In 2016, JV Driver Group expanded its U.S. leadership team with the transfer of Todd Robinson from its corporate headquarters in Alberta, Canada, to the company’s Gulf Coast office. Robinson is now president of JV Driver in the U.S. and calls Houston his home. BIC Magazine recently sat down with Robinson to learn more about his experience, the importance of implementing JV Driver’s core values, and living a life that is principle-centric.
Q: What led to your position at JV Driver?
A: After I graduated college, I joined JV Driver in Canada and have been working here for more than 20 years. I worked my way through the ranks, starting as an estimator and draftsman and at a grassroots level of “swinging a hammer.” Then I moved into coordinator positions, using my strengths in operations. I spent practically all my time in the field. When Canada had its oil boom, I was able to get a lot of oil sands experience. After this experience, I moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland, where I was able to become familiar with the marine and offshore industries. Since I moved to the U.S. two years ago, I am becoming more familiar with the petrochemical industry. I have a well-rounded base of experience in all the operations JV Driver performs, which is a main reason why I’m in the position I’m in now.
Q: What is the most important part of your position?
A: The most important part of my position is working to develop effective teams. It’s necessary to be surrounded by a strong group of people. JV Driver has put a lot of bench strength in our safety, fabrication and operations teams. I focus on putting the right puzzle pieces together, making sure all the parts work. I also want to ensure we have a strong work culture. Our culture is very important to us, and I want to make certain those who work for JV Driver are happy — happy with the work environment they are in today and happy they are on the right paths for their own careers for the future.
Q: What are your goals for your position?
A: JV Driver focuses so much on our core values: be innovative, take care of each other, build great things and have fun. These values are more important than a mission statement on a wall, so the goal for me is to implement these four ideals into every decision we make. If we use these values as our guidelines, we’ll always have a truly high-functioning office. I work hard to make sure these four key values are tied into everything we do in the U.S.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote?
A: “Great leaders do not become victims or apologists for the situations they’re in. They work hard to bend, twist, work through, go around or continually push on any problems they have.” I love this quote because it e ncompasses who a great leader should be. In this industry, we run into roadblocks all the time and becoming hung up on them is not an option. I heard this quote approximately 15 years ago, and it still rings true today.
Q: How do you maintain a good work/home life balance?
A: In our industry, you can see the family impact of not having a good work/ home life balance. Therefore, you have to have this balance. I tell my staff when they have to be at work, be here. When they don’t need to be at work, I don’t want them here. They have their own lives to live and a balance they need to take care of. Some people spend more time at work than home or vice versa, but that’s their own decision. To me, it’s not about being home-centric or work-centric; it’s about being principle-centric. If you stick to the principles that are deep in your heart, you’ll always make the right decision, whether it comes to work or home.