Hermanson because of the cohesive and supportive culture and lack of bureaucracy. One of the most significant projects to Chris was the Sabey Data Center (SDC) 42 in 2011. He recalls having to improvise and be strategic with a forklift in lieu of a crane in the shop. Although this was a big challenge, a well thought-out plan and collaboration allowed fabrication to be completed smoothly and successfully. He also enjoys drawing the CAD images for the customized fire pits that have been made for several of our clients. Not only are these fire pits different from the norm, many are also Seahawks themed! Regardless of what is being fabricated, whether a fire pit or a multi-trade rack for a large project, Chris values accuracy above everything. If he does not pay attention to details and ensure precision, this could potentially cause a snowball effect of errors through the rest of a project.

Chris’ advice to apprentices is simply “take your time.” He says that it is important to focus on doing things correctly; speed will come down the road. Great advice!

Chris’ two dogs - Kody, a 1-year old Bernese Mountain Dog, and Nina, an 8-year old American Eskimo / Pug mix. We have a feeling these two fur babies are a little spoiled!

Foreman Focus Friday: Mike Brume

Posted July 8th 2016 (permalink)


Mike Brume, a Puget Sound native who is married to wife, Ashley, may seem like an ordinary guy, but he has proved himself to be an extraordinary Foreman here at Hermanson.

Mike has always had a knack for the HVAC industry. He spent his free time as a kid helping out at his dad’s local residential HVAC shop and was hanging out in crawl spaces by the age of 12 years old! Hard work and commitment come naturally to some, and Mike is a stellar example of this!

Mike currently serves as the Lead Foreman for the Tenant Improvement Group (TIG). Just like the rest of TIG, he must be a master of efficiency while simultaneously delivering high quality to clients. His ability to do this well has been a big factor in his team’s success over the last two years. Mike’s current projects include the renovation and addition of new Liberty Mutual spaces at 1001 Fourth/ SAFECO Plaza and the 800 5th Avenue Lobby. Mike enjoys working for Hermanson because of the support and opportunities for professional growth that are available.

Mike values his team and places priority on supporting their efforts, making sure that the whole team is on the same page with a project. He also enjoys the new challenges that always present themselves in his job. For example, in the WeWorks Project at 107 Spring Street, Mike recalls that they had to shut down 1st Avenue for the crane pick, remove the roof from the penthouse as well as remove the existing building supply fan through the hole and then reinstall a new fan. Although, it was challenging requiring that much coordination for a small crane pick, it was worth it in the end as the project was a success.

Mike’s advice to Apprentices is the following: “The difference between a Journeyman and an Apprentice is that a Journeyman has messed up on more jobs than an Apprentice has yet seen.”

In other words, mistakes are going to happen, so learn from them and keep your head up!

In a company full of outdoorsmen, Mike stands out as one of our mountaineers! In 2012, Mike along with our own Mike Leiphart, successfully summited Mt. Rainier! See hard work and perseverance do pay off!

Foreman Focus Friday: Dan Composano

Posted June 10th 2016 (permalink)


This month we are recognizing another one of our Sheet Metal Superstars, the talented Dan Composano!

Dan was born on the Jersey Shore but has lived in the Emerald City since the age of three. A storybook romance, he married his high school sweet heart and childhood best friend, Brenda, and they have two children together, son Coby and daughter Kayla. Dan joined Hermanson in 2002 after finishing his Sheet Metal Apprenticeship and has been with us ever since. We can tell that Dan’s passion and motivation for his job is felt by his family since his 20-year old son works in the industry for MacDonald Miller and his 18-year old daughter plans on joining the union at the end of this summer!

Dan enjoys the interactions and teamwork required to develop practical yet efficient solutions to project challenges that arise. He also likes that Hermanson management is dedicated to making sure that the entire team is working together effectively and and that the trades collaborate to make a better project. Dan has been a part of several of Hermanson’s most complex installations including Providence Hospital Cymbaluk (Colby Campus) Tower. He also spent the last two years working on large office improvements for our biggest Tech Client where he appreciates the challenge of completing sizable renovations within short turnaround times.

Dan values his crew and ensures they are happy and motivated. He listens to feedback and suggestions and always looks for ways to grow and improve as a professional in his trade. He remains open-minded towards others and has stated that not only has he learned things from other Foreman / Superintendents he has also learned from first year apprentices.

His advice to others is that you have to give respect to get respect. An employee who respects his / her leadership team will strive to always give us their best.

Well said!

An ambitious person, Dan is always striving to reach new heights. From this picture of an early morning hike on Mt. Pilchuk, it appears that this holds true in his free time as well! Whoa!

