Stan Lawson has been a project superintendent with Trehel since 1995. His vast experience in the construction industry serves him well as he oversees large-scale projects and manages day-to-day operations on job sites.
He recently finished the Camperdown Office Building One project in Greenville, SC and has begun construction on the new 5 Point Church facility in Easley, SC.
Trehel: Tell us about your journey from laborer to project superintendent.
Stan: I started out as a laborer for a company that specialized in high-rise work. My father-in-law was a superintendent for them and he brought me in as a laborer. He said, “Son, if you want to be a laborer all your life, be a laborer. Buy you some tools, learn a trade and you’ll move up and make more money.” That was my incentive – him pushing me to where I eventually ended up taking his job when he left for another opportunity. I stayed with them for eight years until I got an opportunity to set up airports for the airlines. I got to spend time in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York – it was a lot of fun. I ended up leaving that job to come here.
Trehel: Are you from the Upstate?
Stan: I’m originally from Michigan. My parents moved here after they visited on vacation and fell in love with South Carolina. I wanted to get off the road, so I came up here to work for a company in Anderson.
Trehel: What type of work did you start off with when you came to work at Trehel? How many years were you a superintendent before you started your career at Trehel?
Stan: I started working at Trehel as a superintendent. My first experience running a job was when I was 24. I started out running structural concrete high rise jobs. It was probably another eight years or so before I started managing the jobs from start to finish, though.
Trehel: How long have you worked at Trehel?
Stan: This month it will be 22 years.
Trehel: Is there something you wish you would have known about the construction industry earlier in your career?
Stan: If I had all to do over again, I would have probably gone into more of a general contractor role, managing a project from start to finish. Instead, I initially pursued a career in the structural concrete industry as a subcontractor.
Trehel: What do you enjoy doing off the clock, when you’re not working for Trehel?
Stan: I love to fish. I’ll go anywhere and everywhere to fish. I enjoy visiting different states to fish and checking out what wildlife resources those states offer. I also love working outside.
Trehel: What types of fishing do you do?
Stan: All types of fishing – I just did a trip where I went 220 miles off-shore for three days. I had a blast. I don’t want to do it again, but I had a blast. I like going to Louisiana, fishing at Lake Hartwell or really going anywhere that I can be in a boat.
Trehel: What’s the biggest fish you have caught?
Stan: When I was young, I caught a thirty-two pound Gruber that kind of got me hooked. Also, I won $118 for the big fish pot when I was fourteen. The biggest bass I have caught was in Florida; it weighed 11 lbs., four oz.
Trehel: Give us a quick overview of the Camperdown Office Building One project?
Stan: It’s a multi-story office structure on a very small job site. The building has three floors of office space with plans for a future restaurant and retail spaces on the first level.
Trehel: If someone was getting into the construction industry, what would you recommend to them?
Stan: I would recommend that they go to a trade school. It’s hard getting into the industry as a laborer. You got to come in with an attitude that you are going to advance yourself, get better and make more money. It’s hard with the lack of vocational schools though. When I was younger, if you wanted to go build houses, they had a school for that. If you wanted to work on machines, they had a school for that. They had classes for almost anything you wanted to do.
Trehel: What’s your favorite thing about working at Trehel?
Stan: Our people and the owners.