NWP Employee Spotlight: Mark Daiber

Collage of Northwest Pipe Company products and employees working.>




NWP Employee Spotlight Series:
Illuminating Stories from the People of Northwest Pipe

At Northwest Pipe Company, our team members are the foundation of our success, and we take pride in our diverse and talented workforce. This series shares the inspiring stories and career journeys of employees from different departments and locations. In each installment, we interview one of our team members and delve into their experiences, challenges, and accomplishments, and discover why they choose to build their career with Northwest Pipe Company.

Spotlight on: Mark Daiber

Senior Plant Manager | Houston, TX

As the Senior Plant Manager at ParkUSA, Mark Daiber oversees the daily operations of the Houston and Ferris facilities. One of his key responsibilities is to anticipate and prevent problems that could potentially impact the customer. This requires a delicate balance of keeping product design feasible, accurately predicting lead times, ensuring availability of stock products and purchased components, maintaining staffing levels, and ensuring inventory accuracy. With almost four decades of experience in manufacturing, Mark is more than capable of handling the challenge. He takes pride in the process improvements he and his team have achieved together over the past 10 years, and in his role as motivator and mentor to his employees.

Mark Daiber, Senior Plant Manager | Houston, TX
Tell us about your education and career experience – how did you find your way to your current role?

I earned my Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Michigan, and since then, I’ve built my career in manufacturing. I have 38 years of industry experience, including 28 years in building materials (quarry products, ready mix concrete, landscape pavers, lightweight concrete panels, and asphalt resurfacing). Thirteen of these years were with Oldcastle. I started with ParkUSA 10 years ago as Concrete Production Manager. I’ve also held roles as General Manager of Concrete Products and Houston Plant Manager.

Looking back at when you first applied – what made you want to join ParkUSA?

At the time it was a smaller, family-owned business that allowed me to broaden my concrete production experience with precast products.

After 10 years, what makes you want to stay at ParkUSA?

What keeps me at ParkUSA is the ability to implement proven processes that help plants operate efficiently. That, and the opportunity to mentor and grow employees.

Mark walks the Houston Plant with ParkUSA Safety Manager Paul Quebedeux and Safety/Lean Coordinator Daniel Toohey.
What does a typical workday look like for you?

In a typical 10-hour day (that includes working through lunch), I spend about 60-70% of my time in the office. This would include computer time on UKG, SAP, and Smartsheet, monitoring Teams files for KPIs, answering emails, and working on production scheduling.

In Houston, I lead the daily 10:30 A.M. production meeting while reviewing the dispatch board. The remainder of the time, I am in the yard or the plant, handling 5S audits, checking inventory, and monitoring product set-up and completion. My new duties as Senior Plant Manager also include Ferris operations, so I am travelling weekly and spreading Houston’s best practices to the plant.

What do you look forward to each day at work?

I enjoy providing a daily trivia tidbit or “fun fact” at the daily production meeting.

Describe a favorite project you’ve worked on so far.

The development and implementation of a Kanban inventory system for Houston Water Distribution products. It has worked flawlessly for almost one year and will soon be set up in Ferris.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Manufacturing allows you to see the fruits of your labor, put on the ground, every day. I enjoy analyzing processes and data to implement changes that reduce COGS (cost of goods sold).

Precast wastewater pretreatment and stormwater drainage products being manufactured at the ParkUSA Ferris plant.
Which of the Northwest Pipe Company ACT Values (Accountability, Commitment, Teamwork) resonates most for you in your role?

Accountability. If you say you’re going to do it – DO IT. Take responsibility for your mistakes and don’t place blame elsewhere.

What stands out to you about the culture at Northwest Pipe Company?

The trust and freedom given to managers to make their own decisions.

What advice do you have for someone starting a career in your field?

Get your hands dirty. Learn some shop processes to appreciate what the employees do.

Precast Grease Interceptors in the Houston plant yard being loaded for delivery.
Is there someone at ParkUSA who has inspired or motivated you along your career journey?

I joined Park at age 51, and most of my inspirational mentors were earlier in my career. Now it’s my turn to be the motivator.

Name one thing that always brightens your day outside of work.

Coming home to my wife and cat. Going for a run. A victory by the Cleveland Browns.

What do you like to do with your time away from the plant?

I have been a competitive age group triathlete and runner for over 30 years. I’ve done 13 marathons, including three Boston’s. I enjoy spending time with my family boating on Lake Travis.