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Terra-Petra Spotlight… Justin Conaway

February 25, 2014
Justin Conaway - Terra-Petra GM/Vice President

Justin Conaway
Terra-Petra GM/Vice President

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.

Justin Conaway, Terra-Petra Environmental Engineering with Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

Justin with Kobe Bryant

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.

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