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Sam Sheehan shares career path and professional growth after five years at RJM Construction

October 20, 2022

25th Anniversary Spotlight Series


How long you have been with RJM and how did you start your career here?

I started my career in 2012 working for a Denver-based general contractor. After six months as a project engineer, I jumped at an opportunity to become a superintendent. I developed skills in the field that ranged from subcontractor coordination to full-on construction sequencing and scheduling. After nearly two years as a superintendent, at the recommendation of my mentor, I shifted my focus toward project management where I applied my knowledge of the field to business and management.

In 2016 I relocated to Minnesota to be closer to family and began establishing long-term roots in the Minneapolis market.  I was very fortunate to come across an opportunity at RJM Construction where I immediately felt that I was surrounded by a supportive and fun team that would provide a solid structure for continued growth both personally and professionally. Since joining RJM, I have been able to work on a variety of corporate, community, and healthcare projects.

What has your career path looked like at RJM?
  • Started as a Project Manager in July 2016.
  • Left RJM to explore another opportunity in December 2020.
  • Returned to RJM as a Project Manager II in July 2021.
  • Promoted to Senior Project Manager in February 2022.


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?

RJM Construction – Golden Valley, MN

This project was unique because of the intensity I felt as all my accomplished peers watched me complete a project to directly benefit RJM. To add to that, our “client” was Bob Jossart, the owner of RJM Construction! The most memorable part was being able to work alongside so many of the leaders at RJM throughout the construction process – most notably, working with now Retired General Superintendent, Bill Brickzen.

WeWork – Columbus, OH

This project was my first time working out of state. It included two separate project locations as well as very aggressive schedules. This involved significant efforts in finding, interviewing, and qualifying local subcontractors. The permitting processes and legal procedures varied greatly from my previous experience in Denver and Minneapolis. Communicating with the team back in Minneapolis while in Columbus was a challenging, but fun, exercise to put our communication skills to the test.

North Metro Range Regional Public Safety Training Facility – Maple Grove, MN

So far this is my favorite project to work on, and it is slated for completion this fall. The project involved two building additions totaling 33,150SF plus a complete renovation of their existing 21,000SF facility. Within the additions and renovation included ground improvement systems (rammed aggregate piers), a new twelve-lane 50-yard range, virtual reality training simulator, mats training room, two-level reality-based training area, and a considerable exterior training space that has been programmed specifically to meet the needs of the police force.

How has working at RJM contributed to your professional development goals?

RJM has always been supportive of my professional development. We are offered and strongly encouraged to take advantage of continuing education programs, courses, and certifications as one avenue to learn and think critically. I have attended several helpful courses on management styles and approaches at the U of M through this program and have felt the investment in my professional growth through the project experience RJM has afforded me.  RJMs ability to recognize my strengths and abilities and place me on projects of varying types and complexities continues to expose me to new learning experiences and opportunities, while ensuring I am confident and successful.

In what way has your role contributed to the success of RJM?

Similar to how RJM has invested in my professional development, it has also given me the opportunity to participate in shaping the future of the company and the way we do business.  While my performance on projects contributes to the success of the company at a financial level, what I truly enjoy is having the opportunity to work with others on making improvements to how we operate (internally and externally), how we implement and execute training, and ultimately how we service our clients. I have been able to do this by being a member of the processes and procedures committee, RJM operations software committee, and Procore implementation team.

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?

Exceptional culture and community of people – much more than a workplace.

What does it mean to you to surpass client expectations?

Exceeding a client’s expectations is not only delivering a project on time and within budget. What I consider exceeding our client’s expectations is providing an experience that they enjoy by keeping them involved in decision making, sharing exciting milestones, and giving them an opportunity to feel a sense of achievement when the project is delivered on time and within budget.

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