People

Text Size

John Gauthier Builds Structures and Teamwork at Goddard
August 31, 2011
 
Conversations with Goddard banner

John is a behind-the-scenes guy who has managed hundreds of construction projects, but what really puts a smile on his face is riding his Harley and spending time with his grandchildren.


Name: John Gauthier
Title: Construction Coordinator
Formal Job Classification: Construction Manager
Organization: Code 224.5, Facilities Management Division

What is a typical day on the job like for you?


The beauty of my job is that I have no typical days. Most workday mornings start early. I usually start with checking e-mails and checking my schedule. After that anything goes. I have 30 jobs right now that have a task order, meaning they are in various stages – either getting ready to start, have started, or have punch list items that need to be completed before we can close them out.

What a lot of people don’t know is that it’s tough to close out a construction job because when most contractors get 95 percent of what’s owed them they tend to want to move onto other jobs. I help the Center get a completed job, which makes everyone happy.

I have a great relationship with the construction folks here at Goddard so I usually get my jobs closed out successfully.
Pictured here is John at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, during a summer 2000 road trip he took with some friends.› View larger image
Pictured here is John at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, during a summer 2000 road trip he took with some friends. Image credit: John Gauthier

Where and how do you perform your job?


I am all over the Center. I run between job sites, go to meetings, check in with my customers, report back to my project managers. I try to keep everyone informed of what’s going on. I set up and run the pre-construction meetings that are required before the job even starts. I normally have a quality assurance inspector working with me so if there are any issues, one of us will notice them and we’re on it.

John's granddaughter Isabella Gauthier poses for the camera during their tour of the TV Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.› View larger image
John's granddaughter Isabella Gauthier poses for the camera during their tour of the TV Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Image credit: John Gauthier

How important is teamwork and collaboration in your line of work?


I couldn’t do my job without getting to know my team and effectively collaborating with everyone associated with a particular construction job. I’m good at what I do because I’m a people person. I listen to my customers’ needs and find a way to resolve issues before they turn into a big mess.

What are some of your most memorable moments here?


Back in July 2009 Goddard had an open house and I brought my oldest son Christopher and my granddaughter Isabella who was three years old at the time. We were in Building 28 touring the TV studio and other facilities when I realized that the batteries in my camera were dead. I ran back to the office for new batteries and when I got back the tour was over. My friend Pat Kennedy took Chris,
Isabella and I on a personal, behind the scenes tour of the TV studio and even let Isabella sit in the hot seat. The smile on her face said it all. (See photo)

The other story that comes to mind involved a construction job up the hill from Building 25 running power to a new Search & Rescue antenna. We discovered a family of raccoons when we pulled up the steel road plates from the utility trench. There were little babies in there crying and I remember the mother was really upset and ready to defend her brood. We had to call P.G. County Animal Control to come out and relocate them before we could continue the job.

In your opinion what makes Goddard a great place to work?


It’s my Advanced Integration Group coworkers, the way we interact – we all have a good sense of humor. Everyone is supportive and we pull together when things get rough. Goddard is a melting pot of white collar and blue collar professionals and everyone is respectful of the part you play.

What’s your favorite way to kick back and relax?


I love riding my Harley (motorcycle) and stopping at places for a cool, refreshing beverage and to play billiards! Takes the stress right out of me. I also love road trips on my bike, meeting new people and seeing new places.
John is shown here doing field work, coordinating a construction project involving 100 geothermal wells that are being dug at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.› View larger image
John is shown here doing field work, coordinating a construction project involving 100 geothermal wells that are being dug at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The wells will serve as a geothermal heating and cooling system for Building 25. Image credit: Advanced Integration Group/Jim Boisclair

Is there someplace special that you’d like to visit someday?


Well, I’d like to visit wine country in Italy someday. I think the countryside there is beautiful. Closer to home, I’d like to tour some of the wineries in Napa Valley, Calif., and visit New Orleans for the food and music. I’d also love to visit Ireland someday and do a pub crawl.

John will soon have plenty of time to do all the things that bring him joy. He’s retiring this fall after more than 21 years at Goddard. Chances are you work in a building here that his construction team renovated.

Related Link:

› More Conversations With Goddard
 
 
Susan Hendrix
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.