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Chris Maestri was always interested in becoming an engineer, and a chance internship at his future employer directed his path. “From the earliest time that I knew what an engineer was, I wanted to be an engineer,” he said.
Maestri, from Fort Smith, graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, but before he did he took an internship with Garver in Rogers. Garver put Maestri in the aviation division. It was a natural fit.
“Aviation just fell into my lap,” Maestri said. “My first internship was with the aviation team at Garver. I didn’t know anything about it, but I enjoyed that summer with the team. I have enjoyed aviation ever since.”
Maestri has since worked on a host of projects, including a multimillion-dollar runway at Northwest Arkansas National Airport. The work is different from the vertical structures he once dreamed of working on.
“Aviation is based off the stringent requirements the [Federal Aviation Administration] puts on our stuff,” Maestri said. “There is a lot of paperwork and different constraints we have to live by. It has been fun working closely with the FAA and the cities that own these airports.”