Downtime with Daniel Mehls

Photo: Jason E. Kaplan
Daniel Mehls, Vice President and general manager of Mortenson

The general manager of construction and real estate developer Mortenson relaxes with model trains and Broadway musicals.    

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What I am reading

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World; The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable; What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

Must-have gadget

The keycard to the marina where my boat is slipped.

What I am watching

The Righteous Gemstones; The Handmaid’s Tale.

What I do outside of work

Boating; playing drums in my band, Frickin’ Way; model railroading; seeing Broadway musicals; camping; biking around town. 

Favorite family tradition

After Christmas our extended family get together for our annual lock-in/retreat. There are about 25 of us, and we lock ourselves in a camp chalet from Thursday to Sunday, catching up, playing games, eating delicious food and sharing quality time together. 


What motivates me to come to work

People. I enjoy working with so many different kinds of individuals who pull together through the power of a team. What they can accomplish is just amazing.

Fondest memory growing up

My mom’s homemade popcorn on Sunday nights. My family would all gather to watch TV, including The Carol Burnett Show, and we would snack on her popcorn together.

Favorite place to vacation

Anywhere with a beach, a Mai Tai and my wife.

The biggest disruptors facing construction in the next 10 years

Artificial intelligence and big data. The combination will lead to revolutionizing how buildings are designed in speed and form. Between generative design and speed of engineering calculations, buildings will be formed more quickly and uniquely.

Tech innovations like artificial intelligence will change the type of equipment needed to construct facilities, as well as the procurement and fabrication of materials for the types of building our society will require. It will allow more hoteling and remote work, and will create jobs in ways we haven’t even thought of yet.

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