Employee Spotlight: A Chat with Derrick Hillstrom, Superintendent at Greiner

Written by Kate Carlson
Derrick Hillstrom, Superintendent at Greiner Construction

Today we are proud to feature one of our respected superintendents, Derrick Hillstrom. Derrick has been with Greiner Construction for over 11 years but continues to bring enthusiasm and a positive attitude to the project teams each and every day. We hope you’re as excited as we are to get to know him better.

A long history in construction

Derrick has worked in the industry for over 25 years, but in fact, his love for construction began well before that. When he was 13 years old, the school bus dropped him off at his buddy’s house, where he worked his first job for his friend’s dad building spec houses. The rest, as they say, is history.

His official career in construction began in 2004, building residential townhomes and custom houses. That work provided Derrick with the hands-on experience and understanding of what true quality means—not only from a material standpoint, but as a reflection of the entire construction process and client experience, from start to finish.

Derrick brought that knowledge to Greiner, where he began his tenure as an apprentice/carpenter. From there, he moved up into a foreman position before finally transitioning to the superintendent role he holds today.

What makes Derrick a valuable member of the Greiner team?

Derrick is an incredibly valuable asset to Greiner, as he is all about clear and open communication, and making sure our clients are always satisfied. He works hard to help his vendors and suppliers maximize their performances, as well as build highly effective relationships with our architects and partners.

As a superintendent, Derrick is committed to creating an atmosphere where employees can consistently deliver their best work. He believes in open and straightforward communication as an effective way to motivate, develop, and direct the workers on his team.

A Quick Q&A with Derrick

Derrick was gracious enough to sit down with us recently (metaphorically speaking) to answer some of our questions. Here’s what he had to say.

How would you like your clients to remember you?

I would like to be remembered as always being there—that I was a problem solver, and not only invested in the immediate needs of the client, but in the long term as well.

What do you consider to be a successful project?

I consider all of my projects to be successful, in that they’re completed on-time, under budget, and with a happy customer!

When you hear the word quality, what do you think of?

Quality control. All of our subcontractors are held to the Greiner standard. I am consistently reviewing the team’s work and calling out any potential issues before they arise for the client. In order to do this, you have to visualize the paper context and the early stages of construction in order to be able to identify any impacts later on in construction.

How do you encourage/promote safety on the jobsite?

I do this with weekly safety meetings to address industry-specific safety topics, as well as calling out any unsafe actions as I see them. I also encourage our team to look out for each other and address any safety concerns they may have.

What is your favorite tool to use on the job?

I don’t know about favorite, but the most common tool I use is my tape measure. I’m a true believer of the motto, “Measure twice, cut once”.

What about this job inspires you?

Turning over a finished project to a customer. I love seeing their appreciation for our work and being “over the moon” for their new space. If they’re happy, I’m happy.

What is the best advice you have received in your career?

Don’t sweat the minor details. When I was first promoted, I couldn’t sleep as I was constantly worrying about all the little things that I had no control over. I now know to just go with the flow. With proper planning and communication, things will work out.

Do you have a most memorable project?

It’s outside of my work for Greiner, but my most memorable project has been my own house. I just finished building a brand-new home for my family—I hammered every nail and painted every wall! I did everything but the mechanical and electrical. It was a very rewarding experience.

A look at some of Derrick’s past projects

Having worked with Greiner for over 11 years, Derrick has a long list of successful projects under his belt. Here are some of his favorites:

Start your next project with Greiner

When you work with Greiner, you’re partnering with incredible folks like Derrick. We’re real people who value the importance of excellent communication, hard work, and lasting relationships with our clients. Contact us today and we’ll show you what the gold standard of construction can be.

Greiner Construction – Building Strength from the Inside Out

In 2019, with a vision to share our company‘s “gold standard” to a regional client-base, Greiner expanded into the thriving city of Des Moines, Iowa. As our company evolves and continues to expand into new markets, the executive leadership team upholds Wolfgang’s original vision for the firm—one that is focused on providing authentic customer service and unrivaled quality.