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Waltz New Team Member Spotlight: George Canez

Waltz is excited to introduce a few new full-time employees this summer. As a small business, any new employees make a large impact. This is the first installment in a series, with each new employee featured in a different post.

Waltz is a constantly growing and evolving company. Recently, Waltz has been hiring employees to help keep up with the company’s growth. One of these new hires is Financial Estimator George Canez. He shares about his extensive experience in construction management, “I have been [working in general contracting] since I was 21. I’ve always been in estimating but have held some other roles like assistant superintendent, director of pre-construction, or oversight of estimating services.”

“The first project I was part of was a design/build project with a completely custom Japanese restaurant in Scottsdale. It was unique because it had jellyfish tanks, high-end finishes, and lots of intricate details. It made me understand what a long lead time item is and how elaborate projects require pedantic attention to detail. I was very lucky to have such a complex job in the beginning. It provided me with extensive experience in a project driven by design. Although I didn’t know to appreciate it until later.”

As expected, George has experienced the many facets of general contracting throughout the 2 decades he has spent in the field. George expands on his diverse experience, sharing a different side of his story, “On the other hand, I have been a part of teams building hotels up to 300 million dollars where size and repetition were emphasized. These types of projects require a different skill set: the drawings are so detailed but with high repetition so the plan is broken out into zones.”

In addition to artistic and commercial projects, George has participated in community restoration projects. He says, “Non-profits have been big for me because work is unique to where you’re involving yourself in the community which has always been a goal and dream of mine. For non-profits, I have done remodels of existing buildings, ground-up for offices, and re-built homes. I have also done retrofit for community service programs for battered women, homeless shelters, and recreation centers for underdeveloped neighborhoods.”

When asked why he decide to come work for Waltz, George explained, “I met Matt and he spoke about Waltz’ mission statement and values. We talked about where he has been and where he wants to go. Big companies offer multiple things like cars or allowances but ultimately working with someone who cares matters more to me. The values and on-to one that you get with companies like Waltz are unparalleled. It was really a no brainer for me. I have spent a lot of my career with the ‘big guys.’ However, we share everything we win in this office equally. This supplied good opportunities to get to next level and build legacy.”

George delves into what he wants to add to Waltz, saying, “I want to embrace what we have now and make sure that we grow to a level of not just what's within these walls. I want to walk out of the door and know that as we have grown, we went from working on schools to doing much more because the availability for growth is there. I want to be able to look back and be proud of our work. and want people to drive on the freeway and see logo and think, ‘I want to work with those guys.’ I want Waltz to be on top of the innovation, which, in our industry in especially important. I see us being above the curb and leading in technology and all facets of what we do--in estimating, accounting, coordination, everything needs to be cutting edge and innovated. If we do not move with the times we will be nothing but history.”

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Summer Intern Thrives at Waltz Construction

This summer, Waltz welcomes rising college freshman Emma to our team. Waltz wants this experience to be rewarding and educational, so Emma is tasked with many unique duties that help her to learn more about construction management. Most of all, Emma enjoys developing the company website. She says, “All of what I do is interesting and engaging, but I love to work on the website because I have never done something similar to it before. I am beginning to learn CSS and have coded a few sections by hand. It is challenging but definitely worth it when you get to see the final product.” Updating the website is one of the very first things Emma wanted to do when she came to Waltz.

Along with other tasks, Emma frequently files and records financial information, coordinates with subcontractors to complete assignments, and helps manage projects. Working at Waltz is Emma’s first introduction to general contracting. There have been a few challenges on the way. She says, “I think the most difficult part of the job is learning all of the terminology and what context it is used in. A few weeks ago I didn’t know what a pre lien, workers comp, audit, subcontractor, and many other things were. I am very grateful for the people who are teaching me about these topics and those who give me opportunities to grow.”

She appreciates the opportunity to work at a small business which also has extensive experience in their field. She says, “I’m also learning a lot about business management, which is something I am interested in. It’s great to see it at such a personal level. From figuring out where old files are to knowing how to properly contact subcontractors, I am getting to practice life skills which I will use in any job in the future.” Emma plans on majoring in public policy and getting a certificate in developmental psychology at Princeton University.

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