Pattern of triangle shapes

May 28, 2020

Employee Spotlight: Matt Novak

Leader of Project Management

Favorite quote:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right,” – Henry Ford.

“Never tell God how big your storm is, tell the storm how big your God is,” – Unknown but reinforced by my Mother and Aunt Janet.

Describe what you do in a day:

Manage projects while providing support to business development and operations.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Eighteen years together with my wife and the two awesome boys we are raising. It all started on a Northport Stowe farm driving tractors, prepping trees, and washing cherry tanks.

Why Triangle?

My career started at Triangle. I am fortunate for great past and present mentors that have inspired my passion for construction and achieving goals. I am also very proud to be associated with our field staff. They are some of the hardest working most dedicated people I have ever met.

How has your career grown since starting at Triangle?

I started eleven years ago as a project engineer hired by Jim Huyser out of engineering school. I am fortunate that today I am managing complex projects with a great group of front-line leaders and Senior Project Managers.

Favorite project you’ve worked on?

Two projects come to mind:

  • Rothbury Steel – Jeff Scott, Scott Whalley, Brian Akey, and I made a steel foundry fully operational with trace paper and German instructions. It was the coldest and hottest place I have ever been, all at the same time.
  • The Rowe – This was one of the most complicated projects I have been a part of. It was also the most transformative. We shored an eleven-story building, chopped the roof off and added a story, held back the Grand River, and restored hundred hear old terracotta/structure while keeping the Post Office happy. Jim Morsink, Steve Johnson, Steve Datema, Nicole Arthur, and team Brechting were a solid field team that made it possible.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Live outdoors during all four seasons. I like to cook, camp, garden, shoot guns, hunt, fish, ski, and enjoy everything else that involves woods and water. I also like fireworks.

How did you end up in construction?

I was headed into the medical field, and it didn’t seem to fit. My family has a history of fixing, constructing, and problem-solving so I gave engineering a shot.

What’s the last book you read?

Arsenal of Democracy. Everyone should read it and buy American cars.

What motivates you?

My wife, my family, the Holy Spirit, hard work, problem-solving, winning, and helping people.

What are you working on right now?

Signature projects include Western Michigan University’s Arcadia Flats and Ferris State University’s Center for Virtual Learning.

Hidden talents?

Constructing and paddling concrete canoes
Butchering meat
Meticulous lawn mowing