MCM Employee Spotlight: Elliot Press
MCM Employee Spotlight: Elliot Press, Project Manager
Tell us a bit about your background in the military.
I was born in Philadelphia and after growing up in New Jersey, and I was looking for an opportunity to not only go to college, but also see the world. I enlisted in the Army as a 17 year-old straight out of high school, and shortly thereafter I enrolled in evening college courses to begin working on my bachelors degree. Towards the end of my enlistment, I began looking into scholarship opportunities to finish my degree going to school full-time, and my mentor told me about a program whereby an enlisted soldier could apply and compete for a spot at West Point. I was fortunate enough to be selected for the Academy in 2000, and I graduated from West Point in 2004. I immediately went into the Intelligence branch and was stationed at Ft. Stewart, GA where I deployed to combat multiple times overseas.
How did you transition into the construction industry and eventually join MCM?
During my last 15-month deployment to Iraq, I was very involved in the local Iraqi community and dealt with many rebuilding efforts and projects throughout our area of operations. I really appreciated the sense of accomplishment I felt from being a part of the building and rebuilding process. When I left the active duty Army in 2009, I decided to defer graduate school and join my family’s construction company in New York. My wife is originally from Florida and after two extremely harsh winters up north, coupled with a great job opportunity in South Florida, we decided to relocate. It was one of my relatives who knew the Munilla family and introduced me to the company – the rest, as they say, is history.
What do you like best about your role?
I’m currently working as a project manager for the Department of Military Affairs’ Miramar Readiness Center in Miramar, FL. What I like best about my role is undoubtedly the caliber of professionals I get to work with on a daily basis. I am very fortunate to work with such amazing individuals who get their own jobs done so I don’t have to do theirs, and in turn I get to focus on the overall responsibilities of the project.
What makes MCM a great place to work?
Although it may be cliché, it’s the people at MCM who make it a great place to work. From the president of the company on down, MCM makes you feel like family and they back it up with their actions. Regardless of your position, MCM invests in your success and will afford you every opportunity you need to succeed – from tools and resources to training and mentorship. MCM also promotes a collaborative work atmosphere where your opinion is valued regardless of the title on your signature block. The people at MCM rely, trust, and depend on each other in order to build excellence, and they truly make it a great place to work.
What do you consider to be your greatest professional achievement?
In construction, your success truly comes from a team effort. That said, I consider my greatest professional achievement to be the continued success of the Miramar Readiness Center project. Since it was a military construction project, MCM gave me responsibility to lead the effort in developing the initial presentation, presenting in front of the Department of Military Affairs, overseeing the pre-construction and Value Engineering process, and now running the project and managing great individuals and processes. As I’ve been involved on this project since before its inception, its continued success is my greatest professional achievement.
What is your best advice for vets re-entering the work force?
The best specific piece of advice I have is that when you’re transitioning into the civilian sector, you have to focus your effort. Keep in mind that although the military gave you a great amount of exposure to different experiences and positions, it doesn’t always translate into a specific civilian employment position you may be seeking. Focus on an industry that you have a passion for, understand the job description you’re pursuing and cater your resume and approach to that goal. Look for those opportunities in sectors with great companies like MCM that will ensure you have a path for career progression and future excellence. As long as you’re committed to what you’re doing, they’ll be committed to you. Lastly, reach out to Veterans already employed in the industry or company you are interested in – they may have some great insight for the road your about to travel. Please reach out to me if I can ever be of any assistance (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you had to define yourself in three words, what would they be?
Honest. Loyal. ThebestfatherandhusbandIcanbe.
What would people be surprised to learn about you? Do you have any special talents?
I wish I could say that I’m lead guitarist in a traveling rock band on the weekends, but I’m not. I think people would be surprised to learn that I’ve never seen Star Wars… not a single one.
If you would have cocktails with anyone (fictional, alive, dead, famous, non-famous), who would it be?
Anyone reading this. If you’re still reading about me, the least I can do is buy you a drink.
Name your favorite things about living and working in Miami.
The amazing weather, incredible food and diverse people.
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?