TF Powers and the Power of Mentorship & Learning

Written by: Brady Drake

As a company, TF Powers Construction works on some of the most prestigious projects in the industry. But internally, TF is so much more than its projects; it’s a place that facilitates growing, learning, and thrives in mentor/mentee relationships.

We sat down with TF Powers Field Superintendent Rock Rude to discuss his relationship with not only the company as a whole but also his role in facilitating learning with new and younger employees. “I love watching these younger people learn and develop,” says Rude. “[I love] sharing my experiences and knowledge with them – they’re always going to find their own way of doing things, but if I can help them out in telling them about my past mistakes and successes, that’s rewarding.”

Having been in construction his whole life, Rude knows the ins and outs of what makes not only a company successful, but also how the internal culture of a business can thrive with the right employees and creating a place where excellence is goal and growth is the journey. Rude loves seeing all the right hands come together to help complete a finished product. “It’s always rewarding to see a finished product – see the building and see the people occupying it and enjoying it,” says Rude, who has been with TF Powers for over five years. “… Also knowing what it took to do that– it wasn’t me, it was a lot of hard work from a lot of good people – and with TF Powers, they love to do the job right.”

If I can help them out in telling them about my past mistakes and successes, that’s rewarding. Rock Rude, Field Superintendent

Rock Rude
Rock Rude, Field Superintendent

The Art of Responsibility

TF Powers fosters learning on its job sites by pairing up the more experienced workers with the younger ones who are looking for a leadership role. In turn, this gives them experience in setting up job meetings, dealing with subcontractors, owners, architects, and project managers.

“I do appreciate them giving me that responsibility,” says Rude. “And I enjoy it; I love watching these younger people learn and develop.”

One of Rude’s personal experiences as a mentor is with fellow Field Superintendent Cyril Lavoie, with whom Rude had worked on projects in the past. During a project for the Grand Forks Air Force Base, there became a need for quality control, and Rude knew just the man for the job.

“I suggested Cyril for that [project], and he did quite well at it,” says Rude. “He was there the whole time I was there – he was always my number one guy on that project.”

Cyril Lavoie, Field Superintendent at TF Powers
Cyril Lavoie, Field Superintendent at TF Powers

Implementing the Tools Learned

As a mentee, Lavoie has grown and learned a great deal having worked on many project sites. Lavoie’s approach is taking the time to work through each task on a personal level with each team member on the project. To Lavoie, great communication and listening skills are essential to ensuring a project is completed successfully.

“[Rock] taught me a lot on how to better interact and communicate projects with my team,” says Lavoie, who works hard to create synergy at all levels of each construction project.

Lavoie, who has been with TF Powers for over ten years, credits Rude with helping develop great communication skills, which in turn has significantly helped increase efficiency and productivity within projects. Lavoie’s hopes are to carry on what he has learned from Rude and be a mentor to younger team members in the future.

“My goal is to do what [Rude] did and take them under my wing, listen to what they’re saying and try to help them in every way,” says Lavoie.

Rude and Lavoie’s implementation of great communication paired with strong team relationships results in more synergistic projects with some beautiful end results. Here are some of the striking projects TF Powers Construction has completed.

TF Powers
910 6th Ave N, Fargo
(701) 293-1312

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.