Plateau People – Marcel Virella, Public Utility Manager
With a strong foundation built on people, quality craftsmanship, and innovation, Plateau Excavation has become a leader in tackling advanced, large-scale and complex site development projects, but it is our people that truly make the difference and have moved the company forward.
- How many years have you been at Plateau Excavation? 4 years 10 Months
- What’s your job title? Public Utility Manager
- What exactly do you do at our company? I work in the safety department. My profession is a discipline of engineering, called Subsurface Utility Engineering or S.U.E. Whenever sites are being planned, my profession is used in the identification of utilities and any conflicts involved in the process. All new jobs come to my desk to get legalized for excavation and processed through the 811-Call Before You Dig System. I set the jobs up as a large project in Georgia and normal tickets in other states. I meet with all the utility representatives to explain the project, answer questions, and have them sign marking agreements per the dig law before we can get underway. I also investigate overhead and underground utility damages to determine who is at fault, write legal arguments when we are not at fault, and deal with the Public Service Commission when it is deemed necessary. I locate and identify private and public utilities to aid excavators in not damaging utilities. When requested, I train and advise members of the team on safety around utilities and write protocols on best practices in the avoidance of utility damages. In critical utility crossings, I will stay on-site to ensure best practices are adhered to.
- So far, what has been your favorite project? SK Battery-Hyundai
- How would you describe your team or the people you work with? I would have to say “as family.” I feel like I’m working with my cousins, uncles, and aunts…The only difference is, they don’t ask me to borrow money. They have all embraced me and treated me with respect since day one and have been very professional and cordial in the process. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, this is where I want to retire.
- What advice would you provide to someone interested in getting into this industry? Come on aboard!! It’s tough but rewarding work. If you like working with your hands, teamwork, and seeing a vision come to fruition, this is the place to be. Plateau didn’t become the best by accident. All you have to do is tell me what it is you’re interested in doing here, and I’ll try and point you to where you need to go to get you an interview.
- What is your favorite aspect about your job, Plateau, or the industry? First, I would have to say that the teamwork here is the best I’ve seen since I’ve been in my profession. I also love the management team. They respect my experience and input which makes me feel like I’m valued. I also love the fact that they give you every tool you need to get the job done! That means a lot to me.
- What drew you to Plateau originally? I worked in the past as a sub-contractor for Plateau, some years prior to coming on board. I always admired the spirit and comradery of the Superintendents and PMs and thought that it might be nice to work for a company like Plateau. However, it never crossed my mind that they would need someone full-time in my field. One day, one of the PMs (Sean Whitaker) reached out to me with an offer and told me that if I’m ever interested in a change, I should come and work for them. That resonated with me and later I decided to see if my gut instincts about the company were true. I’ve been here ever since.
- What is something unique about you (a fun fact) that few people are aware of? Only a few people at Plateau know that my passion is videography and short films. As a matter of fact, y’all be on the lookout for a Plateau short film coming your way soon!
- Anything else to share? I’d like to say thanks to all for allowing me to have the opportunity to work with such a great team and grow together.
Come on aboard!! It’s tough but rewarding work. If you like working with your hands, teamwork, and seeing a vision come to fruition, this is the place to be. Plateau didn’t become the best by accident.