Builders at Heart: Dave Norden

July 20, 2023

Dave Norden

This article is part of our series Builders at Heart, where we highlight the passions and backgrounds of the Clark team — the things that shape us — that allow us to tackle challenges head-on, solve complex problems, and build what matters. 

Meet Dave Norden, a senior design manager in Clark's Capital Group. 

Why are you a builder? 

I love being part of a team that builds communities and provides high-quality infrastructure, housing, and public works that people need. I also enjoy the creative process behind logistics and finding solutions to challenges that present themselves throughout a project. 

Tell us about your background. 

I attended Virginia Tech for my landscape architecture master’s degree and worked at a small design firm for 18 years before coming to Clark in 2022. 

Before joining Clark, my work included leading larger consultant teams on site-focused projects, designing and preparing drawings for site grading, paving, and other hardscape elements, and helping push through entitlement efforts. I also became an arborist, enabling better outcomes for trees preserved during construction. 

Describe your role at Clark and your core responsibilities.

As a senior design manager, I support project teams to identify and solve landscape and site-focused challenges during the opportunity, preconstruction, and build-out phases. 

What do you enjoy most about working at Clark? 

Without a doubt, I’m constantly impressed with the many talented people I work with at Clark. This speaks to the quality of Clark and the way we hire, perform work, and retain great people. It makes the work that much more enjoyable to be a part of. I’ve also observed an open and creative mindset to approaching challenges and projects, which is motivational and contagious.

What led you to pursue a career in the construction industry? 

My dad was a mechanical engineer who designed valves for nuclear power plants, and our family did a lot of gardening growing up. 

While working in my previous role at a design firm, I always tried to focus on constructability while not losing sight of the important design ideas and user experience. The skills and experiences I cultivated throughout my career have prepared me well, and it has felt like a very natural transition to my current role at Clark.

What are you most proud of accomplishing, either personally or professionally?

Personally, I think of the extensive backpacking and gravel bike trips I’ve taken. These were very challenging along the way, but led to great satisfaction and reflection once the journey was complete.