Fast 15: Ryan Pinkerton

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He started out as an apprentice plumber. He even did his duty with a jackhammer.

Indeed, Ryan Pinkerton started out at the bottom. And while the days were long and the work was dirty, he managed to shine. He graduated from apprentice to superintendent in early 2009, and for the next four years, proved his mettle.

He completed a notable project at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts — 209 new housing units and 90 rehabilitations — by the time he was just 22.

“That’s where I proved to the company who I was,” he said.

Along the way, he broadened his horizons with history and culture. Boston, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York City. He saw it all, but not before having second thoughts.

“It was a culture shock and I was ready to come back to Arkansas,” he said. “But when it came time to leave, I wanted to stay. I fell in love with it.”

Pinkerton cemented his achievement in Massachusetts with another big job at Fort Sill Air Force Base in Lawton, Oklahoma — $5 million in plumbing and HVAC for 432 new homes and 98 remodels. Before that job was even done, his superiors had seen enough.

Pinkerton was promoted to project manager in late 2012, after a meeting with Kimbel’s CEO, Brad Smith.

“I never dreamed of being in the position I’m in,” he said of his move up the corporate ladder. “I was used to working out in the field and not in the office.”

Now, he oversees $13 million annually in military housing, civilian housing and apartment construction in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Wyoming. The Colorado operation, in particular, holds special promise.

“We’ve taken our office here and transported it there,” he said. “We’re trying to create an office in Colorado like the one we have in Springdale.”

Pinkerton, who is set to wed fiancée Kasha later this year in Estes Park, Colorado, attributes his success to a great upbringing in Lincoln.

“It was the way I was raised,” he said. “I always worked for what I got. You can’t be afraid to get dirty.”