As part of our Coffee Chat series, a Capstone employee will be interviewed each month and featured in our monthly newsletter, The Erudite. For the July issue, the editors of The Erudite sat down with Dan Bethers.
Dan has been in the construction industry for most of his life, first starting while in college. Since joining Capstone, he has worked on college campuses throughout Colorado, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. He enjoys spending time with his family and coaching youth sports, spending as much time as he can mentoring young football, basketball and baseball players.
Dan Bethers, Construction Manager
Utah Valley University, BS, Construction Management, Spanish Minor, 2003
University of Alabama Birmingham, MBA Engineering and Construction Management, 2011
You minored in Spanish, do you speak any other languages? Yes, Nahuatl, it’s a dialect of the Spanish language. I did a 2-year service mission in Mexico where I lived and served throughout the state of Puebla and Oaxaca, in a lot of the desert and mountain regions they spoke a dialect: Nahautl. I’m losing it though, because no one around me speaks the language. I just know a few phrases now. But I do speak, read and write Spanish fluently. I’d like to learn another language, maybe Italian or Portuguese because they’re all Latin based.
Where are you from originally? Hebert City, Utah. It is located next to Park City, the ski resort area. I grew up there and went to school at Utah Valley Community College (now Utah Valley University) which is next to Brigham Young University. So how did you end up in Alabama? My wife is from Alabama, but went to BYU so we met while I was in Utah. After we got married, I got a job offer in Athens, GA with a home builder. When we were living in Athens, we found ourselves coming over a lot to Birmingham to see family, so we eventually decided that we’d like to relocate to Birmingham to be close to family.
Did you live on-campus? Yes. I actually started college at Dixie College in St. George, Utah, where I was on their golf team. I attended Dixie for 1 year before transferring to UVCC. While at Dixie I lived on-campus. It was a masonry-block dorm, where we had 1 shared bathroom for 4 students and 2, double-occupancy bedrooms per unit. It was a relatively new dorm at the time. It consisted of four towers connected together with a central quad.
Did you work during college? When I was at Dixie College I worked as a gas station attendant. Then during my time at UVCC I worked in construction in the summer and at the ski resort in the winter. During my last 2 years on-campus I worked in the international student center where I met the international students as they came in, processed their paperwork and toured them around campus. I also helped setup the study abroad programs. Working in the international student center, allowed me to speak in Spanish.
What was your favorite class from college? We had a public speaking class that we were required to take, and for the most part in the construction and engineering program most people are fairly introverted. I tend to be more extroverted so I enjoyed the public speaking class because I could talk and have fun.
Is there a book that you are reading right now? I’m currently re-reading a book called The Mindside Manifesto: The urgency to create a competitive mindset. It’s about how you deal with different challenges and how different people react to various challenges. This book was written by a former baseball player who earned a psychology degree. In the book, he talks about how we deal with different challenges in life and how it makes us stronger. I’m big on motivation books and how we can get better and always look at the bright side of things. There’s so much negativity in the world that I like trying to read about the lighter side of things.
Before working at Capstone what was the most unusual or interesting job you ever had? I am one of 14 kids, 8 siblings adopted from around the world; so when I was a kid if we wanted to do sports or anything my parents had us pull our own weight and we had to be able to pay for those sorts of activities. I played on golf, basketball, baseball and football teams so I was always busy after school so I had to find a job before school. So during high school I worked as a custodian at the middle school. I would show up at 4:30 in the morning before school to do my custodial job, and my sports were in the afternoons. The custodian job was interesting; it was humbling. I had to clean toilets and showers.
Do you have any favorite quotes? Yes, “That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our power to do has increased.” by Emerson. I love that quote because it means for things that are difficult, if we just keep working at them we’re going to get better. Some people say find your strengths and work with your strengths, but I want to find my weaknesses and work on those and get better.
I work with youth sports, so I’m big into motivational speech. So another quote I enjoy is, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. To me this means that you can be the most talented person in the world but if you don’t have a work habit you’re going to get passed up.
What do you do in your spare time? I coach tackle football, youth baseball and youth basketball. I love coaching, working with kids, motivating them and helping them learn to be competitive. I’ve found from working with kids that they need someone to help motivate them and hold them accountable, so we set rules in our coaching. We say “if you’re going to be on this team we’ll teach you how to play, but I care about two things: attitude and effort and you’re the only one that can control that.” Attitude and Effort – it’s contagious and it drives us!
You’ve been with Capstone and working on-campus for several years. What campuses have you worked on? I started with Capstone in the CollegeTown Construction entity and worked in Fort Collins, CO and Bowling Green, OH. Soon after CollegeTown Construction I transitioned to Capstone Real Estate Investments and I worked with the team to reposition and renovate apartment communities to serve college campuses– we worked all over Ohio, Florida and North Carolina. What do you enjoy most about working on college campuses? I enjoy meeting the different personalities on a campus – and that you encounter from campus to campus. It’s fun to take a renovation of a building and turn it into something new or new construction where you take a piece of property and turn it into something that people are going to use for the next 40 years.
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be? I would go up to the High Uintas, which is a mountain range by the Utah / Wyoming border. There’s no vehicular traffic or cell phone signal, so you can just be alone and enjoy nature and all of the mountain peaks and lakes. I used to go there as a kid and I’d ride the horses 30 miles back into the mountains. I would love to go up there and fly fish, hike or just sit and relax.