PEOPLE DEXTER HENDRICKS
OCCUPATION: Vice President of Community and Citizenship for New Jersey and Pennsylvania (USA)
MISSION: Always striking the right note
Music has always played a major role in Dexter Hendricks’ life. He was exposed to music while growing up on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, a U.S. territory in the Caribbean. His father was the first sergeant of the Virgin Islands Army National Guard band. Hendricks started to play his father’s instrument, the trumpet, when he was nine, and he developed a great fondness for this instrument.
When he was old enough, he was allowed to occasionally help out in the band. He enjoyed this so much that in his mid-20s he decided to join the Army. For him this made perfect sense. He wanted to serve his country while doing what he was best at: making music. Hendricks, who is now 49, still makes music in his free time at National Guard ceremonies, concerts, and parades—but today he’s doing that not on St. Thomas but from his home in New Jersey.
Hendricks started working at the HOCHTIEF subsidiary Turner Construction Company in 2001, right after graduating from college. For many years he worked as a construction engineer, then in 2008 he found a new passion. As the Vice President of Community and Citizenship, today he’s no longer directly involved in constructing the bricks and mortar of buildings. Instead, he coordinates the involvement of local communities in the company’s construction projects. For example, he tries to gain local construction companies and small businesses as partners in order to offer jobs to local people.
He promotes the inclusion of women and minorities and sometimes organizes the restoration and beautification of a park or a playground to give back to the local community. “I’ve received a lot of support during my life, and now I’d like to give some support back to society,” he says. His experience as a musician helps him, because his job requires two qualities: a sensitive touch and the ability to strike the right note. He’s got plenty of both.