March 16, 2018
March 15, 2018
Sundt Safety Representative Chris Morales.
Chris Morales joined Sundt’s San Diego office late last year as a Safety Representative. He has been in the construction industry since 2007 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Resource Management from California State University, Bakersfield.
What interested you most about working for Sundt?
The diversity of work the company performs. The fact that Sundt is an employee-owned company added to my interest.
What do you do in average day?
Every project has its own unique challenges. I ensure all safety and health policies are being followed in the field. I work with everyone on-site and act as a resource for all matters health and safety.
Who gives you the best advice?
Some of my best advice comes from people working in the field. If I feel something should be done differently or propose a change to a process, I ask the employees for their input. I use this advice (if it’s good) to further my success and strengthen my value as a safety professional.
What is the one thing anyone who visits San Diego must see?
Balboa Park is a large, beautiful public space with some great museums, San Diego Zoo and spectacular sites.
Where do you like to travel?
I love to travel and see different areas of the United States. I want to visit Asia soon.
March 12, 2018
Carolina Olivas has worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for 11 years.
One of Carolina Olivas’ favorite quotes is from Mahatma Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Carolina, an Administrative Assistant in our Tempe, Arizona office, lives up to those values. She spends much of her free time working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, helping children at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Make-A-Wish is a non-profit organization that arranges experiences, “wishes,” for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
“I’m a Wish Granter,” she said. “I help the Mission Delivery staff in meeting with wish families, collecting detailed information about the child’s wish and family, and planning the wish from beginning to end. I also get to represent the organization at special events for the Spanish-speaking community.”
Carolina has worked with Make-A-Wish for 11 years.
“My friend and I wanted to volunteer for a non-profit that would impact children’s lives, and we found that the Make-A-Wish Foundation was the perfect fit for us,” she said.
She’s a translator on the Phoenix Children’s Hospital pre-op floor, helping Spanish speakers with medical paperwork and facilitating communication among parents, doctors and medical staff.
“While visiting one of my Wish Kids at the hospital, one of the nurses approached me and asked if I’d be interested in volunteering for the hospital as a translator for Spanish-speaking parents,” Carolina said. “I looked into it and I’ve been doing it for five years.”
Thanks to her volunteer work, Carolina was nominated by the Sundt Foundation for Luke Air Force Base’s Hometown Hero Award. Carolina reached the finals of the competition; voting to determine the winner took place on Facebook.
“It was a great privilege for me to make it to the final five and represent Sundt,” she said.
The satisfaction she receives from helping others was enough of a prize. Inspired by Gandhi, she lives a life of service.
“It’s a great way to connect with your community and give back a little,” Carolina said. “You certainly return to society some of the benefits that society gives you. It brings people together.”
March 9, 2018
Arun Verma’s father, Shankerlal, delivers sweets to students at ZP Prathamik Shala in India.
It started with a few chocolates. It’s developed into free education for 10 children a year at a rural school in Dehrewadi, India.
Sundt Project Controls Manager Arun Verma is from Nashik, India. His father, Shankerlal, who retired from a career in construction, owns a farm about 25 miles from the city. Shankerlal got to know a few kids from the small local school and started taking sweets to them. The school, ZP Prathamik Shala, has around 100 students; it’s so tiny it doesn’t have a sixth-grade class this year.
Sundt Project Controls Manager Arun Verma.
Arun and his father got together to up the ante a bit. They started funding a scholarship program for the students, one that would provide support for 10 children a year through grade 10.
In India, students complete 10 years of schooling before enrolling for two years in junior college, where they select one of three streams: arts, commerce or science. This is followed by a general degree course in a chosen field of study or a professional degree course, such as law, engineering and medicine.
“The students started getting to know my dad,” said Arun, who moved to the U.S. in 2007 to get his master’s degree from Texas A&M. “He goes there a lot and saw the school’s bad conditions.”
The Vermas began giving scholarships four years ago. Arun is raising more funds by teaming with a friend in Dallas who attended engineering school with him. Arun works in our Irving office.
