As part of Columbia’s continued efforts to highlight employees who are celebrating a significant anniversary, we are pleased to feature Bill Carpenter, who has been with us for 15 years.
Bill was destined to work with numbers and in construction. His very first job was as a salesclerk in the hardware department at a local retail store. Flash forward, and he landed at Columbia in the estimating department, working in the Special Projects Division (SPD). Today, Bill has seamlessly transitioned into his current role as Columbia’s Director of Preconstruction and Estimating where he is further developing Columbia’s preconstruction approach and facilitating our team’s growth.
What was your path to finding a career in the construction industry?
I worked as a carpenter one summer with a friend of my woodshop teacher building a home on Willard Beach, South Portland, ME. That started my desire to be an architect designing homes. During high school, I learned that Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) had a program in architecture, so I applied to that single school and went to WIT for two-years before realizing that “Archi-torture” and design were not for me. As much as I thought I wanted to be a designer, I discovered that I really wanted to be a builder and switched into WIT’s Construction Management program for another two-years, and the rest is history. After graduation and before joining Columbia, I spent five-years at Payton Maine Corp.
What have you liked most about working at Columbia?
Columbia’s approach to its people has always made me feel that I was part of something so much bigger than myself -- the estimating department, our division of SPD, and Columbia as a whole. The executives (Bruce Gordon, Randy Lilly, Jim Marsh, Shaun Lover, Dave Stodden, Andrew Townshend, and Bill Aalerud) have always expressed genuine care for myself and my family, which goes a long way.
What lesson did you learn early on in your career that you still carry with you today?
I learned early on that there are always several ways to respond to or resolve challenges. I try to take the extra time to understand all the variables to a problem or situation, develop several potential solutions, and try to predict how each outcome will be received by the different parties involved. This extra level of care and thoughtfulness has always served me well.
My first day at Columbia, which I think was September 12, 2005, was a major life change for me to relocate to Massachusetts from Maine. It ended up leading me to where I am today.
How would your colleagues/clients describe you?
I hope that my colleagues/clients would describe me as thorough, thoughtful, caring, and a solid embodiment of the Columbia Way.
Three descriptors that best describe you?
Fisherman, Maple Sugar Maker, and Father.
Special talent or most useful skill?
I have the ability to recall weird project details, costs, etc.
Favorite summer or winter activity?
In the spring, I enjoy maple sugaring. I also enjoy fishing and bird hunting, and skiing (or attempting to ski the bunny slopes) with the family.
Favorite vacation spot?
Metallica concert at Foxborough with my little brother.
Two items on your desk?
Espresso/iced coffee and a laptop.
Cat or dog?
Dog. I have a French Brittany Bird Dog named Paige.
Morning person or night owl?
Both – I am up early and up late, depending on the activity.
For all of you who know Bill, he rarely takes a day off. So, when he is not in the office, you will likely find him enjoying New Hampshire or vacationing in Rangeley, Maine. Bill is a true team player, consistently going above and beyond for his clients and co-workers. His drive to continuously improve and push for collaboration have made him a natural leader within the company. Thanks Bill, for all your hard work!