Foreman Focus Friday: Noel Galvin

Posted May 20th 2016 (permalink)

This month we recognize one of our most noteworthy - and certainly one of our most colorful - Plumbing Foremen, Noel Galvin. Noel has been a part of the Hermanson team for the last eight (8) years. The ‘luck of Irish’ may have brought Noel to us, but his tremendous talent and strong work ethic are what have made him so successful here at Hermanson. Noel grew up on a dairy farm in Cork, Ireland. He moved to the U.S. when he was 24 years old with just a few dollars in his pocket and the American Dream on his mind. Having some experience with residential carpentry, Noel decided to take a friend’s advice and join the construction industry. He signed up with Local 32 and the rest is history. Noel loves that plumbing always presents a challenge – most notably routing the pipe – so his job is always interesting. For example, when working on the Riverpark MOB project in Redmond, Noel’s ingenuity was tested by building a facility in what amounted to a bog, including having to dig wells and use high volume pumps to lower the water table so we could set the vaults. Noel enjoys working for Hermanson because he gets to see the full spectrum of what goes into a building. He also values the great people he gets to work with here. Noel works in major projects, currently at Tilt 49, but originally started in SPD. If you ask him his specialties, he will say that he does not box himself or his team into any specific specialties – they can do it all! Noel’s advice to others in the trade is “communication is key, always treat your Project Manager well, and don’t forget to show appreciation to your team and all of the office staff behind the scenes!”

Foreman Focus Friday: Jesse Williams

Posted April 8th 2016 (permalink)

Hermanson’s Service Department is critical to meeting our objective of providing concept-to- maintenance services to our clients. As a 16-year member of our Service & Maintenance family, Jesse Williams has helped us become an integral part of our customers’ trusted teams. A Lead Service Technician, Jesse works directly with clients every day, and his hard work and professionalism, as well as his expertise, have directly impacted Hermanson‘s positive image. Through his service work, he has added to our client list and helped maintain great connections established during construction. Jesse grew up in Puyallup in a family immersed in the HVAC trades. Jesse’s older brother is none other than Jason Williams, another long-time Hermanson Service employee, and his younger brother, Jacob, works for Betschart Mechanical. Add to this the fact that Jesse’s wife, Jennifer, is a Customer Service Representative for McKinstry, and we have a family that practically screams “MECHANICAL!” Jesse specializes in the service and maintenance of air heating and cooling systems, particularly for server rooms. Even more so, Jesse specializes in providing quality customer service and positive experiences for every building owner and manager that he works with. He enjoys the diverse variety of work that comes with being a Service Technician as well as troubleshooting and finding solutions to issues. More than anything, Jesse values his team and his customers. We love Jesse’s great attitude and his professional and sincere care of his clients. He sets a great example for us all to follow!

Foreman Focus Friday: Paul McLain

Posted March 11th 2016 (permalink)

Hermanson’s recent Shop renovations have facilitated major improvements in our Pipe fabrication capabilities. Our amazing and talented Pipe Shop Foreman, Paul McLain, was a key contributor to this process and is leading us to continued growth! Paul is proud to be a fourth generation UA member. He moved here from Maryland as a child and comes from a large family of plumbers, fitters and other trade members. In fact, both of his parents were welder assistants on the Alaskan Pipeline. All together, his family has been in the industry for over 100 years! And very recently Paul’s son, Cameron, became a steam fitter apprentice, putting five generations of the McLain family in the trade. Paul is a Certified Welding Inspector, UA Authorized Testing Rep, and has been a Welding Instructor at Local 32 for the last 16 years. As a welding specialist, Paul’s favorite part of the trade is working on jobs in which welding, heavy rigging, and layout are involved. He finds these aspects of the job the most challenging and therefore, the most rewarding. As Hermanson’s Pipe Shop Foreman, Paul enjoys the diversity of projects he works on. Some of his favorites include fabricating x-ray stainless steel for Air Liquide and fabricating pipes that were 36’ long for Boeing. Paul has also worked on other successful Hermanson projects including pipe fabrication for Block 52 and leading the multi-trade rack fabrication for for recent Swedish Edmonds Ambulatory Care Center project. Paul truly enjoys his job and his advice to his son, Cameron, and to other new apprentices is to “learn a skill that will separate you from the crowd.” Good advice!

Foreman Focus Friday: Keith Nester

Posted February 12th 2016 (permalink)

