Employee Spotlight - Mark D'Antona
Hear From the Director of Estimating at Medford Wellington
I first tried to join Medford Wellington in 1991. I filled out an application and didn’t get the job. But then a year later, I received a cold call from the head of the sheet metal department, Nick Porto, asking if I was still looking for a job. I said, “Not necessarily, but I’m listening.” I came in to meet with Nick again and that was it. I officially started working with Medford Wellington in 1992 as a sheet metal mechanic.
At that point, the sheet metal division consisted of Nick Porto, Tom Powers, myself, and a couple of kids from a local high school program. There were only 16-17 people in the company in total at that time.
A Good Start
On my first day with the company, Nick asked if I wanted to start early, at 3 o’clock in the morning, and go down to Service Merchandise in Danbury, CT to work overnight on a job. We both went down, worked for 24 hours straight, and attempted to drive home, but ended up pulling over into a truck stop and sleeping in the truck before continuing home.
It was very different from what I was used to, workwise. I came from a sheet metal only company that did large commercial projects, and Medford Wellington basically was focused on doing projects for customers such as Papa Gino’s. So it was a much different work environment but we had several good-sized clients we were doing projects with at the time. Besides Papa Gino’s, the other big company we were working with at the time was Service Merchandise, similar to Sears. They had a few locations that we did work for.
We would sometimes have plans to go off of, but other times we would get a drawing on the back of a napkin from Todd Griffith who did most of the engineering back then. Other than that, we were working on stores that were all identical. So we knew exactly what we were doing for every store, and the work was pretty basic.
Moving On Up
As we continued to grow and get a bigger pool of customers, I started doing a lot of installations at Winchester Hospital, which was one of the biggest changes for us. After that, John Jr. had me transition into a more hybrid project management role, working out of my Ford Ranger with a filing cabinet behind the seat. I also started to do some of the estimating and getting into the office more. So I went from starting in the field as a mechanic, to becoming a foreman, moving into project management and then ultimately developing the Plan & Spec Division as it is today.
I was thrilled because I saw that Johnny and his father had faith in me. They put me into school at Northeastern where I earned my HVAC Systems Design Certificate which started the ball rolling into the bigger and more complex jobs that we're going after now.
I have now been at Medford Wellington for 30+ years, and the company has grown so much. My advice for anyone who is wanting to join the MedWell team would be that you need to be up for being challenged, take pride in all your work, and hang on for the ride because there are a lot of changes happening and the future looks good.