November 30, 2018
November 14, 2018
For the second time, Sundt has been recognized by Vault.com for having one of the top internship programs in the nation. Based on responses from over 13,000 interns across the country, the 50 Best Internships were announced earlier this month, and Sundt was one of only two general contractors selected, and the only one from the Southwest. Other companies who made the list included AT&T, Capital One, Home Depot and KPMG. Vault’s rankings were based on independent surveys on compensation and benefits, quality of life, career development, the interview process and full-time prospects. To give a firsthand look at what our program is like, some of our 2018 intern class shared about their experiences.
José Gamez Garcia, Transportation Group
Growing as Professionals and as People
When asked about what he’s learned in the past year, intern José Gamez Garcia in the Transportation Group said, “I now see every project with the true purpose of why it’s being built as opposed to just the how. I think this mindset allows me to work hard while staying aware of the purpose of what I’m doing.” From the Industrial Group, intern Kate Kneip responded to the same question, saying, “The past few years, I’ve been able to grow as an individual and gain industry experience far beyond what I could’ve imagined. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone, and I was able to learn the importance of asking questions and paying attention to details.”
Dalton Holly, Concrete Division
Giving Credit to their Mentors
Emily Tucker, who interned with the Building Group on the University Square project, said, “I was fortunate enough to work closely with both a PE and Superintendent, Kelly Wyllie and Bryan Terry, which provided a diverse learning experience.” Intern Dalton Holly, who is with the Concrete Division, said “When it comes to my mentors working side-by-side with me every day, there’s been plenty. Anthony Pallini was my mentor for two summers now and has taught me more about the concrete industry than I could’ve ever imagined. Now I’m a part-time intern on [a project for a confidential client] where Neil Kerkhof is my mentor, and he continues to help my development as a field engineer in countless ways. I can’t thank them enough.”
Maddy Williams, Workforce Development
Getting Excited About Being Full-Time Employee-Owners
“Everyone here treats me as if I have an important voice and the ability to make important decisions, which has really driven me to be confident in what I do as a recruiter,” said Maddy Williams, who will join Sundt full-time in January. “I’ve learned a lot from every single person I’ve met at Sundt so far, and I’m excited to continue meeting our amazing people.” The difference with Sundt’s internship program is really the difference with the rest of the company; true leaders attract other leaders, and it shows in all aspects of our business. For more info, email email@example.com.
A special thanks to José Gamez Garcia, Kate Kneip, Emily Tucker, Dalton Holly, and Maddy Williams, as well as Mike Morales, Manager of Sundt’s College Recruiting Program, for contributing to this piece.
November 12, 2018
Sundt Construction’s Jon McKelvain presented at Texan by Nature‘s (TxN’s) first annual Conservation Wrangler Summit and Celebration last month in Dallas, Texas at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The summit brought together more than 200 Texas leaders to discuss the beneficial connections between business and conservation, and to highlight the best Texan-led conservation projects in the state. Topics ranged from addressing light pollution, to oil drilling with a smaller footprint, to using man-made wetlands to treat reclaimed water while serving as a habitat for wildlife. With all of the ideas presented, it was evident that Texans, by nature, are creative and community-minded people, and when they come together amazing things can happen.
Jon McKelvain, Vice President and Preconstruction Manager for Sundt’s Building Group, Texas District, spoke on engaging employees and the community, covering a broad range of Sundt projects and initiatives that exemplified industry best practices. “As a company, we empower our people to get out in the community and work with causes they believe in,” Jon said. “Also, we try to select projects that will have wide-reaching positive impacts on the surrounding area. There’s a lot of work out there to be won, but we’re passionate about pursuing the right projects.” Among many such projects, Jon covered a few high-profile examples.
Jon speaking on the Ocotillo Water Reclamation Facility, where technological innovation allows for smaller footprint and reduced sludge production. Sundt’s work increased service capacity to allow for community growth, and the water was made available for aquifer recharge, industrial use and irrigation.
In San Antonio, Texas, Sundt created a world-class linear park and public gathering space for an underserved community at San Pedro Creek, which became the focal point of the city’s 300-year anniversary celebration. “Think about it,” Jon said. “Before, that was basically just a concrete drainage ditch. Now, it’s a new park that’s improving flood control and serving as wildlife habitat and recreational space, with an anticipated $1-billion impact on the area.” Additionally, Sundt’s work on APS Four Corners in Farmington, New Mexico allowed for significant reduction in the power plant’s emission of greenhouse gasses, while also providing jobs and long-term economic benefits for the local Navajo Nation.
