A Day in the Life of Adam Patton
PM Environmental’s Vice President sits down with us to provide a glimpse into his role, as well as reflect on how he got here.
Q: Name, Title, Location
I’m Adam Patton, Vice President. I’m based out of our Lansing office but travel between our Midwest locations based on client and project needs.
Q: Tell us a little about your role and what you do.
I develop strategy and oversee execution for our larger redevelopment, remediation, and site investigation projects that involve multiple service lines.
To put that into context, a large component of my role is to communicate internally with our staff, our clients, and to all of our external stakeholders what the project plans are, the status, and path to completion, so that our work stays on track with everyone “in the know.”
I interface frequently with regulators on sticking points that our industry faces, and how to streamline or work with those to ensure that our client’s projects move forward. I also work a lot with our staff as a mentor and coach to enhance technical and strategic planning skills.
Q: How would you explain what you do to someone who isn’t in the industry?
I get the “so what do you do” question a lot as it pertains to my role and PM and boil it down to “we facilitate the reuse and redevelopment of contaminated properties or those with environmental challenges.”
The reaction is always positive.
Q: What’s one word you would use to describe PM and why?
I see a lot of work issued by our competitors, other technical consultants, general contractors, and different regulatory divisions that really illustrate how common it is for those groups to work in a shortsighted manner, with regard only for their deliverable.
We’re different in that we focus on the endgame and coordinate our efforts internally and externally to meet that goal.
Q: How did you end up down this career path?
I started at PM in 2001, so have played a number of roles over the years, from field operations to management. I really enjoy problem solving and incorporated that interest along with experience I gained in the technical and construction spheres into my current role, which is heavily focused on planning to identify and avoid problems before they occur.
Q: Tell us about your office.
I’ve never been one to decorate much, but have pictures of my family and a few project souvenirs that I’ve collected. I’m surrounded by shelves and racks of hard-copy technical and regulatory references that I use frequently and keep around for context when standards or regulations change.
My work area is always clean before I leave for the evening as it presents an opportunity for a fresh start each day.
Q: How would your 10-year-old self react to what you do now?
My 10-year-old self wanted to be a scientist or engineer, so I’d probably get a lot of questions similar to the above.
Being from Flint, Michigan, I’m sure I’d be surprised that I didn’t end up doing something in the auto-industry, not understanding that our teams are tackling many of the old auto plant sites that were viewed as permanent landmarks and employers when I was a kid.
Q: What excites you most about being the Vice President of PM?
We have so much of it. Whether it be developing the skills and roles of our staff, leveraging our experience, reputation, and relationships to take on that next mega-project, or taking advantage of our know-how to enter new markets, we are in a unique position to develop strategies to keep growing and pursue opportunities that will lead us forward.
January 4, 2023