Beginning as an intern at ISG, Nick will celebrate 20 years with the firm in 2023. As a Vice President, he places value on building relationships, trust, serving the team, and delivering successful projects with a team sport mindset. Discover more about his career at ISG and how sports-related injuries almost led him down a different career path.

You’ve been with ISG for almost 20 years. What do you attribute to your career longevity at the firm?

I started working for ISG as an intern in the summer of 2002. That transitioned into a full-time role the following year. As a college kid, it was cool to get involved with projects, visit project sites, and participate in meetings right away. But even better was getting to spend time learning and watching from Jason, Brian, Ken, and Chad. Those guys, especially Ken and Jason, shared a great deal of their time and knowledge with me which I’ve always appreciated. I had good mentors as well as a desire to learn, grow, and take on different challenges.

The firm has changed a lot since I started and over the years, I’ve enjoyed all of the growth opportunities. In 2012, I was one of four employees that helped open the La Crosse office under Lynn’s guidance. It gave me additional project management opportunities within the Food and Industrial market and a chance to learn from Lynn. There was a lot of excitement to win work locally and regionally and expand our presence throughout Wisconsin. It’s been cool to see the growth and new leaders come aboard or thru the La Crosse office. The project and client variety, professional development opportunities, and the people I get to work with every day is what’s kept me here.

What do you enjoy most about working in the A/E/C industry?

The relationships with repeat clients and the people I get to work with every week is rewarding. I currently work within ISG’s Food and Industrial Business Unit and being exposed to the diversity of what our clients produce or provide to make our everyday lives better is exciting. Learning about their business and watching the impact of our services help them expand, whether through a new process, cost or energy savings implementation, new facility, addition, or production line, is extremely rewarding. I’m honored to be a part of it.

Recently, I’ve enjoyed working with some of our new ISG leaders in project management and seeing them grow, stretch themselves, and take on new challenges. When it’s relevant, I share my own lessons learned and project strategy to help them gain a different perspective from a positive or challenging experience I’ve encountered.

Did you consider other career paths outside of engineering?

I was close to going to medical school to be an orthopedic surgeon or some sort of physician. After a few sports related injuries in college, I unfortunately had a great deal of facetime with the profession. It was tough, but I received good care and was interested in learning more about how our bodies work and react to injuries.

What do you see changing or growing in the A/E/C industry?

From a design standpoint, there’s been a lot of technology development within design to make our jobs easier and help the client plan and visualize the project before it’s even built. I don’t see that slowing down. The level of technology adoption across the Food and Industrial subsets of our clients varies greatly. Many of our clients are trying to do more work/management with less people, giving ISG a great deal of opportunity to assume a greater role in organizing and managing the project. There will always be a need to bring people together and help them share and realize ideas in an organized and efficient manner. Providing those services in a way that is relatable to decision makers and their business while integrating and interpreting the latest technology and data is a continued growth area. Our clients look to us to help them solve their problems, so increased integration with their business and partners, and the facilitation of construction, seem to be more needed now and will be in the future.

In your view, what makes a project successful?

Well, I think that starts with understanding the project “why”, communicating that to the team, listening, and then working together on how to make it happen. I view the work we do as a team sport. There is a tremendous amount of planning and coordination that goes into pulling together the right team and executing each project. Successful projects are the result of good leadership, good communication and planning, and then doing what you say you are going to do. That can’t happen without a full team effort. If we perform those services well, we will have happy, repeat clients and our team will find satisfaction in the work.

What are some of your favorite activities outside of work?

My wife and I have three daughters, a 12-year-old and 9-year-old twins. I try to spend as much time with them as possible. I like visiting new places and showing them some of the great destinations here in the United States. One of our favorite things to do in the summer is to take our boat out on the Mississippi River. When we’re inside, I’m up for watching sports, movies, cooking, and reading. This summer my oldest daughter and I tried our hands at canning.

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