November 14, 2018
November 12, 2018
Sundt Construction’s Jon McKelvain presented at Texan by Nature‘s (TxN’s) first annual Conservation Wrangler Summit and Celebration last month in Dallas, Texas at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The summit brought together more than 200 Texas leaders to discuss the beneficial connections between business and conservation, and to highlight the best Texan-led conservation projects in the state. Topics ranged from addressing light pollution, to oil drilling with a smaller footprint, to using man-made wetlands to treat reclaimed water while serving as a habitat for wildlife. With all of the ideas presented, it was evident that Texans, by nature, are creative and community-minded people, and when they come together amazing things can happen.
Jon McKelvain, Vice President and Preconstruction Manager for Sundt’s Building Group, Texas District, spoke on engaging employees and the community, covering a broad range of Sundt projects and initiatives that exemplified industry best practices. “As a company, we empower our people to get out in the community and work with causes they believe in,” Jon said. “Also, we try to select projects that will have wide-reaching positive impacts on the surrounding area. There’s a lot of work out there to be won, but we’re passionate about pursuing the right projects.” Among many such projects, Jon covered a few high-profile examples.
Jon speaking on the Ocotillo Water Reclamation Facility, where technological innovation allows for smaller footprint and reduced sludge production. Sundt’s work increased service capacity to allow for community growth, and the water was made available for aquifer recharge, industrial use and irrigation.
In San Antonio, Texas, Sundt created a world-class linear park and public gathering space for an underserved community at San Pedro Creek, which became the focal point of the city’s 300-year anniversary celebration. “Think about it,” Jon said. “Before, that was basically just a concrete drainage ditch. Now, it’s a new park that’s improving flood control and serving as wildlife habitat and recreational space, with an anticipated $1-billion impact on the area.” Additionally, Sundt’s work on APS Four Corners in Farmington, New Mexico allowed for significant reduction in the power plant’s emission of greenhouse gasses, while also providing jobs and long-term economic benefits for the local Navajo Nation.
Other key projects were discussed, as well as the impact of the Sundt Foundation, which has given more than $8.6 million in grants to local charities and nonprofits since 1999, nearly half of which has come directly from Sundt employee-owners. Speaking on Sundt’s behalf about who we are and who we want to be as a company, Jon shared several instances of best practices with a focus on community and sustainability.
TxN founder, former first lady Laura W. Bush, addresses the crowd. The nonprofit brings conservation and business together, supporting efforts that are Texan-led, community-organized and data-based.
TxN’s goal is to amplify conservation projects and to activate new investment in research and conservation, which returns real benefits for people, prosperity and natural resources. “The whole premise behind Texan by Nature is that conservation is just good business, and it improves everyone’s quality of life,” Jon said. And true prosperity, as Jon pointed out, goes well beyond material wealth. For Sundt, a company whose purpose centers around creating prosperity for the communities where we live and work, this is an effort in which we’re proud to take part.
November 8, 2018
Sundt is a proud employer of our nation’s military veterans and their spouses, and we value our partnerships with veteran-owned businesses. For the third year in a row, we have earned the Military Friendly Employer designation by VIQTORY Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse magazines. This week, in honor of Veterans Day, we asked a few of our employee-owners to reflect on their service. Here’s what they shared.
Cesar Garcia, Field Coordinator, Industrial Group
What branch did you serve in and when? U.S. Army, 2003-2009, 101st Airborne Division.
What was your proudest moment or accomplishment in the service? Making it home alive after losing a limb, serving our beautiful nation, and fighting alongside brothers. Three Purple Hearts: it’s the award everyone loves and no one wants to get. Also: air assault, airborne, ranger tabbed, rappel master, expert infantryman, and combat infantryman.
Cesar alongside his family, coworkers, and former NFL Player Jared Allen and his Homes for Wounded Warriors Foundation
Jared and his wife Sarah
Jared Wagoner, Project Controls Manager, Industrial Group
What branch did you serve in and when? Army National Guard, 2005-2015. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 as a company commander for a Route Clearance Company.
What was your proudest moment or accomplishment in the service? I was proud every single time we finished a mission and everyone made it back safe. Not a single mission was routine, and the soldiers I had the pleasure of leading were consummate professionals.
Curtis Smith, Project Controls Manager, Building Group, Southwest District
What branch did you serve in and when? Army National Guard, 2002-present. I am currently serving as the Platoon Sergeant of 3rd Platoon, 258th Engineer Company.
What was your proudest moment or accomplishment in the service? I cannot sum this up into one event, so here are three:
- I deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004 to 2005. During this tour of duty, two amazing things happened to me: a) I met my wife Danielle whom I’ve now been married to for 14 years and have been blessed with two amazing children, and b) my company, the 258th Engineers, completed 80 miles of asphalt paved road that was used as a main supply route for the military and for the local populace. We were able to accomplish this due to the efforts of all by working with the local Iraqis who produced and placed all of the asphalt.
- I deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 2012 to 2013. During this tour of duty, I was the squad leader to 10 amazing soldiers and with their support completed over 20 combat engineer missions to support the Army and the Afghan National Army.
- In January 2018, I was awarded the prestigious Engineer Regiment De Fleury Medal (Steel). I was one of two individuals selected from a battalion of approximately 500 soldiers. The “Steel” level De Fleury Medal is presented to an individual whose service assured mobility, enhanced protection, enabled expeditionary logistics, and built capacity to give commanders the freedom of action needed to win full spectrum operations in an era of persistent conflict.
