Meet Robbie Vermillion!

Meet Robbie Vermillion!


When your mantra is “No job is impossible and all goals are achievable” and your extracurricular activities include alligator hunting, your life is bound to be adventurous. But Robbie Vermillion, senior project manager for facilities, considers himself “A Simple Man,” as described in his favorite song by Hank Williams Jr. For the past three years, Vermillion has called The Johns Hopkins Hospital his “work home,” and he believes his role is a crucial part of JHM’s Strategic Plan.


1.       What does a typical work day look like for you?

I don’t know if there is such a thing as a typical work day in construction. Weather alone is a major issue in the construction of any project. You have to plan around whatever Mother Nature hands to you—from the ice, rain, snow and wind. If a needed crew does not show up, or the materials are not delivered, it can delay a project. Managing a construction project can require constant changes to be able to meet your completion deadline.


2.       What’s the most fascinating part of your job?

If I had to choose just one it would be taking a set of construction plans—at first only lines, numbers and letters on paper—and being involved in the day-to-day transformation to a usable building or space. There is a great deal of satisfaction in being able to look at a set of plans—

someone’s vision of what a project should look like—and seeing it come to life..


3.       How did you get into design and construction?

Design and construction were always in my blood and therefore an easy choice to pursue. My father and grandfather were carpenters; I had uncles, great uncles and a great-grandfather who were building tradesmen, architects and land developers. I was around building from an early age and was always fascinated by it; and extremely fortunate to have had so many experts in the fields to help and guide my career.


4.       How does your job tie into Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Strategic Plan?

I believe my job allows me to touch on all of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s six strategic priorities. If I had to pick one that’s closest to me it would be performance. I want the project I’m working on to be built to the best standards it can be and to efficiently serve the people it was built for. In the past, when a job was completed I had to move on and start another one. Now at Johns Hopkins, I can see firsthand how my project affects the patients, nurses, doctors and visitors that benefit from its completion.


5.       What are your hobbies outside of work?

I love the outdoors. I would have to say hunting is my favorite. I’ve hunted game from small to large, with feathers, fur and scales. I just recently returned from a self-guided bow fishing hunt for alligators on several lakes in central Florida. I also love to fish from the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. I also love my vegetable gardens and my chickens. I can’t describe what a great stress reliever both are when I arrive home in the evening and walk among the chickens and look at what the garden has produced for supper.


6.       What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

When I wake in the morning—at 3 a.m. on weekdays—I lay in bed for a few minutes and thank God for the start of another day and to hear one of my roosters crowing his good morning to the world inspires me to get my day started.


7.       What would be the theme song to your life?

I have two—“Country Boy Can Survive” and “Simple Man,” both sung by Hank Williams Jr. Both are exactly like my life and I couldn’t have written anything better!


8. What have you learned most about yourself (or your biggest AHA moment) while on the job? What I’ve learned most about myself is that no job is impossible and all goals are achievable. Many times you have to step back and change directions and let go of some notions that you held and try something different, but trust what you know to do. Never let the fear of anything hold you back. Fear only comes from having never done it, and once you do it you’ll have nothing else to fear.


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