Getting to Know Gary Hodges, PE, Vice President and Houston Marketplace Leader

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We talked with Gary Hodges to learn more about his diverse background and personal interests that have helped shape his perspective that he brings to his new role in Houston. 

Before working at RK, what was the most unusual or interesting job/project you’ve ever had?

For about a year and a half I worked on the $7B Qatar Bahrain Causeway project in Doha, Qatar, a design build project to construct a 24-mile causeway across the Salwa Bay in the Arabian Gulf. I was the Director for Construction Management and Commissioning. Unfortunately, the owner pulled the plug on the project after we completed preliminary design and early works, believing they could get a better final design and construction price in a few years.  It’s been 10 years and the construction still hasn’t started.

What are three words that describe RK?

  1. Strategic
  2. Family
  3. Successful

What does leadership mean to you? 

Leadership means sharing a vision and formulating and communicating strategic direction to establish and reach goals while providing personal guidance making employees feel safe and supported.

What characteristic do you most admire in others?

I admire passion, whether it’s at work or at play. It’s a pleasure to be around people who love what they’re doing. Their spirit is infectious.

If you could visit anywhere in the world you’ve never been, where would you go? 

I would love to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.

Where do you consider to be your hometown? 

I don’t really have a hometown. I was born at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and raised in a Navy family that moved every 2-3 years.  I spent 24 years in the Navy myself.  But, the longest I’ve lived anywhere is in Houston.  I spent 12 years here after I retired from the Navy and now I’m back again. So, maybe this is home.

What made you want to become an engineer?

I really thought I wanted to be a nuclear physicist and an astronaut when I was growing up.  But, I came to realize that it’s engineers who deal with the reality of scientific development and make things happen.  That’s where I wanted to be.

What’s the most incredible view you’ve ever seen?

This probably refers to a geographical landmark and I’ve seen plenty of amaazing sights. But, the most incredible view I’ve ever seen was the birth of my second daughter.  It was absolutely overwhelming.

What you like doing in your spare time? 

My family and I enjoy sailing when we can get time, which is not as often as we would like with two young girls into all kinds of other activities.  I also enjoy getting out on my bicycle when I can.

What three things are on your bucket list? 

  1. Climb Mt Kilimanjaro
  2. Sail around Cape Horn
  3. Get my daughters out of the house as happy and successful adults ready to contribute to society