It's our 25th Anniversary! Celebrate with us!
25th Anniversary Spotlight Series
DIRECTOR OF QUALITY MIKE JOHNSON
Tell us how long you have been with RJM and how you started your career here?
This July, I will have been with RJM for 22 years. Before becoming a full-time employee, I had heard good things about RJM from a former superintendent, and I approached the company to learn more. Even though RJM at that time was relatively new and small, I decided to take a leap of faith and accepted a carpenter position. When I started, there was only about 50 office staff with approximately 60 people in the field. There was an initial trial period where I could prove my skill set as a carpenter. Before long, RJM was impressed and expedited my advancement to a superintendent role.
I started running projects in downtown Minneapolis for about a year and a half, finishing shortly after September 11, 2001. I began my long tenure as superintendent for Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park. This was a position I enjoyed for 15 years. Eventually, as RJM grew, we began to recognize the importance of creating a position dedicated to quality control. After transitioning from Methodist Hospital back to the RJM office, I took on the QA/QC director role in the fall of 2018.
What are your three largest or most high-profile projects during your tenure, and what was the most memorable aspect of working on those jobs?
My most memorable projects include:
The Methodist Hospital and the expansion project in 2015. Spending 15 years at Methodist Hospital and the number of projects we completed for the organization, I loved knowing that we were making the community a better place and enjoyed the client relationships and mentors I gained while working there. A floor replacement at Northfield Hospital in 2008. This project was memorable in the way that we were able to do this project because of the intentional relationships that were created within the city. Another memorable project was the bidding phase for the the Hennepin County Library in Hopkins. Competing against 29 other general contractors, we won the job!
How has working at RJM contributed to your professional development goals?
RJM has supported my career goals, including continuing education and professional development. One long-held dream was to complete my four-year degree in construction. I had the support of RJM, including all upper management (especially co-founder and ex-COO Joe Maddy) which was an encouraging experience. The desire to complete my university education was rooted in showing my family and daughters that it is essential to do, no matter at what age it happens. I received my degree in 2021.
In what way do you think your role has contributed to the success of RJM?
I hope that by maintaining a good relationships in the industry along with the integrity to do the right thing – no matter what – I have helped contribute to RJM’s brand and success. As a superintendent, I helped build, maintain, and enhance client relationships. In my current role, I contribute to overall project success by working with design partners to ensure that things get adequately built with the highest quality work. I am always willing to discuss with others and help mentor and support where I can, no matter their role.
What is the most significant change you have witnessed about RJM over the years? Or, what is the thing that has always remained the same?
RJM has always had a strong family- and community-like feel, and it’s always been good company to work for. Another consistent aspect is the growth of RJM at a moderate speed instead of trying to balloon up and be the biggest contractor. Additionally, RJM has shown the ability to attract and retain good people. I have felt that RJM is an organization willing to listen to you as a team member. There is always an open door and a safe environment to share your thoughts.
What does it mean to surpass client expectations?
Going above and beyond and doing more than what is expected! One example is Methodist Hospital’s window installation on the main tower. For a considerable time, we went back and forth with the client on the best solution. Eventually, our recommended method played out and resulted in cost savings. Our number one priority is always to look out for our clients, and that means being their advocate as well as overall project partner.
Any testimonials or kudos from clients or project partners?
One of our main partners at Methodist Hospital, Bob Riesselman, told me that our work there is “Continuing to better the community by being an important wellness resource and providing the spaces for new advanced medicine and technology.” One fond memory is when I received a Christmas card from Bob with a kind message and a gift card for my wife. I am proud to have developed this kind of relationship with a client, and I am glad to have been a vital member of the RJM project team at Methodist Hospital.