January 13, 2017
December 23, 2016
Sundt Estimator Lindsey Bryan.
Lindsey Bryan recently started with Sundt as an Estimator working on Industrial projects. Before joining our company, she spent three years working as a project engineer at a copper smelter.
Lindsey is from Globe, Arizona, and has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Arizona State University. A true fan of the outdoors, she hopes to one day live somewhere big enough to accommodate a herd of pets and livestock.
What was it about Sundt that made you want to work here?
I was first exposed to Sundt when I was taking a class called Alternative Project Delivery Methods (APDM) at ASU. Sundt was identified as one of the leaders in using APDM in the industry and an employee-owner was brought in as a guest speaker and presented various projects that were completed using these methods. It was then that I realized how open Sundt was to new and innovative ways of doing things. When I was ready to leave my former company I reached out to one of my mentors, who happens to be working at Sundt. He had great things to say about the company and told me about the projects he had been involved with and it sounded like a really great fit for me.
What does your job entail?
It ranges from helping put together a bid for potential projects to estimating different approaches to projects to help clients make informed decisions.
How did you become interested in the construction field?
My major in school was civil engineering but my summer internships had me involved with projects and surveying and really got me interested in the construction side of things. My engineering background is useful but I really enjoy the real-world experience that the construction industry can give.
What’s the most useful advice you’ve been given?
My dad always reminded me while we were fishing to make sure my hook was sharp. This helped me land a lot of fish (and, in failure to do so, lose a lot). If you think about that it can apply to life in so many ways. To me it means not only being prepared for the next big opportunity but always making sure you’re giving your best effort.
What’s the best TV show you’ve seen recently?
I just finished binge-watching the series Narcos on Netflix.
Where do you enjoy traveling?
My favorite destinations are places I can go hiking, lie on the beach, go swimming, fishing, basically anywhere I can be outdoors.
December 2, 2016
Sundt Area Manager Ted Aadland.
Sundt Area Manager Ted Aadland has more than 40 years of heavy highway experience. He has supervised more than 200 multifaceted transportation improvement projects, with experience including freight rail and highway bridges.
n 2010, Ted was elected by his peers to serve as president of the Associated General Contractors of America. His dedication to the industry is reflected in his continuous participation with the Associated General Contractors, both locally in Oregon and nationally. He has served as president of the Oregon-Columbia Chapter of the AGC and sat on numerous committees, including as co-chair for the group that developed the formal constructability review for the Oregon Department of Transportation.
As a Sundt employee-owner, he recently played a key role in the replacement of Sellwood Bridge, a 2,000-foot-long structure over the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.
What is it about bridge work that appeals to you?
The type of bridge that gets my juices flowing are ones that are over water or deep canyons. I like the challenge of building a structure that makes you think and plan and plan and plan.
How is it determined that a bridge needs to be replaced rather than repaired?
Bridges are evaluated by a department of transportation engineering team every two years. They are given a rating from one (the lowest) to 100. Sellwood Bridge had a rating of two. It was undersized for traffic loads, the sidewalk was only 3 feet wide, carrying both bike and pedestrian traffic. So it was dangerous. It needed to be replaced. The cost of repair up to today’s standards on a 92-year-old structure made no sense. Bridges have a lifespan that can be extended with good maintenance. However, agencies have to look at future needs and capacity when the decision is made to replace or repair. The biggest decision-breaker is infrastructure funding.
What’s the importance of having a healthy infrastructure?
If you travel anywhere in the world, you will see population centers are built around port cities. Here in the United States, because of our transportation system, we can manufacture hundreds of miles from our port cities and very economically transport those goods to transportation centers. Our highways allow commerce to move at pennies per mile and thus manufacturing can be done in small towns across the country. Our infrastructure is the reason we are the strongest nation in the world.
How badly does the industry need more skilled workers?
