At Clark, we are proud to be made up of individuals from various 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.
Meet Mo Mozaffarpour, a preconstruction executive with Clark's Western Group, to learn about his background and his role at the company.
Tell us about your background.
I was born and raised in Tehran, the capital of Iran. Growing up, I enjoyed playing soccer, climbing mountains, and learning how things are built. In 2013, I immigrated to the United States to earn my master’s in construction management at California State University and pursue the American Dream. I joined Clark in 2016 after graduating. I now live in Santa Monica, California, and enjoy traveling, spending time with my friends, and listening to audiobooks. Lastly, I co-host a podcast called "Modir Sakht." It is in Farsi, and we talk about construction management topics.
What type of project are you currently working on? What are your responsibilities?
My primary responsibility as a preconstruction executive is to oversee successful project development, including providing the best value to our clients, delivering a complete GMP, and setting up the project for success. My day-to-day activities involve budget management, value analysis, cost trending, procurement, and trade partner engagement. I am currently focused on the University of Southern California Discovery and Translation Hub and The Mountain projects at Pepperdine University.
What brought you to Clark?
The Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) project had the largest Clark “big blue sign” I have ever seen. It was my first day in the United States, and my aunt was driving me to enroll in university classes. I saw that project and thought, “I want to work for that company!”
What led you to pursue a career in the construction industry? Any early experiences that influenced your career path?
My home in Tehran was across from a high-rise apartment building. While it was being constructed, I was interested in observing how it was built, the sequence of work, and construction in general. That experience, coupled with what I heard from a relative in the construction industry, led me to major in civil engineering. Another important contributor to my career path was a rotational internship with a general contractor in Tehran while earning my bachelor’s degree, which exposed me to project development and project delivery.
Who have been your strongest influences in life?
My dad has played a huge role in my life. Growing up, I watched him become weaker physically due to muscular dystrophy (a genetic disorder that causes muscle loss), but he became stronger mentally. I am inspired by his attitude towards life and his disability and his patience, perseverance, and positive outlook.
What do you like most about working at Clark?
The people! Clark culture is fantastic. I'm so grateful to work with wonderful and intelligent people every day.
What are you most proud of accomplishing, either personally or professionally?
I am proud of my ability to adapt. I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when I was about 19. I realized that I was making up a lot of stories about it in my head. Accepting my diagnosis, adapting to it, and turning it into an opportunity has been a powerful and meaningful journey for me. I am grateful for the love and support from my family, friends, and the Clark team!
What, if any, obstacles did you overcome to get where you are today professionally?
I am so grateful to be in this beautiful country. Living in Iran under a dictatorship regime and corrupt government posed many challenges. Finding equal opportunities, reaching my goals, or even envisioning my career path was difficult. I was excited to move somewhere where I could pursue my dreams. Coming to the United States has been the best decision of my life.
What advice do you have for someone looking to start a career in construction?
Integrity, communication, and taking ownership of responsibility are the pillars of our success in our industry. I highly recommend that individuals starting a construction career hone these skills and get involved with internship positions. Additionally, organizations like the Construction Management Association of America provide great training programs. Lastly, establish a mentor/mentee relationship, which can be very impactful on career development.
What does "Thrive as You, Succeed Together" mean to you?
Lead by example. Deliver your work with excellence and push boundaries to help your team achieve their goals and support their personal growth.