Until just a few months ago, Steve Stankiewicz’s entire career was with Clark Construction, beginning as a summer intern in high school and college. Once he graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in mechanical engineering, he was brought on full-time in project management.
He spent the next three+ decades working on project management and building information modeling for Clark, a sizeable and respected Maryland-based constructor with $6 billion+ in annual revenue and a portfolio in commercial, residential, healthcare, education, infrastructure and government projects.
It’s a point of pride to Stankiewicz that Clark was among the first national general contractors to standardize on a 100% web-based project management solution (Constructware) in 2001, noting that the centralized web platform saved over $1 million a year in maintenance over decentralized project-based servers.
Stankiewicz held a variety of roles at Clark, but earlier this year, he felt the need to try something different. So, he reached out to Kahua – the construction project management information system he used daily and had great affinity for – to see if his talents could be utilized there.
“I told (Kahua President) Brian Moore that I was thinking of a career change, and his eyes got really big, and that was the answer I was looking for,” he said.
And now he’s a product strategist for Kahua.
Q: How did you come to know Kahua?
A: I first came in contact with the owners of Kahua a long time ago. Clark Construction – and myself as well – had a great rapport with (current Kahua CEO and president) Scott Unger and Brian Moore, who founded Constructware, which we used for years and years. Then in 2006, Autodesk acquired Constructware and later on made the decision to sunset the product. This prompted me to explore other options for a PMIS. Brian and Scott presented the concept of Kahua as a potential solution before it was even completed, and I had a lot of trust in them, and their proposed product looked like it had a ton of potential.
Q: What factors influenced the decision to choose Kahua over other options?
A: The flexibility of Kahua was a key factor in the decision. With each construction project being unique, the ability to configure the system to meet specific project requirements was crucial. We looked at all of the major players in construction project management, but Kahua was the clear winner. The focus on customization and the promise of a low-code, no-code platform (upon which Kahua is built) appealed to Clark, providing a competitive advantage.
Q: What appealed to you the most about working with Kahua?
A: The ability to work on the design end and collaborate with developers to bring concepts to life was a major appeal. The emphasis on doing what is right – rather than focusing solely on speed and economy – resonated with my work ethic. The company's commitment to ethical business practices and the supportive team environment made the transition worthwhile.
Q: How did the transition from Clark to Kahua impact your role and responsibilities?
A: The transition marked a significant change, moving from my maintenance-focused role at Clark to a more dynamic, design-oriented role at Kahua. The fast-paced nature of the work at Kahua and involvement in various simultaneous projects has brought a new level of enjoyment and fulfillment to my career.
Q: How did your familiarity with the Kahua team influence your decision to join them?
A: Having worked with the founders and many members of the Kahua team since their Constructware days, the transition felt natural. Familiarity with the leadership team and existing relationships eased the process, making it a smoother and more comfortable shift. While the pace and simultaneous projects present challenges, the enjoyment derived from working on design concepts has mitigated the difficulties.
Q: What projects are you currently involved in?
A: My role at Kahua involves wearing multiple hats, including product management for document management tools and collaborating with Brian on general contractor and subcontractor offerings. Currently, I am working on the Kahua for Electrical subcontractors, streamlining processes and enhancing efficiency.
Q: What advice do you have for others contemplating a career change after a long tenure with one company?
A: Making a career change after a long tenure requires thoughtful consideration, open communication with family and a clear understanding of personal and professional goals. It’s really helpful if you already know a good deal about the new company and its leadership, making the change more comfortable.
Are you interested in a career change? Review our job postings and see if something catches your eye!