Owner Rob Smith was July’s Face to Face feature for Nevada Business Magazine. Read the full feature below.
President, Montane Building Group, Inc.
Type of Business: Construction Contractor
Based: Reno, NV
Hails from: Simi Valley, CA
Years Co. has been in Nevada: 8
Years with Company in Nevada: 8
Employees with Company: 13
What career advice would you give to your teenage self?
I would tell myself, “Do not be afraid of stepping off the trail; you will find your way.” I would have started this business years before had the fear of the unknown not held me back.
I should note that my dad always told me to just jump off, I always land my feet; I did not believe him, and he was right.
What is an issue currently facing your industry an outside observer might not be aware of?
[Outside observers] are probably aware the prestige of tradesmen has been diminished over the years. People tend to look down on construction or trade workers. This was not so, even early on in my career, 20 years ago.
What people may not know is, this view of tradesmen is causing young people to stay away, leaving our future with severe manpower issues. There are great men and women working in the trades. They have great careers making good money, and they can drive by the projects they worked on and say, “I built that.”
What was the toughest lesson you’ve learned in your career?
I used to think that I should say yes to everything and worry about the no’s later. Sometimes you just have to say no. Sometime the projects you work the hardest to get, turn out to be the worst. It happens.
What work project are you excited about in the next few months?
I am excited about our Great Western Foils project in Spanish Springs. This company is from my hometown and moving their entire operations to Spanish Springs. Nearly all of their employees have decided to make Nevada their home.
The project is unique because it is our first project with Butler Manufacturing where we designed an industrial metal building to including lots of architectural details and systems that make this warehouse a very comfortable place to work for my fellow Simi Valley folks. I think the building is going to knock their socks off on how nice it will be when compared to what they are leaving behind.
What is your favorite thing about living in Nevada?
I love the mountains and the sense of home and belonging you feel here.