Mack Sneed has been an electrician his entire career, beginning with 20 years in the Air Force and when he was hired by the Aviation Authority in 2006. Now he is a “jack of all trades” on the Tampa airport’s Projects Team, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Sneed joined the Air Force almost as soon as he graduated from Gibsonton’s East Bay High School. Not settling for the job he had in high school at the local meat packing plant, he knew that he had to make a decision for his future. He always had an interest in electrical work and the Air Force offered the job as a career path for him.
He married Wanda, his high school sweetheart, and had five kids while stationed in Lubbock and Fort Walton Beach Fl. He returned to the Tampa Bay area in 2006 after retiring from the military, to be closer to his parents and stay active in the community.
“There are a lot of older folks in the community, and someone always needs a hand with something, so I try to help out as often as I can,” said Sneed.
Sneed supervises the 14 members of the airport’s Projects Team, which handles everything from renovating office space to creating signs and installing art.
Some of the biggest challenges, he says, are the large projects that have a very small window of time for completion. One example: Sign changes resulting from airline mergers.
“Those are massive projects that are spread throughout the property, beginning at the entrance to the airport and moving through the terminal, parking garages, everywhere,” says Sneed. “That’s pretty monumental considering we complete it with eight guys, and it’s usually a one night turn around. It all has to be done between one work day and the next.”
Sneed’s favorite part of the job is those smaller projects that make a positive impact on his fellow employees’ and tenant work spaces, such as the office renovations.
“They come in the next day and don’t see any signs that any construction crew was present – just that their work request was completed. That’s the reward. We get to hear the response from the customer, ‘All this was done last night? You guys did a great job.’ I hear their reaction and I love it. I think – yeah, another good job. There is great satisfaction in that. The guys aren’t always around to hear it, so I always share it with them, because they’re the ones who make it happen,” says Sneed. “I love the guys that I work with, a very talented and diverse group of individuals. They have a can-do, will-do, attitude – and they can accomplish any challenge that is presented. They are very professional. I feel privileged to be a part of the group.”