OHM Advisors: Meet our Experts Series
Quick Facts about Rob
- Title: Director of Greater Louisville
- Office Digs: Jeffersonville, IN
- Years in the Industry: 17
- Favorite Hobby: Woodworking
- Exercise of Choice: CrossFit
We caught up with Rob during a few minutes of downtime in his busy schedule as Director of Greater Louisville to talk about opening the firm’s newest geographic office, working on important projects that people can’t see, and old house fixup dreams.
My answer has evolved over the years from a simple beginning, I’m good at math and I like being outdoors. When I started my career and began making relationships with people, I began to connect with the communities I worked in, and this has continued throughout my career. I understand that the project teams I’m part of have both the opportunity and responsibility to maximize the project’s benefit to society. That’s where my passion really lies, in making a difference for others. (The math part can be kind of fun as well.)
What’s a typical day for you at OHM Advisors?
As part of a new and rapidly growing office, every single day has a lot of variety and excitement. Team collaboration, problem troubleshooting, and client meetings are all commonplace. The chemistry changes with each new staff member joining the team and new projects serving communities, which only adds to the energy.
List a few adjectives that describe you.
Passionate. Empathic. Challenging. Contrarian. Energetic. Opinionated. Contemplative. Demanding.
Is there a past project or client of yours that you’ll always remember?
Since I feel pretty connected to a lot of my career projects, I still go back and check on some of them from time to time—especially a few from nearly two decades ago when I worked for a small municipality. One project in particular was an emergency repair of a large underground stormwater structure during a relentless rain event. Aside from the high potential for property flooding and risks to public safety, numerous utilities were at risk, including wastewater, potable water, and gas. I partnered with the community to develop an immediate replacement solution and then competitively selected a contractor to perform the work. Compared to the original structure, the replacement had more drainage capacity and offered improved safety to motorists and pedestrians. The project was completed in a quarter of the time as traditional construction and no utilities were lost in the process.
When I visit the site, I think of how very few people who travel the road realize what lies 16 feet below them. It’s also a great reminder of what can be accomplished quickly when community, consultant and contractor focus on a common mission.
If you could grant one universal wish to help your clients, what would it be?
The obvious: MONEY! Communities always have more needs than resources. I recall an old comic strip saying, “Money can’t buy happiness…but it can sure buy a lot of solid comfort.” This is especially important as it applies to funding projects that repair and maintain the integrity of public infrastructure assets residents and businesses depend on.
Tell us about an item on your bucket list.
Buy a neglected or abandoned home and restore it to its former glory. Or live off the grid for a year!
What do you think is the single most important thing (world event, invention, social phenomenon) impacting your industry today?
Employee mobility. I think this industry is entering a time where employers have to offer the most exciting projects and the most engaging work atmosphere to find and retain the best talent. People want more than just a paycheck, so working with others who genuinely love their jobs and feel connected to a purpose will become more and more critical.
Read more about Rob and the work he does for OHM Advisors and the water resources and municipal engineering industries.