Letter from the O’s: Jason Travelstead

Letter from the O’s: Jason Travelstead

As I watched the Super Bowl recently it struck me how much has changed in all of our lives since the last time the game was played. The pandemic has forced us to retool the ways in which we go about working, learning, eating, and playing together. Words like “quarantine” and concepts like “social distancing” have become unwelcome but necessary realities for us all. Some of us are mourning the unexpected loss of loved ones. Others have had their livelihoods impacted. In this context, the big game pales in significance, but the planning and perseverance that went into making the event happen in a time of pandemic are instructive reminders that businesses of all types need to be adaptive and resilient in the face of adversity.

It’s with that in mind that I reflect on the creativity and determination O&G’s employees have shown in helping our clients and customers realize their goals. Over the past year that has often meant rapidly adapting our practices so that our clients can successfully adapt their own. Whether it was constructing temporary clinical spaces for Norwalk Hospital to handle the surge in hospitalizations last spring (see our lead story), or implementing new virtual methods for our lean planning process for vertical construction, our people leaned into adversity and provided quality outcomes.

That is certainly true of the team constructing the re-alignments and improvements to the Charter Oak Bridge and Interstate 91 corridor (see page 8). O&G’s joint venture with Barletta was always going to require rigorous planning and execution since the work will happen day and night for three years. Those efforts were intensified when various work practices were altered to provide for greater social distancing amongst the trades people. Even so, the team has managed to beat major milestones and achieve the kind of success O&G clients have come to depend upon. The same can be said of our mason supply stores and showrooms, our plants and our quarries. Leadership teams throughout those operations brainstormed and implemented engineering controls to make our people and our customers safer and more comfortable when entering our facilities.

To close I’d like to thank the whole O&G family for the tremendous efforts they put in every day to make our clients and customers successful. I’d like to give particular recognition to our Safety Department. They have provided leadership and advice to our operations teams in a constantly changing environment and have consistently helped to make us better. Finally, I’d like to thank our customers and clients for giving O&G the opportunity to help them adapt to their circumstances by improving their built environments, pandemic be damned.

Yours with gratitude and respect,
Jason Travelstead, Vice President, Building Group