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Jim Liston

Member Spotlight: Jim Liston

The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) dives inside the career of Jim Liston, Project Manager for Murphy Industrial Coatings in Stockton, CA. In this feature interview, learn what made him become an ABAA member, what led him on his career path, and get his perspective on the future of the air barrier industry.

Jim Liston

Name: Jim Liston
Title: Project Manager
Firm: Murphy Industrial Coatings
City: Stockton, CA

What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue your profession as a waterproofer?


A: I came into the industry right after leaving the Marine Corps. I worked in the field for 16 Plus years and worked my way through the ranks to my current position as project manager. I was very fortunate, in that along the way I was mentored by some very good men and was always able to support my family. Once I figured out that I was staying the rest came easy and I started to enjoy the work and challenges.

Is there anything that you believe everyone in this industry should be working towards?


A: For more reasons than I count it would be excellence. Clients tend to want to work with people they can trust. Being very good at what you do limits liability and increases sale.

What role have peers, mentors, or advisors played in your career? 


A: I been able to do some major projects during the course of my career and have been able to work with some great people all of which have taught me to embrace excellence and integrity and to be a life long learner of my craft.

What led you to become an ABAA member?


A: I feel that The ABAA gives my firm a chance to work on quality projects with design firms and clients that expect a level of excellence and detail and the being an accredited contractor levels the playing field. The training that ABAA Provides to the industry is also a huge benefit for an accredited contractor.

Are you involved in any ABAA committees? Do you have any ABAA certifications?


A: Not at this time, but I hope downstream to become more involved.

How long have you been in the industry?


A: 42 years

What major changes have you seen?


A: The speed and pace of projects is much faster. The systems have evolved to be a bit easier to install. The exchange of information has greatly improved and the expectations of the finished product has increased.

What traits or skills do you think are necessary to be able to succeed in your industry?


A: Number one personal Integrity followed by a commitment to doing things right. Learning to ask questions and being committed to learning new skills till you have them locked down, Perseverance . Having a positive attitude.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in your field?


A: Start by doing research and put yourself in the best position to learn from a team that has a proven track record. Seek out the people who do quality work. Learn to follow and watch the good leaders and your well on your way.

How much demand do you think there is for people in your profession?


A: Moving forward and with the expectation of climate changes I expect that the demand year over year will increase for people who understand and can properly install AirBarrier and waterproofing systems.

What do you think the industry will look like in five or ten years’ time?


A: I expect it will be more formalized. I expect that certifications and training will be a big requirement as the cost of materials will continue to increase and the cost of lability will increase as well I expect to see a lot of renovation and infill work in the urban areas.

July 19, 2021