Meet Lou Friscoe, Senior Program Manager at The Building People! He is a key member of our Charleston team. Lou is a US Navy Veteran and has 20 years of project management, program management, and workforce management experience. Here’s more from Lou about his background and role at TBP.
What is your professional background?
Before joining The Building People in 2019, I was in the US Navy for 23 years. I served as an Aviation Structural Mechanic with a focus on Non-Destructive Inspection and Testing. Throughout my career, I worked on numerous airplanes in numerous locations deploying around the world. As my career progressed, I held positions as the Supply Officer, Operations Lead, Maintenance Control Lead, and Production Control Lead. During my active duty time, I achieved my Masters degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. The university offered me the opportunity to be an instructor for the lower-level courses as I finished my tour in New Orleans, LA. When I retired from the military, I was the Senior Enlisted Leader for 13 commands at the Naval Operations Support Center Charleston. My responsibilities covered attack boats, mine countermeasures, Hospital Corpsmen, supply and logistics, operations, and maintenance of heavy equipment.
My academic career continued to grow, and I was hired by the University of Arkansas to be an Adjunct Professor in the Master of Science in Operations Management and the Master of Science in Engineering Management programs. My focused courses are Strategic Management, Supply Chain Management, Industrial Safety and Health, and Maintenance Management. My experiences in the US Navy and in academia helped set me up for a smooth transition into the civilian workforce.
What is your current role at TBP?
I am a Senior Program Manager (SPM).
Can you tell us about the work you do at TBP?
My role at The Building People is hard to describe. Each day is something new and a different puzzle to figure out. I currently have oversight of 10 projects varying from Operations and Maintenance (O&M), Facility Support Services (FSS), Material Expediters and Material Handlers, Contracting and Administration, and a high-profile project that ensures our Airmen launch when the phone call comes. As an SPM, the roles and responsibilities vary and we essentially “make things happen” to make sure our projects run as smoothly as they can. I assist the Business Development team when needed to help review proposals as a technical expert, and look for new opportunities to pursue to enable continued growth of the business while also being the glue between headquarters and the projects.
What is a fun fact about you that people may not know?
I rebuilt a 1980 Corvette Stingray over the course of two years in 2014-2016. I installed a new engine, brake system, vacuum system, transmission, suspension, and everything mechanical on that car. It looked like the Bat Mobile, black and shiny with side pipes. It was a frustrating hobby but after I built it, I sold it because everyone in my family couldn’t fit in it, so I bought a jeep. Not as fast, but still fun!
What do you like most about working in your role?
I couldn’t ask to be in a better position than I am in now. I can take care of my teammates, help them, and appreciate their hard work. Every person on my team does their part and they do it well without complaining. They make my job easy and make me want to work harder for them. I like just being “Lou”, and my teams know they can call me or text me at any time and I will help them.
How do you define success?
Success is not defined by money, it’s nice to have but it doesn’t make you successful. Success can be defined in many ways, but self-pride seems to shine for me. An example would be a proud mom or dad watching their kid open a door for an older person, watching your kid grow up and be respectful, and making good choices. That is success! When a person achieves their diploma and walks across the stage with a big smile, that is success. Waking up every morning and making your bed, a small win but still a successful start. I do not define success as one big win but a bunch of little wins, each one being a success. Unless I win the Powerball, then I will successfully disappear.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I worked on airplanes for most of my life and never learned to fly. I can start the engines, fix anything on an airplane, operate everything, and verify the logbooks are right but I never learned to fly. I still have it on the bucket list to learn. It will happen someday.
What is a favorite quote that resonates with you?
“In God we trust. All others must bring data.”
-W. Edwards Deming
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
If you cannot make a decision in 10 seconds, it is either not your decision to make or you do not have enough information.
What is the accomplishment you are the proudest of to date?
Daddy, of course! I think of the unique things I have done in my life from climbing active volcanos in different countries, touching the different oceans, spending time overseas accomplishing missions, and helping students achieve their goals. I am an accomplished Dad. I am hard on my kids, but they love me and know I am setting them up for success. I tell them my lessons learned and definitely what NOT to do as I did! Everyone wants the best for their kids and as they get older, they really are just broke best friends. I let my kids attempt whatever they want, and sometimes they are successful and sometimes they fail. And if they fail, I let them fail, but fail to the point where they learn, not to the point where they are broken. I will not be around forever and I tie it back to: what is success? It is my kids knowing they are going to be okay as they grow!
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