Justin Conaway is Terra-Petra’s Vice President and General Manager. He began his career with Terra-Petra on June 28th, 2004 after earning his Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State University Northridge. Justin has worked his way up through the ranks at Terra-Petra to the reach the position he is at today. Justin was one of the first Deputy Methane Barrier Inspectors in the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) having performed thousands of hours of inspection in the field. Along with this he’s also certified by the Los Angeles Refinery Safety Overview (RSO) and is 40 Hour HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) trained. As such he has also conducted hundreds of methane soil gas investigations and soil vapor surveys. Justin is a qualified inspector for all major methane membrane/barriers and is recognized as an approved designer by numerous gas detection manufacturers. Though he doesn’t perform much of the field work anymore, this experience has provided him with a tremendous foundation in which he is able to carry-out his VP and GM duties.
A typical day on the job for Justin involves a lot of time spent in the office. As the company’s General Manager, Justin keeps busy answering phone calls, reviewing and responding to clients’ emails, and corresponding with project managers and inspection supervisors on the current state of affairs. Justin is responsible for responding to all requests for proposals and for preparing bids on projects. As such, he maintains a steady inflow of work about which the company revolves.
Justin enjoys the dynamic aspect of his job. No two project requirements are ever the same, and Justin appreciates this ever-challenging aspect. He believes that there is always something new to learn and enjoys tackling challenges with the camaraderie of Terra-Petra’s team. To improve the functionality within Terra-Petra and help with its expansion, Justin envisions dividing the company into different service providers and electing a manager for each division. He thinks these managers should each be provided a separate office and offered incentives to work on growing their division. Justin looks forward to Terra-Petra’s business model continuing to grow on a national level. In order to get to this level, he will make sure that the Terra-Petra team incorporates even higher levels of efficiency i.e. writing reports, processing plans, meeting deadlines, and eliminating “busy work.”
Through his years of experience, Justin’s learned some worthwhile lessons. One of these is that invoicing clients is rarely an enjoyable process. On a more serious note, he’s learned to be cautious with what is said to people and with who to confide in. He’s also realized the tremendous value of maintaining accurate records and documentation of events. Two lessons particularly valuable within Terra-Petra’s industry are those of the significance of basing designs on prescribed codes, and being honest and loyal with every client. As the company does business within a small industry segment, Justin realizes that it is crucial to build and maintain trust with all parties that you come in contact with.
Justin notes some of his most memorable moments with Terra-Petra as experiences during which he spent much more time in the field. He’s seen workers in the field solving problems creatively (using belts as construction tools), and witnessed heated discussions both on the field and at LADBS. He attributes Hugh Avery, Terra-Petra’s founder and former owner, with coaching him on how to carry himself in such situations. Yelling very rarely helps to resolve anything. The key to success essentially is to stay calm, not get caught up in the emotions of the situation and just address resolving the problem in a professional manner.
Nonetheless, as a sports fan, Justin recalls his encounters with athletes as his most memorable moments. Justin met Kobe Bryant outside of Starbucks, and had the opportunity to greet Kareem Abdul-Jabar. Also, while inspecting the gas detection system at the Toyota Sports Center, he had the opportunity to meet Anze Kopitar, the alternate captain and center for the LA Kings, during a practice session. He credits all these experiences to his involvement with Terra-Petra.
During his time away from work, Justin’s family keeps him occupied. He’s been married to Robin Conaway since 2007, and together they have a young family. Calvin, his son is a toddler at 2 ½ years old, and his daughter Emma is just 6 months old. Their two dogs and one cat can also not be forgotten. Justin keeps himself and his family active by exercising, hiking, traveling, and fishing when the opportunities present themselves. He particularly enjoys rough-housing and watching baseball with Calvin. Additionally, Justin has included his family in his constant search for the best pizza place in the world. The current leader is the margarita pizza from L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples Italy. Closer to home he can’t resist a Sausage and Garlic pizza from Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock.
In the not-so-distant future, Justin aspires to become as knowledgeable as possible in the Environmental Engineering field by learning from other professionals around to be able to provide the best service imaginable. He is excited to see his efforts to promote Terra-Petra’s expansion into several national branches.
It seems inevitable that with Justin’s leadership and dedication that Terra-Petra has a bright future ahead of it.
As Terra-Petra’s Principal Engineer, John Conaway provides all professional engineering services, support and counseling. No set of finalized plans leaves the office without his approval, signature, and professional engineering stamp.
John earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Utah State University. Since 1968 he’s earned Civil Engineering licenses in 7 states across the U.S. including California, New York, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan. His licenses for North Carolina and Nevada have run dormant. Needless to say, this is an impressive career achievement and brings invaluable experience to Terra-Petra’s team.
A typical day on the job for John includes meeting with clients, collaborating with the design division, and reviewing environmental reports. He’s also actively involved in researching new products to keep the company current in an evolving industry. John gets a great deal of satisfaction from the engineering aspect of his position. Like any true engineer he enjoys seeing projects come to life and being put to practical use.
