Anniversary Story

Wild Man

Vice President Cliff Chow

In 1992 Cliff Chow moved to the United States—Blacksburg, Virginia to be specific. His story isn’t a born to build story. Cliff was born to be wild. Growing up he always wanted to be an entertainer, a rock star. Those who know him will find this easy to believe. However, his grandfather was an iron worker and his father worked on large civil projects in his hometown of Nanjing, China so off to the Virginia Tech College of Engineering he went.

“I didn’t come to the states to act,” reminisced Cliff while shuffling from subway to Uber to New York sidewalk, “I came to study engineering because it was our family tradition.” After obtaining a Masters in Civil Engineering, he turned in his books and put on a suit to step into his role as a project manager at HITT. He was greeted with another family tradition that he describes as the perfect platform for him to succeed.

It was 1998 and, for those of us who remember, the industry was a different animal. The landscape was not too dissimilar to the wild west – and Cliff wanted a part of it. “I’m pleasantly surprised that the dream I always wanted to pursue helped me be successful at HITT. It comes down to charisma, a strong desire to express myself that made me successful. It attracts people, in some way. People remember me.”

The core HITT values that Cliff adopted in his first few years are still alive today. “They were true American values: hold yourself to the highest standards, manage aggressively, exceed Client expectations, and work hard play hard.” Cliff admits that while he embraced all the values, he may have adopted the last of the four most enthusiastically. Executive Vice President Brian Kriz added “Cliff’s success can be attributed to a combination of strong leadership and loyalty. He approaches everything strategically and relentlessly pursues excellence.”

To Cliff, one American value that HITT embodies stands above all others: individualism. “Chinese, Asian, naturalized American citizen, my diversity is more than that. It’s my eccentric appearance. When Brett hired me I had platinum blonde hair and earrings.” Cliff remembers Co-President Brett Hitt was able to see through his appearance to his potential. “Diversity is what makes this company so uniquely qualified as the best place to work. We need to carry that for generations to come. We need to remain open minded.”

Almost 20 years later, his days are spent in the same place many American immigrants first landed—New York City—leading our regional office. “Despite our employees’ differences in hobbies, interests, or backgrounds, our Clients receive consistent service from HITT regardless of where they are because we all embrace the same values. HITT’s future is diverse and bright. “