September 14, 2015
February 17, 2015
It’s official: We’re among the country’s largest employee-owned construction companies.
The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) 2015 Employee Ownership 100 list places us sixth in the industry with 1,360 employees. We’re also the top employee-owned company of any type in Arizona.
Our company established its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 1972 to create a heightened sense of dedication and commitment among company employees, and to establish the next generation of company owners. We have employees in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.
“Sundt’s unusual employee-ownership structure links individual success with customer success, which leads to greater value because it promotes collaborative innovation, disciplined execution and pride of ownership,” said Dan Haag, Sundt’s Chief Administrative Officer.
That shows in employee-owner loyalty. Almost 20 percent of our workforce has been with the company for at least 10 years.
NCEO’s list includes the nation’s largest companies that are at least 50 percent owned by an ESOP or other broad-based employee ownership plan. We are 100 percent employee-owned. Ninety percent of the companies on the list have ESOPs and many have more than one plan.
NCEO is a non-profit information and research organization on all forms of broad-based employee ownership.
February 3, 2015
We’re pleased to announce that Grant Larson has joined us as a preconstruction project manager in our Tempe office. He comes to Sundt with more than 16 years of experience managing high profile civil and transportation construction projects throughout Arizona, Nevada and Utah including complex freeways, bridges, roadways, concrete structures and asphalt pavement. He was on Engineering News-Record (ENR) Southwest’s 2012 “Top 20 Under 40” list of 20 individuals under the age of 40 who represent the “Best-of-the-Best” in their construction and design firms by giving back to their industry and communities. We recently asked Grant a few questions to get to know him better:
What brought you to Sundt?
I’m a native Arizonan and a fifth generation road builder, so I have always been well aware of Sundt’s reputation as a quality contractor. It is the quality of the people here, however, that has most impressed me. The opportunity to pursue larger and more complex projects combined with the benefits of an ESOP were the deciding factors.
Are you really a fifth generation road-builder? That’s an amazing legacy!
Mons Larson emigrated from Sweden to America in 1859, built a hand cart for his family’s belongings, and pulled it all the way to Salt Lake City. He eventually led a group of pioneers and blazed a trail through the treacherous Hole in the Rock near Lake Powell on his way to settle Snowflake, Arizona. Each subsequent generation has spent their professional careers improving the infrastructure and transportation systems throughout the state. Heavy-civil construction has treated my family very well and it is such a great feeling to be in a career that has such an obvious and permanent impact on the quality of life of our communities.
What are your responsibilities in your new position?
I help manage risk for the company during the design and estimate phase of projects by providing oversight and leadership to the preconstruction team.
Which project(s) are you currently working on?
I am currently assigned to the $1.8 billion ADOT Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway P3 project. This is the single largest project in the history of ADOT and will be a landmark project for Sundt. It consists of 22 miles of new freeway with 77 bridges.
What’s new in the world of roadway construction?
With public agencies struggling to come up with transportation funds, Public Private Partnerships (P3s) will take a more prominent role in procuring work.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I have four children with one more due in May, so any spare time I have is usually spent helping with homework, coaching basketball, going to soccer games and dance recitals. I do, however, really enjoy lifting weights about four times per week to blow off some stress and stay in shape.
What’s the best movie you saw recently?
I really enjoyed the movie “Unbroken.” I love World War II history and this movie shows the struggles and trials that our veterans had to endure to preserve our freedom. The main character’s resolve to forgive his captors even after incomprehensible suffering really impacted me.
Do you have a favorite quote or saying that motivates or inspires you?
“The home is the first and most effective place to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.” – David O. McKay
What would you be doing if you weren’t working in construction?
Honestly, I cannot imagine not being involved in construction. I started as an apprentice carpenter when I was 15 years old on the Loop 101/202 bridges and have been able to be a part of projects all over Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. All of my summers leading up to college were spent on either asphalt, dirt, or structures crews. There is no better feeling than being able to drive across the state and show your kids everything you’ve built. I think it’s pretty neat but I’m pretty sure my kids just roll their eyes and tune me out now.
Where would you most like to travel?
I would love to return to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I lived there for two years and would love to take my wife to meet many of the dear friends that I haven’t seen in nearly 20 years.
November 6, 2014
We’re pleased to announce that Josh May has joined Sundt as Area Quality Manager in our Irvine, California office. Josh has more than 20 years of commissioning, project management and superintendent experience, and has overseen multiple projects with budgets exceeding $80 million. He has extensive experience as a commissioning agent representing owners in the public sector and has a depth of knowledge of sustainable construction and the LEED accreditation process. We recently asked Josh a few questions to get to know him better.
What brought you to Sundt?
Sundt has a long, successful history with a rich culture. Before I came on board, I knew several people in the company and their feedback was extremely positive. I was extremely impressed with the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) – you rarely find a company where the average long term employee can retire as a millionaire.
What are your duties and responsibilities as Area Quality Manager?
My duties include performing inspections, reviewing plans and specifications, conducting audits and acting as a resource to ensure quality management procedures remain consistent throughout the course of each of the projects I have been assigned to Southern California.
How does your experience as a commissioning agent bring value to Sundt’s customers?
