May 10, 2019
May 8, 2019
This week, over 70 national and global construction companies in the Construction Industry Safety (CISI) group and the Incident and Injury Free CEO (IIF) Forum have come together to celebrate Safety Week. Jobsites and offices near and far hosted safety briefings and safety shares, with topics ranging from fall protection to electrical safety to general health and well-being.
Together, we share a common goal that goes far beyond learning best practices. We have a responsibility to ourselves and our families to come home safe every day, and we owe it to our fellow builders—both colleagues and competitors—to build a safer industry. Here are just a few Safety Week snapshots of Sundt employee-owners and partners doing their part.
Sundt’s Sacramento State University Science Building team came together to learn about electrical safety from Bergelectric.
Brian Martinez, Corporate HS&E Trainer, led a discussion on electrical safety at Sundt’s headquarters in Tempe, Arizona.
Tony Bonilla from Jobsite Supply, holding a rescue ladder with anchor point, reminded the San Diego Air Support Facilities team about the importance of Rescue Planning
The team at Sundt’s HACEP Chelsea project in El Paso, Texas met to learn about trench excavating safety.
May 1, 2019
May is National Awareness Month for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Since 2001, the Sundt Foundation has hosted a variety of sporting events to benefit ALS research in honor of Mike Gaines, a beloved member of the Sundt family who lost his life to the disease at 49. After his battle with ALS forced him to retire, Mike wanted to raise money for ALS research so that no one else would have to suffer. To date, the Mike Gaines Charitable Fundraising Events initiative has raised over $2 million dollars, with funds donated to the ALS Association and Muscular Dystrophy Association.
From left to right: Sara Gwaltney (ALS), Julia Marsili (ALS), Aly Gartin (Sundt), Amy Sugimoto (ALS), Stephanie Daniels (ALS), and Madison Jones (Sundt) hold a check for the ALS Association.
In honor of National ALS Awareness month, Sundt’s Sacramento location hosted the 10th Annual Mike Gaines Golf Tournament at Woodcreek Golf Club in Roseville, California. The event was a huge success and raised over $50,000 to benefit the ALS Association.
Sundt CEO Mike Hoover, VP and Regional Director Jim Larrieu, Building Group President Teri Jones and Project Executive Mike Mielcarek came out to add their support and show off their skills.
Amy Sugimoto, Executive Director of the ALS Association’s Greater Sacramento Chapter, spoke to the success of the event and expressed her thanks: “The Chapter is grateful for Sundt’s commitment to funding research programs to find treatments and a cure for ALS. By hosting golf tournaments in the Sacramento region and beyond, Sundt has truly changed the landscape of ALS research in memory of their friend Mike Gaines. We appreciate all who participated in the tournament at Woodcreek Golf Club on May 3rd. Thank you to the Sundt team for your work and tireless dedication to eliminating ALS.”
Since 2001, Mike Gaines events have raised over $2 million dollars for the ALS Association and Muscular Dystrophy Association.
April 29, 2019
Today is Law Day, a national day to celebrate the rule of law and to learn how the legal process protects the freedoms we share as Americans. As such, it’s a great occasion to spotlight Ron Stuff, who shared with us his love for the law and his journey to become Sundt Senior Vice President and General Counsel.
Growing up the son of a carpenter, Ron always knew he wanted to be involved in building things. The law was also something that held his interest with its ever-changing, dynamic nature and its opportunities to make a difference. Following his passion for construction, Ron graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech. Ron worked as a civil engineer with a construction firm and worked on the front lines. According to Ron, he wouldn’t trade his experience spending each day on a construction site for anything in the world.
After four years as an engineer, Ron attended Harvard Law. Not many construction lawyers have the same combination of field experience and education. Ron saw both benefits and challenges being an engineer studying law. “On one hand, engineering is a lot like law,” he said. “Both require analytical skills. Both require breaking large, complex problems down into smaller pieces, and solving them one piece at a time.” On the other hand, law required a lot more writing skills than he had. Over the last 30 years, Ron said he has been privileged to bring together his two passions for building and the law.
In 2017, Ron was named Arizona Corporate Counsel of the Year in the Large Private Company category. Upon receiving the award, he said, “In circumstances like this, I’m reminded of the words of an early mentor who told me, ‘It’s easy to look good when one is surrounded by good people.’ The legal team and the entire Sundt organization are the ones who made this possible.” Those who know Ron will agree: he readily attributes his success to those around him.
Lawyers in construction can often be seen as the “department of No” or just another hurdle to overcome. Ron hopes that he and his team are useful business partners to everyone in the company. “If they’ve got a legal question or problem, we want to find a way to help them solve it or answer it. If we’re not, then we need to change what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.”
