Superior Employee Spotlight
Superior Construction Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
¡Feliz mes de la herencia hispana! In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re highlighting some of the Hispanic employees who make Superior Construction great.
How long have you been at Superior Construction, and what was your job title when you began? I started as an assistant project manager two years ago (Sept. 2020) and was promoted to project manager a few months ago.
What made you want to pursue a career in construction? My dad is an architect. He worked as a general contractor for a government organization in Colombia, helping build schools and hospitals in rural communities. I wanted to follow in his footsteps.
When did you migrate to the U.S., and did that transition prove difficult career-wise? I was born in Medellin, Colombia, but moved to Tampa when I was 16. After I finished high school, I attended the University of South Florida, where I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering. The transition wasn’t too difficult because I am fluent in Spanish and English, which has helped my career because I can communicate with everyone on construction sites. I end up doing a lot of translating.
What project are you currently managing, and what challenges have you overcome? We’re converting an existing diamond interchange to a diverging diamond interchange at I-75 and State Road 56 in Wesley Chapel. Commuters have had to deal with terrible traffic in the area for years, so this will help alleviate those bottlenecks. Superior took over the project after the original contractor went out of business. That was a huge challenge. We worked with FDOT and its consultant to get things back on track. We expect to finish by the end of October.
What is your favorite thing about working for Superior? In the construction industry, there can be a hierarchy or sense of superiority (no pun intended). However, at Superior, our leadership is very open-minded and inclusive. There is no place for ego. Everyone is treated with respect — from the very top to the crews in the field — and that culture allows every team member to make significant contributions and feel valued.
Is the construction industry typically inclusive, or have you found it can be difficult for Latinos and other minorities to advance to key leadership roles? I think it is generally inclusive, but that changes a little at higher levels. Many construction workers in the field are minorities, especially in Florida, where there is a large Hispanic population. However, I’ve seen a shift throughout my career. I have seen men like Field Engineer Gustavo Lopez and Superior’s Vice President of Southeast Operations Julian Rozo, both of whom I admire, rise to leadership positions, and I’m glad to work for a company that values diversity.
What’s your advice for young Latinos considering a career in the construction industry? I’m very proud to be Hispanic because we’re known for being hard-working. I would encourage future Latino construction workers and leaders to continue contributing to that reputation. It’s an industry that requires hard work and very long hours, but it is very rewarding. Don’t shy away from any challenges. Also, being personable will get you far in this industry, so build relationships, not just roads!