For a long time, we have known that when baby boomers retire, our industry would face a serious lack of skilled craft workers. The recession that we have gone through from 2007 until 2015 caused us to lose a generation of workers. Because of the scarcity of work, we were not able to bring in and train apprentices and many of our craft workers left the industry for jobs that provided steady income for their families. For years our public school counselors have guided students away from the crafts and steered them toward college. Today, we have the best educated baristas in the world. Everyone I talk to is looking for trained craft workers, both union and open shop.
How important is Sundt’s Center for Craft Excellence in the development of craft talent?
It is vital that we as a company and we as an industry put more time and money into craft training. There are Americans who need and want jobs. We know there is high unemployment among minorities plus there is an epidemic of homelessness. Individuals who want a job should have a great opportunity to be trained and move into well-paying jobs. Sundt’s future is tied to having the best craft workers available. We need to train and assure our craft workers that their future is with Sundt.
November 28, 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.
December 4, 2015
Improving the places where we do business involves much more than the built environments we create. It also includes a longstanding commitment to helping the less fortunate through employee-owner and company support of the Sundt Foundation.
Earlier this month, we made top philanthropic company lists in Arizona released by Arizona Business Magazine and the Phoenix Business Journal. This past fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, employee-owner and matching company donations in the state added up to $317,300. The previous fiscal year’s total was $310,800.
Created in 1999, the Sundt Foundation has made more than $7.2 million in grants to community organizations and programs across the country that benefit disadvantaged children and adults.
Neely Smith is a new proposal specialist in the Tempe, Arizona office. Although her roots are in the Midwest, she has lived in the Phoenix area on and off since 1988, when her family moved there as part of her father’s job with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.
Neely graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in History. After graduating, she moved to Tennessee for a graphics internship with the Memphis Redbirds, a minor-league baseball affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. She then briefly worked for a publishing company in St. Louis until she found her way into the proposal and architecture, engineering and construction world. She worked for an architecture firm in St. Louis for 2 years and spent the past 7.5 years with an environmental planning and landscape architecture firm.
What are the most important qualities a good proposal specialist must have?
Persistence, pleasantness, calmness, a good eye for detail and a good sense of humor.
What was it about Sundt that made you want to work here?
Initially, I was looking for new challenges. After working on design proposals for nearly 10 years, I was excited about the chance to bring my skills to a new company in a related industry. After doing my research on Sundt and hearing what good things everyone had to say, I was beyond excited. Coming from smaller firms, I’m blown away by the amount of resources Sundt has to help prepare winning proposals. Everyone I’ve met has been so kind and helpful and truly seems to love working for the company. The culture is great and it’s wonderful to know that Sundt is doing great things for the community through the Sundt Foundation. Not to mention the Employee Stock Ownership Plan and excellent health benefits for my family and me. I feel very fortunate to have found this opportunity.
What do you like doing when you’re not at work?
Spending time with my family and friends, enjoying the Arizona sunshine and trying to catch a nap when I can. I’m a big St. Louis Cardinals baseball and Arizona Cardinals football fan. I am also a podcast junkie. I love learning things and listening to interesting stories, so shows like “This American Life,” “Radiolab” and “Stuff You Should Know” are some of my favorite ways to pass time during my commutes. I’m also a big supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association (I lost my mother to the disease in 2013) and like to help raise funds and awareness through the local Phoenix chapter.
Read any good books lately?
Most of my reading these days involve children’s books (my girls, who are 3 and almost 2, are big Dr. Seuss fans!), but I enjoy biographies, satire and anything by David Sedaris or Michael Chabon.
Where do you like to travel?
I don’t travel as much as I’d like to. We often use our vacation time to visit our families in the Midwest. I would love to travel to Western Europe or New Zealand, but there is also so much I’d like to see domestically, namely Glacier National Park in Montana. It’s No. 1 on my list!
What inspired you to move back to Arizona after going back to your native Midwest?
I grew tired of dealing with ice storms and snow. In Arizona, I don’t have to scrape ice off my windshield with credit cards and wear heavy coats. I love the desert climate.