November 29, 2021

Under the Hard Hat with Dan Wilson

At Clark, we are proud to be made up of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and talents who thrive and succeed together. Our "Under the Hard Hat" series is designed to showcase the diverse people who make up the Clark team.

We recently sat down with Dan Wilson, a superintendent on Clark's Vandenberg Air Force Base project, to learn about his background and what he enjoys most about working in the construction industry.

Describe your background. Where did you grow up? 

I was born in Southern California. My family moved to the central coast to a little town called Los Osos when I was in the 5th grade. After I finished high school in 1982, I attended a local junior college but soon realized that college was not for me.

In 1983, I began my career in construction as a laborer for a metal stud drywall company, where I worked my way up to be a foreman. Wanting to learn more about construction beyond metal studs and drywall, I went to work for a local general contractor as a carpenter in 1996 where I advanced to become a superintendent.

In 2005, a friend asked me if I wanted to go work with him at a general contractor (Clark) who was building nine 5-story buildings at a project at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo. December will be my 15-year anniversary with the company.

What project are you currently working on? What are your responsibilities? 

I am currently working as a superintendent on the Vandenberg Air Force Base, the only military base in the country from which unmanned government and commercial satellites are launched into polar orbit. I am responsible for overseeing the construction for two of the four buildings Clark is delivering as part of the project. 

What do you like most about working in the construction industry?

The people, the places, and the projects that we build. There is nothing more satisfying than standing on the top of a structure that you helped bring out of the ground! 

Who have been your strongest influences in life?

My parents and my woodshop teacher in high school (who was also my football and wrestling coach). My mother, father, and coach gave me the skills and the know-how for how to make a living.

You worked on the original Vandenberg AFB project. Can you describe what it's been like working on this project?

I first worked at Vandenberg Air Force Base as a foreman when I started out my career.

I remember hearing from our division president that I was going to be helping lead construction at Vandenberg and couldn’t believe I was going to be back on the same campus that I helped build over 30 years ago! 

During demolition, we actually took down a ceiling and found a scaffold plank that my old company had installed. It was surreal.

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

Raising my five beautiful kids and then being a grandfather. You simply cannot beat that feeling.

Work wise it would have to be building Block 5 Park Tower in San Francisco. I know it's not the tallest, but let me tell you, 600 feet is up there!

What is the best career advice you've ever received? 

Work hard, do your best, and don't be afraid to ask questions.