If you were to meet Hickory foreman Daniel Drozd for the first time today and listen to him speak, you probably wouldn’t guess – at least based on his accent – that he spent the first eight years of his life in Romania.
His family fled that country and came to the United States to escape religious persecution when Daniel was young, and in the years since, Daniel has become a fully assimilated American – to the point where you have to listen very carefully to detect any remnants of his native dialect.
Daniel has worked with Hickory Construction for the past 11 years, starting out as a laborer and moving up the figurative ladder to carpenter’s apprentice and journeyman before landing in his current role as foreman five years ago.
“I had done some work as a mechanic, but I was introduced to Hickory when I was 24, and I just loved it too much to get out of it,” recalls Drozd, who recently oversaw Hickory’s work on the new pool area at the WindRiver community on Tellico Lake. “I like the fact that I can move from project to project and that there are always new challenges. That’s what drives me – the challenge.”
Drozd typically gets involved in the early stages of any given project, be it commercial or residential, and sees it through until work is finished. His duties range from checking the early drafts of blueprints for discrepancies and managing quality control during the construction phase to keeping work on schedule and overseeing subcontractors.
“Most days, there are usually three or four subs on site, so I’m there to answer their questions and make sure we keep moving forward,” Drozd says.
And although he often switches back and forth between residential and commercial jobs, he says he likes the change of pace.
“It exposes me to both worlds and helps me become more well-rounded,” he adds.
When he’s not on the job site, Daniel spends most of his free time with his wife, Lydia, and five-year-old son, Simon.