PMA People

Q&A with our People

Don Fredlund

, Phoenix

What current project(s) are you working on?
Expert Assignments:
• Claims on 3 separate construction contracts associated with the $2.6B Toronto Spadina Subway Extension Project located in Toronto, CN
• Claim on the $140M JW McCormack Post Office/Courthouse Repair and Alternations Project located in Boston, MA
• Claim on the BP-432 (Pods C and D) Baggage Handling System Expansion Project located in Orlando, FL
• Insurance Claims on the $1B East End Crossing Project located in Indiana/Kentucky
Contract Specifications Upgrade:
• Santa Clara Valley Water District

What is your career highlight so far?
Becoming part of PMA leadership when I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to start our “west coast presence”; I also got involved with corporate matters. That met one of my key career goals and reasons I came to PMA after spending many years working for large contracting firms (i.e., being one of thousands). It gave me much more opportunity to grow professionally in all aspects of management and have a say/control over my career while I helped a small company at the time to grow to what PMA is today.

It’s all about the people one works with and it’s rarely the result of one person’s efforts. That said, I have numerous highlights as an expert where a team of PMA professionals’ technical excellence resulted in a “win” via a ruling by a judge or jury that went the way we saw it, and our client was extremely happy with the result. Perhaps the most notable on a personal note was our firm’s expert work in South Carolina for a major pharmaceutical client that involved over a 2-3 year period and as many as 25 PMA employees flying back and forth to South Carolina from many offices. Testifying in a 100-year-old courthouse in the “south” (velvet curtains and all) was surreal! Plus, we got the ruling we and our client hoped for…can’t beat that. It was a complete and total team effort by many PMA employees who sacrificed a lot personally, a shining moment for PMA, and an opportunity to work with one of the country’s premier construction law firms.

What is something new or innovative happening in your industry?
While this is not so new or innovative relatively speaking in PMA standards, there is a continued trend toward the use of project delivery systems that allow for public and private clients to pick contractors on a qualifications basis or not strictly on price. Being the relationship firm we are and what we have to offer our clients technically, that trend is right up our alley. Throw increased use of and appreciation by some large players in the industry of NetPoint® and GPM® (PMA’s proprietary scheduling software) into that mix and we (meaning PMA, the consultants, contractors, and owners) will all benefit from that in the future.

What university or college did you graduate from?
Michigan Technical University located in Houghton, Michigan, where they only allow in and train technically smart and physically tough engineers as evidenced by PMA’s tendency to hire lots of people from there, including some of its best leaders.

What is your favorite local establishment/feature (restaurant, museum, stadium, etc.)?
I have eaten at so, so many restaurants in the U.S. and a few international spots (e.g., Mexico City and Shanghai, China) over the last 30 years and have flown into/out of every major airport in the U.S. it seems. Impossible to pick a favorite. Now if the question was the most unusual food eaten, that is an easy one. In a nice, quaint, and upscale restaurant just outside of San Francisco, one time I had “pigeon legs.” Yes, we were with a client. The things one does for client relationships. Guess what? It tasted like…wait for it…chicken.”

Fun Fact!
Now that is a good question. My wife of almost 44 years says we really have only been married 22 years because I am gone half of the time. That is technically not true, but one reason I have been married that long is because I have learned not to argue technicalities.

Looking back to the major pharmaceutical client assignment described above, after testifying on the witness stand and in response to some question from the judge, I actually said, “This was fun.” He laughed and gave me a strange look. Go figure.