10 Questions for Carlos Garcia
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! To celebrate, we’re sharing interviews with Hispanic leaders from across Northwest Pipe Company, as they discuss their experiences and consider what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them.
10 Questions for Carlos Garcia
Carlos Garcia is the Senior Operations Manager at our engineered steel water pipe plant in Tracy, California. Starting out as a student engineer, his early interest in the field has grown into a 25+ year career in engineering, manufacturing design, and operations management. In his current role, Carlos lends his experience and leadership to a committed team of nearly 70 talented individuals, overseeing daily operations and ensuring quality performance and output at the Tracy facility.
1. What is your job title and how long have you been with Northwest Pipe Company?
My job title is Senior Operations Manager, and I’ve been here for 25 years.
2. Describe the journey leading to your current position?
While attending college, I was hired as a student engineer at the Ameron International Engineering Development Center to develop fiberglass pipe (Ameron was acquired by NWP in 2018). I then moved to their Corporate Research & Engineering group where I designed and implemented equipment that manufactured the company’s products.
I moved into operations in 2016 and have worked all around the country and in Mexico. I have been in my current position for 3 years.
3. What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
The most exciting thing about my job is that no pipe project is the same. Whether it be a $25K or $10M project, each presents unique challenges that require continual evaluation to produce a quality product and meet our customers’ requirements.
4. Name two things that always brighten your day— one at work and one outside of work?
At Work: I really enjoy the people I work for and the people that work for me. Being surrounded by equally committed individuals is important to me.
Outside Work: Watching my children grow to become responsible, productive citizens of society. Even though they are young, they are on the right path.
5. The theme of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month is Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope. How does this theme of resilience and hope resonate with you?
My parents emigrated from Mexico in the late 1950s with the hope of better opportunities. Their lasting resilience to the present day is a theme that strongly resonates in my family and has been passed on to their grandchildren. Working both smart and hard so that subsequent generations are better off than the previous is a prevailing mindset.
6. Which current or historical figure of Hispanic Heritage do you admire most for their leadership, contributions, or service to others and why?
There is no historical figure of Hispanic Heritage in particular that I admire. However, I do appreciate that the US has been willing to accept immigrants who had the courage to leave their homeland in hopes of a better life, and who contribute to a prosperous future for this country.
7. Name someone in your life who inspires you and why?
I have had a couple of mentors that made an impact in my professional life over the last 25 years, but my parents and brothers have been the most influential. Being the fifth boy of six, I was always surrounded by older individuals that gave plenty of “tough” love to make sure I stayed focused. I am grateful and lucky to have those people in my personal and professional life.
8. What advice do you have for individuals entering your profession?
My advice is to work hard and continue to learn. Take advantage of opportunities to grow so you can pass on your knowledge to others. Most importantly, respect others.
9. Are there any family traditions significant to you in celebrating your heritage?
I am lucky to have developed a mix of traditions from my heritage and from being an American. All US traditions have a Mexican flare in my family. Some traditions that we celebrate are Día de los Muertos, with Christmas and Easter holding more of a religious significance.
10. What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Hispanic Heritage Month is a reminder of where I come from. It means an appreciation of my heritage and of my parents’ hard work to provide me with better opportunities than they had. I am proud to be Hispanic and have instilled the same pride in my children.