Q&A: Amir Salimi
Not one to back down from a challenge or problem, Amir Salimi, project engineer at Willmeng Construction, believes in leading by example, caring for everyone and never giving up on the things you love or believe in. Those principles guided him during his move to the United States from Canada and still to this day. Also, an avid sports fan, he grew up rooting for the Baltimore Ravens because of Hall of Fame linebackers Ray Lewis and closely followed Tracy McGrady’s career throughout the NBA.
What is the toughest professional challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome that challenge?
My toughest professional challenge happened around 10 months ago when I moved to Arizona from Canada. Navigating new/different rules and regulations took time for me to adapt, but now I can say after several months I finally feel comfortable.
Growing up, what did you aspire to be?
Like most kids, I really wanted to become a NBA or NFL player.
How did you get started in your career?
It all started when I was working with my dad. He’s a general contractor back in Canada and I always wanted to learn what he did on a daily basis. Then once I went to college, I realized I wanted to study something related. So I went into urban planning and here I am five years later at Willmeng Construction.
What is the best advice you ever received?
To never give up on the things you love and to always fight for them until the end.
What are you known for?
I’m known by friends as easy going and someone who loves to play, watch and talk about sports (basketball and football).
What advice do you have for the next generation of leaders?
To be involved and to care for those around you, since they are mostly looking at you for either guidance or support. Also, to never forget to put yourself in their shoes and to always show that you care no matter what.
What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
I love to spend time with my family and play basketball or football with my friends.
What is your leadership philosophy?
To lead by example and not to boss people around. To be part of the team and help each individual succeed in their own personal goals. Listen to everybody and what they have to say. Mainly, to care for everybody and not to leave anybody behind.
What is your anthem? (Favorite song)
My favorite song is Many Men by 50 Cent. Since I was kid, I would listen to all his songs and I still do today.
What is your next big professional goal?
I want to keep on learning everything this industry has to offer. Once the timing is right and the opportunity comes along, I would really love to become a project manager.