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#Duckumentary - Jason Merlo

Today we speak with EDA Project Manager, Jason Merlo!

What did you do before your time at EDA?
I bounced around a bunch prior to being with EDA. Over the last 9 years I went from being a Project Engineer for a small residential contractor, to a Project Manager for a GC, to a Quality Control Manager for a modular construction company, to a Project Manager for a light gauge steel prefab framing company.

What brought you to the construction industry?
Growing up, I always had an eye for drawing/sketching buildings and was always interested in hands on work, specifically carpentry. I originally thought that I wanted to be an architect, but after two years studying architecture, I realized that was not what I wanted to be and made the transition into construction management.

Can you briefly explain what you do at EDA?
As a Project Manager, I oversee all the aspects of the project from the time it gets handed off from estimating to the closeout phase. This includes creating submittals, purchase orders, schedules, budgets, coordinating with the GC and other trades, managing an APM, coordinating with our field crew, and everything in between.

What are some things that most people don't know about you?
I am a professional arm-wrestler and a diehard fisherman. Under typical circumstances, I am a quiet person, but if you start asking me questions about those two things, you will understand the passion I have for those two sports.

If you weren’t in the construction industry, where would you be today?
I would either be chasing my dream making a life from fishing a reality, or I would be a fireman so that I could look forward to an early retirement.

If you could work in any other trade or department here at EDA, where would you be?
If I could in any other trade or department at EDA, I’d be in the field as a Carpenter. I enjoy being outside, and I get gratification from building things while seeing them come together. Hands on work is very fulfilling.

What is the biggest challenge you've faced in work? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I have faced in work is self-criticism. There has been no bigger critic than myself on my performance. I deal with this daily and it is a challenge that I am always working on.

What has been the best part about your experience working with EDA?
EDA has a Culture Team and a Fun Committee. They are dedicated to making EDA a great place to work, and it shows. The vibe overall is much more uplifting, and everybody here is willing to help others at any time. EDA is unlike anything I have seen in the construction industry… companies like this must be few and far between. Here at EDA, we are breaking the “norms” and getting rid of the stereotypes that are typically associated with the construction industry.

What is your favorite EDA value, and why?
My favorite EDA value is Demonstrate Humility. The reason why I put this specific value on a pedestal is because I believe this has allowed me to grow as a Project Manager here at EDA. When I first started working here, I really knew nothing about roofing or wall panels. I had to put ego aside and always ask for help. I truly think people respect the fact that I was not trying to make believe I knew anything. I had to rely on the expertise of others to succeed. If you have the correct mindset and approach, you can go far by learning from others… plus it makes them feel valued for coming to them for advice. It is a win-win for the whole EDA team and demonstrates the importance of teamwork.