Q&A with Isam Ghandour

Vice President & Chief Estimator

isam

What is the best advice you ever received?

My first mentor, Darryl Lincoln, told me, “take care of others and they will take care of you.” Daryl is the first project manager I worked with. His advice meant to take care of owners and subcontractors at any project, as they would help you on future projects when you need them.

Growing up what did you aspire to be?

I wanted to be a doctor because my father was a doctor, but once I went through middle and high school I found a love for math so I decided that I was meant to be an engineer, not a doctor.

Is there a fact about you that would surprise most people?

I was my high school’s chess champion for all four years I attended.

What is your favorite song?

Now that I have kids, kid songs are my favorite songs to listen to and my favorite changes every year. Last year, it was songs from the movie “Frozen.”

Describe a moment or turning point that made a difference in your life. 

Getting married was a turning point in my life. Before you get married it is all about you and once you get married it’s about your family, your kids and growing the next generation. My wife and I dedicate our lives to our kids.

What is your favorite quote?

“Love for your neighbor what you love for yourself.” This is the golden rule for ethics and the root for all good character and manners.

We know you’re big on international sports and sports in general. What are your favorite sports to watch? Who was your favorite athlete to watch growing up and why?

My favorite sport to watch is soccer. In the 80’s when the World Cup started being televised, Diego Maradona was my favorite player to watch. He was the best player at the time. The good thing about soccer is that you don’t need any expensive equipment. If you want to play basketball you need a net, a basket, a proper playground and a technological clock. Football is too technical… you need five referees and the players require lots of equipment, which can be very expensive. That’s why soccer is very popular all over the world.

What is your favorite place to travel to and why?

England is one of my favorite places and I spend a lot of time there because my brother is there. England has a lot of history. In the US, everything is still so new, but when you go to London, everything is hundreds of years old.

I enjoy international cultures. I’ve been to Canada, Mexico, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. I like to travel a lot – even within the states. I enjoy visiting San Diego, too, but I like going home to Sudan to visit my family the most because I can revisit with childhood friends and relive memories.

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