Other key projects were discussed, as well as the impact of the Sundt Foundation, which has given more than $8.6 million in grants to local charities and nonprofits since 1999, nearly half of which has come directly from Sundt employee-owners. Speaking on Sundt’s behalf about who we are and who we want to be as a company, Jon shared several instances of best practices with a focus on community and sustainability.
TxN founder, former first lady Laura W. Bush, addresses the crowd. The nonprofit brings conservation and business together, supporting efforts that are Texan-led, community-organized and data-based.
TxN’s goal is to amplify conservation projects and to activate new investment in research and conservation, which returns real benefits for people, prosperity and natural resources. “The whole premise behind Texan by Nature is that conservation is just good business, and it improves everyone’s quality of life,” Jon said. And true prosperity, as Jon pointed out, goes well beyond material wealth. For Sundt, a company whose purpose centers around creating prosperity for the communities where we live and work, this is an effort in which we’re proud to take part.
November 8, 2018
Sundt is a proud employer of our nation’s military veterans and their spouses, and we value our partnerships with veteran-owned businesses. For the third year in a row, we have earned the Military Friendly Employer designation by VIQTORY Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse magazines. This week, in honor of Veterans Day, we asked a few of our employee-owners to reflect on their service. Here’s what they shared.
Cesar Garcia, Field Coordinator, Industrial Group
What branch did you serve in and when? U.S. Army, 2003-2009, 101st Airborne Division.
What was your proudest moment or accomplishment in the service? Making it home alive after losing a limb, serving our beautiful nation, and fighting alongside brothers. Three Purple Hearts: it’s the award everyone loves and no one wants to get. Also: air assault, airborne, ranger tabbed, rappel master, expert infantryman, and combat infantryman.
Cesar alongside his family, coworkers, and former NFL Player Jared Allen and his Homes for Wounded Warriors Foundation
Jared and his wife Sarah
Jared Wagoner, Project Controls Manager, Industrial Group
What branch did you serve in and when? Army National Guard, 2005-2015. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 as a company commander for a Route Clearance Company.
What was your proudest moment or accomplishment in the service? I was proud every single time we finished a mission and everyone made it back safe. Not a single mission was routine, and the soldiers I had the pleasure of leading were consummate professionals.
Curtis Smith, Project Controls Manager, Building Group, Southwest District
What branch did you serve in and when? Army National Guard, 2002-present. I am currently serving as the Platoon Sergeant of 3rd Platoon, 258th Engineer Company.
What was your proudest moment or accomplishment in the service? I cannot sum this up into one event, so here are three:
- I deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004 to 2005. During this tour of duty, two amazing things happened to me: a) I met my wife Danielle whom I’ve now been married to for 14 years and have been blessed with two amazing children, and b) my company, the 258th Engineers, completed 80 miles of asphalt paved road that was used as a main supply route for the military and for the local populace. We were able to accomplish this due to the efforts of all by working with the local Iraqis who produced and placed all of the asphalt.
- I deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 2012 to 2013. During this tour of duty, I was the squad leader to 10 amazing soldiers and with their support completed over 20 combat engineer missions to support the Army and the Afghan National Army.
- In January 2018, I was awarded the prestigious Engineer Regiment De Fleury Medal (Steel). I was one of two individuals selected from a battalion of approximately 500 soldiers. The “Steel” level De Fleury Medal is presented to an individual whose service assured mobility, enhanced protection, enabled expeditionary logistics, and built capacity to give commanders the freedom of action needed to win full spectrum operations in an era of persistent conflict.
Curtis and his squad in Afghanistan
Thank you to these employee-owners and our other veterans for their service to our country!
October 5, 2018
“People who are both highly capable and humble are great hires. Humble people share the credit for their successes and emphasize teamwork instead of drawing attention to themselves,” said Dan Haag in his recent interview with the Phoenix Business Journal. Those who know Dan will agree: he is both a highly capable and humble leader. Even in the spotlight, he is quick to give credit to his team and the mentors in his past who helped him get to where he is today. This is a big part of why Dan won the Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year award last week at the Phoenix Business Journal’s 2018 C-Suite Awards.
Click here to view the video highlighting Dan’s award.
