Zach Lokey’s passion for the art of buildings led him to want to become an architect.

Now, he has mastered a different art — conversation.

“You would never guess it now, but back when I was in high school and growing up, I was very introverted and a shy, bashful kind of guy,” Lokey said.

The 27-year old Valley native said he talks to “anybody and everybody.”

“I can’t imagine ever being that way again,” Lokey said of his previously reserved personality. “Because I love the connections you can make, the relationships you can build in business and personal life.”

Lokey said he originally wanted to go to the University of Virginia to become an architect. But after two and a half years at Blue Ridge Community College, he opted for Bridgewater College, where he graduated two years later with a bachelor’s in business administration.

Prior, Lokey graduated from Spotswood High School in 2011.

It was in college Lokey went from being a reserved introvert to an extrovert always looking for the next connection and conversation, he said.

On Jan. 1, 2016, he began a paid internship at Nielsen Builders trying out numerous roles from accounting, human resources, project development and, where he would ultimately work — business development.

“Being an extrovert is very, very important in this career and really, I have seen, super important in personal life,” Lokey said.

The world of construction has been one of personal and professional growth for Lokey, who is a fast learner. His energy and ability to engage purposefully with others are key strengths he brings to Nielsen.

Lokey said there are no limits to the potential of even the most mundane interactions.

“You never know where a simple conversation could go,” Lokey said. “It could help you make a new best friend, find your significant, make connections” for business.

Lokey said he knows just how important it may be for someone to feel heard or seen, whether they are a client, a coworker or even just someone on the street, because you never know what’s going on in their own life.

“A simple hello could make somebody’s day and what does it take to say hello?” Lokey said.

Contact Ian Munro at 574-6278 or Follow Ian on Twitter @iamIanMunro

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