Click the thumbnails below to learn more about some of the team members that make up M&D Mechanical:
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Current Position: Welder
Started with M&D in: 1988
Started as: Welder
James Day first came to M&D Mechanical Contractors in the late 1980s, hired by then Manager of Field Operations Jess Yarborough. Prior to joining M&D, James worked for six years in the boilermaker industry, working on big oil tanks as an iron fitter. During that time, he started learning welding and took a job that sent him around the nation. As time went on, James became tired of the traveling and sought out a job that would give him stability. That job search would lead him to M&D Mechanical Contractors.
James stayed with M&D for several years before leaving and joining the pipe fitters union for around three years. He then worked at Browns Ferry before returning to M&D. Several years passed and James began experiencing health issues that threatened to force him into early retirement. After a few months though, James was able to return to his job at M&D and continue his career.
James contributed to the future of M&D Mechanical Contractor's welding department as the first teacher for the company's welding apprentice program. James served as a teacher for five years and still mentors younger employees entering into the company.
His advice: "You have to want to weld, because it isn't easy. Keep improving and have a lot of pride in what you are doing. It is like making art. Concentrate and make it look good.”
Current Position: Superintendent / Pipefitting Apprentice Program Instructor
Started with M&D in: 2002 and 2006
Started as: Plumber Helper
Starting out as a helper, Brian Matlock first came to M&D Mechanical at the encouragement of an employee. A long commute to work made it difficult for him to stay with the company and he left to go into residential construction for a short time. He returned to M&D Mechanical in 2006 and began taking steps to move his career forward with the company.
Brian has a lot of drive to do things that will improve him. He entered the pipefitting apprentice program at the North Alabama Craft Training Center and worked hard through the coursework to become a pipefitter. From there, he was promoted to a foreman and then again to a supervisor position. Brian even went through the long, hard process to obtain a medical gas certification, something that few people in the industry in this area have done. This year, Brian has taken on a new role – instructor for the pipefitting apprentice program.
His advice: "Work hard. Pay attention. Listen and ask questions. Keep a positive attitude. I asked a lot of questions and watched the older workers when I was younger."
Current Position: Material and Equipment Coordinator
Started with M&D in: 2000
Started as: Office Position for the Huntsville Hospital Projects
Though currently in the office, Tama started her career in the field as a pipe helper. She worked in construction for several years, learning electrical and structural welding skills before leaving construction for an office job. It did not take very long before Tama realized how much she missed the culture and people in the construction industry.
Tama joined M&D Mechanical Contractors in 2000, working out of the company's Huntsville Hospital office. She handled the company's payroll and invoicing for Huntsville Hospital projects, but the new job put her back in the construction industry that she loved. Through persistence, Tama became the material and equipment coordinator for the main company office. The high-energy position keeps her busy every day, but Tama loves that her job is never boring.
For women in construction, Tama says that they have to work a little harder and need to make sure that they want to be in the industry. Though in a male-dominated field, Tama feels that her hard work has allowed her to be successful, and that being a woman has not kept her back. She also believes that her knowledge of the field has really contributed to her ability to do her job even better.
Her advice: "This is a great industry to be in, but you have to love it. Try it, and learn everything that you can. Be consistent and show enthusiasm.”
Current Position: Pipefitter Helper
Started with M&D in: 2013
Started as:Pipefitter Helper
Gustavo Sanchez started working with his Dad in the family’s painting business right after high school. When work got slow, he started looking and ended up with Taylor Construction in Courtland as a Pipefitter Helper. He liked the work, and when Taylor Construction closed down, he made the move to M&D Mechanical Contractors.
Gustavo is in his second year of Pipefitting school. M&D offers classes for all trades, and Gustavo has chosen to follow through on getting his Pipefitting certification. He goes to a three-hour class on Monday nights for four years to earn his certification.
Gustavo enjoys working at M&D, especially because he gets along with everyone and really likes both his co-workers and supervisors.
His advice: "Just work hard.”
Current Position: Foreman Line Supervisor
Started with M&D in: 1995
Started as: Sheet Metal Laborer
Tony Sandoval joined M&D Mechanical Contractors in 1995 in the sheet metal department as a laborer. He had served in the Army for nine years before joining M&D.
From the beginning, Tony committed to the work and looked for opportunities to learn from older employees and grow within the company. As the years progressed, Tony learned more and began moving up. Now, Tony is a foreman line supervisor for the sheet metal shop, and is bringing up the next generation of M&D employees.
Tony has seen many changes within the fabrication shop. Tasks once done by hand are now done by precision CNC machines and other equipment. He sees each advance in technology as an opportunity to expand his own skills, but believes that retaining the traditional skills is also very important. Each fabrication worker is required to know how to do things by hand, ensuring that they understand the basics behind what the machine is now doing for them. As a supervisor, Tony takes pride in his workers and the high quality work that they are producing.
Within the fabrication industry, Tony sees many changes coming –both good and bad. While there is certainly a skills gap in the younger generation of workers, he sees field laborers expanding their abilities to be able to cover both pipe and sheet metals tasks. He also sees more opportunities for women in sheet metal fabrication and would like to see a greater diversity of workers within the industry.
His advice: “Good workers need experience, which takes time. Show initiative and interest, and be patient. Also, take pride in what you do.”
Current Position: Pipefitter
Started with M&D in: 2010
Started as: Pipefitter Helper
Nathan Terry fell in love with pipefitting when he came to M&D Mechanical and worked on his first pipefitting job. His father was a welder for more than 45 years, and Nathan had followed him into the construction industry. It wasn't until he experienced pipefitting that he found where he wanted to be in the industry. Unlike welding where you may do the same welds every day, pipefitting gave Nathan the opportunity to work on many different types of projects. It was still hard work, but being able to see the results of that work at the end of the day made it worth it to Nathan.
Starting out as a helper at M&D Mechanical, Nathan made the decision to take advantage of the company's training opportunities, enrolling in the four-year pipefitting apprentice program at the North Alabama Craft Training Center. In 2014, Nathan was named the "Top Apprentice" of his class and was honored at the 2014 North Alabama Excellence in Construction Awards by the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) North Alabama Chapter.
His advice: "If you are just starting out, go into an apprentice program. Once you are done with it, you can prove that you have the skills you need for the job. You can prove that you can do what you say you can do."
Current Position: Sheet Metal Mechanic
Started with M&D in: 2007
Started as: Sheet Metal Mechanic
Originally from just outside of Madison, Wisconsin, Michael Thomas came to Alabama in 2001. His wife had family near Rogersville, and the two decided to move closer to them. He started working with ASM Sanders in Decatur, and came to M&D in November of 2007.
Michael makes the long commute from the Florence area daily. He and his wife are active members of the Springfield Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and Michael also volunteers at the animal shelter in Florence with his wife, step-daughter, and granddaughter when he’s not working.
Currently, Michael is heavily involved in a project on the Redstone Arsenal. He enjoys time spent on the Arsenal, and enjoys working for M&D Mechanical Contractors. One of his favorite things about his job is the supervisors he has had. He enjoys working with them, and that they openly appreciate his work ethic.
His advice: "If there is nothing to do in the field, grab a broom, It will get you noticed – people see that. There is always something to do on a job site.”