April 14, 2017
January 20, 2017
Sundt Senior Project Manager Brian DeMartino.
Senior Project Manager Brian DeMartino brings nearly 20 years of experience in the construction industry to his new position with Sundt. He has worked on retail, themed entertainment, dining, housing, offices, manufacturing, recreation, K-12 and higher education projects.
Brian, who is working in our Irvine, California office, has a degree in architectural engineering from the University of Texas and is LEED-Accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council.
What has been the most interesting thing about working for Sundt these first few weeks?
Its people. Construction companies are defined by a few things like values, leadership and technology. But one thing I have learned in my time in the construction industry is that the biggest factor in how a company feels and how it performs are its people. The people I met during the interview process were great – smart, professional, engaging. But I knew it was going to be hard to know how the company as a whole would be until I started to meet everyone on my first day at work. What I have found is a range of tenure – employee-owners who have been at Sundt for decades, some who are new just like me and everything in between, and all of them are driven, friendly and incredibly helpful.
How important was the employee-owner culture when you were considering whether to work at Sundt?
Moving to a company with a strong retirement plan was key. I started my career at an employee-owned company. I transitioned to another company after a few years with the hope that it would eventually offer some kind of retirement benefit but that never developed. So this move for me was targeted at a solid, well-run, well-respected construction company with an ESOP.
What’s your favorite movie?
“The Usual Suspects.” What drew me in when I saw it and what keeps me going back is the depth and variety of the characters. That cast is amazing. But then add in the plot with its twists and the writing and it’s hard to find a better film.
What do you do away from work?
I spend most of my time outside of work with my wife and kids. Having a 12 year old and a 5 year old means full-time playing, homework, sports and after-school events and parties. We like taking road trips as a family. Last year our trips were to Santa Cruz and Monterey on the California coast and Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks in the Sierra Mountains. We are planning our next trip to Yellowstone.
December 7, 2016
Sundt Master Mechanic Daniel Wayne.
Daniel Wayne is a Master Mechanic who has been with Sundt for 25 years. He’s the rare Arizona native who enjoys cold weather, which is good since he’s working on an Industrial project in northern New Mexico.
How did you get into construction?
After high school, I went to a tech school in Provo, Utah, and ended up working for Empire Machinery. That’s how I got into construction, working on equipment.
What has kept you at Sundt for 25 years?
The people I work with, and the company has been good to me. There’s a lot of teamwork. The company gives you all the components to succeed no matter what your field is.
What are the most enjoyable parts of the job?
Going from place to place. I’ve had a supervisor call on a Friday and ask if I wanted to meet new people. I would ask where he wanted me to go on Monday.
How much have you seen the industry change over the years?
We’re putting more of an emphasis on safety. We’re also seeing lots of younger people coming in over the past 10 years. I tell them to come to work on time, do good work and they’ll always have a job.
How many different locations have you worked?
Mostly Arizona and California. I spent the last six years in Texas.
What has been your favorite project to work on and why?
That’s hard to say. I’ve enjoyed all the jobs. I liked working at the Page (Arizona) Airport Apron. My family came up in the summer so my kids and wife were with me.
How important is the company’s employee-ownership culture?
It’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed with the company so long. It’s good to know your family is taken care of when you retire.
December 2, 2016
Officials break ground on a new student housing project at the University of the Pacific.
Sundt’s work on a new student housing complex for the University of the Pacific is being performed using a unique funding method that brings together the public and private sectors.
The project is being developed by Capstone Development Partners, a private developer known for partnering with colleges and universities to develop student housing. Public-private partnerships (P3) are the type of work general contractors are increasingly pursuing.
P3 is a long-term partnership between a public agency and private entity. Through the arrangement, the private entity typically finances, designs, builds, operates and/or maintains a fee-producing public project. In exchange, the private entity is repaid over an extended period of time through fees generated by the project or as otherwise permitted. This can involve the private entity’s lease or ownership of the project for an extended period during repayment.
The recent emergence and high-profile successes of P3 delivery will continue to stimulate tremendous opportunities for the design and construction industry. In a landscape of intense budget constraints and fiscal austerity, P3s offer government agencies an alternative mechanism for financing vital infrastructure projects.
