You Know the Drill: Planning to Transition Out
One of Terry A. Trew’s biggest focuses and challenges is creating a quality company that will continue to flourish once he passes it on to the next generation. Trew has been a part of the drilling industry for 45 years. He founded Pearson Drilling Inc., based in Seattle, in 1977. The company works on shoring and deep foundations projects in the western half of Washington State. As a drilling and pile driving contractor, Pearson Drilling specializes in soldier piles, auger cast piles, drilled shafts and helical piles, as well as sheet piles, H-piles, round piles and pin piles.
While his role lately has centered around ensuring a smooth transition out, Trew says he still enjoys the business and working with his family. “I’ve always loved the challenges in the drilling industry and couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” he says.
Q. What do you do and what keeps you coming back every day?
A. I’m the lead driller and lead drill superintendent. I still enjoy the work. [What keeps me coming back is] the challenge of figuring out how to get the job done and trying to control the conditions below the ground; not being able to see below the ground, but still being able to get the job done. It’s very rewarding and exciting for me to see the next generation of drillers and managers, my kids and the younger workers that are the future of the company.
Q. What does a typical workday involve?
A. My workdays are evolving a little every day as I try to help the company transition from me running the day-to-day hands-on details and allow more of the work to be completed by others. It’s still my job to help solve any problems that might slow down production and to get high quality work accomplished on time.
Q. What does it take to succeed in what you do?
A. The ability to change direction quickly when it needs to change. The patience to stick with something no matter how hard if it’s the right way to accomplish the task. Provide the best product you can. Always strive to improve yourself, your work force, the equipment you need and the work you’re doing.
Q. What do you wish you knew when you started?
A. Plan for the future because everything will work out. Let the company grow at a controlled pace and don’t jump ahead or skip steps just because you want to get there. Don’t think you’re something you’re not. It takes however long it takes. Today is just a day.
Q. What tool can you not imagine working without?
A. My wife and my kids. Everything else I can buy, rent or borrow. They are why I go to work and enjoy every day.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A. Don’t live your life looking in the rearview mirror.
Q. How would you describe the present state of the industry?
A. Good, challenging and expanding.