25 Sep Q&A with AMPAM Library Tower Foreman Cody McClish
I caught up last week with Cody McClish, AMPAM’s foreman on the construction site of the Library Tower project. This will be one of the tallest buildings in downtown San Diego.
Construction is in early stages, just weeks after breaking ground. There’s a giant hole in the ground filled with workers prepping lines and pipes. AMPAM joins our lead contractor Level 10 and other partners on this massive project.
At this stage, trenches were dug, initial concrete was poured and has hardened. Now pipes are being carefully installed for the building’s future tenants and their water, storm, gas and sewage needs.
The site is Cody and the team’s daytime home for months to come. Because it’s San Diego, the weather is amazing. And the location is great, just blocks from the water. It’s a nice place to be, and Cody is thrilled. He broke away briefly at the job site and chatted with me a bit about his life, and what brought him here.
Q&A with Cody McClish
What is your name and job title?
Cody McClish, foreman at AMPAM.
Where do you live?
Clairemont, a little bit outside of San Diego.
Did you live here your whole life?
No, I was a military brat and lived a few places. I was born in Jacksonville, Florida. I wasn’t supposed to be born in Florida, but they let my mom fly! This was back when they let very pregnant women fly in airplanes.
What do you do for fun?
Play pool, watch sports, a little fishing now and then…. But not much. If I fish, it’s usually fresh, not sea, like trout. It’s pretty low key…. I usually go to a lake or river. The trout I catch are usually 2-3 pounds. The last time I went was about 4 months ago…. Maybe longer. I’ve been working a lot!
What’s your favorite travel spot?
Port of Penasco, Mexico. Just call it “Rocky Point”, if you look it up. Or point of rocks, and you’ll find it. It’s a great place where you eat a lot of shrimp, clams and oysters. A lot of seafood. It’s a pretty fishing port. You can sail surf there too.
What is Sail Surfing?
It’s like surfing but with a sail. Smaller than a sailboat. Lots of fun.
And for travel spots, I also like going to Mazatlan . It’s on the West Coast of the Gulf, about 300 miles south of the border. It’s kind of the same, with lots of bars and places to eat a lot of seafood like crabs and lobster. It has nice scenery, and you can get a place right on the beach for really cheap.
And I go down to Rosarito all the time. Rosarito Beach. It’s about 3 hours away, and has some great sand dunes. Not the huge kind like right outside of the Arizona-California border, but smaller, and right at the beach. I like to take bikes down there, and go to Papas & Beer, a great beach bar. It’s touristy, but a lot of fun.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read? Or best couple of books?
Shogun, I really like that. Or The Hobbit, The Trilogy. I like the fantasy aspect of dragons and wizards and such. And when I was younger and growing up, I liked the Choose Your Adventure Books. It’s a series of books that have different outcomes by letting the reader choose different pages. It reminds me of the Chronicles of Narnia.
If you were to write a self-help book, what would it be about?
It would be a cooking book about all types of cooking. I like to cook.
What do you like to cook?
You name it. I like making things from scratch. I like to cook lots of good stuff. Some of my signature dishes are Salmon with Capers, Prime Rib, or Stuffed Green Chile Rellenos.
Before working at AMPAM, what was the most interesting job you had?
I had my own plumbing company for ten years before I worked for AMPAM. But otherwise, working on a farm. I grew up on a farm in Texas. I like being around the animals. We had hogs and rabbits. I just liked being outdoors. I had fun riding horses and getting into trouble.
How did you first learn about AMPAM? What drew you here originally?
AMPAM was doing a job down the street from where I lived in San Diego. I kept seeing the trucks going back and forth. I think it was Cresta Bella. I was interested because I have a plumbing background. So one day, they had a job fair, and I went to talk with them. They hired me, and I started as a Foreman. That was nearly 10 years ago, in April.
What is a typical day for you?
I basically walk the job. I check the materials, make sure everything we need is there. Make sure we have all the right stuff for plumbing and it’s in the right spot. I talk with the guys a lot. And I do a lot of paperwork. Lots. I also do a lot of organizational things.
Do you work more with people inside or outside of the company?
Both. Probably inside half the time, and outside half the time. I make sure that my team is working well with the other MEPs, or Mechanical Electrical Plumbing and the sprinkler guys. And I call the subs.
What has been your favorite project so far with AMPAM?
It used to be Little Italy. But now I have to say it’s this project, The Library Tower. It’s exciting. We’re using new methods on how to do the plumbing. It’s going to be one of the tallest buildings in San Diego.
What is your proudest moment at AMPAM?
This is, this project. And always trying to come in on budget.
How has AMPAM helped with your career development?
It’s been a great education. I’m just always learning something different in the construction trade. It always keeps you on your toes!
Do you have any random facts you’d care to share?
I like to help people. I volunteer for the VA Veterans.
Tell me something people would be surprised if they knew.
Another thing…. People would be surprised that I cook.
What does true leadership mean to you?
Trying to be positive, fair, and basically don’t have such an ego that you can’t listen to other people.
What can’t you live without?
My own space. Being able to relax. I like to go out, get into trouble! And I like to just relax and have fun.