Richard G. Brown
Pernix Guam LLC
By Grace Stark
Of all the moving and travelling I’ve done, Guam is the longest I’ve lived in one place. I’ve spent more years on Guam than anywhere else, and I consider it home,” says Richard G. Brown, operations manager for Pernix Guam LLC.
Joining the U.S. Marine Corps after high school, Brown was originally stationed in Okinawa and also spent time in the Philippines. Although he spent many years in “this part of the world,” Brown never actually lived on Guam during his time in the Marine Corps. After serving with the Marines, Brown returned to the U.S. mainland to attend college in Minnesota. He then decided to make the move to Guam and was originally employed with Fletcher Pacific. After a few buy-outs and acquisitions and steady progression up the corporate ladder, he now finds himself the operations manager at Pernix Guam LLC, more than 20 years later.
Brown left Guam from 2002 to 2009, spending time in Las Vegas supervising safety on the M Resort casino complex construction. He says he believes he learned a lot from that particular assignment. “A project of that size is a huge undertaking. When we got there, it was a field. When we left, there was a billion-dollar casino.” Organizational and management skills are some of the most important assets he learned on that job, he says.
For Brown, one of the unique aspects of working on Guam is the small community. “Everyone knows each other. I always say about our competition that we can be enemies on bid day, but we’ve got to work together the rest of the time. It’s kind of a unique culture that way because in a lot of places, that doesn’t happen.”
The smaller market on Guam lends itself to a more personal business environment, he says. “We’ve all got good friends who work for other contractors.” Brown noted some of the joint ventures that his company has embarked on with other companies and says opportunities for working together in that capacity are also a great example of the unique business environment on Guam.
Brown appreciates that one of the visions of Pernix is to keep employees happy and to keep employee morale high. “It’s all about the people,” he says. When asked for his advice on how to keep employees happy, he has one word: “Listen.”
When Brown isn’t working, he’s usually spending time with his family and cheering on scholastic sports teams. “I support high school sports pretty strongly,” he says. He especially enjoys watching his son, Ricky, play football and basketball.
Brown recently spent some time in the states with his son, and they had fun looking at prospective colleges together. One of the things he misses most about living in the United States is taking weekend road trips. “I do miss getting in the car on Friday after work and just driving someplace new.”
Brown has a special reason to be grateful to the construction industry on-island. “I met my wife at work, and we’ve been married for about 20 years,” he says. “She’s local and so I’ve got a huge extended family here on island.”
His career and personal links to the island have both been plusses, he says. “Guam’s been good to me and I’m proud to be part of Guam.”