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Construction Technician Kristina Paradise Returns to Fort Dodge

After spending the majority of her career traveling for work, Construction Technician Kristina Paradise couldn’t be more excited to return to Snyder & Associates in Fort Dodge. As an Industrial Construction Professional, she’s traveled between 48 and 50 weeks a year for the last 18 years. Her career has taken her throughout the U.S. and as far as South America.

“It’s so good to be home,” she exclaims. “Traveling was fun and I got to see a lot, but now I like being home more.”

Kristina previously worked at Snyder & Associates in Fort Dodge from 2016 to 2017. She went on to function as a Mechanical Inspector during the construction of a gas compressor station in West Virginia and Kentucky before returning to Fort Dodge. She brings a highly-developed skill set and experience back to the Fort Dodge office, and the team is happy to have her back on board.

“Kristina has extensive experience in the field and provides a much-needed bench depth in our Fort Dodge office,” says Wade Greiman, PE, Transportation Business Unit Leader. “She has a wonderful personality coupled with a strong work ethic and the ability to work with any contractor to accomplish project goals.”

A significant portion of Kristina’s experience is grounded in utilities and pipelines. Before becoming a Construction Professional, she worked as a paralegal. The desire for more opportunity led her into the construction industry where she began working as a fire watch for welders before transitioning into pipefitting. Pipefitting opened more doors for her, and she never looked back. Today, she says the freedom and flexibility of her career, along with the range of projects, are what she enjoys most.

“Every project I’ve done with Snyder has been incredibly fun,” shares Kristina. “Trail projects, like the Jewellsworth Trial and Marshalltown Trail, are my favorite because I like being out in nature.”

A native of South Carolina, Kristina is proud to now call Iowa home. After traveling so much, she says Iowa gave her a sense of peace and calm that she hadn’t experienced elsewhere. Ten years ago, she purchased a Victorian home built in 1890 that she has since remodeled and continues to work on. As she settles into her position in Fort Dodge and life in Iowa, Kristina plans to spend her free time doing what she loves—baking, gardening, and photography.

Here’s a little more from a recent chat with Kristina:

How do you define success?

For me, success is a feeling of satisfaction from having done my best. It could be completing a difficult assignment at work, seeing a new plant flourish in my garden or baking cookies for my neighbor. The important thing is being satisfied with the effort.

What’s satisfying about your career?

To be able to see a project in use when it’s all said and done. For instance, to see our roundabout project in Fort Dodge and how well it’s working. Every day I drive on First Avenue South in Fort Dodge, and I’m in awe of how well the traffic flows now. Seeing the project come to a conclusion and put to use is my moment of realization of impact (ROI).

What’s something that you’re particularly proud to have achieved?

I’ll always be proud that I passed the NCCER Industrial Pipefitter exam the first time I took it. Getting through that apprenticeship was tough! I worked on several expansion projects at chemical processing facilities, either in shutdown or actively running, as well as some huge new build industrial projects. Not only was the work difficult, but just being in that environment was a challenge. There were about 50 apprentices testing on the day of my exam, and only one female in the room. I was amongst the 65 percent who received certification that day. I did not work very long as a pipefitter, but I persevered through that apprenticeship.

What advice would you give to someone beginning a career in construction inspection?

Just keep going. There will be days and weeks, maybe even months where it might be difficult, but there’s another project coming up. If you don’t like doing what you’re doing today, keep in mind that it’ll get better for you. That’s the beauty of construction—there’s always something different. Things are always changing.

What inspires you?

Learning new things. Repetitive activity bores me. Once I’ve mastered something new, I’m moving on to the next thing.

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?

My paternal great-grandmother. She grew up in the 1800s, was the mother of 12 sons and one daughter, and lived on a large farm in South Carolina with my great-grandfather. I imagine her a grand belle—like in “Gone with the Wind.”

Pineapple on pizza: yes or no?

Yes, mam.