Meet Mario Lomeli: Director of Civil Engineering
Commercial Development Resources would like to recognize Mario Lomeli as an integral part of their growing team. Mario has served CDR well working his way up from Design Engineer to Senior Project Manager, and recently promoted to Director of Civil Engineering. Over 10+ years, he has grown with the company and has excelled as a mentor and leader for new engineers that join the team. In his new role, as Director of Civil Engineering, he is overseeing CDR’s plan production, mentoring, handling scheduling, maintaining quality assurance and quality control, managing client relations, and overall ensuring that CDR is delivering high-quality work, thoughtful designs, and meeting scheduled project milestone dates.
“Mario has been at CDR for more than a decade and in that time, he has become a leader of CDR’s Civil Engineering group. Mario’s pragmatic approach to civil engineering solutions is what our clients expect as it saves them time and money. He is also responsible for the growth and mentorship of the civil engineer group at CDR. We tell the engineers coming out of college, ‘You are starting your Ph.D. program in land development, meet Professor Lomeli!’ Mario is an undeniable expert in land development; he has entitled and/or permitted more than 400 projects in California in more than 100 different cities and counties. He is an irreplaceable asset and resource for our clients and CDR,” said Aaron Albertson, Principal, CDR.
With a background in teaching, it is no surprise that Mario is so involved as a mentor. Before switching gears and pursuing a career in engineering, Mario taught at the Santa Ana School as an instructional assistant. Once again, he filled the role of mentor, although at this time in his career it was focused on teaching mathematics.
Mario describes his role as a leader to the onboarding engineers by saying the relationship is closer to that of a coach than a teacher. He starts their training by going over the basics of what working at CDR entails, explaining that some of the first tasks given to new hires are addressing redline comments from plan checkers and having them do minor tasks for various projects. This allows them to get a broad picture of what goes into plan preparation and engineering design. He shows them how to approach problems and look at the various scenarios that may play out if a certain design decision is made. Most importantly, he repeats the essential lessons that Aaron has taught him over the years.
Mario went on to say that at CDR, it is important that the guidance and coaching is methodical and straightforward to ensure success both at CDR and for their future in the engineering world. Mario feels that one of the most important strategies he imparts is to look at a project as the owner, and ensure the design is the most economical to build. To give new employees perspective, he also shares both positive and negative experiences he has encountered throughout his own career.
“When a new hire is brought on board I ‘take them under my wing’ as the saying goes,” said Mario. “I make sure they understand not only the engineering but also the big picture of how the various components of a project come together to create the plan. I want the new hires to succeed and seeing them grow and flourish in their own way is a great feeling personally.”
The oldest of three, Mario grew up in Santa Ana, with both of his parents hailing from Guadalajara, Mexico. He received his Civil Engineering degree from California State University, Fullerton and graduated a year before they won the College World Series in 2005. In 2008, Mario became President of the Orange County Chapter of the Younger Member Forum (YMF), which is part of The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In 2009, he was the recipient of the ASCE Orange County Young Engineer of the Year Award.
He has been married to his wife, Gaby for sixteen years and now resides in Orange. When time allows, traveling with his wife and their 5-year-old son to places like Playa del Carmen is one of his favorite things to do. Most recently they spent a weekend visiting Monterey and San Francisco. A proud father, he also enjoys going for bike rides, visiting the Santa Ana Zoo and the Discovery Center, cheering on the Los Angeles Angels, or just playing with LEGOs. He loves spending time doing something fun as a family. A fun fact about Mario is that he has a special interest in aviation. He hopes to one day take flying lessons and acquire his pilot license.
Mario feels valued as an employee and has enjoyed his tenure at CDR. He appreciates the element of teamwork he encounters day-to-day, mentioning that everyone is involved in the multi-faceted phases of each project. He especially values the variety of different projects CDR works on noting that the work is never repetitive, and each day brings a new challenge. Mario describes the company culture by stating, “In other offices, I’ve seen owners or senior management rarely come out to interact with the staff. Aaron is the opposite. He is right there with you in the trenches preparing plans and coming up with designs.”