Editorial: 06.24.2024

20 Years Strong: Ryan Olson from Laborer to Leader

ryan olson

Ryan Olson celebrated 20 years with Castle in March 2024. Olson began his career as a laborer and eventually became Superintendent. Reflecting on his journey, he feels a deep sense of fulfillment, recognizing how each step has led him to where he is today.

Foundation Years

Olson recounts, “I went to college for about two months and realized it wasn’t for me. I needed something more engaging—I was just bored at school. I wanted a job that would put my brain to work right away. Construction turned out to be exactly what I was looking for.”

At age 21, Olson joined the union and started as a laborer, soon being introduced to the world of underground utilities while working for Paul Hansen Equipment, a specialty contractor that Castle acquired in 2018. Olson never left Paul Hansen Equipment because, as he explains, “it felt like family to him,” and he appreciates that Castle offers a similar atmosphere but with more opportunities for growth.

When Castle acquired Paul Hansen Equipment, Olson found himself well-positioned to advance his career due to his extensive experience with working on underground utilities. “I worked my way up from laborer to foreman and then to a foreman operator. It wasn’t until Castle took over that I had the chance to become a superintendent. Castle has been great, providing career growth and a supportive team.”

Navigating Challenges, Building Teams

As a superintendent at Castle, Olson oversees a variety of projects, ranging from short-term to long-term. Olson explains, “I'd rather do the stuff that's more methodical and challenging. I enjoy the projects that require us to really get into the details to figure out a way to do something unique.”

Recently, Olson and his team began a new project on the University of California San Diego’s campus, rerouting utilities on East Campus Loop Road. This project, which will last about two years, is divided into six phases to minimize disruption to students and staff. Olson expresses that this is the type of challenge he looks for and is excited to collaborate with a team of new faces.

Aside from the work itself, Olson says his favorite thing about his job is the people. He explains, “I really like the managing people aspect of my job. I like to discover the strengths and weaknesses of our team and find out what certain people are good at, and others are not. I’ve had to learn not to expect the same experience and skills from everyone on my crew. Our field team comes from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and being a good manager means knowing your team's strengths and areas for development.”

Southwest Adventures: Exploring the Desert and Family Sports

Olson and his family are avid outdoor enthusiasts. They love going to the desert and engaging in various outdoor activities. Olson, his wife Carissa, and their son and daughter enjoy rock crawling in Utah in their Jeep and vacationing at Lake Havasu in Arizona. They find themselves all over the southwest. When they’re not on long trips, they spend weekends at their kids’ sports events. Their 11-year-old daughter plays soccer, and their 14-year-old son plays basketball. To add on to the athletic activities and a fun fact about Ryan, he is currently playing in an adult sports league for soccer.


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