Who He Is
Introducing Elhosein “Sam” Baratou, a man who has shown dedication, passion, and commitment throughout his career and is about to retire. He’s brought his industry knowledge, reputation, and grit to Maser Consulting. Sam Baratou has over 25 years of experience in Geotechnical and construction quality assurance and materials testing, the last ten of which have been at Maser Consulting. Every day of his career, he has brought dedication and reliability with him. Most recently, Sam has worked as a Senior Technical Manager overseeing Construction Quality Assurance (CQA), responsible for the interpretation and implementation of shop drawings and specifications, as well as preparing proposals and coordinating budgets.
Over the course of his career, he has predominantly been known for the work he did for a major big box hardware retailer client. He managed the CQA for building dozens of stores and warehouses with large square footage. His expertise has been a great asset for clients and contractors alike during sub-structure and superstructure operations, comprising observations and testing for concrete reinforcement/placement, masonry, pre-cast walls, structural steel, paving, and site work. Baratou has also been the Chair of the firm’s Construction Services Committee, which focuses on training newly hired field technicians, passing-on his knowledge, while providing monthly refresher training for field personnel to improve their quality of work. He has gone above and beyond, become a top mentor, leader in our company and industry… and is leaving big shoes to fill.
What Set Him Apart
Sam’s expertise is certainly a large part of what has made him such a valuable manager, but the thing that sets him apart most is his big personality and ability to get the job done. Anyone asked will describe him as knowledgeable, trustworthy, reliable, and respectful in every day of managing people, travelling, and representing his firm. Senior Geophysicist Alexander Ross shared an office with Sam for several years, and noted that he was always positive, even on the most stressful days. He said, “His attitude continues to cheer up the office, bringing a smile on every encounter. Sam’s contribution of his years of knowledge and overwhelmingly-friendly and positive attitude will be greatly missed.”
Starting out purely as a field worker, going to sites and working on one project at a time, he began his career with knowledge in soil mechanics and structural engineering, which he studied in college. But after meeting mentor Moustafa Gouda (now a Senior Project Manager in Geotechnical services in our Headquarters) he was encouraged to learn about the geotechnical side of projects as well. Sam said, “I liked the challenge of construction, and did not see myself in geotechnical at first, but soon realized how critical it is for the construction side to understand geotechnical information, how designs were affected by things like soil quality, and so forth. A lot of people in construction don’t take the time to do that but it’s important.”
A pivotal moment came early in his career when he displayed an innate ability to gain both coworker and client trust through his expertise, dedication and ability to follow a project through to the end and beyond when necessary. These lessons helped him to create a reputation built on confidence and reliability that have been his hallmark. He said, “We always need to part ways in good terms, no matter what happens with a contractor or anyone, we never leave a job without mutual respect.”
Sam wasn’t just reliable with clients, he treated everyone with respect. Maser’s Senior Accounting Administrator Mary Ellen Menzella noted Sam’s dependability as well. She said, “It was a pleasure to have him as one of my managers. He has always been a gentleman, a kind and caring person. He would always get his billing returned to me on-time and call if it was going to be late or if he had questions regarding a project draft. His attentiveness and professionalism will definitely be missed. He is one of a kind!”
What’s next for Sam?
He said, “In 1994 I started working nonstop travelling up and down the east coast, being out of my house for months on end, pretty much without a break. Now it’s time to enjoy the rest of my time and relax.”
Sam Baratou demonstrated how to be an ethical leader in every job, and in every interaction. Whether it was as a field worker or a manager, he led by example by consistently being both knowledgeable and principled. His legacy will live on through the many people who worked with and learned from him. Good luck to you, Sam, and thank you for all of your efforts!