Justus, a Bellingham native who has worked as a carpenter in our community since 1997, first joined our team in 2000 as an Expediter/Laborer. At that time our strategy with materials, equipment and debris was to have one person – our Expediter – service all of our job sites with necessary materials, equipment and debris management. Since then our style has changed so that job sites are now independent of one another; the individual Project Manager leads this effort. And, over time, our projects have required less and less laborer work.
During this transition away from needing an Expediter and Laborer, with more time available to take on other tasks, Justus gained more and more carpentry experience. The result: during his his first 7 years working here he worked his way up our ranks, eventually becoming one of our Project Managers.
Talking about his first 7 years here Justus wrote this:
“I quickly fell in love with this company and its vision. I found peace in its simple approach to life and the pursuit of happiness.”
Then, in 2006 he decided to leave us in order to earn far more dough at a local refinery. Why?
“… Ben Franklin showed up with the dead Presidents and said they would fill my pockets if I’d empty my soul.”
A decade later, in January of 2016, he rejoined our team… back again as a Project Manager.
“I left the oil industry for a number of reasons, but ultimately it was for my health, both physical and mental.”
His mid-course correction from the refineries back to our company felt important to Rick on so many levels — personal; company branding; community wide; ‘jobs versus the environment’; the dangers of oil by rail — so Rick asked Justus if he’d be willing to write out this journey. You can read his profound message right HERE. This document became a blog post in The Hammer, as well as an opinion piece and Letter to the Editor in numerous publications around the county.
Rick was so sad to have lost him back in 2007, so the reunion was a joyous 2-way street!
“I am so lucky to have been able to rejoin this amazing company and its fantastic team. A-1 Builders is my work home — I love our vision, passion for our community, planet and fellow humans.”
Since his return here as a Project Manager he quickly graduated beyond managing single projects. He’s now one of our Estimators and he also helps manage the Project Managers who are leading their own projects.
Justus and his wife Demaris have 2 children and a small hobby farm in Bellingham. Their family enjoys time with their 20 chickens, 6 cows, 2 pigs, 3 dogs and 2 cats.
“My greatest joy is to spend time with my family within the community that both my wife and I have spent our lives. We enjoy time spent with our 2 amazing kiddos camping, swimming, biking and raising our family of animals.”
Time to play ‘Where’s Waldo?” Where’s Justus in this 2005 photo of our entire team?