February 15, 2018
February 14, 2018
A team from Sacramento State won our concrete problem competition.
It’s a competition that has enabled us to find some of the best young talent in construction. It’s important enough for us to sponsor for eight consecutive years and our Chief Operating Officer attends to meet with dozens of university students.
This past weekend, a team of Sundt employee-owners participated in the Associated Schools of Construction’s (ASC) Regions 6 & 7 competition. ASC is the professional association focused on the development and advancement of construction education, and we are one of only two contractors who sponsor the event at the Platinum Level. As part of our sponsorship, each year Sundt submits a concrete “problem” for the participating teams to solve. This year’s competition included teams from 13 universities.
Solving the Sundt-provided problem required teams to provide a complete execution plan – including scope, cost, schedule, logistics and safety recognition – for the structural concrete components of a high-rise hotel tower in the Southwest. We awarded bonus points for identifying and providing solutions for complexities within the project.
The students had 12 hours to produce a quantity take-off, budget and safety recognition plan, and drew numbers to determine the order in which they would present the rest of their plan (schedule, logistics, execution strategy and risk analysis) the next day. Teams could have six members working on the problem and three alternates. The final six had to be selected prior to the problem presentation meeting on the first morning.
Sacramento State won the competition with an all-around impressive performance and by creating a safety recognition plan that was detailed, affordable and effective.
“It was something we would implement on our own projects,” said Project Executive Chandra Reilly, one of Sundt’s representatives at the conference in Sparks/Reno, Nevada.
Five of the top six teams had scores within one point of each other, and only a tenth of a point separated our second- and third-place finishers, Arizona State and Virginia Tech.
The advantages of self-performing concrete, which include control of cost, quality and schedule, benefit every division of our company, and we wanted to make sure our panel reflected a diverse set of perspectives. To that end, our problem creation team and judging panel consisted of employee-owners from concrete, building and transportation.
“We have committed to giving detailed feedback to all the teams so they can grow and build off this experience for future competitions and their careers,” Chandra said.
Our Concrete Division has a long history of emphasizing safety on the jobsite. As a company, we have won the Associated General Contractors of America Grand Award twice, an achievement which left a strong impression on some of the more than 1,400 students who attended the competition from campuses across the nation.
“We had several students compliment us on the way we addressed safety at our company, to the point where they said that even though they already had several full-time job offers they’d still like to talk to us, because it struck such a strong chord with them,” Chandra said.
February 8, 2018
We’re working with Trinity Hughes Construction to build a $34.3 million Health Science and Human Services Building at Midwestern State University.
A strong track record helped by a proven joint-venture arrangement has us providing solutions for another client in Wichita Falls, Texas.
We’re teaming with local contractor Trinity Hughes Construction to build a $34.3 million Health Science and Human Services Building at Midwestern State University. The facility will house many programs in the Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services. The team will build updated facilities and space for the College of Health Sciences and Human Sciences Department including Dental Hygiene, Social Work, Radiologic Sciences, Respiratory Care and the Wilson School of Nursing.
This is our first project for Midwestern State. Trinity Hughes teamed with the university in 2015 to construct the Jesse Rogers Promenade, a 10,000-square-foot decorative pathway.
“Working with Trinity Hughes is seamless,” Sundt Project Executive Bob Aniol said. “They operate with similar values and have a high focus on safety.”
Founded in 1922, Midwestern State University has more than 6,000 students and is one of 36 public institutions of higher learning in Texas.
“Midwestern State needs to maximize its health-care program to create a great learning environment to grow the school of Heath Sciences and Human Services, which is one of the largest programs on campus,” Bob said.
Midwestern State’s expectations are clear. All it takes is teamwork and we have that covered.
“They want a quality building for a fair price,” Bob said.
While this is our first work for the university, we have made news in Wichita Falls for success on a couple of high-profile projects.
“The university is familiar with us through our reputation for doing the Wichita Falls Municipal Airport and the Wichita Falls Independent School District Career Education Center,” Bob said.
Preconstruction started last year at Midwestern State and construction begins in December. Completion is scheduled for May 2019.
February 7, 2018
It didn’t take long for John Carlson to decide what he wanted to do for a living. It all happened around age 2.
That’s when John’s father, John Sr., took him to a construction site for the first time. The big equipment, huge piles of dirt and non-stop action fascinated the youngster. That love of construction has never waned.
Sundt Corporate Strategic Business Officer John Carlson.
“I was exposed early on. I remember building little dams in the stream at 3 or 4 years old,” said John, who’s now our Corporate Strategic Business Officer. “Dad worked on dams, and friends and relatives used to tell me, ‘you’re going to be just like your dad.’ It was in my blood.”
John’s father had a huge influence on his son’s life. John Sr. worked for Sundt for 40 years. John still has the three-page typed recruitment letter his dad received in 1956 from Thor Sundt, a member of the company’s founding family, while he was with the Army Corps of Engineers building dams. The two had met as West Point classmates and served in the Korean War together.
