We had the good fortune of connecting with Ramon Gaanderse and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ramon, what makes you happy? Why?
Surrounding myself with great people who assist me in becoming a better person. I mean those who support your goals and trust your judgment. I am a firm believer we can’t do everything on our own. It takes a team to cross that finish line. The second aspect is that when you have reached your goal, the enthusiasm and pure joy that others have is priceless. So, it makes me happy to be part of those moments with others.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started my career with the Tucson Metro Chamber as a Government Affairs Manager – working on behalf of businesses in our community to better serve them by effectively working with government agencies. I quickly realized that I liked the government side and worked for a City Councilwoman as a policy advisory/chief of staff. Unfortunately, the November election did not go our way the following year, and I found another position as Executive Director of the Metropolitan Pima Alliance. My next stop following was the CEO of the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce during a recession, which were some tough times, but a great learning experience. Then I started my career in the transportation infrastructure side, where I have been for 11 years now, both managing the trade association (ATB) and private sector. The common denominator in my career has been creating relationships with the government. Serving the industry or businesses I have worked with to streamline processes and remind the government of the importance of construction jobs in our community. The biggest lesson I learned was representing business in the hardest-hit economy of our lifetime. You quickly understand the true backbone of our economy and the struggles they went through. I gained much more respect from 208-2012. I would love people to remember me for the work I have been doing during my career in construction. Specifically, my passion and striving to let the younger generation know why construction is a great career, it pays well and is rewarding. I now serve on numerous local and national boards to learn from others and share with those here to improve Tucson for our industry. The Southern Arizona Construction Career Days will be what I leave behind, and I hope that others recognize the importance of the event and grow it beyond my imagination. I have not only met colleagues throughout the last 11 years, but I have also gained some amazing friendships.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As a graduate of the University of Arizona, I love attending sporting events. I think a tailgating experience is a must if it was during football season. What I have learned over time, a lot of actual work can be conducted during tailgating and seeing people you haven’t lately. For food, some of my favorite places to go are Daisey Maes Steak House on the west side; some great ribs and steaks. I enjoy many places to find some great beer, but Barrio Brewing has excellent local beers. I also want Roccos Little Chicago for some great pizza and wings and beers. With the great outdoors (I’m not much of one), having to head to Mt. Lemmon and get a great cookie and ice cream and beat the heat – it’s always welcome. Also, during the summers, a great stay-cation at a local resort is fun, and find me in a lazy river. Golf, golf, and more golf. I am not picky about what course, but I find it always difficult to stay in the fairway when playing on these narrow-snake-infected courses. What I enjoy most is when I pick up dinner for the family, I order when I arrive at the location. I have a drink at the bar, but what always amazes me is you can find people to talk with at all times. Some are local, some are snowbirds, and others are just in town. Tucson people are always so nice.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
From a personal standpoint, I always have to think of my dad (my parents), who taught me what it means to love family and work well (not hard). My dad started his business as a young man, never attending college. He grew his business to eventually sell to a worldwide business. So thanks, Mom & Dad. I also like to recognize several members of the Arizona Transportation Builders Association (ATB) who assisted me in learning about the infrastructure industry (roads, bridges, paving and underground). I never thought-leading that organization as the Executive Director would land me to be the Chief Information Officer at a paving company. Many of those members were and are instrumental. I also would like to recognize those who assist in the construction industry’s career placement and training (JTED, University of Arizona, Pima College, etc.). Understanding the importance of educating the younger generation to consider seeking a career in construction helped me start the Southern Arizona Construction Career Days – “planting the seed” about careers in construction to 8-12TH grade students with a hands-on event. I could have never done this alone.

Website: https://ramonagaanderse.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ramonagaanderse/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ramon-a-gaanderse-2856b231/

Twitter: @ramongaanderse

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ramon.gaanderse/

Other: www.saccd.org (the foundation I started) https://www.linkedin.com/company/southern-arizona-construction-career-days/?viewAsMember=true https://www.facebook.com/tucsonasphaltcontractors www.tucsonasphalt.com https://www.linkedin.com/company/5316515/admin/ https://www.instagram.com/tucsonasphalt/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.