PMA People

Q&A with our People

Jose Santiago-Diaz

, Miami

What current project(s) are you working on? 

I am currently working on a program for Johnson & Johnson in Puerto Rico that involves several plants from Puerto Rico, the US, and Latin America. I have been charged with developing cost report analysis for various projects within the program.

Do you get to do something at work every day that you love? If so, what is it?

I love being part of a team and contributing to project success. Each project is different, and everyone has different challenges and opportunities every day that make you have to give your best. That aspect of being part of the success of a project is what motivates me most about my work. Seeing that project completed on time and on budget is like guiding that ship to a safe harbor.

What is your career highlight so far? (at PMA?) 

My highlight outside of PMA was working on a project to build a mine in the Dominican Republic for $3.6 billion. This was a very big project where I had to live in a camp inside the mine and work with people from different parts of the world.

For PMA, I had a startup project for Johnson & Johnson in Gurabo, Puerto Rico that on the first day went out of budget and we had to estimate what was left base zero in a time of 3 weeks.

What is something new or innovative happening in your industry that makes you excited about the future?

The pharmaceutical industry is going to undergo many changes, and I hope they will be positive since the security in our supply chain can return many companies to the American market and that can bring many projects.

What was a transformative project or challenge that you did at PMA?

My work on the Shire Biologics Biotech facility in Covington, GA was challenging. This project was a $1 billion biotech facility that was built on a 100-acre greenfield. I have worked in scheduling on some projects but my strength for most of my career has always been costs. But this project had to carry the schedule in NetPoint. We had to present the different critical routes and system schedules that would help the project team understand many things about the master schedule that they did not see quickly.

Who/what inspires you to push yourself? (Personal heroes, family members, ideas)

My personal hero is my father who taught me to always give the maximum in everything I do regardless of the result. He always taught me by his example to never give up and I have always applied that to my life.

What university or college did you graduate from?

Much of my youth was spent studying at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico where I earned two bachelor’s degrees in civil and industrial engineering. Many people tell me that I am a masochist for studying both! I studied the last one while working and it was very challenging.

What is your favorite local establishment/feature (restaurant, museum, stadium, etc.)?

I do not have a favorite restaurant, but I do like many restaurants in Puerto Rico that have a view or access to the sea. It does not matter if I visit it at night or during the day, but I love them. It is one of the things that I enjoy the most

Provide a fun fact about yourself?

Once working on a project in the Dominican Republic on my first day I met people from different countries such as Dominicans, Venezuelans, Mexicans, Chileans, Bolivians, Filipinos, Peruvians, etc. When I communicated with many Spanish-speaking people thinking that the words mean the same thing because of the same language, it was not like that. The first day after taking the new employee training, I was talking with a Dominican and he asked me what a ride is in my country but the word he use in my country is offensive and I immediately left annoyed, then talking with other people they explained and I realized that my reaction was not adequate. I understood that even if it is the same language, being from different countries, there are differences.

Do you have any secret talents?

In my youth, like any adolescent who likes music, I learned to play bass. Even today, I meet some colleagues from that time, and we play in some local bars recalling music from those days.

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