May 29, 2013

Mission & Engagement: Construction

GYASI HAYNES, a Project Superintendent for Construction & Architectural Services, managed the construction for the new administrative portion of the Cancer Center in the Chan Shun Pavilion. During one of the meetings for the project, Gyasi met with a director for the Cancer Center, where he learned a little more about how it is managed.

   “Although I knew about the Cancer Center, having the opportunity to learn more about the steps they were taking towards treating and researching cancer was eye-opening.”

   Gyasi tells how their conversation led him to draw a connection to his own life.

   “I was reflecting on the fact that my uncle died from cancer. And the director of the Cancer Center was explaining to me some of the things that she had gone through with her own cancer experiences.” Their conversation continued as they discussed how they felt their jobs at Loma Linda were also part a ministry and an opportunity to share hope, and excellence to all they come in contact with. “I was working and at the same time we were sharing the love of God through caring and empathy. It was a moment that I’ll never forget,” shares Gyasi. “As a construction manager, I manage jobs for the University, Medical Center and Shared Services, however, I also have a ministry as a Christian and a ministry as a vested member of the core values that we have here.”

   Committed to spreading the mission of Loma Linda to all that he meets, Gyasi believes that small things can make a large difference. “I believe that we should have an experience with God no matter what, no matter where we are. One of the things that I really like doing is opening up our meetings with prayer,” Gyasi explains. “I have a lot of conversations with vendors and I find myself just representing wholeness and the compassion that we stand for, and I think it’s an awesome opportunity that we all have.”


TOM BECKER smiles as he talks about one of his favorite parts of working here at Loma Linda: the opportunity to work on projects that really make a difference.

   “I did a building design for a project in Malawi,” he explains, “and for quite a long time, I never knew whether it was built or not.”

   Tom remembers he was talking to another employee that had spent some time in Malawi and she was describing her experience there and the building she had stayed in. “It’s very likely that the building that I designed has been built over there to be used as part of the international mission of Loma Linda,” he continues, “It’s really cool to have a small part in it.”

   Tom works as a superintendent in the Construction and Architectural Services department, and emphasizes that even seemingly small projects can make a big difference.

   “Even though we do have small roles, in the big picture, we affect people in many ways,” Tom says. And as he describes one of the projects for an on-campus building, Tom continues, “I’m not the doctor finding the cure, but I had a hand in creating the facilities they use, and that’s part of the teamwork that we have.”


“Our department has strong employee engagement,” MARY ANN CARTER Contracts Manager in Construction and Architectural Services, begins as she talks about the reasons why she feels her department rates high in the Gallup Q12.

   “I believe our morning worship has a direct impact on our team.  When I landed in this department five years ago, I discovered they had morning worship. What a great way to start the work day. In morning worship, everyone begins the day together, we pray together and our focus is more than just the details of projects.”

   Having this time each morning brings the team together, despite the busy work environment for the rest of the day. “If one has a problem, then we talk about it. If one has an achievement, we celebrate it.  I really think that is one of the biggest positives in our group,” says Mary Ann. “I think we’re kind of like a small family.”

   Mary Ann describes a time recently when the team had to pull together when Penny Crispin, Office Manager and Accountant, passed away unexpectedly. “It was difficult for all of us as she was such an important leader and friend.  It was incredible how the group came together, we didn’t really know all the details about how Penny did her job but as things came up we were impressed with the excellence with which she did her work.” Taking a moment to acknowledge specifically one of the team members, Mary Ann continues, “Sandy Burton was key in keeping the office running smoothly during the period after Penny’s passing.” The teamwork and synergy of the team helped them make it through this difficult time and to honor the legacy of their co-worker who was part of their department family.

Pictured above (from left to right): Sandy Burton and Mary Ann Carter


RICK WILCOX, a Superintendent Representative, tells the story of how working in Construction and Architectural Services provides a different way to share the mission of Loma Linda with those that come in contact with the organization. He describes an interaction that he has often with outside contractors where he has had an opportunity to share what he believes.

   “We work here 7 a.m.- 4 p.m., which is pretty much contractor’s hours,” Rick begins, “So when contractors want to set-up a meeting, I ask them if we can meet at 7:15 or 7:30. Every morning our group gets together and we have worship. It’s something I feel I can’t miss.”

   Occasionally, Rick’s commitment to making departmental worship a priority becomes a topic of discussion. “A couple of times it’s sparked further conversations,” he says, “They ask, ‘What do you mean by worship?’ or ‘What do you gain from that?’”

   Rick continues that often this leads into an opportunity to tell the contractor a bit more about Loma Linda and the mission of organization. “I explain that Loma Linda University and the Medical Center is a faith-based organization. They’re not even aware of that.”

   Keeping the department’s morning worship a priority has made a big difference in Rick’s working life. “It’s a little thing, but keeping that commitment with the group I work with helps us bond,” Rick explains, “We read from the Bible, we pray together, and we pray for each other. The rest of the day we are going one hundred different directions. Being able to share, it’s just a really good way to do it.”