Hello, I am Daniel Graf, owner and designer of civilcad.net. The transportation construction industry has been a part of my life since the mid 1980's. Way back then, being a laborer and concrete mixer driver during the summer session allowed me to pay for the tuition and living expenses necessary to complete a degree at Drake University. My employer at the time was McCarthy Brothers Construction in Houston, Texas.
In 1990, an opportunity to work for a survey crew in this industry knocked on my door. After being somewhat lost as to what I should do with my life, it was a welcome invitation to be a part of something in which I excelled. With Champagne Webber (now WW Webber, LLC), I was promoted quickly to party chief as the need became apparent. We built a lot of bridges and pavement for what I call smaller projects of side feeder roads to freeways and such.
In 1993, Williams Brothers Construction Company offered to me a huge salary increase, and an opportunity to work on some seriously big contract work, also in Houston. I bid farewell to Webber, and immediately was put in charge of the surveying for the $86 million project at the intersection of Beltway 8 and Highway 45 on the north side of Houston near Greenspoint Mall in Houston.
With Williams Brothers, we built a multitude of project over the next 9 years. When parting, owner Doug Pitcock had me in charge of $400 million worth of construction, which was almost all of the work that they had in Houston at the time, in 2001.
Weeks Marine lured me away from Williams Brothers with an opportunity to work overseas in the marine construction industry. The work was completely different from previous jobs, and a great challenge. We spent one year in Venezuela building a pier to export petroleum products. Also, we spent a half of a year in beautiful Hawaii on a treated sanitation line that extended 2 miles out into the Pacific Ocean from Pearl Harbor.
After getting island fever, and becoming homesick to my adopted latin culture, plans were made to return to Houston, in 2003, and to my roots of highway construction with South Coast Construction. Although South Coast was smaller than what I was used to in the past, a great deal was learned by dealing with multiple entities such as the Texas Department of Transportation, the City of Houston and the many other cities surrounding it, the various county work in which the city of Houston encompasses, as well as the various entities that were responsible for the toll work in the Houston area. Even though South Coast was small, more was learned there than anywhere else.
Halfway through my tenure with South Coast, I came up with a crazy idea. I had loved working in South America at the beginning of the decade, and wanted to try another country. The owner and I spoke, and we decided that everything done previously within the confines of the office could be done remotely from another country as well.
This decision was not taken lightly. Before we talked about the idea, I spent 6 months developing a system that would work, depending heavily on tools that the internet had to offer. I learned how to build websites, and started testing different forms of internet communication before even walking into his office to pitch the idea.
My plan was accepted, and in early 2006, I traveled to Panama to start on my quest to improve on a new way to work which was more effective, as well as less expensive (there was a salary cut in order to check out this new system of mine). And the system worked.
It worked so well, that at the end of 2009, after four years of working remotely as an employee of South Coast, I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to do the same kind of work for more than one company. As I had continually tinkered with and improved my system through the last half of the decade with South Coast, I had decided to go out on my own.
Toward the end of 2009, I sent South Coast my letter of resignation, with the offer to continue to use my services provided at Civil CAD. They accepted my offer.
Today, Civil CAD is based out of New Jersey. But, work can be done from anywhere with an internet connected laptop. So, I travel the country, and meet up with clients as often as possible. Since my services are web based, I work where ever I happen to be. My office is mobile. If you would like to visit with me personally, drop me a line at email@example.com or call me at (732) 978-4556, and I will do my best to fit you into my travel plans.
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