07 Mar Chris Deal – Four Questions
Four Questions with Chris
Growing up in Jefferson, IA, how did your childhood influence your career decisions?
I think there’s something special about growing up in a smaller, rural community, especially one like Jefferson where there’s an active group of community-minded leaders. That was paired with the experience of growing up as a child of small business owners. Those experiences instilled a desire to make an impact. My childhood experiences ended up being a primary reason I chose to spend 3 years after college pursuing a nontraditional route that included time creating service projects in the developing world and time teaching in an inner-city high school. Likewise, when it was time to start my engineering career, I had a strong preference for a smaller company that prioritized family and civic engagement. MODUS was a great fit.
As someone who has achieved a variety of accomplishments over the years, what stands out and why?
Shared accomplishments are the most powerful. When a group of people comes together to take on a challenge, there’s so much more possibility. When I look around Jefferson and the progress that the community has made – new, top-notch school facilities; a thriving, historic downtown; etc. – it’s empowering to know that I could play some small part in all of it.
What historic leaders, if any, have impacted or provided an example you aspire to follow?
I love reading about all types of historic leaders: political leaders, business leaders, civic leaders, etc. I think there’s always something that is learned from the successes and failures that others have experienced before us. As one example, many years ago I was introduced to the story of Harry Truman. I remember being amazed at how someone from such humble roots could go on to make decisions of such magnitude and quantity that still resonate across the world today. Even as president, he emphasized humility and a willingness to accept responsibility (“The buck stops here”). He wasn’t perfect – no leader is – but a lot of inspiration can be found in his story.
What impact do you hope your leadership/work throughout the construction industry leaves behind?
Our construction industry is a small world. The relationships that we create are the bedrock for our work in the industry. How we treat others in the industry has a profound impact on the ability to create a successful team. A highly functional team, including owners, contractors, design professionals, etc., can accomplish incredible things. I hope that I can leave behind a legacy of exceptional work through unique and lasting partnerships.
Chris Deal is a Principal at MODUS, where he has been working since 2011. His exceptional ability to provide innovative solutions to clients across diverse industries has made him a valuable asset to MODUS and his surrounding community. Chris graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2008 and completed his Master of Science in Renewable Energy at Makerere University in Uganda, after receiving a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship.
Chris has a unique talent for effectively communicating his clients’ needs to his team and the construction team. He started as an HVAC engineer at MODUS in 2011, became a Director in 2016, and was promoted to Principal in 2019. He has a commitment to excellence in engineering and dedication to building successful client relationships, which has earned him significant recognition in the industry, including his selection for the Des Moines Business Record 40 under 40 list for 2023.
Chris is a member of several professional associations, including the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the United States Green Building Council. He holds various licenses and certificates, including a Professional Engineer license in Iowa (23196), LEED AP BD+C, and Certified Energy Manager (C.E.M. 21353).
Beyond the walls of MODUS, Chris continues to have an impact on his local community. Jefferson, IA, experienced his dedication to the community on multiple levels. He has executed restorative projects with innovative work concepts and has also demonstrated his commitment to his family’s apple orchard.
In 2018, Chris teamed up with Pillar Technology on an out-of-the-box concept that would attract the attention of Silicon Valley. The Forge – Jefferson would plant the idea that talent could be developed locally at an affordable price compared to those of Silicon Valley. Leaders like Kevin Scott, chief technology officer of Microsoft, Allen Blue, co-founder of LinkedIn, and Congressman Ro Khanna of California’s 17th Congressional district (the Silicon Valley) soon found themselves in Jefferson, IA. Chris’s ability to see opportunities where others can’t, driven by his endless persistence, is a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit.
Chris’s exceptional engineering skills, leadership qualities, and dedication to client satisfaction have led him to great success in his career at MODUS. His passion for engineering and commitment to community development has also earned him recognition in the Des Moines Business Record Forty under 40 list for 2023.