Expected to be complete by early 2018, the project in Stockton, California, includes development of two four-story buildings totaling 158,000 square feet and 381 beds. The residences will provide contemporary apartment-style housing with gathering spaces and other indoor and outdoor student amenities, including a large shared kitchen, community spaces and study areas to support students’ academic needs.
October 12, 2016
Sundt California District Manager Dan Dumke.
Dan Dumke is Sundt’s new District Manager for California. He has more than 35 years of experience directing company operations, managing significant projects and leading high-performing teams in the construction industry. He brings a wealth of experience in the building and industrial markets as well as knowledge of large projects and public-private partnerships.
Dan is a member of the California Associated General Contractors Association and donates his time to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, whose mission is to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.
What made you want to work for Sundt?
The people. Sundt’s employee-owners have a genuine respect for the work they do and for their partners who do it. I have been fortunate over the past number of years to not only meet but work directly with many Sundt employees. It was clear from these experiences that they believe in the power of teamwork, are fully committed to do whatever it takes to get the job done and have a consistent habit of sharing credit.
What is on your immediate to-do list?
Getting to know our people is a high priority, so I will be visiting our projects and regional offices in California to do that. I am also looking forward to engaging with our safety personnel and site staff partners to make sure we continue to make every effort to remain the nation’s safest construction company.
What are our strengths in the California building market?
We will continue to leverage our strengths in the K-12, university and criminal justice markets and look for opportunities to further employ these strategically in other sectors, as well as with our transportation and industrial groups.
Where are we looking to start making in-roads?
Our successful growth is dependent upon our ability to develop and attract top talent in the market sectors where we work. The war for talent is real in construction, so our immediate focus is on finding more great employee-owners. Longer term, we will explore opportunities in new markets. If all industry and political indicators are even marginally correct, there will be tremendous need in the privatized infrastructure market – everything from transportation to water/wastewater to the expansion of alternative energy facilities. Schools, universities, hospitals, criminal justice facilities and community housing – essentially defined as social infrastructure projects – also lend themselves to alternative delivery types such as P3 and collaborative design-build.
What is Sundt known for in California?
The Sundt brand has and continues to be strong in California – on par with some of our most respected construction industry peers. We are recognized for being honest and following through on commitments.
What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mentor?
“First find the solution, then analyze its impact.” The message is simple: trust your mentors (and if you don’t have one, go find one). We are all surrounded by some pretty smart people. I am certain there is no puzzle we can’t solve when we work together.
Rendering of the interior of the Golden West College Student Services Center.
Sundt is pulling double duty on the Golden West College campus in Huntington Beach, California, where our crews are constructing both a student services center and math and science building. The student center is under way and the math and science facility is in preconstruction.
Our success with the district started with completion of the Orange Coast College Interdisciplinary Complex in Costa Mesa last year. The 78,000-square-foot math, business and computing complex includes 35 administrative offices, a 200-station computer lab, 11 computer teaching labs, nine lecture classrooms for business and computing courses, 15 math lecture classrooms, two meeting rooms and workroom, lounge and study areas.
Our performance on that facility put us in position to build the two Golden West projects, which are located within walking distance of one another.
Once completed, the 50,000-square-foot student activities facility will consolidate multiple departments into a central location on campus. Students will no longer have to hop from building to building to register, get financial aid and buy parking passes.
One lesson we’ve learned is the value of providing up-to-date communication with students, faculty, businesses and the public. Construction sites are always evolving and can serve as a source of frustration for those who have their daily routines interrupted.
The team worked with the Coast Community College District to develop a mobile app that includes information on both projects, including timelines and construction updates. The app went live not long after construction on the student activities center started. The project is in the “dead center of campus,” Sundt Regional Vice President John Messick said, making it hard for students to avoid in their daily routines. The community college has an enrollment of more than 15,000.
“We have decades of experience working on occupied campuses and know what it takes to safely and successfully complete a project like this,” John said.
The 118,000-square-foot math and science building recently completed demolition of existing structures and relocation of utility lines. Permit approval is expected to occur around Thanksgiving with construction starting next March.
Golden West College Math and Science Building rendering.