Team player, data driven, and problem solver. These traits have helped our director of field services, Bob Zaprzal, have a successful career in management and operations. In this brief interview, he reveals what he loves about paving, his passion for numbers, and plans for the future.
- Overseeing field operations can be a juggling act at times. How do you keep all the balls in the air?
I try to stay out of the small details of every job or the team’s day-to-day activities and instead focus on the big picture and data. I find that data is very compelling. It doesn’t tell me everything; but generally, numbers don’t lie and, when audited, the data helps tell a story about how an individual or the entire team is doing. From there, it is up to me to act upon any opportunities and to improve them. My management style is that of a Servant Management approach. If the team needs me to have a difficult conversation with someone or they need help with an issue, I’m happy to roll up my sleeves and help.
- Describe a perfect day in the field:
A perfect day in the field would be where a job goes exactly as planned. Timelines are hit, no snags or unknowns pop up, quality work is performed, the client is happy, and the location is right next to a sandy beach where the temperature is 85-degrees—Ha!
- You have experience managing multiple trades for commercial facilities. What led you to specialize in paving and pavement management?
I had been eyeing a career at Let’s Pave for a few years. I stayed in touch with Mike Rosen and Kevin Flannery and eventually the right opportunity came up. I gladly accepted the new role and challenge. For me, learning is always key and Let’s Pave operates differently than any other business I’ve known. Therefore, the ability to focus on and learn everything there is to know about one trade is something I couldn’t pass up.
- Tell us about something unexpected that happened to you on the job recently:
While some paving services are routine and planned at or near the same time each year for our clients, there are many times when unexpected projects pop up. In my experience, these sudden opportunities are more plentiful in the paving industry than other industries in which I’ve worked. This year already, several new opportunities have come in quickly and Let’s Pave has responded rapidly. I’m grateful to work for a company that has all the resources to handle these challenging and exciting projects… and then some!
- How is Let’s Pave different than any other organization for which you’ve worked?
The previous organizations that I worked for could be categorized as ‘jack of all trades, master of none.’ And while paving was part of the focus, it was not an expertise. In fact, I thought I had a good grasp on it but soon realized that I learned more about paving during my first two weeks at Let’s Pave than I ever did at my previous organization. The overall trade mastery that Let’s Pave has is refreshing.
- What are you best known for?
I have a very analytic mind and I can identify and act upon traits and trends that most others do not see.
- What is one thing you’ll never do again and why?
Jägerbomb…and I believe there is no explanation needed.
- Where did you go on your last vacation and would you return?
I’ve gone to Maui a few times and I love it there. Having young kids is making it difficult to go back, but I know I will take my family at some point in the future.