Looking back, there are many things Ron would count as his greatest accomplishment; from spending 37 wonderful years with his wife, to having three beautiful children, there is a lot to be proud of. Career-wise, Ron feels most accomplished with his current role. Of all his different jobs, Ron said, he has never had one that has felt more rewarding than his time with Sundt.
April 25, 2019
While she’s much more concerned with critical paths than a path towards critical acclaim, Hannah Schumacher earned some well-deserved industry fame earlier this month when she was named a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE).
Hannah visits multiple jobsites each week, such as the Canopy by Hilton Tempe (pictured here), to meet with project teams and review their schedule and status.
Hannah is a Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), meaning she plans, schedules and monitors construction projects. Essentially, her behind-the-scenes work plays a huge part in delivering projects on time and on budget. Also, Hannah’s status as an AACE Fellow is one of the most prestigious and selective honors in the industry. It involves nomination from at least five AACE peers, recommendation from the Fellow Admissions Committee, and approval from AACE International’s Board of Directors.
AACE Fellows are sought-after thought leaders and industry influencers. More importantly, as Hannah pointed out, the title isn’t just about being an expert: “It’s a recognition that you have this experience, but also that you’re sharing that with others.” Hannah has given presentations, authored papers and pioneered best practices, as well as conducted group and one-on-one trainings with Sundt employee-owners. “She’s helped elevate the skills we have across our staff, for both the Southwest District and the larger Building Group,” said Sundt Senior VP and Building Group Southwest District Manager, Ryan Abbott. “It’s incredible how much Hannah brings to our team; she’s a fantastic coach focused on enhancing the individual, not just the plan.”
Hannah on site meeting with fellow employee-owners Mike McGee, Adrianne Coffinger and Kelly Wyllie.
Since 2017, Hannah has served as Scheduling Manager for Sundt’s Building Group and has loved it. “What I love about Sundt is the people,” she said. “Other than the people, what I love about my job is providing frontline support, training and mentoring to the project teams, helping them build effective schedules that they can use to manage their projects. Every day is something different; each project is unique with its own challenges and issues. There’s nothing like seeing a project from start to finish.”
True to her nature to share, Hannah was quick to share the credit for her fellowship, starting with thanking her husband. “My industry involvement has demanded a lot from me, and my husband has been so supportive throughout the process,” said Hannah. “It was an unexpected surprise to be named as an AACE Fellow. I’m honored and grateful to be recognized by an organization whose volunteer members do so much to give back to the industry.”
The Canopy by Hilton Tempe’s south elevation panel installation is now complete, with windows installed up through level 10 and remaining windows on Levels 11 to 13 scheduled to complete next week.
National Welding Month is an opportunity to highlight the impact welding has on our daily lives. Through mentorship, education, and recognition, Sundt is working to promote an industry that needs more skilled tradesmen and women and offers rewarding careers. This month, we caught up with Craft Training Instructor Josué Ponce to get his perspective on building a strong welding workforce.
Why is welding an important skill in our society? If you look around at everything you touch or see, it was either welded or made by a machine that had to be welded. Welding is used to produce the cars we drive, the bridges and roads we drive on, the buildings we work in, and the homes where we live.
What’s the demand like for welders in our current economy, both nationally and locally? The American Welding Society is projecting that the shortage of skilled welders could be as high as 450,000 welders by 2022. The state of Arizona has an estimated shortage of around 2,000 welders. So, there’s definitely a high demand.
What is Sundt doing as a company to build its welding workforce? Sundt has partnered up with Central Arizona College to help curb the skills gap and craft shortage we’re facing as a nation. The students enrolled in this program are gaining a wealth of knowledge that will help them in their career. Currently there is 100% job placement after they graduate with a certificate or associate’s degree. If they choose to work for Sundt, we offer a bonus after 30 days of employment. Within Sundt we have various training opportunities going on, as well as a new Pipefitting Apprenticeship we are planning to start this summer.
Josué teaching welding students at Central Arizona College
What’s your role within that process? I work as a Craft Training Instructor where my primary focus is teaching Pipefitting/Welding and Front-Line Supervisor classes. Last year, we had our first after-hours Pipefitter class. It was a huge success. In my afternoons, I work at Central Arizona College with the Sundt/CAC program as an Adjunct Welding Professor. I currently have a Pipefitting/Welding class with eleven awesome students who, I’m hoping, will be future employee-owners of Sundt.
What would you say to young people looking to start in this field, or to others who are looking to make a career change? My message to them would be: Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Welding can be tough at times and very challenging, but the reward is great, and you’re getting into a career that’s going to last you a lifetime. With great work ethic will come great reward.