Employee Spotlight — Mike Neal, Senior Project Manager

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Mike Neal

Senior Project Manager, San Diego
40 Years with Layfield

Q: What is your role at the company, and how long have you been with us?
As a Senior Project Manager, I’ve overseen a variety of complex design-build construction projects throughout North America and internationally. I have a proven track record as one of the top field construction managers for floating cover and liner installations. My role involves managing and coordinating all aspects of work, from design to operation and maintenance. I have been a part of the Layfield team since 1982.

Q: What initially attracted you to join Layfield, and what has kept you here for the long term?
When I was a part-owner of CWN, we organized a tour of Canada’s western region to meet with companies in the same business as ours. During this tour, we discovered Layfield to be the top company in our industry and they showed interest in floating covers. We set up a meeting with Tom Rose, and one thing led to another. CWN and Layfield worked together on both sides of the border, and I went up to Nova Scotia to supervise a floating cover for Layfield. We never had problems and found that they were an honest, trustworthy company with vision and great leadership. Layfield purchased CWN in 2004 and I have been with them since.

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering a career in our industry?
It is essential to be a team player and be open to learning and adapting to different crew members and project conditions. On the construction side, it is crucial to balance your family life and be ready to travel to various project sites around the US. Although it is rare, we may send people to foreign countries. It’s important to remember that every project’s success is a result of a team effort. Therefore, one should always say, “We built this liner or floating cover project” instead of “I built this liner or floating cover project.”

Q: Can you discuss a recent accomplishment or contribution you’ve made that you’re particularly proud of?
The Hanford Nuclear site in Washington State completed four floating cover projects over four years. The projects involved replacing three mechanically tensioned float covers, rebuilding the tensioning system, and installing one new complete liner and mechanical floating cover system. The original three projects required radiation training and suiting up to work in a contaminated site, while the fourth project required no special training. The projects involved site visits, design, fabrication, coordination with government entities, and safe working in contaminated zones.

Q: Is there a particular hobby or interest you’re passionate about, and if so, what drives that passion, and how do you find time to pursue it alongside your career?
My wife Sandy and I are avid Oregon Duck Football Fans, season ticket holders and travel to away games. We seldom miss a home game. We also follow both men’s and women’s basketball. Family members live in our house in front of ours, which keeps life interesting. We enjoy our cats and have a saltwater aquarium, which is a world of its own.

Be sure to give Mike a follow on LinkedIn to stay updated on the latest Layfield happenings.

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