Employee Spotlight – Jeff Barker
Jeff Barker joins Nexus PMG as a director of business development after 18 years of experience at engineering, procurement and construction companies. He has held roles in mechanical engineering, estimating, project management, risk management, and commercial development.
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I grew up in Clear Lake, Texas with two brothers close to my age. It was basically all things outdoors and sports for us, back when your parents would tell you to leave the house and not come home until dinner. After graduating from Texas A&M with a mechanical engineering degree, I started my career at a large EPC firm, almost 19 years ago. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to quite a few countries for work and met some amazing people, many of whom I keep in contact with to this day. I have a 13-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son who take up most of my free time, and they are absolutely incredible.
What sparked your interest in Nexus PMG?
Nexus PMG attracted me with its entrepreneurial spirit, led by an energetic team who are familiar with many markets needing more attention right now, considering the shift to sustainable developments underway. I was ready to do something drastically different in my career and Nexus was the perfect fit. The size of the organization also allows for easier collaboration of ideas and faster decision-making. I also see a huge potential for growth and want to play a role in achieving that in the coming years.
What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?
I love the opportunity to interface with so many different people in a wide array of markets. I’m the type who would prefer to know a little bit about a lot of different things, rather than being an expert on one.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I’m sure at some point in life I will try to take up traditional Japanese wood joinery. The idea of spending hours constructing something with custom joints without using nails, screws, or glue seems rewarding. I’ve already bought some of the tools but just need to actually start building something.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is the ability to influence and inspire others to reach their full potential in an organization. A leader helps achieve a collective goal, not a personal one.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
The memories that stand out for me are the numerous camping trips. This was mostly in the early 90’s, so there were no mobile phones or other electronics, and the day was always full of outdoor activities and cooking. Those felt like the longest days and I enjoyed just being out in nature.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
When I have free time, I love to ride the mountain bike trails, play guitar, golf, cook, work out, or travel.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
This may be a generic response, but listening to others in the industry and continuing to grow a large network will always be beneficial. There are so many people out there who are very good at what they do full-time, and sometimes the best thing to do is just to let them talk as much as they want to. Some of the smartest people in the industry are introverts, and you can learn quite a bit from them if they open up to you.