As Mike Bigsby prepares to retire after a fulfilling 43-year career, it’s clear that his impact on the company and the industry will be long-lasting. He joined WW Clyde after 20+ years at Kiewit with a desire to stay in the Utah market.
“Kiewit was stepping back a bit from Utah, and I really wanted to stay in the area,” Mike said. “I knew a lot of guys from WW Clyde because we competed with them frequently, so I reached out and got started with the company in 2003. It’s been a great ride ever since.”
From Civil Engineering to Construction Mastery
Throughout his career, Mike has seen and been a part of the remarkable evolution of the construction industry.
“How did I become part of this?” Mike said. “Fate must have predestined me for construction after coming from a central Idaho family of loggers, miners, and contractors.”
From his early years on the job to his current role as construction manager, his engineering background combined with his construction knowledge and innovative thinking has made him a great problem solver.
“I have been a microcosm of a General Contractor,” Mike said. “I’ve worked in various roles to construct nearly every type of heavy civil infrastructure, including more than 40 projects throughout the western United States that we use every day. I’ve helped build roadways, railroads, airports, earth dams, water and sewer pipelines, and water treatment plants. I have experienced mining coal, oil shale, salt, copper, molybdenum, beryllium, and gold while seeing the production of construction materials such as aggregates, pavement, and concrete.”
Sharing His Knowledge with Others
Apart from the actual construction process, Mike has enjoyed sharing his wealth of knowledge as a mentor.
“In recent years, I’ve felt a desire to pass along as much of my knowledge as I can,” Mike said. “I’ve learned a lot of things in life and in this industry, starting with how to navigate this ever-changing business. There are a few key traits to adopt:
- Ability to accept change
- Ability to learn new things
- Ability to adapt
- Being pragmatic
- Striving to improve!
- And always moving forward without dwelling on the past.”
A significant aspect of Mike’s career has been adapting to the rapid technological advancements in the industry.
“The evolution of technology in construction kind of blows my mind,” Mike said. “When I started estimating, everything took place with paper worksheets. Now you have software programs that do a lot of the work. We used to survey and stake everything out, and now you can fly in a drone and make an analysis of quantities in a matter of hours. It’s just incredible.”
Embracing WW Clyde’s Core Values
Mike resonates deeply with WW Clyde’s values of “We Value People” and “Always Give a Full Measure” as well as its mission statement of Building a Better Community.
“Valuing our people is key because it takes everyone to make our company work,” Mike said. “You’re just one small part of the company doing your best. And I really believe that we should always perform to the best of our abilities.”
Mike’s dedication to his work and the industry have not only advanced WW Clyde’s projects but have also left a mark on the people he’s worked with. Jeff Cochran, Vice President of Preconstruction, would agree.
“Very regularly throughout my career I’ve watched our employees, joint venture partners, and engineering firms request Mike’s help to solve their construction challenges,” Jeff said.
And as Mike now comes to an end of a fulfilling career of solving these challenges, he looks forward to the opportunities in store for those in the next generation of the industry.
“I have thought a lot about how the industry and the companies I have worked for have contributed to society and what my part has been in it,” Mike said. “Constructing stuff is exciting. It is surprising that people don’t recognize that the construction industry builds their infrastructure. We do build America! The opportunities are boundless if you stay in this field, and you will never be bored. The sky’s the limit.”