Editorial: 04.22.2024

Wade Garren Hones His Project Management Skills in Omaha

wade garren

As a boy growing up in Cottage Grove, Oregon, Wade Garren enjoyed hanging out with his grandpa, a custom cabinet builder.

“When I wasn't in school, I spent a lot of my time in his wood shop watching him build cabinets and furniture…and always jumping in to learn what I could,” he recalls.

The woodworking skills that Garren learned have served him well; his handiwork is evident in the custom-built beds that adorn his current home.

Those early experiences also planted seeds for a future career in construction.

When Garren was a freshman in high school, his family moved from the West Coast to Persia, Iowa, located about 40 miles northeast of Omaha. 

After completing high school, he earned a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and drove a beer delivery truck before getting hired on by Utility Equipment Company, a Midwest distributor of pipe, fittings and accessories.

His 11-year tenure at the company included serving as the Omaha branch manager, a role that involved working closely with Castle, one of his regular customers.

Garren credits Castle Project Manager Dustin Moyer and Project Senior Engineer Joe Voypick for convincing him that Castle would benefit from his experience, skills and industry connections. “They talked Castle up quite a bit and thought my product knowledge and connections to other contractors in town would be an asset,” he says.

Learning the Ropes

Garren joined Castle’s Omaha team as assistant project manager in April 2023. His current project assignment involves assisting with site utilities and under-slab work at UNO Hub 1, a data center in Omaha.

He spends about half of his workday at the jobsite and the other half at the Castle office. “Every day is something different, with new challenges to overcome,” he says.

As Garren marks his one-year anniversary at Castle, he’s grateful for the opportunity to continue learning about the day-to-day management of projects from his colleagues. “Castle has so many resources, and everybody is very, very helpful,” he says. “The company does such a good job of hiring the right person for each job.” 

A long-standing volunteer with the Nebraska chapter of the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA), Garren was recently elected as secretary-treasurer of its Board of Directors. “They're a big proponent of the laws and regulations that govern what we do, and being able to lobby and be part of that association is a lot of fun for me,” he says.

Garren lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa, with his wife, Hilary, and three sons: 8-year-old Trenton and 5-year-old twins Chase and Cole. The family also shares the house with Zuma, a 2-year-old chocolate lab; and Tootsie, a 12-year-old Pomeranian.

“We play a lot of sports, do a lot of wrestling, and I am getting really good at patching drywall,” he laughs. And he’s proud to report that his sons have become raving Castle fans. “They love coming out and seeing the machines and putting the helmets on,” he says. “They love Castle through and through.” 


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