Interview with a Volunteer
Ralph Brand, GSC Project Manager, Specialty Trades, Participates in Gold Seal Workshops
Ralph works for Air Liquide Global E&C as the Site Project Manager on the Unit 40 Gassifier at NWR. He is responsible for the management of the field execution portion of the project. He is part of the Gold Seal Specialty Trades Workshop team, developping and reviewing the profiles, study materials and exams. The Gold Seal Workshop teams meet 4 – 5 times a year. Materials for each discipline are reviewed on 5-year cycle. The volunteers are reimbursed for their flights, accommodation and food. Volunteering qualifies toward the biannual Professional, Gold Seal Certified (P.GSC) updating requirements.
Q: How did you learn about the Gold Seal Program?
I was searching to further my education as I had just completed my PMP, PMI-RMP & PMI-SP. An individual that I work with had the Gold Seal Certified (GSC) designation and I visited the Gold Seal website. I was pleasantly surprised to see they offered the designation and made the decision to apply. So essentially, word of mouth.
Q: What made you decide to seek certification?
The main driver in attaining the GSC designation was for future career development. My decision was driven by the fact that not many leaders in the heavy industrial sector have pursued or attained the designation and I wanted to be a leader in bringing this in at that high level and promoting the designation by first attaining it. My experience is that leading by example wherever possible yields better results than not.
Q: Why did you decide to get involved in the workshops?
I was approached by Gold Seal Program Manager Stephanie Wallace about joining a team for the Specialty Trades Workshop. I felt that this would be great opportunity to further help in the development of our sector and provide input into our future leaders. The opportunity to work with fellow industry leaders and the consultants of the Gold Seal Certification program was also a driver in my decision.
Q: What do you think of the process so far?
The process is very well structured; the team that has been assembled for the Specialty Trades Workshop brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. The Gold Seal consultant is a pleasure to work with and I know that this workshop has the means to benefit the industry positively. I look forward to completing this workshop and furthering my involvement by working with a team on a heavy industrial workshop.
Q: How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the heavy industrial sector for twenty five years. I have international (4 continents) management experience in the engineering, procurement and construction business, extensive expertise in project/construction management. I am experienced in performing work in many different labor environments (open shop and union), different execution platforms (direct hire self-perform, Construction Management and joint ventures), and different contract formats (lump sum, cost reimbursable, fixed fee and unit rate) on the owners and contractor’s teams. My responsibilities have included the direct and indirect supervision of individual projects, with peak craft work forces as high as 2,000 people. I have extensive knowledge in project controls (progress/schedule development and execution, risk management) and contracts (development and implementation).
If you have a GSC or P.GSC and are interested in participating in developing the Gold Seal Certification program, contact the Gold Seal office.