Jim Pientka

Meet the Team: Jim Pientka

Best advice your mother gave you:
Eat your vegetables.

How long have you worked for Iconica?
28 years

What was your first position here?
Carpentry laborer

What do you do now?
President and CEO

What led you to the construction field?
My father was a contractor. I grew up around it.

Song to sing in the car:
I love singing, and I enjoy playing loud music when I am working.

Current audiobook you are listening to:
I am currently listening to a biography of Leonardo da Vinci and ‘The Ideal Team Player’ by Patrick M. Lencioni.

What other career did you think of aside from construction?
Growing up I wanted to be an attorney, but I didn’t like school enough. My high school test on occupations recommended I become a Butcher. Needless to say, I am glad I found the right career in construction.

Fill in the blank: Leadership is…
Fun. I think it’s something that is loosely defined. Some people think leadership is participating and I think it is bigger than that. It is also helping, understanding, and leading.

Favorite summer activity with your family:
Vacationing out west at national parks.

Favorite cocktail:
Vodka seven.

How do you think we can grow younger people to join the trades and construction field?
Increase the number of internships and mentoring programs in college and high school and letting them know that there are opportunities out there. Society has put an emphasis on a degree, but higher education is not the end all. In the trades, you can learn, become an expert, and make a significant income.

What are some ways construction and design have changed since you started?
Everything is faster by ten times.

What was one of your favorite projects to work on?
I have many different favorites in my career. Here’s a few I’ve held:

  • Superintendent- Marcus Theatre at South Towne in Madison
  • Project Manager: Kalahari in the Wisconsin Dells
  • Owner: Kalahari – Ohio. Collectively we accomplished so much and met the timelines. It was large, complicated, fast, and full of details.

Are you a morning or evening person?
Morning.

What is something you look forward to at work?
I enjoy watching the progress of people’s growth.

What are the most important values you demonstrate as a leader?
Provide consistency and direction and help people understand the broader picture and context.

Favorite movie?
‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘The Godfather’ are at the top of my list. Most recently I watched, ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ with my kids.

Do you think mentorship is the key to helping people succeed?
Yes, my mentors always pushed me to do more than what I thought I could do or clients who told me I should do more. I understand who I am as a person and being self-aware allows me to be more vulnerable and open to learning. A key attribute of leadership is mentoring.

The best compliment a client can give you?
We made it easy for them.

If you could say anything to clients what would be?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t get so focused on the small items in the project, it clouds the overall results of the project.

Something few people know about Jim:
I dance when no one is looking.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
People that have known me a long time know that I have had a lot of personal growth and development for leadership. I have changed dramatically in a positive way.