He’s a magic man - a shaman on the machine; a wizard who does the impossible and makes it look easy. Juan Moncada is not an average guy at all; you toss him what most would say is a completely impossible task allowing him a totally ridiculous time frame in which to get it done and the next thing you know, it’s done, its perfect and he’s wanting to know what’s next? You’re done with that Juan? Are you kidding me? Nope, he’s not kidding but he is smiling that “smart-alec” smile of his and wondering why you thought it was such a big deal to begin with. Often unbelievable yet there he is; moving to the next mission having left the last exactly as it needed to be. I’m telling you, there are days that I would swear that this guy can be in three places at once. I guess it’s my imagination but if I had to put a word to it the only one that works for me is “magic”.
Over 17 years ago Juan came to us a kid with no experience. He brought along a willingness to work hard and a desire to learn & better himself. Rogelio Hernandez, his cousin and the most gifted machine operator I have ever known, took Juan under his wing and taught him the basics of running big loaders; a skill that we soon learned came naturally to this strong, quiet man. Time passed and in 2001 Juan took on the challenge of getting our Texas facility up and running. Although he was there pretty much on his own for years, he never once let me or the rest of this team down. Over the many years that I have had the privilege of working with Juan Moncada, I have learned to respect his judgment and accepted that I can blindly rely on his integrity, insight and professionalism. Jeez, as if that isn’t enough to qualify Juan as a true Groundworks Champion how about this: the guy simply never caves.
Juan seems immune to pressures & stresses that might leave the rest of us wetting our pants. Try this on for size; We are out on site one sunny day, moving along and everyone’s watching. The owner, the contractor and a bunch of other subs; they are all there and they all want to see how the heck were going to get to this 10’ CT Medjool into a location that only an LA would decide we had to try and hit. Were moving toward the hole with Juan running a fork lift of all things (the path we had to follow was too narrow for anything else and this thing had zero side to side stability) when without warning the tire of the machine falls into a hidden hole and whoa; we go from sketchy but getting there to the machine being up on two wheels with 6,000 pounds hanging off the fork and a swimming pool just inches away to the low side waiting to eat Juan, the machine and the palm. My heart stops; everything stops - the other guys jump back and the owner cringes; What does Juan do? He yawns! The guy actually yawns while he’s hanging at a drop dead angle, looking at the big tip & flip into the empty pool and a hospital visit at best. I am seeing this and I am not breathing, a moment of epic disaster is in our faces and then it passes, we are boomed down, the load is on the ground and we are safe. The magic man looks at me and he’s smiling; not big and broad but just that little crinkle he gets at the corners of his mouth; it’s almost as if he’s friendly with fate and somehow knows that fate is his friend; she isn’t offended and she’s going to cut him some slack. I don’t know why he knows but one look at his mug and you know that he does. Holy shit! Juan does something fancy with the load, backs away from the nightmare and casual as could be he repositions for another try. People, I have to tell you, I had to go to the bathroom and clean up; it was that close to a complete disaster and this guy is so chilled as to be looking like he’s ready for an afternoon siesta. I have no idea why that machine didn’t go into the pool; it was that close and it should have gone over but it didn’t and all I could think is Wow, the guy is a magician.
Juan is a master site operator who is comfortable maneuvering in the midst of absolute chaos. You will find him onsite with a zillion other subs going every which way, steering through all kinds of noise, distractions, mud and traffic making giant palm trees end up perfectly centered while issuing quick, concise instructions to his men on the fly. Juan creates and personifies the kind of customer satisfaction that has made this company and I trust him completely. Juan runs the field operations in our Texas facility working with our sales personnel to make the dreams they promise our customers into reality on the ground. That’s not an easy task, it takes leadership, professionalism, insight, dedication and sometimes, just a little spark of magic. I can tell you from one who has seen it happen before his very own eyes, where the mission requires that we create reality from the picturesque conjuring of the LA making the promises and where its next to impossible and but it has to happen, I have just the right guy for you. His name is Juan Moncada; he is a gentleman of the highest order, he is a centered professional who is dedicated to his missions and his people; he is my friend & my brother and he is in every sense a Groundworks Champion. I am proud and privileged to stand next to him.
If you ever find yourself onsite with Juan watching him operate under circumstances where you’re thinking “no way, can’t be done”; look close but stand away, you’ll get hit with a swirl of dust and feel the roar of the machine; in that moment the clients dream will have become a reality on the ground and before you know what exactly happened, you’ll be looking at the back side of the big machine rumbling off to the next mission. You will know that you just have experienced the magic that is Mr. Juan Moncada and you will truly understand what I am saying here; the guy is a wizard, he’s unstoppable and he is a full on Groundworks Champion.