By Brynn Shaffer | Los Angeles Business Journal
November 27, 2024
While some people may count down the days until they retire, others are working into their 80s and beyond. This special report looks at eight such individuals including Dar Rahimian, 83, above, who co-founded Brentwood-based private construction lender Parkview Financial in his late 60s.
Dar Rahimian founded Brentwood-based private construction lender Parkview Financial with his son Paul Rahimian in 2009 and has since played an integral role in the company’s growth, becoming a leading financer of midcap commercial construction projects across the nation. Now 83 years old, Dar Rahimian is a senior advisor at the firm where he serves in a full-time advisory capacity with a specific focus on leading the construction team.
Please tell us about your career. For example, what jobs have you done in the past and how did they lead you to this job?
I was born in Iran and, at 19 years old, I pursued my dream to be a civil engineer. In 1971, my wife, son and I were awarded green cards and traveled to Los Angeles. I did not know a word of English and concentrated on quickly learning the language. I was accepted by California State University – Los Angeles for a master’s in structural engineering.
I was offered a job with the County of Los Angeles as a civil engineer. In a short amount of time, I was promoted to supervisor. Later, I launched a successful civil engineering company in Beverly Hills.
In 2009, my son Paul and I launched Parkview Financial which focused on construction financing during a turbulent time for developers. Understanding the construction process, we could work with developers and help to ensure favorable outcomes for their projects. I have enjoyed being a part of Parkview’s growth and transformation, and the amazing team that has led Parkview to success year after year.
You are still working well past the age many people retire. Why?
Because I love my job very much. I do have the option to retire, but it gives me joy to work and provide my knowledge to others at Parkview. I also learn something new every day about new techniques.
Please describe the pleasure or satisfaction you get from working.
I think it’s just in my nature. I love to work, and it makes me happy. I also love that there is new technology that wasn’t around during my earlier career. When I worked for the County of Los Angeles, I would make drawings for four-story buildings, and everything had to be done manually. I really enjoy the aspect of learning and seeing growth.
What’s the best part of working in your 80s?
The best part for me is coming into the office and talking to and collaborating with everyone as well as imparting my experience and input to the younger generation of construction and finance experts. Being open to learning also helps me to connect with my colleagues and family.
And the worst?
The worst is in regards to my health challenges. Sometimes it holds me back from doing some of the things that I’d like to do such as travelling to the construction sites and really being a part of the on-site action.
Have you slowed down on the job or are you still putting in the same number of hours as always?
I used to work 70-hour work weeks and seven days a week, so I’m not working as much as I used to, but I am still full-time. I am in the office at least four days a week and work remotely as well.
Do you think you’ll ever retire? If so, at what age?
I never see myself retiring. My job gives me purpose and I really love what I do. I had a good friend of mine who retired, and he told me to keep on working. I agree with him. I can’t just sit still. It’s not in my nature.
If you were to retire, what do you suppose you’d do with your time?
I’m not exactly sure what I’d do since I’ve been working all of my life. I’d like to travel, but it gets a little difficult as I get older, so you will probably see me reading books.
What advice would you give to someone who was weighing whether to continue working past retirement age?
I would tell them to just keep working if that is something that brings them happiness and purpose. It makes you stronger and your mind will tell your body to go. After I was in a serious accident, I was in rehab for three months. My doctor said that he learned something by watching me go through rehab. He said, ‘your brain told your body that it has to survive.’ I believe that my work has allowed me to experience many things in my life and that has helped me to strengthen my mental fortitude.
If you had it to do all over again, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently in your career?
I would do almost everything the same. I was able to get two master’s degrees in civil engineering and structural and construction engineering, and my B1 (General Contractor), C8 (Construction), and C29 (Masonry) Licenses. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to get my PhD as well.
What’s one of the biggest lessons you learned from your time on the job?
The biggest lesson I learned over the years working is to be honest and hardworking. That’s really the key to it all.
Los Angeles Business Journal