Builders at our Core: Jimmy Pinet
Boston builder Jimmy Pinet is far from a new kid on the block. Growing up on jobsites with his carpenter father and working as an electrician for more than a decade, he has witnessed how a variety of contractors run their projects. His professional career has provided a perspective that those less experienced might not have: a deep appreciation for DPR’s strong company culture and core values.
Q: What is your role at DPR and describe the path you took to get there?
Pinet: I’m a carpenter foreman on DPR’s SPW team in Boston. I went to vocational high school then took up electrical and was a licensed electrician for 15 years. Then, this opportunity with DPR came up, so I jumped aboard and have been here close to 4 1/2 years. My father and brother were carpenters. My father took me out on jobs growing up, so I learned a lot that way—I guess you could say I’m family taught. I was the first carpenter DPR hired in the Boston area.
Q: What are some interesting aspects about the project you’re working on right now?
Pinet: I do a lot of work for our Special Services Group, so I move around a lot and go wherever I’m needed. It’s great because it’s always something different and it gives me a lot of flexibility.
I’m working on a medical facility now. Our healthcare core market lead recommended me for this project because I know a lot about doors and hardware, and I have an electrical background. I’m installing backplate mounting and motors whose function is to automatically open operating room doors—80 in total. After that, I’ll go to different project.
Q: Why do you think being a self-performing general contractor makes a difference on a project?
Pinet: I’ve seen the business from both sides. When DPR needs something done, we can just do it. It will be done quicker, done right and done at a better cost.
I was working on a Life Sciences project with a drywall subcontractor that experienced a water leak. It was an older building with a new interior, and there was a plumbing issue. Sometimes a drywall subcontractor would have issued an extra charge to fix the drywall affected by the leak. It could also have taken longer because the subcontractor would need to go through an approval process and request a purchase order before starting the work. The tenant had already moved in, so they needed the space back ASAP. With DPR SPW on site, we could start the work immediately and save the client money by just fixing the issue ourselves. And honestly, it’s just more convenient—all it takes is a phone call if I’m needed on a job here in the Boston area. I can usually be there the next day.
Q: Talk about a time in your career where you intervened to make the work on-site safer.
Pinet: I feel more comfortable coming to work here because I know DPR has my back. I have worked with companies that didn’t care how I did a job as long as it was done. With companies like that, you don’t feel secure—like if you fall off a ladder they’ll fire you before you hit the ground. DPR isn’t like that at all. They really focus on safety and doing things right.
I’ve witnessed a few instances where different teams were setting up ladders on staging. That’s not a good idea. I made the calls to EHS and told them they needed to come up with different plan. No one gets in trouble; DPR doesn’t look at it that way. They’re just happy we’re all trying to keep each other safe out here.
Q: What is your proudest moment at DPR?
Pinet: They’ve let me get my feet wet running jobs in the role of superintendent, so I’ve learned a lot about what that takes. My team leader said, “I have the perfect job for you.” He had confidence in my skills and my experience and felt I could do the job, and that bolstered my confidence. That was a very proud moment for me, to see the process from start to finish. I thought, “This is me. I did this!” My ultimate goal is to be a superintendent. It’s a whole different ballgame when you have to make the decisions, give your team direction on what to do, and keep the schedule. It’s a challenge, and it makes me feel good to advance in my career.
Q: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Pinet: I don’t really see it as challenging. I see it as motivating because I’m never doing the same thing. At times it can be a little tough, but that just makes me want to want to step it up and succeed.
Q: What would your advice be for the next generation of builders entering this field?
Pinet: Knowledge is key. The more the better. Construction is so broad, especially when you’re in the superintendent role. You can deal with anything from plumbing to drywall, electrical work to concrete. The more you can learn, the better you’ll be. Be a sponge. Observe and ask as many questions as you can.
Q: What do you love about your job?
Pinet: I see people leaving other general contractors to come work for DPR because of our culture. With some contractors I’ve worked for, it was all about the dollar. If you didn’t have 40 sheets of drywall up every day, you’d get laid off. DPR says, “Do the best you can.” If you’re not doing well, they help you figure out the reason. If the task you’re doing isn’t your strong suit, they examine why and put you somewhere else, somewhere you’ll do better. If I could sum it all up, I’d say this: DPR always has your back. They’ve got the right stuff. I don’t see myself going anywhere else. It’s a home.
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