EMJ’s people are the building blocks of the company. Their personalities, skills and past experiences are large parts of what make the company great. We are proud of each member of the team and enjoy sharing their stories.
Misha Werntz, Level II Superintendent, didn’t have a traditional start in the construction industry.
After earning an International Business degree from John Brown University, Werntz joined EMJ as a Marketing Administrative Assistant in the Dallas office in 2012. After two years, then-President Burt Odom encouraged Misha to pursue work in construction operations. He accepted the challenge and transitioned into a role as a Project Engineer.
Werntz was immediately sent to Northaven, Conn., where the team was building a Cinemark movie theater—a fast-paced, three-phase project. It was during that 11-month project that he learned the importance of client relationships, dependability and learning as you go.
Team members on the Cinemark job, including project managers and superintendents, helped guide Werntz into his new role, but it wasn’t always easy.
“The transition from marketing to the field was tough. I got through it, but I’ve learned a lot from that. It forced me to find new ways to learn, and I’ve since been able to think proactively to prevent issues with each job that comes along.”
After three years as a Project Engineer, Werntz was promoted to Level II Superintendent, giving him the responsibility to help manage the project site. Since then, he’s worked on a Cinepolis in Euless, Texas, and he is currently building another Cinemark in New Caney, Texas.
For the future, Werntz’s goal is to develop into a lead superintendent role. “I’m ready to step into those shoes and learn to succeed in new opportunities.”
Werntz’s ability to build relationships with the EMJ team, those on the job site and with clients led to his promotion and is what Werntz believes is key to his continued career growth. He offers five lessons he has learned about building strong relationships with clients and teams:
1. Be yourself.
Don’t put on a mask; let the client discover who you really are. “If people don’t feel you’re being authentic, they won’t let down their walls. Open up yourself to other people.”
2. Find a mentor who can help you through good and bad.
Surround yourself with people who have been successful and learn from them. “I’m a strong believer in learning from other people. You can read everything you want on paper, but unless you apply it to real life, it’s not effective.”
3. Ask for guidance from your coworkers.
If you have a concern, somebody might have the same concern or life experience and be able to help you out. “They’ve most likely been through what you’re going through and can save you time and effort by sharing wisdom.”
4. Really listen to the client.
Listen to what they have to say, reflect on what they really mean and what they’re looking for. Don’t just pass off the work to someone else. “You can’t achieve a good client experience without being a servant.”
5. Think like your client.
That’s the best way you can deliver: think and know what the client wants. “Ask questions, be confident in what you do, listen, and seek out ways you can learn and improve.”
To learn more about EMJ’s work and career opportunities at EMJ, visit our Projects gallery and Careers page.