Eric Lara found his home at Ahora as construction manager in November 2020. Formerly the project manager at FORMA Construction, Eric has 15 years of industry experience and six years in project management for mid-to-large sized contractors across King County and Washington State. At Ahora, he puts his expertise to work procuring and managing projects, overseeing operations and managing the construction team. For those who have worked with Eric, they know he is reliable, intelligent, thoughtful and dedicated to delivering on the company’s reputation for excellence. Eric is an Evergreen State College alumnus and takes pride in providing impactful services to the community.
“Being a Latino and also a person with a disability, I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to contribute to this wonderful team. I have high aspirations for this company as an industry leader.”
Analytical, humble and quick to learn, project engineer Navath Nhan ensures compliance and acts as the “information hub” for clients, architects and subcontractors. Prior to joining the company in January 2021, Navath implemented new processes to manufacture aircraft parts at Pacific Propeller International and created a 3-D biomechanical model as an undergraduate research assistant at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Navath earned his bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Gonzaga University. When he’s not solving tough engineering problems, he mentors college students through the Skills that Shine mentorship program and serves as the vice president of membership for the Kent Evenings Toastmaster Club.
“I love the people who are working here. They are highly motivated to come to work. I appreciate how everyone is empowered to ask questions and committed to providing quality service to our clients.”
For office intern Maya Matta, Ahora is truly an extension of her family. Working alongside her father, Jimmy Matta and her brother, Jimmy Matta, Jr., Maya supports the Ahora team with filing, information gathering, employee onboarding and photographing. Maya is known by her family and colleagues as kind, helpful and optimistic. When she isn’t learning the family business, she stays civically engaged through commitments with the Burien Youth Council, Latino Civic Alliance, Associated Student Body, Speech and Debate, Women in Aviation and Young Executives of Color, a program offered through the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. Maya graduates from high school in June 2021.
“I love the work environment. Everyone is willing to help one another and make sure that we grow not only as a team but individually as well. Wherever one person can’t complete a task another will take it on.”
A hardworking problem solver and trustworthy team player, president Jimmy Matta founded Ahora Construction in November 2016. Jimmy was raised by migrant farmworkers amid the towering peaks of the Cache Valley in Preston, Idaho and the Central Washington cities of Quincy, Wenatchee and Ephrata. In 1998 he came to Burien where he moved up the ranks at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America eventually serving as an international representative of the general president. Jimmy has held leadership positions at the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, the Washington Interior Exterior Systems Local Union No. 41, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Art Cortez Construction and Alcantar Construction. Jimmy has also served as a member of the Carpenters Trusts of Western Washington and was a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
As Ahora’s president, he oversees all aspects of the company from field and office operations, to developing and maintaining business, stakeholder, trade and labor management relationships. Jimmy can also be found putting on his tool belt and working alongside his construction team and son Jimmy Matta, Jr. to finish a job. Inspired by the creativity and compassion of his colleagues, Jimmy has led his union contracting firm through exponential growth since 2016 while upholding his promise to deliver excellence and provide an inclusive workspace. Long committed to serving the community, Jimmy has “el amor del pueblo” or love for the people that extends to his role as mayor of the City of Burien, Latino Civic Alliance vice chair, co-founder of Empresarios Unidos and co-founder of Padres Activos Al Futuro.
“I am passionate that Ahora prioritizes diversity. Diversity not only in methods of contracting, but also in thoughts and backgrounds of employees. At Ahora we have a plethora of different races, ages and experiences. These qualities make it possible for us to serve truly innovative and efficient systems.”
Office manager Fiona Hope has been with Ahora since the family business was headquartered in president Jimmy Matta’s home office. “I have many fond memories of days spent working from Jimmy’s home, with hourly kisses from his nieces, morning coffee from Jimmy’s mom, plates of mango and tajin from Jimmy’s aunt. We are truly a family company.” Organized, strategic and hardworking, Fiona has guided the company through major marketing initiatives, safety audits, business plans, bookkeeping operations, financial undertakings and COVID-relief funding, securing grants from the SBA, Craft3 and Working Washington. Fiona came to work at Ahora after graduating magna cum laude with dual bachelor’s degrees in finance and humanities for leadership from Seattle University. Fiona was the president of the university’s Women in Business club and is a first generation college graduate who has mentored other first-generation college students. She is one of seven children.
“I’ve become acutely aware over the last year of the excellent work that our construction team provides. Our projects are lean, tight, with excellent quality control. It makes me proud to work for a company that keeps the customers’ needs and desires at the forefront of what we do.”
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree for general foreman Jimmy Matta, Jr. who takes after his father not only in name, but also in his innate ability to lead. Jimmy began his carpentry career as a senior in high school. Following a position as journeyman carpenter at Anning-Johnson Company, he joined Ahora in January 2020 where he manages projects from the field and oversees jobs from start to finish. Jimmy completed the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council’s lathing, acoustical, drywall and thermal insulation apprenticeship program, and holds an associate of applied science in multi-occupational trades and a bachelor of science in business management. Motivated to leave his mark on the construction industry, Jimmy serves as a delegate and trustee for the Washington Interior Exterior Systems Local Union No. 41. When he’s not on a jobsite or in the gym, Jimmy enjoys being politically active and giving back to the community.
“I love that everyone has a voice in the direction that the company moves ahead. I enjoy taking part in the mission of championing the can-do culture, diversity and developing leaders with the proper training.”
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