At WMG, we’re known for our talented team and are proud to have technically-qualified professionals who bring detailed, project management skill sets to every engagement. By adhering to our core services, our leaders deliver a superior client experience, further strengthening our reputation as a leading owner’s representation and construction management firm with deep industry expertise.
Because our team members are one of our most important differentiators, we want to give you a chance to get to know what makes them special. Our latest spotlight is on Crystar Martinek, project manager. Since joining the team in 2015, Crystar has worked on numerous projects for Los Angeles Metro and the airport.
Continue reading to learn more about Crystar, including the most rewarding part of her job, a lesson learned during her tenure at WMG and advice for those looking to enter the construction industry.
Tell us about your background and role at WMG.
While I was earning my engineering degree, my (now) husband was working in the construction field, and I became very interested in the industry. Lauren Weinbaum, WMG’s founder, gave me an opportunity to join the company almost eight years ago, and the rest is history. I have been fortunate to be part of multiple projects with Los Angeles Metro and the airport. I currently serve as project manager and work on the Delta Sky Way project with Hensel Phelps, where I manage the deferred permits process by coordinating between our client, trade partners and the city to ensure required permits are issued and tracked through closure.
Share a lesson you’ve learned during your time with WMG.
Because WMG is a consulting firm, I’ve had the opportunity to work on different projects with different clients. Through these diverse experiences, I’ve gained exposure to different styles, company cultures and met many wonderful colleagues. I’ve also had to “prove” myself each time I changed job sites or clients, and I’ve found that showing up and working hard always pays off.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your job?
I’ve become intimately familiar with all that goes into constructing a building, including planning, design, logistics, conflicts, resolutions, feats, hours, sacrifice, you name it! Once each job is complete, I feel incredibly fulfilled to be part of creating beautiful, functional structures that future generations will enjoy.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Growing up, I was fascinated by the art of debate and wanted to be a lawyer until third grade. As I became involved with different academic programs, I gravitated towards math and science. Understanding the way something worked - the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind it - was so exciting. My interest shifted to engineering at that time.
What’s your superpower?
As they say, patience is a virtue, and it also happens to be my superpower. As a mom of two children under five, my patience is tested every day. Nothing tests your patience more than spending 15 minutes suiting your child up to skateboard because they begged to go, then going outside and picking flowers instead. While patience is integral to my home life, it’s also my superpower at work. If there’s a meltdown over water being too wet, I can handle it and roll with the punches.
How would your colleagues describe you?
My colleagues would describe me as a very dependable team player. I take my responsibilities seriously and follow through with my commitments. The team knows if they need help with something, they can count on me to jump in.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to get into the construction industry?
Construction is exciting and can be very lucrative, but it requires “paying your dues” with a lot of hard work, long days and dedication.
What is the best part of WMG’s culture?
WMG really cares about its employees, and I’m not just a number. The company continues to work on improving employees’ work/life balance, and our president, Lauren Weinbaum, always makes time for the team. Plus, we have so much fun when we’re together!
What’s your favorite travel destination/airport code?
My favorite airport code and destination is OGG (Kahului Airport). I love this little slice of paradise! LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) gets an honorable mention. A view of LA from above is quite a sight and coming home is always comforting.