Anton Greenville, now a senior vice president at a major construction firm, got his start in the business through an apprenticeship program he took more than 40 years ago at Palomar College. Now he’s leading the construction of major projects where he once took classes.

Greenville, whose parents and a son also took classes at Palomar College, feels a strong connection to the campus and to community colleges.

“Community college is the leg up for people like me,” Greenville said. “You learn the skills you needed to succeed and has led to my success in my professional life.”

The Palomar College Foundation is proudly awarding the Palomar College 2024 Alumni of the Year to Greenville. The award is in recognition of an individual with a distinguished career achievement and/or service to the college and community by a former student. The award is presented at the Palomar College commencement ceremony on May 24.

Greenville is a senior vice president at Balfour Beatty Construction, an industry-leading provider of general contracting, construction management, and design-build services for public and private sector clients across the nation. Greenville, who’s been with the company and its predecessor for 35 years, is a business unit leader for higher education, civic and corrections projects in San Diego County.

Greenville had just graduated from San Dieguito High School and was working as a carpenter when he took the apprenticeship classes at Palomar College in the early 1980s. He then enrolled as a full-time student for two years, where he was taught Spanish by the same teacher who had taught his father years before.

He thought of pursuing a career as an aeronautical engineer, but he decided to go to school in Guadalajara, Mexico to further his proficiency in Spanish. He is a fluent Spanish speaker.

While in school, Greenville was offered a good job in construction, and he took it.

“One thing led to another, and I ended up basing my career in the construction business,” he said. Greeenville has worked his way up in the business, from a framing superintendent to a superintendent, project manager, senior project manager and vice president.

As a member of the Palomar College Foundation board, he is a strong advocate for community colleges.

“It’s the place that people should go to get their toe in the pool of education,” he said. “Education is the liberation of people.”

Greenville has been particularly involved in the annual golf tournament that benefits Palomar College. The tournament raises more than $100,000 a year.

Greenville’s work at Balfour Beatty includes numerous structures at colleges and universities, including the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego. At Palomar College, he has managed the college’s Humanities Building, its Teaching and learning Center, the Howard Brubeck Theater renovation and addition, the North Fallbrook Campus, and is now working on the pre-construction for building a 40,000-square-foot classroom on the Fallbrook campus and a new Field House on the main Palomar Campus.

Greenville said he finds satisfaction in the construction field.

“It’s an amazing way to express creativity in a positive way that enhances the built environment,” he said.