At WMG, we’re known for the quality of our 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 Philip Lewis, senior project manager. He joined our team in 2022 with over 40 years of experience in the construction industry.
Continue reading to learn more about Philip, including his advice to someone looking to get into the industry, his favorite place to travel and the most rewarding part of his job.
Tell us about your background and role at WMG in a few sentences.
I started as a carpenter over 40 years ago to pay my way through college. It wasn’t easy, and it took longer than my peers, but I graduated with zero debt. I injured my back a couple of years before graduation, and the owner of the company gave me the opportunity to learn the business side of carpentry and construction (estimating, scheduling, and managing projects). I had an unknown proficiency for these activities. At the time, I didn’t think much of my abilities, but my employer gave me more responsibilities and opportunities.
That original company closed in the 90’s, and I spent the next several decades working for numerous construction companies, honing my craft. In 2013, I accepted a job offer that allowed me to shift to the “owner’s side” of the business. I spent nine years with that organization, and in early 2022, I joined the WMG team. Forty years later, my job responsibilities at WMG look similar to those I had in the early 1980s, including budget estimates, scheduling, and managing projects.
Share a lesson you’ve learned during your time with WMG.
There is ALWAYS something new to learn in construction. I had never been much involved in the project permitting process with other employers. With WMG, I am right in the middle of this process. It’s challenging!
What’s been the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is the transformation of a space, whether an empty field or remodel of an existing structure. There is a time when the project nears substantial completion that I think back to how the space looked prior to the start of construction. I also remember the small daily steps to get it done - the things that needed to go right to get to this place of substantial completion and all the people pouring their time and efforts into the process. And to think I have been a part of this transformation? It’s rewarding and humbling.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
At an early age, I wanted to be a firefighter. Later, I wanted to be a park ranger because I love the outdoors. I finally realized I just wanted peace of mind - not a bad thing to have!
What’s your superpower?
Ha! At this age, I am grateful to make it through the day without a new ailment. Making it through a day with no new aches or pains is my superpower.
How would your colleagues describe you?
This isn’t something I’ve ever asked of my colleagues, but I would hope to hear that I treat each one of them with respect and dignity.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to get into the construction industry?
Avoid stagnation. Keep learning as much as possible each and every day. Like many industries, there is a constant stream of new products, methods, and processes constantly transforming what and how we build.
What is the best part of WMG’s culture?
I can pick up the phone and speak with the owner just about any time of the day. There’s no shortage of variety, which I appreciate. I am able to work remotely, with visits to job sites, as needed/required. I am very fortunate to have been offered an opportunity to work for WMG.
What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. What will you do today to achieve your goals? No one is more responsible for who and what you will be than the one staring back at you in the mirror. Get moving, and be grateful, thankful, and appreciative of this life you have been given. Help others that are less fortunate.
What’s your favorite travel destination/airport code?
I gravitate more toward meaningful experiences. In 2019, I went to Ireland for the first time, about six months before the outbreak of COVID-19. Most of my relatives migrated from Ireland either during, or immediately after, the Great Potato Famine (1845-1852). I was able to visit a couple of the towns from which my great grandparents migrated. It was a meaningful and somewhat emotional trip. The people I met on the trip were open, friendly, and kind. Now that the pandemic is waning, I plan to return soon.