John Sr. held many roles during his decades with our company, including positions in the field, estimating, as a board member and executive, and a contract negotiator for projects we performed in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s and ’80s. He worked on our London Bridge relocation project in Arizona, served on the Associated General Contractors of America Board and did national lobbying for the industry for a number of years. He retired as Vice President for Special Projects and Public Affairs in 1997, and passed away in 2014.
The younger John has been with us for 35 years, starting as a Laborer. He has worked his way through the ranks as a Laborer, Foreman, Surveyor, Quality Control Technician, Mechanic’s Helper, Field and Project Engineer, Project Manager, Estimator, Business Development Manager and Division Manager.
John Carlson, Sr. spent 40 years working for Sundt.
John graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Construction Management. Tedd Jones, Sundt’s President at the time, told him he should leave Sundt upon graduation and get different experiences with another contractor. John took the advice and eventually worked his way back to Sundt, and has worked in eight states and on one overseas assignment.
John and his father never worked on a project together; John said the closest they came was when he turned down an opportunity to work on the U.S. Embassy project in Moscow. But his dad’s influence was always there.
“My dad was well-liked and respected nationally,” John said. “It opened a lot of doors.”
John still had to keep those doors open himself.
“As a “boss’ kid,“ some people would look at you as if you don’t work hard,” John said of having a well-known dad in the industry. “I always felt I had to prove myself.”
John once moved 11 times in 13 years with the company, going most anywhere we asked. He’s found a home in Texas, where he’s been for the past eight years. John finds strategic business opportunities for all our operating groups with an emphasis on alternative delivery methods.
He also works on industry advocacy to influence policy and help shape legislation, the same as his dad years ago.
“Sundt is like a family,” John said. “We all have to pull our own weight.”
Interested in pursuing a career with Sundt? Please click here for more information.
February 6, 2018
Craft professional Jimmy Venegas and a resident at Grandview Terrace.
Our Grandview Terrace Senior Living campus renovation for Sun Health took place in resident corridors and the fitness center, salon, front entry, kitchen and dining areas. More than 300 residents were living in our construction zone in Sun City, Arizona.
The work required forethought to ensure that residents were kept informed and safe during the process. Creative thinking and teamwork with Grandview staff made sure those goals were realized. Early on, our team worked with Grandview to create a communication plan that let residents know where we were working and what we were doing. The plan included signs in hallways detailing upcoming work, instructions on walls showing how to call for an escort and opportunities for residents to provide feedback.
Taking it a step further, community members who needed to get through active construction zones were assisted by our Sundt Concierge Ushering Service. Team members walked residents through the work area, clearing potential hazards and making sure everyone was safe.
Following up, when renovations were complete on a floor, Project Manager John Lewis, Superintendent Max Sperry and their team visited each resident and delivered Sundt goodie bags to thank them for letting us into their home.
“Thanks for the good memories and for the cookies and can holder,” one resident wrote to the team. “It has been a pleasure to interact with the Sundt crew. I applaud your professionalism, safety and accommodating work ethic.”
The partnership with Sun Health is working. The company has brought us on board to perform work at The Colonnade, an assisted living and memory care facility in Sun City.
Attendees at the first Sundt Devils session listen to a panel of experts talk about women in construction.
We have a longstanding, valued partnership with Arizona State University. Along with our current work modernizing Sun Devil Stadium, we have performed numerous projects that are improving the campus experience.
Our “Sundt Devils” discussion series, which kicked off last week, is taking the commitment directly to ASU construction management and engineering students.
The first event on the Tempe campus focused on women in construction. Our employee-owners on the panel were experts, including Senior Vice President and Building Group Manager Teri Jones, Senior Vice President and Southwest Building Group Manager Ryan Abbott, Project Executive Chandra Reilly, Project Manager Janene Thomas and Project Engineer Ashleigh Eubank.
Arizona State University students chat with Sundt employee-owners.
“This event really engaged the students in our Construction Management program,” said Kristen Parrish, Assistant Professor at ASU’s School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. “Multiple students approached me following the event to say they had learned something and were even more excited to pursue their own construction careers.”
Attendee questions included what advice the panelists would offer a woman entering the industry and how job seekers could stand out from the crowd. While the audience was mostly female, several male students came to learn more about the topic. After the panel discussion, attendees stayed around to network with their peers and our team.
“It’s exciting that our first Sundt Devils event was well received by the attendees and great conversation was sparked,” said Sundt Talent Acquisition Specialist Sarah Clapper. “I attribute the majority of our success to our five panelists. They took time out of their busy schedules to chat and network with the crowd. At the end of the event, I received positive feedback and excitement toward the next Sundt Devils event.”
Future Sundt Devils events will focus on other industry topics and trends. ASU students and faculty should follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for information as subjects and dates are announced. Students from any college or university can visit our website to learn more about internship and career opportunities.