Bradley Hartmann wants to change the way the construction industry communicates. And he plans to do it on his terms — using enthusiasm, creativity, and humor to make learning Spanish easy.
Red Angle was born with a simple question. "Would English speaking construction managers lead more effectively with some basic Spanish skills?"
As a former Construction Manager and Project Manager himself, Hartmann knew the value of walking the job, using Spanish to communicate.
"In construction, the idea of 'Management by walking around' (MBWA) is recommended. Get out from behind your desk and see what is going on. But MBWA is only helpful if you actually talk to people. And if you don't speak any Spanish, that means you're NOT talking to an awful lot of people who are doing some really critical things on your job..." Hartmann says.
Hartmann's non-Spanish communication skills were developed on the gridiron. He had an incredibly lackluster 2-year collegiate football career at Eastern Illinois University as a QB. He played one quarter in a blowout, attempted one pass, threw one incompletion, and ended up with one broken wrist — all on the same play. His lone "highlight" was hosting Tony Romo's first recruiting visit to Charleston.
For reasons including Tony Romo, Hartmann gave up on his NFL dreams and transferred to the University of Illinois and majored in Spanish. Every summer he returned to work in the construction industry, as he had since he was 15. Hartmann worked in lumber yards, a window assembly plant, a cabinet distribution facility, an architecture firm, and as an apprentice carpenter building homes.
After studying in Guadalajara, Bradley joined a national home builder and quickly advanced within the organization. He worked as a Customer Relations Manager, Superintendent, Project Manager, and as an Area Purchasing Agent. His Spanish language skills gave him an edge at each position.
"Spanish helped me get things done with less BS... It's a numbers game — by speaking Spanish I gained access to the skills and talents of a much wider group of people — the ones actually doing the work."
Hartmann received his MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Business and when he's not developing Construction Spanish material, Bradley enjoys dating his wife, playing with their 4-year old son, working on his 3-point shot, and practicing photography.