Prior to working with Terra-Petra John found employment primarily in the governmental sector. As Terra-Petra is within the private sector he’s noted some major differences. However, throughout his career he’s learned important lessons that can be applied in any sector of Civil Engineering. One of these is to always present a good-looking set of plans – this is something which Terra-Petra takes great pride in. Another lesson John’s learned over these last 45+years is that communication is paramount; good communication between a client and the design team ensures a facilitated and thorough design process.
John hopes to continue active involvement with Terra-Petra in the coming years as the company expands. As it expands, he believes Terra-Petra can benefit from developing a higher level of organization. This includes not losing sight of quality services and the constant necessity of implementing quality assurance/control procedures when reviewing plans. John also thinks that at some point it may be necessary to put one person in place for the single purpose of quality control.
In lieu of all the positive aspects of an engineering career, John has found the occasional deposition and litigation duties to be almost unbearable. As the process can drag on for months, he’s discovered that being called upon as an “expert witness” for testimony is not as captivating as it sounds. Furthermore, he wishes more people outside the industry valued the effort spent on engineering projects and that there was more widespread appreciation for engineering in general.
Away from work, John enjoys frequent traveling to his favorite locations of the mountainous West, Europe, and the Caribbean. He prefers road trips and cruises, and not flying, thanks in part to new policies of the TSA. As a man with an enormous family, John is never alone on his excursions. He’s been married to his wife Judy for nearly 47 years and together they have 11 kids, 22 grandchildren (with another on the way) as well as 2 great-grandchildren. While John is a very proud granddad and great granddad, he also enjoys the company of his old gray house cat. All-in-all, John Conaway hopes that he can continue to spread his admiration of Civil Engineering to the younger generations of his family.
Fernando Monay began working with Terra-Petra in September of 2007 as a CAD drafter. Throughout the years he has also been trained and certified as a Deputy Methane Barrier Inspector (DMBI) and has performed many inspections with this certification.
Having dedicated more than 6 years to Terra-Petra’s drafting and inspection services division, Fernando has worked his way up to the position of Project Manager. Fernando holds an Associate in Science Degree in Architectural Design and Drawing from Rio Hondo College. Fernando’s certified to inspect and design for all Los Angeles City and County approved methane barriers. He’s also a certified inspector for various waterproofing barriers and retains a 40 Hour Hazwoper (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) certificate.
His responsibilities with Terra-Petra include managing the flow of the design process–from the time a proposal is signed to when the finalized sets of plans are approved. This includes constant communication with our clients and managing the Terra-Petra drafting team to make sure that all deliverable deadlines are met.
Fernando is also involved in all construction administration activities including reviewing and responding to Requests for Information (RFI), submittal review and responding to general field questions. When the inspection division is spread thin Fernando also assists with inspection duties as a registered DMBI. Along that vein, on a more humorous note, while conducting field inspections Fernando recalls seeing some rather colorful poetry written on a job site port-o-potty wall describing the activities that take place in said location. This had him laughing for days and as he says, some things can’t be unseen.
A typical work day for Fernando consists of responding to clients’ emails and phone calls, scheduling deadlines, coordinating with the design team and General Manager, and trips to the Los Angeles Department of Building Safety and other oversight agencies to deal with plan checkers to help bring plans through the plan checking process. The part of his job that Fernando enjoys most is the sense of responsibility that has been laid upon him to meet project demands and being a member of a successful team.
Fernando believes that Terra-Petra differs from his previous employer in that the company is much less political and “cutthroat.” He’s not in constant fear of being replaced or losing his job and enjoys the fact that Terra-Petra’s team willingly helps each other to succeed and get the job done. As Terra-Petra grows, he hopes that it will not lose sight of this small company mentality. To improve Terra-Petra as a company Fernando believes that better collaboration and cross-training between the design and inspection divisions should be established. This is a matter that we are looking to discuss.
One of the most important lessons Fernando has learned as a Project Manager is to respect everyone’s abilities and limitations. Additionally, he’s noted the importance of engaging and interacting with individuals appropriately – particularly “hot-headed” individuals.
In the next 5-10 years Fernando envisions himself still working for Terra-Petra and hopefully teaching AutoCAD courses at night. Fernando’s long-term aspirations include spreading his passion of designing through teaching, earning a Civil Engineering Degree from a university, and venturing from the environmental aspect to other aspects of the construction industry. When not at work Fernando is a family man. Married with 3 young children, he occupies his time doing anything and everything he can for his family. He’s also a video game connoisseur and enjoys keeping up with the latest technology.
Fernando has an engineering mind and has proven to be a hard worker that is eager to learn and understand anything he can about our industry. He is proving to be a strong project manager with an affinity for working synergistically with his drafting team to carry out all tasks that are assigned him. He also has any easy-going personality and a sense of humor that brings levity to even the most stressful situations and makes him well liked by the Terra-Petra team.