August 16, 2021

Under the Hard Hat with John Sayer

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 John Sayer, an assistant superintendent in Clark’s Mid-Atlantic Region, to learn about his background and time with Clark.

Tell us a little bit about your role.

I am currently serving as an assistant superintendent on the Pepco Harvard Substation project in Washington, DC. The Clark Civil team is upgrading the facility as part of Pepco’s Capital Grid Initiative to improve the reliability of the area’s electric grid.

I am also helping manage the schedule and closeout of MD-355 Crossing, a project that connects the National Institutes of Health campus with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

Where did you grow up?  

I grew up in Pitman, New Jersey. It's a 2-square-mile town of about 9,000 people, 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia.

Upon graduating high school, I enrolled at the University of Maryland (a far cry from my 400-person high school).

What occupies your time outside of the office?

I love spending time outdoors. In the summer, I enjoy going to the beach with my girlfriend and two-year-old Golden Retriever. In the winter, I like to head to the mountains to snowboard.  

Another hobby of mine is smoking meat on my Big Green Egg. I recently smoked an 18-pound brisket!

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

Working on the Clark team to deliver the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel project in 2018.

My father worked for CSX for over 25 years. It was an awesome feeling to be able to complete one of the company’s projects during my first couple of years at Clark.

What do you enjoy most about Clark?

The people. Some of my closest friends are people who I have met while working at Clark. Those bonds are what makes working here so special.

Also, as cliché as it might sound, I truly feel like Clark is invested in my professional growth. After six years of exploring different roles, I found my passion in the field. I am a few months away from graduating from Clark’s Field Development Group, a three-year rotational program intended to shape future field leaders and superintendents.  

Who has had the most influence on your life and why?

I have always looked up to my dad as a role model, both professionally and personally. I can always count on him for honest advice when I’m making a big decision. He always pushes me in the direction that will make me the best version of myself.

What was your motivation to work in construction?

One of my fondest memories as a child was watching the construction of a local shopping mall in my hometown. My favorite piece of equipment was a CAT Bulldozer. I actually had my mom buy me a matching Tonka Truck Bulldozer that I would always play with in my backyard.

At the University of Maryland, I was unsure of what career path to pursue, but after talking to my advisor, I knew that I was destined to follow my inner child and focus on construction!