Reader Profile: Kimo Clark

Aug. 28, 2014

Kimo Clark was one of those kids who grew up loving playing in the dirt, including riding dirt bikes. He also liked playing in the sand-the sands along the Pacific Ocean beaches surrounding the Hawaiian island of Maui, where he was born and raised in a family of seven. Surfing and skateboarding also filled this fourth-generation Hawaiian’s days, until he turned 12 and started working a variety of jobs. Given his love for dirt, it was inevitable he would find his niche in earthwork. Clark, 34, owns Truth Excavation, a company specializing in ground work for custom high-end homes on Maui’s west side. The company does everything “dirt-related,” including trucking, lowboy services, septic systems, drainage systems, and dry stack rock walls. Clark and his three full-time employees have watched the business grow more than 1,000% in three years. Clark’s passion for excavation is also balanced with his love of family: He’s married to his high school sweetheart Seanna. Clark describes their son Makaiah and daughter Seah as “second generation operators.”

What He Does Day to Day
Clark says one of his favorite mottoes is: “Plans change; deal with it.” That aptly describes his day-to-day duties, he points out: “I’ve become very good at making things work when things don’t go according to plan.” Generally, his primary tasks involve setting up his crew with everything needed to ensure they can complete the jobs for the day. That includes ordering all materials, setting up trucking, and moving equipment to the jobs. Clark is not the type of company owner to manage from the office: “Once the day is set, I will jump on some equipment to help with whatever the guys need,” he says. “I will be the first to jump in the hole with a shovel when I’m onsite.” By the time the afternoon rolls around, Clark is setting up appointments to bid jobs and meet with clients. When he returns to his home office, he inputs everything into QuickBooks and then calls it a day.

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What Led Him Into This Line of Work It is his passion for working with heavy equipment that led him to this line of work, Clark notes. One of his many jobs in his youth was working construction. “After seeing the big machines move dirt in the construction field, I knew that my destiny was to operate heavy equipment,” he says. “When I finally got a job as a laborer-a shovel and water boy-with an excavation company, I poured myself into the job, coming in early, staying late, asking a million questions every day.” Within a year and a half, he was skilled at running every piece of equipment and also was also running jobs. That was in early 2004. “When the building boom was ending and the housing bubble popped, I was left with only one option,” Clark says. “Get my license and start my own company. So in 2011, I did just that.”