December 17, 2018 – A sense of loss tugs at our hearts as we remember Operations Manager Paul Sykora our dear friend and colleague who passed away suddenly on December 16, 2018 of a heart attack. Paul was an integral part of the ValleyCrest and BrightView family having spent close to 20 years with the Company.
Hired in 1999, Paul started his career as a field superintendent for the Orlando branch. A larger than life guy with a heart of gold, Paul was a trusted advisor in the field and in the office who became a legend for his steady, firm but fair approach to operations challenges. Better said perhaps, Paul was recognized for his intellect, his compassion for the men and women in the field and for his unrelenting commitment to getting the job done safely. Promoted in 2001 to General Superintendent, Paul took a back seat to no one when it came to ensuring our teams were safe on the job and the road. Leading by example, Paul actively participated in the Development Services weekly safety call and was sure to offer solid advice to colleagues in every branch. Always present and a willing listener, in 2006, Paul advanced once again when promoted to Operations Manager. He demonstrated the type of leadership style that close to 200 employees in the field, subcontractors and vendors looked to for a steady hand and solid decision making on just about anything and everything associated with a landscape project. Always a team player, Paul shared his take on field leadership and training with the BVLD branches across Florida and Texas.
On the personal side, Paul inspired many with his passion for classic cars and motorcycles. He liked to spend most of his free time detailing the cars and riding his Harley around the Orlando area and beyond. However, Paul’s real passion was building and restoring old cars – whether it was his ’37 Ford Hot Rod or his latest project, a black ’59 Chevy – Paul loved to first build and then show off his meticulous handy work, taking home prize after prize in local car shows. Paul was also a techno junky who loved drones and to have the best home protection gadgets on the market. Paul amazed and awed all by his gentle toughness and determination to not let anything get in the way of a job well done and a life well lived.
Paul’s love for his job was second only to the love of his life, his wife MJ. Their marriage in 2011 followed a coast to coast courtship that was a thrill for all of us who knew them as the wedding brought together two simply amazing people we cherish as friends and business partners. The BrightView family is so fortunate to have had Paul and MJ as partners in life and dear friends to all.
The number of impressive projects Paul was involved in over the course of his career at BVLD include the Four Seasons Orlando Resort, Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park, Disney’s Avatar and Toy Story Land as well as “other unique assignments.”
Paul will be greatly missed and our condolences go out to his wife MJ Sykora of Apopka, FL; his daughter Ashley Savage also of Apopka, FL; brother Petr Pravda of Karlovy Vary, CZ; and father Vaclav Sykora of Leesburg, FL.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation in Paul’s name to the charity of your choice.