Anniversary Story

First Site Operations VPs

We’re remarkably proud of our Site Operations team and the work they do. It’s no wonder that they’re as talented, capable, and hardworking as they are though—after all, they came up under some of the best in the business: Site Operations Vice Presidents Luke Kane, RJ Trottier, Dave Underwood, and Ken Whetzel. As our first four site operations vice presidents, they broke through barriers and pushed our field operations to a new standard of excellence. 

While expanding our capabilities as a building company, these men were learning new skills and teaching others to remain at the forefront of their trade. From conquering computers on the jobsite to learning how to use new building materials and systems in real time, they took adjustments and advancements in stride. “If you don’t change, you don’t grow,” explained Dave Underwood. “So much of our success can be attributed to the fact that we were able to learn on the job and adapt to changes within the company and the industry.”

It’s clear these four friends share a passion for the work they do, and their impact can be seen throughout the company. It’s in the uniforms that HITT field team members proudly wear. It’s in HITT University, which took shape on the heels of their grassroots training efforts for their teams. It’s in the leaders now at the helm of the company, who learned the ropes from these men. 

“Every generation produces a small cadre of truly exceptional leaders—people who push themselves to higher achievement, lift others around them with positive support, and are utterly selfless in sacrifice. These four leaders exemplify these exceptional qualities. We salute their service to others and look forward to those following in their footsteps,” said Co-Chairman Brett Hitt.

Perhaps their biggest legacy is the ladder of opportunities they’ve created for the next generation of site operations leaders. “We had to forge our own path,” said RJ Trottier, who recently retired after 28 years at HITT. “We grew along with company, creating a need for higher positions and blazing the trail to where each of us is now.” Even as they rose through the ranks, each of these men has remained committed to training and mentoring. They’re not just focused on the field either; they’re equally as committed to providing guidance for future project managers as they are for future superintendents.  

“If you’re passionate about the work you do, there’s a place for you here at HITT,” said Luke Kane. “That’s what I tell all my team members. I encourage them to learn from as many people as possible, develop their own style, and find what works for them.” That exchange of knowledge has also been constant for more than 20 years between the four of them. They’ve collaborated to develop solutions, share lessons learned, and build the site operations community from the ground up. 

“Things were different when we started,” recalled Ken. “We always had what we needed though, especially when it came to support from our owners. That never changed; it allowed us to grow and is the reason we’ve succeeded.”