CSI is pleased to recognize the 2018 CSI Award Winners. Recipients will be honored during the CSI Honors and Awards Ceremony at CONSTRUCT 2018 in Long Beach, CA, Thursday, Oct. 4th. You can register to attend the ceremony in person here.
Michael G. Young, CSI, CCCA will be honored as a member of the Class of Fellows at the ceremony. Here, he discusses what the award means to him, and how CSI has impacted his life and career.
What does being a member of the 2018 Class of Fellows honorees mean to you?
In one word…humbling. I look at the character and achievements of past and current Fellows, and am truly honored to now be counted among them. The class of 2018 is additionally special to me, because I share this honor with two colleagues. Cynthia Belisle and I are fellow board members for the CSINext Chapter, and Gene Fosheim and I have been working together as CSI liaisons to the Associated Schools of Construction Region 6 and 7 Student Competition for several years. Gene encouraged me to get involved with my alma mater’s academic development board which, I believe, is one of the factors that contributed to my receiving this honor.
As Fellowship acknowledges contributions to the advancement of construction technology, of all your contributions to CSI, which of them are most significant to you?
My most rewarding contribution is in education. In education, I have found the “fountain of youth.” Being an instructor for the Denver Chapter’s CDT preparatory course and working with students at the community college and university level is not only rewarding, it’s just plain fun. Teaching has also shed light on how much I don’t know. The balance between learning new things, exploring different approaches to a problem and teaching/sharing what I have learned (mostly through mistakes) is what keeps my career interesting and enjoyable. There is a saying that teachers don’t teach for income, they teach for outcome. I have found that to be true.
How has being a member of CSI informed your life and career?
CSI has informed my life by allowing me to feel useful, and has opened doors that have allowed me to spend quality time with the next generation of construction industry professionals. In my 25 years of being a member of CSI, I have had the pleasure of meeting people from all over the country, several of which have become friends. Attending chapter meetings, region conferences and CONSTRUCT has become more about spending time with my friends than about the ‘business’ of CSI.
CSI has informed my career by making me a valuable asset. Through certification, I have gained credibility. The relationships I have developed with my fellow members provides me with a huge library of trusted advisors I can call on to make good decisions and provide assistance to my fellow employees. CSI has also provided me the opportunity to grow and stay relevant. As a project manager for the City and County of Denver, I use CSI and the principals taught in the CDT every day. My job requires me to understand the entire facility lifecycle and the roles and responsibility of each project team member. My career is ‘project delivery,’ and CSI is a major contributor to my success.
What has been your favorite aspect of making your career in this field?
Design and construction is literally in my DNA. My father was a draftsman by day and a builder whenever he had time. My first job was setting nails at the age of 10 for my dad as we trimmed houses at night. The summer between 5th and 6th grade, my dad and I built our family cabin and by time I hit high school, I was drafting for a local home builder during the school year and building homes over the summer. After high school, I earned my degree in construction management and, after graduating, was able to be a part of building projects in Colorado, Massachusetts, and Maine. My favorite aspect of my career took root in 1991, when I was hired on as a project manager/owner’s rep for a utility company. Since then, I have been involved in the entire facility lifecycle, and not just construction. Being directly involved in a project from conception, through design and construction, and eventually during occupancy, is where I find my passion.
Is there anyone you would like to recognize for supporting the work you do?
This is a bit like one of those music award shows where, if you start naming people, you run on and on and still forget someone important. I do need to recognize my wife, who may not fully understand my CSI habit, but does fully support it. In 1992, Gary Poindexter encouraged me to join and get involved in the Denver Chapter CSI, and I was hooked. Since then, countless CSI friends and colleagues have encouraged me and supported me at the chapter, region, and Institute level. To all of them (and I hope you know who you are), I’d just like to simply say, ‘thank you!’
What advice would you share with newer CSI members about how to have a career as fulfilling as yours?
You get out what you put in. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. Get to know your chapter and your fellow members. Participate on committees and on the board. Look beyond your local chapter and participate at the regional and Institute level. The strength of CSI is its diversity. The greatest benefit of being a member is getting to know all the resources your fellow project team members offer and what resources you can offer them. Become a ‘trusted advisor,’ and never stop learning your and career will never go stale. Embrace and be part of the CSI experience.
Greg Markling told me once that FCSI actually stands for Forever Continued Service to the Institute. I think he’s spot on. Fellowship is not an award you get for successfully completing something extraordinary or finishing first. Fellowship is an honor placed on you by your peers and colleagues for making a difference in advancing CSI’s efforts. There is a lot to do. I look at this honor as a motivator and confirmation that my efforts are not wasted but are making a little difference. I don’t look at the honor of Fellowship as a thank you for a job well done because I’m not done.