“It always feels good when you’re identifying issues and helping it get resolved—that’s really satisfying. I love when you can go in with that fine tooth comb and you’re weeding out all the problems. Then finally at the end you see everything operating like the orchestra it’s supposed to be.”
—Jon McLaren, Commissioning Authority, Thermographer
How long have you been with NWESI?
I’ve been here for 13 years.
What’s your current role?
Commissioning Authority. I’ve been doing Commissioning since I came in here. Back then, Jerry [now Boise Division manager] was pretty much learn by fire. So he threw us right in the mix. It was pretty rough to start with, but we did okay. I’m grateful for that experience Jerry gave me in bringing me on. I’ve just learned so much, it’s been a positive experience.
What aspects of your job are the most satisfying?
It always feels good when you’re identifying issues, finding problems, and helping it get resolved—that’s really satisfying. I love that troubleshooting aspect when you can go in with that fine tooth comb and you’re weeding out all the problems. Then finally at the end you see everything operating like the orchestra it’s supposed to be. I mean you have these very specific pieces of equipment and inside those they have a very orchestrated series of sequences and components that make it work right, and that’s just one building of one floor, and then those all have to line up together.
It’s a tough balance because part of our job is oversight in a way. It’s to find problems, find issues or head them off. And sometimes it’s received well, and other times it’s kind of rough, but I think for the most part people respond pretty well. It’s all for the good of the project.
What has been a personal or professional growth over the years?
One of the things that’s interesting about Cx is that you have to know a little bit about a lot of things. In Commissioning you deal with a lot of different disciplines: you have to understand an electricians role, a mechanical scope, fire protection systems, and there’s a lot of different roles beyond those. You got to know just enough about a lot in order to understand the structural process. It can be challenging in that way.
One thing I really struggled with is dealing with people and meetings. I’ve always had a pretty introverted personality, so when it comes to rooms with a dozen or more, I struggle with that but I’ve gotten better over the years. It’s personally one of the areas of growth I’ve been working on and improved.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love to ride motorcycles, I love to fish. I will travel to all kinds of places. My favorite thing is Oregon in general because there’s so many great places to venture off to. If I can combine the two—go riding and go fishing—then that’s even better.