Curtis and his squad in Afghanistan
Thank you to these employee-owners and our other veterans for their service to our country!
November 2, 2018
“People who are both highly capable and humble are great hires. Humble people share the credit for their successes and emphasize teamwork instead of drawing attention to themselves,” said Dan Haag in his recent interview with the Phoenix Business Journal. Those who know Dan will agree: he is both a highly capable and humble leader. Even in the spotlight, he is quick to give credit to his team and the mentors in his past who helped him get to where he is today. This is a big part of why Dan won the Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year award last week at the Phoenix Business Journal’s 2018 C-Suite Awards.
Click here to view the video highlighting Dan’s award.
Currently in his fifth year as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Sundt Construction and his 40th year in his field, Dan knows a thing or two about helping individuals and organizations grow successfully. Dan has helped Sundt make huge strides in its mission to be the most skilled builder in America. Since his start here in 2010, the company has doubled in size, and still nearly 20 percent of our workforce has been with the company for at least 10 years. Sundt is consistently ranked one of the best places to work across our offices throughout the Southwest. All of this is a testament to our company’s culture, which Dan and his team have worked hard to facilitate. By investing in the right people, especially our highly skilled craft workforce, Dan has contributed to huge wins for our clients and employee-owners.
Dan with Sundt’s Craft Workforce Development Leadership
What makes Dan deserving of this award, however, isn’t just his singular work as CAO. It’s that he realizes the bigger impact of his profession, and he plays several roles in the industry and community. Dan works with schools, businesses, government, and nonprofits to help people become career-ready and career-literate. He’s leading a countrywide effort alongside 30 of the largest contractors, the AGC, and NCCER to address the craft labor shortage (projected to reach 2 million+ vacancies by 2020). And Sundt is becoming a national model for workforce development in its partnership with Central Arizona College, in which Dan has been instrumental. On top of that, Dan is a board member and former executive director of the Sundt Foundation, and he has continued Sundt’s legacy of giving back to the community.
Reflecting on his win and the things he’s learned over the course of his career, Dan said, “The best word that I can think of, in looking back, is that I’ve been very blessed.” Dan has paid his blessings forward in his tenure with Sundt, and many people have been impacted by his leadership. Congratulations, Dan!
October 23, 2018
Chandeliers, clinking glasses, vegan options, people dressed to the nines—this doesn’t sound like the world of construction. But make no mistake: when it comes to corporate philanthropy and giving back to our community, Sundt definitely has a seat at the table.
Nearly 300 people attended the Phoenix Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy Awards ceremony at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, where several local businesses were honored for their charitable efforts.
Sundt was named as a finalist for the Community Impact Large Award along with Phoenix Children’s Hospital and winner Alliance Bank of Arizona. Sundt Foundation Chair, Marian Enriquez, was honored by our selection. “The heart of our corporate philanthropy is embedded in Sundt’s culture,” she said. “The real differentiator for us is how we empower our employee-owners to actively make a difference in the communities where they live and work. We’re looking forward to another big milestone in 2019, as the Sundt Foundation is celebrating its 20th anniversary.”
Clearly, the Phoenix business community has a big heart. Sundt was one of many companies honored at the Phoenix Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy Awards for the amazing things their employees are doing in our city. Some firms give directly to various causes while others operate charitable foundations; some donate equipment or in-kind services, and others serve as volunteers.
Sundt employee-owners from left to right: Lisa White, Cathie Gabriel, Nicole Calamaio, Clay Mullenax, Marian Enriquez, Randy Rusing, Melissa Cheney, and Sarah Philippe
Beyond the numbers—the millions of dollars donated and hundreds of thousands of hours served—what stood out most was the stories people shared about caring for others: a community diaper bank for young parents in need; an initiative for creating affordable housing; STEM programs for girls in Namibia; grants for local public school teachers. The list goes on. When told altogether, these stories reveal the character of our city, where getting involved is just good business practice. CEO Marc Schmittlein of CopperPoint Insurance, who won the Community Impact Medium Award, said it best: “Phoenix is the sixth largest city in the country, but it may be the number-one city when it comes to giving back.”
Visit the Phoenix Business Journal to read more about Sundt’s impact.
Sundt recently won the Talent Board Candidate Experience (CandE) Award for 2018, our third year in a row. The Talent Board is a nonprofit organization focused on benchmark research of quality candidate experiences in the recruiting process, and the CandE award goes to firms that scored highly on job candidates’ satisfaction surveys.
Sundt employee-owner Sarah Clapper (center) accepts the company’s third straight CandE Award at the 2018 North American Talent Board CandE Symposium and Awards Gala on October 15 in Orlando, FL
Competing companies are independently evaluated based on the likelihood candidates would reapply, whether they would refer other job-seekers, and candidates’ overall ranking of their experience. Although the awards are a competition, they exist to enable any company to benchmark and improve their candidate experience, from pre-application to onboarding.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Talent Board for three years now as a leader in talent acquisition,” said Director of Administrative Workforce Development Trevor Gelder. “Every job matters to us and so does every candidate, and we want to make sure each person has a positive experience with us. It’s encouraging to know that our team’s hard work is improving the experiences of job-seekers considering Sundt.”
More than 190,000 employee responses were recorded and analyzed by Talent Board for the CandE award. Sundt was named as a North America CandE 2018 winner among other top companies such as AT&T, Fiat Chrysler, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG Group, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Southwest Airlines, and Waste Management. We were one of only two general contractors on the list.
For more on careers at Sundt, see sundt.com/careers. For more info on the CandE’s, please visit thetalentboard.org.