At J.W. Fowler, we’re convinced that diverse perspectives lead to better solutions. Building a strong, diverse workforce means we typically exceed diversity and inclusion requirements, whether we’re operating in La Jolla, California, or Portland, Oregon. We understand that a diverse workforce is powerful, and our team members represent a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.
We thrive on building meaningful relationships and aim to support our small businesses and minority contractor-partners. We know from our own beginnings that starting a business is no easy feat. Diversity in our way of doing business allows us to find valuable solutions that will uniquely serve our clients and communities.
John is our president and the son of J.W. Fowler founder Jim Fowler. John’s current responsibilities include overseeing the big-picture direction of the company, supporting all key executive positions, and managing our day-to-day operations. He often focuses his attention on especially challenging or large projects, but he is involved with the planning and execution of every project J.W. Fowler takes on.
He’s consistently proud of how our people can frequently find construction materials or methods that save our clients time, money, or both. John’s favorite part of his job is “watching and helping people succeed and completing challenging work that others avoid.” He especially enjoys “when we find a way to complete a project that was either not considered by the client or dismissed as not being feasible.”
John highly values the relationships he’s built with partners and clients over the years and says that he loves “working with my dad and knowing that my kids are following in our footsteps.” He likes to spend his free time with his two sons and their wives. You can also find him working on old cars when he’s not hard at work.
Jim is our company president, and he has been heavily involved in J.W. Fowler’s management and oversight since our inception in 1977. In the company’s early days, Jim and his wife Candace bought a dozer and a carryall and started building agricultural ponds. Within a few years, they were bidding on road projects for the forest service and county. Since then, Jim has focused on growing the company by adding “the right people in the right seat” and treating employees as part of the family.
Jim says that one of the big reasons for J.W. Fowler’s continuing success is how we’ve built rapport with our partners and associates, maintaining strong relationships with stakeholders at every level. After all these years, Jim still enjoys each day at J.W. Fowler. “There is nothing I enjoy more than working with people who have passion and want to succeed,” he says. “They are always thinking outside the box and making things happen.”
In his free time, Jim loves hanging out with his kids and grandkids. Although he and Candace don’t ski and hike as much as they used to, they still love to travel and enjoy watching their grandchildren participate in sports and activities.
It was only natural that VP of Operations Bill Blankenship would wind up in construction—it was his family business, and having a backdrop of knowledge provides a strong foundation for his career. As VP of Operations, Bill’s job is to ensure that work is procured and executed in a safe, timely, and profitable manner that is in alignment with our company goals.
Bill’s construction experience is robust, but it's his capacity to act as a bridge between passionate and highly motivated people that makes him great at his role. “My biggest challenge varies greatly depending on the day, but it usually involves getting people to reach a common goal or decision. We’ve always been good about coming together as a team to help each other out in challenging situations.”
While hard work and aptitude are common refrains for construction initiates, Bill says that communication is an oft-overlooked skill. You don’t need a college degree to be successful in life. Many people have very successful careers in construction, and Bill is a living example of just that.
Damian Skerbeck is our Operations Manager and Senior Project Manager at J.W. Fowler. In addition to earning his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington, he is a register Engineer in Washington State.
With over 33 years of heavy civil construction experience, Damian has focused on infrastructure, site development, and highway projects. He has served as a project engineer, superintendent, offsite project manager, and in business development.
Damian’s range of experience has given him a unique outlook on managing projects—understanding both the construction process and the importance of developing relationships with clients on both alternative delivery and traditional design/bid/build contracts. He is extremely detail-oriented and passionate about maintaining open lines of communication between J.W. Fowler and our clients.
Jim Carroll joined the J.W. Fowler team in spring of 2021 as Chief Estimator. He is responsible for planning, coordinating, and supervising the J.W. Fowler estimating program and providing technical and administrative direction to ensure corporate objectives are met. His focus for the department is on being efficient so they can maximize their productivity.
After serving in the Coast Guard and earning his B.S. in Civil Engineering, Jim started working with a small heavy civil and marine contractor out of Coos Bay, Oregon. Due to the size of the company, Jim had the opportunity to touch many aspects of the business that he wouldn’t have if he were starting with a bigger outfit. Jim’s diversity of experience enriches his leadership, and he’s looking forward to being “a part of the unlimited potential I’ve witnessed on the J.W. Fowler team.”
For Jim, integrity is the cornerstone that holds life together—working and otherwise. He’s passionate about seeing everyone in his life succeed. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his family and, now that his kids have left home, he’s looking forward to spoiling future grandchildren.
Teamwork is the force that carries the J.W. Fowler team forward and Chris Bottoms leads our tunneling and trenchless teams!
As a Colorado School of Mines Graduate, Chris has diverse career experience in building various tunnel, shaft sinking, and trenchless projects including slurry MTBMs, large-diameter TBMs, open face shields, SEM, pipe ramming, auger boring, and larger diameter/length horizontal directional drills. His technical knowledge dovetails well in leading our team to low-cost and constructible alternative delivery projects in excess of $200M including CM/GC, Design-Build, and Progressive Design Build.
Chris enjoys spending his free time with his wife Emily, his twin daughters, his Aussie, and out with friends in his first-generation Toyota 4Runner rock crawler.
With over 20 years in construction in Portland, Phiet Vuong has the specific expertise needed for his role as J.W. Fowler’s Oregon Regional Manager. He has worked in the project and materials management of infrastructure, large diameter pipe, and microtunnel construction projects.
Phiet’s greatest strength lies in conscientiously working with the public to limit impacts from the construction process.
Spencer has been part of the J.W. Fowler family since 2014, and he is our Southern California regional manager. He oversees our project managers and supervisors in this region, and he also helps implement company policies, reduce costs, and increase productivity. Before he joined J.W. Fowler, Spencer studied Spanish at the University of Nebraska, then taught English in Costa Rica before shifting his career into the construction industry.
Spencer’s favorite projects to work on are microtunneling jobs because they’re challenging and allow him to draw upon his expertise. Compared to other construction companies he’s worked at, Spencer says that he appreciates how much interaction there is between all levels of the company at J.W. Fowler. “John [Fowler] is actively interested in the smallest detail on our jobs,” he says. “He interacts with everyone as equals. This is unique and important for the team.”
When he’s not at work, you can usually find Spencer hanging out with his in-laws, who all live in his neighborhood. “They are good people, and our nieces and nephews lighten our lives,” he says. Spencer also enjoys playing golf and watching the Nebraska Huskers.
Will joined J.W. Fowler as a project manager in 2018, and he is now our regional manager for the state of Washington. Before coming to J.W. Fowler, Will worked as a general superintendent on large tunnel projects. He originally got his start in construction by joining an apprenticeship program, and today he has more than two decades of experience in our industry.
Will always enjoys “planning and leading construction of complex projects” and says that what matters to him most at work is delivering “safe, profitable, high-quality work.” He values the family atmosphere at J.W. Fowler and appreciates the opportunity to work on “innovative, difficult, and successful” projects. In his free time, Will likes hanging out with family and participating in shooting sports.
Join us and start the next chapter of your life. We’re focused, driven, and always looking out for each other. If building with integrity while solving challenges speaks to you, get in touch using the contact card below or see a list of current openings here.