In his own words: Brent Farr of Farr West Engineering
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your firm and the duties of your position.
Brent Farr: Farr West Engineering is a civil engineering firm that specializes in municipal utility projects, like water systems. We work in communities throughout Nevada and northern California. As the president of the firm, I provide leadership and direction to our staff and focus on operations and business development. We have been in business for over 11 years.
NNBW: How did you enter this profession?
Farr: I knew I wanted to be in a technical field but was also interested in construction. A family friend, who is a civil engineer, pointed me in the right direction.
NNBW: What’s the most important thing you have learned in your career?
Farr: Working hard at something that you find interesting and challenging is very fulfilling.
NNBW: What’s changed about your job over the years?
Farr: When I started my business I was a sole proprietor working from home for about three clients. Eleven years later our firm employs about 20 people, and we serve over 100 clients. My role has naturally evolved over that time. I used to focus strictly on individual projects. Now I manage a business, which involves everything from human resources to marketing, and I still practice civil engineering.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Farr: Aside from a paper route, my first real job was working for a construction company during summer break.
NNBW: Tell us about your dream job. Why aren’t you working it?
Farr: I can honestly say that owning and managing a consulting engineering firm was a goal of mine and it has been challenging and rewarding. If I were to leave this job and do something else, I would probably be a personal coach or a fishing guide.
NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession?
Farr: Civil engineering is a great profession. If you enjoy math and science and like solving problems and designing things, engineering may be a good fit. Get the best education and experience that you possibly can, and focus on the things you really find interesting.
NNBW: Tell us about the most fun you have had on the job.
Farr: Remember, I’m an engineer…
NNBW: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Farr: I have received a lot of good advice related to priorities and perspective. I have learned a lot about focusing on the things that matter most in life.
NNBW: What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes? How do you spend your time away from work?
Farr: I have limited free time, so I spend most of it with my family. As a family we like to play sports and travel. We have family in some really great places, like Hawaii and Alaska, so our vacations are pretty fun.
NNBW: If you could live your life over again, what one thing would you change?
Farr: I would take more time to enjoy the journey and not be in such a hurry to reach my goals. I would probably buy some stock in Apple, too.
NNBW: What did you dream of being as a kid?
Farr: A famous football player. I still dream of that.
NNBW: What’s your greatest professional accomplishment?
Farr: My greatest professional accomplishment and source of satisfaction is being part of a great team of talented people that is solving challenging problems.
NNBW: What can you do that someone else can’t?
Farr: Kiss my wife.
NNBW: What’s the last concert or sporting event you attended?
Farr: Monday Night Football last season, Pittsburgh Steelers versus San Francisco 49ers.
NNBW: What’s your perfect vacation spot?
Farr: Kona, Hawaii. We have family there and it’s a great place to visit.
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?
Farr: I don’t think so. I find too much satisfaction in work to give it up completely! Besides, I would probably drive my wife crazy.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working and living here?
Farr: I grew up in Alaska and really enjoy the outdoors and smaller communities and my wife pretty much worships the sun. Northern Nevada is a perfect fit for our family.
Name: Brent Farr, president, Farr West Engineering
How long have you been in this job? 11 years
How long in the profession? 17 years
Education: B.S., civil engineering, Brigham Young University; M.S., civil & environmental engineering, University of California, Berkeley
Last book read? “Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else” by Geoff Colvin
Favorite movie? “Lord of the Rings” trilogy
What’s on your iPod? I don’t spend much time on my iPod!
Spouse/kids/pets? Wife, three children and a dog
Know someone whose perspective you want to share with NNBW readers? Send contact information to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (775) 850-2146.
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