What is your name and job title? Danny Darr, Project Manager at the Denver Service Center Design & Construction Division.
What experience and education do you have? I have an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Oklahoma State University, a Master of Science in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado. My first “career” was as a software engineer and an engineering manager at Hewlett Packard. My second “career” as an architect started in 1995 when I returned to school to study architecture. Overall, I’ve worked as a project or program manager for more than 40 years. I joined NPS in 2014 and became a contracting officer representative II that same year.
What is a typical day like? As a project manager and contracting officer representative, I spend my time either writing or monitoring contracts for either design or construction projects. Lately, my days start with addressing urgent project issues that require my immediate attention, and often the remainder of the day is fairly consistent requiring me to check in on various projects and ensure that things continue to move along. My work at DSC allows me to use a lifetime of experience to contribute to the important mission of the NPS.
What career advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a similar path? I’ve enjoyed a long and varied work life. I’m working today because I enjoy what I do and the people I work with. To my younger colleagues I say, follow your passion, do good work, and perform your current job better than others thought you could. Good things will follow.
What is one of the bigger projects you are working on and what about that project might surprise people? I've been part of the CityArchRiver Project the past few years and one of the objectives with that project is to better connect the Gateway Arch National Park with downtown. In order to help accomplish that, we tore down a large public parking garage and replaced it with an extension of the park. The garage was ultimately removed to force people to use downtown parking and thus help revitalize the downtown area.