Keeley’n Spotlight: Mat Cardani
Keeley Construction is known for our incredible safety record and working KeeleySafe every single day is our number one priority. Our people are our most important asset and we do everything we can to get them home safely at the end of the day. Mat Cardani, Senior Safety Coordinator for our Building Group, uses the tools and resources at his disposal to empower our Keeley’ns to keep safety at the forefront and ensure that our offices and jobsites stay safe for our Keeley’ns, our partners, our customers, and our families.
Mat joined the Keeley family in July 2021 and knew that Keeley was the perfect place to grow his career. When he started, he immediately joined the MAKjv tri-venture on the St. Louis CITY SC stadium project. He stayed on that project for 15 months as a Safety Coordinator ensuring the project ran smoothly and safely. Upon completion in August 2022, Mat came over to Keeley full-time in the Building Group and has been working with our Building crews across the nation ever since. Being able to start his Keeley career on such a monumental project and then be able to grow his career with the Building Group has allowed Mat to feel empowered in his role and in our safety culture.
“One thing I noticed immediately with Keeley, and that continues to ring true, is that I know safety is not just my responsibility. Safety is something that everyone prioritizes and is responsible for, from Rusty down to our craftspeople. Everyone at Keeley knows that safety is our mission and holds it as a value in their professional and personal lives.”
When Mat started college, he originally thought he wanted to study biology. However, he quickly realized that wasn’t for him and he switched his degree to Safety. Construction fell into his lap with the opportunities his degree afforded him and he realized that construction was what he truly loved. He is grateful he made the leap to switch his degree because he loves that he is able to be part of something bigger than himself. Throughout his construction career, Mat has worked on hospitals, airports, and major league sports venues. These are project that he can look back on and know that he has helped people and communities thrive and that is a feeling he doesn’t take for granted. So, if Mat could give a piece of advice to those starting out in the industry it would be:
“I always challenge our interns and new Safety team members to do three things. First, ask as many questions as your mouth will let you ask – learning from a book and learning in the field are two completely different things. You won’t know how things work and operate unless you ask. Second, build relationships – don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and get to know as many people as you can. The relationships you build are the most important part of this industry. Third, if you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t answer it. Always choose to seek more information before responding.”
Throughout his professional safety career, Mat has learned a lot of things. The most important thing he has learned is that what we allow, we condone. We can all be complacent when it comes to safety, whether it’s looking past something you might think is minor or avoiding something you don’t want to deal with. The little things can have the biggest impact and Mat has seen at Keeley that our core values – PRIDE – directly correlate with our safety culture. Mat sees Respect lived out every single day because safety starts with our craftspeople, not the people that are making decisions at a higher level. The mutual respect that our team members need to have, and do have, with our craftspeople are ultimately what drives success. At Keeley, Mat has seen that everyone truly respects each other’s roles and opinions, while also respecting the need to stay safe, is extremely important.
Mat truly believes that he has found his career destination at Keeley and with the rapid growth our groups are experiencing, he knows that anyone would be lucky to call Keeley home and grow their career here.
“Keeley has such an emphasis on career growth that I haven’t seen before. You are empowered to build the roadmap for the career that you want, you are provided the resources you need to do that, and you are pushed to do your best. This place is going to help me get to where I want to be in my career. I am also surrounded by truly genuine people every day. I’ve never worked in an environment where I truly consider so many people not only peers, but friends.”
Mat, thank you for your passion for safety and for empowering our Building Group to stay safe on every project. Our growth would not be possible without you and we can’t wait to see where you take our safety team and take our company!