“I needed some help to make it bigger,” Arun said.
Arun relies heavily on teachers to help select the scholarship recipients. They take academic and athletic achievements into account when choosing the winners.
He said the children enjoy competing for the scholarships and receiving one is a source of pride. Attendance has improved in the years since the program started.
“This is a poor part of India,” Arun said. “Usually if the kids aren’t going to school, they’re working the farms. Since the program started, they have motivation to go to school.”
After summer, Arun plans to expand the program to include books. While he tries to go back as often as possible, his last visit there was two years ago. He found a very welcoming reception.
“When I go, the kids know me by name,” Arun said.
March 8, 2018
Thursday was a winning evening for Sundt at the annual Real Estate & Development Awards at Phoenix’s Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. AZRE Magazine honored us with multiple awards, including the coveted General Contractor of the Year for the state of Arizona.
Our construction of the University of Arizona Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building (Education) and work at Tucson International Airport (Public/Utilities) were named the best projects in their categories.
Tucson Office Project Director David Ollanik holds one of the three RED Awards Sundt won this week.
Part of the Downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus, the 10-story Biomedical Partnership Building is a research laboratory that enables collaborative clinical and research for cancer biology, neuroscience, traumatic brain injury, bio-engineering and public health informatics.
Our work at Tucson International is the single largest effort to upgrade the airport in its 77- year history. The project gave underused spaces new purpose, including relocating security checkpoints, revitalizing concession spaces and upgrading the infrastructure of the airport, which serves 3.6 million passengers each year. The Terminal Optimization Program has transformed the airport and supported the mission to create an improved experience for all passengers.
Our Embry-Riddle STEM Education Center project in Prescott also made the RED finals.
“This year, we received more nominations than ever, a great sign that commercial real estate development is alive and well in Arizona,” said AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green. “I think we can agree that being a part of the amazing growth in Arizona makes us all the real winners.”
The RED Awards highlight impressive projects completed in the last year, as well as the companies and people that make each project possible.
Anne Hatfield has operated heavy equipment for Sundt for the past 7.5 years.
When Anne Hatfield takes a vacation this fall, she is going with people who are in her line of work. It’s a tight-knit group that gets together every year to discuss their profession and enjoy each other’s company.
The group is meeting in the tiny, scenic community of Tofino on Vancouver Island this September. It’s the perfect spot for the International Sisterhood of Equipment Operators – a small group of female construction professionals who usually stand out on the job site.
“We mostly get together to get away and be around other women who have the same life experiences,” said Anne, who has been with Sundt for 7.5 years. “It’s kind of nice.”
Anne and her friends are accustomed to being the only female construction professionals on their projects. Their expertise working heavy equipment earns quick respect from their co-workers.
“I never had a problem fitting in,” she said. “Once I proved to them I could do what they were doing, they were always very accepting of me. I guess I was a novelty.”
Anne has worked on transportation projects in Arkansas, Arizona, California, New Mexico, North Dakota and Texas. Most of her work involves using equipment such as scrapers, loaders, bulldozers and backhoe, making her a valuable person to have around.
“I don’t remember having any down time,” Anne said.
Anne is working on our Ina Road/I-10 improvements in Tucson. She has been on the project for the past year, allowing her to spend time at her home in nearby Oracle.
“It’s been really nice to be home,” she said. “It’s good to be around family.”
Anne was a late bloomer in construction, getting started in her 30s. She was working nights at a rehab hospital when she decided it was time to make a radical career change. She was hired by a residential construction company in Phoenix as the housing boom sparked up.
“The company was training anyone who wanted to learn, because it was so short-handed,” Anne said.
Anne made her way to Sundt a few years later. While women on the site are still rare, they are getting more company all the time.
“I am seeing more female engineer interns during the summer,” Anne said. “It seems like more and more women are getting into the field.”
Anne is one of hundreds of women who work for Sundt Construction. This article is part of a series celebrating Women in Construction Week.
Interested in pursuing a career with Sundt? Please click here for more information.