Randy Zylstra is the operations director for Florida at Barton Malow. He’s also a Nonahood resident! Read our interview with him below.
Nonahood News: What is your job, and what does your day-to-day schedule look like?
Randy Zylstra: Being the operations director for Florida at Barton Malow involves meeting with our team members on a frequent basis to keep the morale up and make sure they’re fully supported. Attending online meetings, like we have been for the last year and a half now with COVID, is becoming a very typical thing that we all do. I’m involved with planning, forecasting meetings, and the implementation of new processes within the company. We have meetings about new things coming up with team members, training, going over job status reports. We have a safety rally meeting every Monday and so on.
NHN: What would you say are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
RZ: I like to see the finished product and show family members, children – if you have children – and say, “I was part of that building.” It’s great just to drive by 10 or 20 years later, right? It’s like, wow, I did that 20 years ago, and it still looks great! Another one is seeing people grow within our industry – seeing them come out of college, and then find out they’re vice president or president years later. That’s pretty exciting. I’ve been in the industry for 30 years. So, I’m starting to see people that I’ve known growing up and what wonderful things they’ve done throughout their career.
NHN: What got you interested in doing your current job in this area?
RZ: I was probably 13 or 14 years old, working construction with my uncle and helping out as needed. Then, that progressed. I went to Purdue University’s construction management program. I had some great internships that made me 100% sure this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I was able to work in 15 states throughout my career, and it was great. You know, I’ve met so many people, got to be part of so many teams throughout my career. Now, I live in Lake Nona, and the community here is growing; the state of Florida is growing. I love being here. In terms of this particular job, I’ve always been really strong in operations, managing strong teams. I’m always ready for the next opportunity, to do it on an even larger scale. That drives me every day.
NHN: Do you have any interesting hobbies, collections or interests?
RZ: I’ve always liked to golf. I’ve always been deeply into sports; I’ve managed both. I have a daughter who’s a nurse. My son has one more semester, and he will be in the construction field as well. I spent a lot of time with my kids growing up, really creating that family atmosphere, and I always had my kids volunteering and really understanding how special each person is, how it’s better to give than receive. A quirky collection I have is a pretty strong sports card collection that I’ve kept since the 1970s. So, I got a pretty strong 1970s/1980s baseball card collection.
NHN: Where do you see yourselves in the next five years?
RZ: Hopefully in five years, I’m still doing what I’m doing but in a much better way. I hope that I’m also still assisting growth at Barton Malow in Florida.
NHN: Where are you from originally?
RZ: I grew up about an hour south of Chicago in a small town in Northwest Indiana.
NHN: What brought you to Lake Nona?
RZ: I’ve been to Florida many, many times throughout my life, so I always knew Orlando very well. Lake Nona is a fairly new area. I mean, in the last 10 or 15 years, it’s developed into something special. I live in the Eagle Creek subdivision, which is a very warm subdivision.
NHN: What would you say is your favorite part about Lake Nona?
RZ: I’ve got a couple of neighbors there that immediately became my friends. Between the shopping, the restaurants, the locality of everything, Lake Nona has a lot to offer, and you really don’t have to venture too far to do anything you want. The golf courses are great. Everything about Lake Nona is very safe. The school systems look great. You also have a variety of choices on where to live. I mean, it’s just endless. Everywhere you look, they’re building something new whether it’s apartments, townhomes, a village home. It really gives you multiple choices on how you want to live.