A man of many talents, Keith Nester is an outdoorsman, Vice President of Local 32, and one of our gifted Fitting Foremen! Keith is a Washington native and a family man who has been married to his wife, Carolyn, for 25 years. Keith was motivated to join the industry by way of his father-in-law and brother-in-law, who were both steamfitters. He has been involved in the trade for 24 years and joined Hermanson in 2011, specializing in rigging. In his time at Hermanson, Keith has risen to the top, aiding with the successful completion of many large, complex projects such as Microsoft Building 83, the Boeing 737 Max installation in Renton, and the SDC 42 Data Center build-out. Keith is currently on site at The Mark – a 45-story hotel & office building in downtown Seattle. Keith is proud of his work and thrives when working on rigging plans and moving heavy equipment such as chillers, cooling towers and air handling units to their final position so that he can take a step back and admire the fully-built mechanical system. He values teamwork and enjoys working for Hermanson because everyone at the company is willing to help one another – from the ownership group to material handlers. This environment makes Keith’s job more enjoyable and he firmly believes it is a key ingredient to success. Keith also stresses the importance of safety. It is essential to him that each jobsite remains safe and that everyone goes home without so much as a bandaid on their finger. His jobsite team is his second family, and he always has their best interests in mind. This approach has caught our attention and made Keith a favorite among our employees. His advice to all is: “Be nice! Life is too short to be uptight or in a bad mood. Take a deep breath, smile and enjoy the day, everyday.” We agree!

Foreman Focus Friday: Chris Howard

Posted January 8th 2016 (permalink)

The complexities of mechanical construction are at the root of Hermanson’s culture. Needless to say, those who excel at leading this effort are near and dear to our hearts, and brilliant, devoted people like Chris Howard make us proud by sharing and embodying our vision every single day. Over two decades ago, Chris and his good friend (and Hermanson employee), Jes Stewart, were flipping through the yellow pages searching for employment when they found an ad for Sheet Metal Local 66. They made the mutual decision to join the union, and the rest is history. A bit of good luck and good timing may have guided Chris to the industry - his unlimited talent has made him one of Hermanson’s most well known and esteemed field leaders. Chris has spent his entire career with Hermanson, serving as a Foreman and Superintendent for a wide range of projects including hospitals, data centers, government and high tech office buildings. He specializes in high efficiency / low impact methods such as pull-planning, fast-paced schedules, and working in areas that remain fully functional while construction occurs. Chris was Lead Foreman on our largest project to date, Providence Colby Cymbaluk Tower, and survived two stints working and living in Alaska, first completing sheet metal construction for the Kodiak Hospital in the 1990’s and then as mechanical lead for the Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute for NOAA! In addition to the challenge of installing complex systems, Chris thrives on collaborating with general contractors, engineers, and owners to execute successful projects. Even after 25 years, connecting with people is still his favorite part of the job. Our clients enjoy working with Chris because of his ability to build and maintain relationships and trust.

Foreman Focus Friday: Steve Stocking

Posted December 11th 2015 (permalink)

Plumbing! Did you know that plumbing is as much a part of Hermanson’s corporate DNA as HVAC? And great people like the talented and dedicated Steve Stocking represent the best in the Plumbing trade! Steve comes from a family of Plumbers. His grandfather joined Local 32 Plumbers in 1941, and Steve’s father, Vic, and uncle joined in the late 1950s. Steve grew up immersed in the trade so it was inevitable that he too would enter the profession. He has passed his devotion to his work on to his two sons, Andrew and Brady, making the Stocking family four generations of plumbers. Steve has worked on a wide variety of projects over the last 38 years. He specializes in Waste Water Treatment Plants and was Lead Foreman on the Westpoint WWTP in Seattle. Over the the last few years his focus has been on the installation of plumbing systems in new, downtown high-rise buildings including whole-life retirement communities, apartments, offices, and hotels. After almost four decades, Steve still has the same passion to provide top quality & efficiency and to be the best on every single project. Steve is currently working as the Plumbing Foreman on the Urban Union project. His hard work has gained the attention of the General Contractor on the project, Sellen. Ray DeForrest, Sellen’s Site Supervisor, recently remarked, “I would like to pass along our thanks for having Steve Stocking on the Urban Union project. He has been proactive, safe and a pleasure to work with. When he encounters a problem he brings it to us with solutions. He is a good man…” Steve’s work ethic ensures that his jobs are done correctly and that our clients are always satisfied with the results.

Foreman Focus Friday: Tom Batty

Posted November 6th 2015 (permalink)

This month we acknowledge the talent and contributions of one of our Service Foreman, Tom Batty. Tom has been involved in the mechanical / HVAC industry his entire life. Growing up in Arizona, Tom helped his dad install HVAC units. The trade has stayed in the family as his brother took over their father’s business and Tom, moving to the Seattle area, worked for a local mechanical construction firm before eventually starting his own HVAC Service business. Tom built a large following of loyal customers, and when he made the decision to join the Hermanson team two years ago, he brought many of these customers with him. Tom joined Hermanson because he likes the direction our Service Department is heading and wanted to be a part of a growing operation. Tom was also impressed by the wide variety of talents and skill sets our company has to offer and is happy that he relates to Hermanson’s attitude and values. Tom’s primary focus has been working on Data Center facilities. His knowledge and expertise have resulted in his strong reputation as an HVAC expert among Data Center operators in the region. He is also specialized in large tonnage screw compressor replacements and retrofits. He is currently working on a project for one of our largest tech clients in which he is replacing a Turbocor compressor with a Bitzer screw compressor.

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