My experience gives me the ability to help our project teams navigate through the often confusing procedures that the commissioning process brings. As a result of this, our clients benefit by having more streamlined projects – not only at the general commissioning level but also from a mechanical, electrical and plumbing viewpoint.
Do you have an area of specialty within commissioning?
Initially I specialized in whole building commissioning, however over the past few years I have gained a very in-depth understanding of mechanical and electrical systems. I managed the commissioning of very large projects like the San Diego International Airport renovation and projects for the Los Angeles Community College District, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and several military construction contracts with a focus on mechanical and electrical systems.
You are involved in Sundt’s sustainability program. How does your background and expertise help the company’s customers achieve their sustainability goals?
Commissioning reduces building/system operational costs by yielding 5-10 percent improvements in energy efficiency, and ensures that facilities personnel know how to operate key building systems. It’s also a great way to catch mistakes like missing or incorrectly installed equipment, avoiding occupant complaints and callbacks, indoor air quality and thermal comfort problems, premature equipment failure, and litigation. The very nature of commissioning revolves around sustainability. Achieving a sustainable project is one of my key goals on every project I am involved with.
What are some of the trends in the world of commissioning and sustainability?
Commissioning is picking up steam across the nation and around the world. Now that California has made commissioning a requirement through the 2010 Green Building Code, I think the rest of the nation will follow suit. Additionally, we are starting to see a trend with whole building commissioning. Verifying the integrity of building envelopes is becoming more common, along with the more historically commissioned mechanical and electrical systems.
September 16, 2014
It’s the time of the year when December graduates are traveling around the U.S. for interviews, companies are giving their best pitches, and students are considering multiple employment offers. With some hand in the game, I wanted to take this month’s blog to discuss why students should be looking at entire packages and not just one of the major determining factors, salary.
Compensation should play a role in your final decision, however too many students use this number as a final determination. While it’s understandable that students want to pay off student loans, car loans, etc., a tad quicker, this decision could change/alter your life and future. Keep in mind that salary is a small component of your future success and happiness.
Take a good look at the company’s 401k/profit sharing/ESOP opportunities. Look at vesting schedules, as well as distributions that are 100 percent paid by your employer from day one. With Sundt being an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) company, your year-end earnings could easily increase 10-15 percent (or more). Sundt has seen numerous employees compound hundreds of thousands of dollars (even millions) over a 20-30 year career. Believe me, in the long run it’s worth 2-3,000/year less in base salary to jump into an ESOP/profit sharing company.
Most companies offer other great benefits or perks, so take a good look at these as well. Many include: car issuance and/or stipend, yearly or bi-annual bonuses, onsite gyms, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), insurance discounts, home buying discounts, etc. Most students tend to find out about these “other” benefits after employment has begun. Talk to your recruiter and/or hiring manager to discover these before making your final decision. One or all of these additional benefits might slide the scale to one direction or the other.
The bottom line is to make sure you are making an informed, strategic decision about your future. Don’t make salary your ONLY determining factor. A great package should include a strong salary, great benefits, great culture, and best-in-class employees!
Thanks and all the best in your decisions,
Michael K. Morales
We’re pleased to introduce Mary Norton, Sundt’s marketing manager. Mary has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and has worked as a marketing professional for the past 35 years in the retail, resort, golf management and construction industries. She came to Sundt five years ago and was recently promoted to her current position. Mary is a native New Yorker who moved to Arizona 20 years ago. We recently asked her a few questions to get to know her better.
What brought you to Sundt?
I’m actually one of many employee-owners called a “re-tread.” I worked here eight years ago in marketing and left to get my real estate license. Disenchanted with the real estate field, I then came back three years ago because Sundt is just that good. The Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and the company’s legacy are what brought me back.
What’s a typical work day like for you as marketing manager?
My day is spent reviewing new hire resumes, managing the proposal process, managing both the customer relationship management and photo library databases and teaching new hires how to use them, attending business development meetings, getting special projects assigned, etc. It’s very diverse, which makes it exciting!
What are your job’s biggest challenges and rewards?
The biggest challenge is ensuring that the highest quality proposals are submitted for new work pursuits. We’ve had a great year, but we can always get better! The biggest reward is when we get selected for a project; then, we all celebrate because it’s a team effort.
What might you be doing if you weren’t working in construction?
If I wasn’t at Sundt I’d be teaching the ancient art of calligraphy – it’s my life-long passion.
Favorite type of cuisine?
My favorite is Italian. I sometimes think I was Italian in a past life!
Best book you read recently?
I just finished reading the thriller Gone Girl. I can’t wait to see the movie!
Who has had the most influence on you, and why?
That would be my father, John, who will be 83 in December. He always told us to “be honest above all and keep a solid work ethic, and everything else will fall in place.” He and my mother raised six children who have integrity and successful careers, and have managed to raise their own happy families. Although we’re not rich monetarily, we are in love and respect!
Where would you most like to travel?
Italy and Ireland are at the top of my list, along with the Canadian Rockies.
Favorite quote or inspirational saying?
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. How true!
How do you like to spend your free time?
Playing golf, calligraphy, going to the beach as much as possible, and playing with our grandson.