Currently in his fifth year as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Sundt Construction and his 40th year in his field, Dan knows a thing or two about helping individuals and organizations grow successfully. Dan has helped Sundt make huge strides in its mission to be the most skilled builder in America. Since his start here in 2010, the company has doubled in size, and still nearly 20 percent of our workforce has been with the company for at least 10 years. Sundt is consistently ranked one of the best places to work across our offices throughout the Southwest. All of this is a testament to our company’s culture, which Dan and his team have worked hard to facilitate. By investing in the right people, especially our highly skilled craft workforce, Dan has contributed to huge wins for our clients and employee-owners.
Dan with Sundt’s Craft Workforce Development Leadership
What makes Dan deserving of this award, however, isn’t just his singular work as CAO. It’s that he realizes the bigger impact of his profession, and he plays several roles in the industry and community. Dan works with schools, businesses, government, and nonprofits to help people become career-ready and career-literate. He’s leading a countrywide effort alongside 30 of the largest contractors, the AGC, and NCCER to address the craft labor shortage (projected to reach 2 million+ vacancies by 2020). And Sundt is becoming a national model for workforce development in its partnership with Central Arizona College, in which Dan has been instrumental. On top of that, Dan is a board member and former executive director of the Sundt Foundation, and he has continued Sundt’s legacy of giving back to the community.
Reflecting on his win and the things he’s learned over the course of his career, Dan said, “The best word that I can think of, in looking back, is that I’ve been very blessed.” Dan has paid his blessings forward in his tenure with Sundt, and many people have been impacted by his leadership. Congratulations, Dan!
Like many innovators who came before them, Eric Cylwik and Ryan Haines were never seeking recognition. They just wanted to do their jobs better—and save people’s time and money in the process. The two saw a problem in the construction industry, and they set out to fix it. Eric and Ryan’s selection as finalists for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Autodesk Innovation Award was a nice bonus, but the real success is what the industry at large stands to gain from their new technology. Its name? The civil Construction Toolkit, or “CTK.”
Virtual Construction App Developer Ryan Haines (center) and Sr. Virtual Construction Engineer Eric Cylwik (right) accept the AGC Innovation 3rd-place Award
CTK technology began as a response to larger issues in the civil sector causing huge inefficiencies. A nationwide trend toward 3D modeling in the preconstruction process has generated loads of data. But by itself, this data isn’t actionable information. Also, most of it is siloed off between designers, contractors, and engineers, instead of flowing into a single stream of information for a project. Estimators in particular spend hours counting the “what” of a project (volumes, areas, lengths, counts, and weights)—6.4 million hours in the past year to be exact, the equivalent of 70 full-length careers. Instead of counting the “what,” Eric and Ryan thought, these professionals could spend more time on the “how” and, in the process, become more of an asset to their companies.
CTK user quickly quantifies the entire project model, by phase, in Autodesk Civil 3D
Enter: the CTK, a technology that supports parametric modeling. In the absence of a 3D design model, a CTK user can take lots of numbers from construction documents and convert them into 3D models, with a few mouse clicks. These models can then be quantified to cover all construction estimating needs, including sequencing and phasing of a project, and provide visualization for design all in a matter of hours instead of weeks. The same models can even be used for automated machine guidance (AMG) by heavy equipment operators in the field. “This technology shifts the focus from construction being a reactionary industry to an industry that proactively adds value,” Eric said. “Proper planning ensures efficient construction, and by removing mundane tasks from a construction service provider it enables them to focus on predictable services.”
Sundt uses the CTK on a daily basis and has seen immense added value across projects for both our employee-owners and our clients
In presenting the CTK to various industry groups, including the AGC, Eric and Ryan were often asked: How did you convince your company to invest in this? “The funny thing is,” Ryan said, “this was already part of our jobs and company culture. The return on investment had been established, just in the huge amounts of time we were saving in our own jobs, across multiple projects.” Eric pointed out that he and Ryan were also recognized for the CTK by Sundt a year ago, with the Going Beyond the Expected Award. “It’s just part of what we do at Sundt. We’re builders. And by virtue of that fact, we’re innovators.” Overall, CTK is a means of delivering better infrastructure. “When we design, estimate, and build from the same information,” Ryan said, “everyone wins with better quality and efficiency.” For a company whose mission is to be the most skilled builder in America, having innovative people on our team is a win indeed.