Construction industry veteran Dave Fleming, Sundt’s Director of Dispute Resolution, has been with the company since 1991. Among Dave’s many accomplishments is his recent appointment as National President of the American Institute of Constructors (AIC), a non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing ethics and professionalism in the construction industry. Prior to becoming AIC’s president, Dave spent two years as chairman of the organization’s Constructor Certification Commission, which offers two levels of certification to construction professionals through nationwide exams offered twice each year.
What are your plans for the AIC as its new president?
My plans as the new president revolve around marketing the advantages of becoming a Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) to as many groups as possible within our industry. One of the key groups is the 70-plus universities hosting the Associate Constructor (AC) level test for graduating seniors. We want to help them get a leg up in marketing their skills to new employers. My other main objective is marketing Sundt CPC’s, and in turn Sundt, by displaying a national image of ethics and professionalism in our work. Educating owner groups to look for Certified Professional Constructors in their selection of the next qualification-based proposal is another top priority.
What’s the value of CPC certification?
The AIC is focused on raising the bar for individuals within our industry. The organization supports individual constructors throughout their careers by helping them develop the skills, knowledge, professionalism and ethics that further the standing of the construction industry. Sundt’s management sees this issue the same way and supports professional development of its employees by sponsoring the cost of preparing and taking the CPC exam, as well as paying a bonus to those who pass it.
Why is national certification needed in the construction industry?
A company needs one person to be licensed in a state to perform work there. Many times the business owner and others within the company work under one license. In that situation, how do we know these people know what they are doing and will manage and perform the work professionally and ethically? AIC’s CPC program is the answer because the individual is tested and earns the nationally recognized CPC certification. AIC’s initial testing and continuing education program assures people inside the industry and those using the services that the person managing their construction has achieved a level of construction management knowledge, as well as an ethical standard, that is recognized nationally by our industry.
What might you be doing if you weren’t working in the construction industry?
If I won the lottery I’d be sailing fulltime in the Caribbean islands. I love to ocean sail and try to join my retired brother off the coast of Maine each summer to decompress. He takes my cell phone away for a week of “getting away from it all.” There is something about sailing up to the stern of a lobster boat and offering 20 bucks cash and getting four live lobsters for dinner that makes one appreciate that there is more to life than work all the time.
Where would you most like to travel?
Having a million miles on three different airlines makes answering a question about travel a very questionable thing. I have a desire to see more of America than what I have seen from a window seat of an airplane! In 20 years I have never driven from Texas to Arizona or California. I think seeing all the US state parks in the west would be an adventure, but by car – not flying. Guess that may be a “bucket list” item of mine. My wife wants to take me to Ireland; that would be good, too.
What’s the best book you read in the last year?
“Level Headed,” the book Doug Pruitt (Sundt’s former CEO) wrote about Sundt’s turnaround, because I lived it with many Sundt employees when it was happening. It reflects on how the people of Sundt came together under Doug and our current CEO Dave Crawford’s leadership to become a great company. “Our people make the difference” is not just a slogan; it is the culture and the will of some really fine people at Sundt.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I like to do things that are simple and away from the current stress of TSA lines, FAA delays, and hotels. So I guess staying at home or sailing.
More than 100 people attended the event that recognized retired Sundt employees who spent 20 years or more with the company.
More than a hundred people gathered at Sundt’s Tempe office last week for a luncheon that recognized the special efforts of retirees who spent 20 years or more with the company. Several special guests were in attendance, including spouses of the retirees and a number of current employees. The retirees were shown pictures of some of Sundt’s current projects as well as a short video showing the relocation of a 1,120–foot-long bridge over the Willamette River in Portland, Ore. The retirees were announced and honored by having their names engraved on the concrete monuments erected on the path to the building’s entrance.
One of the retirees recognized at the event was Hedy Bagherpour, who spent nearly 30 years in Sundt’s Heavy Civil Division.
A man takes a photo of the names added to the concrete monuments in front of Sundt’s office in Tempe.
Several of the retirees in attendance spent well over 20 years with the company, such as Ray Bargull (35 years), Bill Damme (34 years), Steve Schipper (32 years), and Hedy Bagherpour (approximately 30 years).
“Sundt is a remarkable company that was built by dedicated employee-owners,” said CEO Dave Crawford, “and it continues to grow through the dedication of its talented people. We decided to create this event to celebrate the work of our 20-plus year veterans and thank them for their service. We also want to create an incentive for our young people to continuously change and improve the company and have their names engraved on the concrete monuments. There are currently 228 retired administrative and craft employees who spent 20 or more years with Sundt. In addition, we have approximately 50 current employees with 20 or more years of service whose names will be added to the monuments in the coming years as they retire. We have a history of great projects built by superb people. This is certainly a tradition we want to maintain and enhance.”
In a recent op-ed for the Arizona Republic, Sundt President and CEO Dave Crawford explored Arizona’s coming labor shortage – and what to do about it. Sundt is a founding member of the Real Arizona Coalition, an organization that was formed “to help educate Arizonans about various issues surrounding immigration and to promote bipartisan, civil discourse that would eventually lead to a broad-based platform that business, faith and civic leaders can all embrace.”
You can learn more about the Real Arizona Coalition’s “SANE” approach to immigration and labor reform on its website.
Sundt CEO Dave Crawford won the Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of Arizona (UA) Alumni Association and the UA College of Engineering at a ceremony last Friday evening.
Forty years after graduating from the University of Arizona (UA), Sundt CEO Dave Crawford has received a top honor from his alma mater. At a ceremony last Friday evening he received the 2012 Alumnus of the Year award from the UA Alumni Association and the UA College of Engineering. Dave graduated from the UA in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.
The Alumnus of the Year Ceremony honors the alumnus or alumna nominated by each University of Arizona college who has uniquely demonstrated a commitment to the college’s success and mission through professional achievement, service or support.
“He (Dave) was chosen for the award because of his distinguished career and in sincere appreciation for his ongoing support of UA students and programs,” said Nancy Daru Yaeli, Senior Vice President of Campus and Global Partnerships for the UA Alumni Association.
Dave joined Sundt in 1968 as a concrete laborer and rose through the ranks to become Chief Executive Officer in 2011. He was an active participant in the legislation permitting alternative project delivery methods for public construction projects in the state of Arizona. He has also held numerous professional and community affiliations over the years.
Congratulations, Dave! Sundt prides itself on being a company of exceptional people. The UA Alumnus of the Year Award is more evidence that our people really do make the difference.
Today, September 30, is CEO J. Doug Pruitt’s last day at Sundt – marking the end of his 45-year construction career
with the company. Though Pruitt will no longer come to the office every day, he will remain involved by continuing to serve as chairman of the Sundt Board of Directors. Pruitt turns over the CEO reins to his longtime colleague, David Crawford, who has been with Sundt for 42 years and counting. We wish Pruitt well and thank him for his countless contributions to our organization, and we offer a warm welcome to Crawford as he steps into his new role.
Sundt Construction CEO J. Doug Pruitt to Retire
Sundt Construction Names David Crawford as New CEO
J. Doug Pruitt