News & Events

Frank Mento is the Elite winner for April 2022

Frank Mento from the Casa Grande, AZ profit center is the ELM Elite winner for April. Congratulations Frank!

Frank Mento’s 20 years of locating experience started for another company in Seattle, WA. ELM wasn’t in the area yet, so when his wife’s health necessitated a move to a warmer, drier climate he wasn’t very familiar with the company. However, he called ELM because they were the major locator in the Phoenix, AZ area and with his experience was essentially hired right there, over the phone. That was in 2009 and Frank has been one of ELM’s most trusted locating techs ever since.

In the 12 years since he joined ELM, Frank has mainly worked out of the Phoenix and Case Grande offices, however he has had the opportunity to travel several times to start up areas or to assist with offices that were behind and needed extra help. He has been to Washington, Kentucky, North Dakota, and Nevada to locate and appreciates the trust put in him by the company to send him to new places. He always enjoys meeting locators from other ELM offices and hanging out with them after the workday is done.

Every morning, before he even leaves his driveway, Frank tells himself three things. Be safe, do it right, be productive. He always strives to be aware of his surroundings. He walks the job area first, so there aren’t any surprises when he is locating, and he can plan to go around any hazards like a hole in the ground. He knows that the number one goal every tech should have is, to get home safe at the end of the day. Another personal rule that helps him remain safe is to stay focused on what he is doing and not worrying about what might be coming up in his day. “It doesn’t matter if you have 10 tickets today or 60, only think about what you are doing,” he says.

Frank has had some damages in his career, but he has learned from every one of them. One damage from when he was locating in Reno stands out to him, because it taught him not to lose sight of the big picture of a job. The small details of the ticket distracted him from the larger picture. There were several houses that weren’t on his map but had access to gas. He got too concerned with figuring out how they had gas, that when he reached the conclusion that they had private lines he marked the ticket clear and forgot about the 2-inch gas main behind the properties. Another check of his map would have prevented the damage. He says, “Every time I locate now, I think, did you get the whole big picture done or did you just get done what you think you needed to get done. I still think about that today.”

Despite having 20 years of locating experience, Frank still treats every day as an opportunity to learn something new. His willingness to learn from any source is a major reason for his success. While he has learned from veteran techs over his career, he has also learned from rookie locators and contractors as well. Frank believes that you are never too experienced to learn from somebody else and this humbleness has served him well over his career.

Franks maintains strong relationships with the contractors in his area. He says one of the keys to these relationships is that he always answers his phone if it is safe to do so. “There have been times where a contractor will try to call you because something doesn’t look right and if you don’t answer you don’t know what’s going on.” Ignoring a contractor’s calls and not returning their messages may lead them to believe you don’t care and if they think you don’t care why should they? He adds that by being available to contractors with questions, “You can take a situation that could be really bad and make it good.”

Frank and his wife Kimberly recently celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary and have two adult children, Frank and Elizabeth. He enjoys cooking and getting together with friends and family to play cards. Frank’s interest in traveling extends beyond the job as well, as he and his wife like to vacation to new places when they can, with their most recent trip being to San Diego.