Foreman of the Future and NFL Hall-of-Famer

Stephanie Patterson, Rhumbix InsiderAugust 17, 2017 • 3 min read

Every day before sunrise, more than 500 workers put on their hard hats and work boots and head to the new Transbay Transit Center project in San Francisco to continue to build what will be a significant improvement to the city’s public transportation infrastructure. The Center will connect eight Bay Area counties and 11 transportation systems, and includes a rooftop park complete with trails, recreation space, and an amphitheatre.

But as dawn broke on Monday morning, August 14, 2017, things were a little different.

That was the day Rhumbix presented the first ever Foreman of the Future award.

Foreman of the Future is all about recognizing field leaders who refuse to believe the notion that “this is the way it’s always been done” is acceptable. They are future-focused leaders who are committed to considering new ways of doing things, embracing technology, and looking for other measures to maximize their effectiveness. Recognizing amazing foremen with the award is one way in which we live out our company’s core value of Workers First.

Productivity is driven by the hands of the men and women who show up on the jobsite every day to actually do the work – tie the rebar, place the concrete, frame the walls, etc. It is some of the most important and difficult work in the world, and we all need to do a better job of recognizing their efforts. This Foreman of the Future award is Rhumbix doing our part.

The ceremony began with a military-style welcome from Drew DeWalt, co-founder and COO of Rhumbix, and Ryan Burke, Construction Manager from Webcor-Obayashi, the general contractor overseeing the Transbay project. They welcomed the crowd and introduced keynote speaker, Ronnie Lott, former Raider and 49er and Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back. His 6am arrival to greet the sea of workers as their day began was received with palpable excitement from the crowd. This Monday morning safety meeting was going to be a little different than normal.

Ronnie shared a stirring message that recognized the workers commitment to doing great work and bringing their best selves to the jobsite “every damn day.” He praised their willingness to embrace new methods for getting their job done and saying ‘no’ to simply accepting the status quo. Ronnie encouraged each worker individually to earn the respect of their teammates each day and remember that we’re all in this together on the same team.

He then announced the recipient of the first Foreman of the Future award, John Garton of Southwest Specialty Contractors. As John made his way to the stage, his accomplishments were acknowledged in front of a cheering crowd of his peers. John has been in construction for 27 years, and a foreman for 17 years. He was selected to receive the award because of his commitment to getting the job done regardless of adversity, his high degree of integrity, and a consistent effort to improve the project.

After the ceremony ended, workers grabbed a quick bite with Ronnie and the Rhumbix team before heading back onto the jobsite. As one ironworker relayed as he sauntered back to his work with a breakfast taco in one hand and Ronnie’s signature on his hard hat, “Damn, what a great start to the week!”

The Rhumbix crew felt incredibly grateful for the opportunity to spend the morning with such an amazing team and to show our appreciation for the work that all those hardworking men and women do every day.

A special thanks to Webcor Builders for hosting the event and to Early Bird Tacos and Johnny Doughnuts for showing up at the crack of dawn to serve up over 1000 delicious tacos and hundreds of hot, fresh donuts.

We look forward to celebrating the next Foreman of the Future in your city. Keep an eye out for ways to nominate one of your teammates as a Foreman of the Future from your own jobsite.

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