September 28, 2017
August 4, 2017
One of the many benefits available to Sundt employee-owners is the ability to help people in communities where we do business through the Sundt Foundation. Operations Administrative Coordinator Lisa White has taken full advantage of those opportunities since the day she started almost 11 years ago.
Lisa started giving back on her first project with the company, transportation work in Apache Junction, Arizona. Her team started a “Pack with Pride” program that provided children duffle bags with their names embroidered on them. Each bag contained a pillow, lap quilt and stuffed animal for the kids to use as they navigated through the foster care system.
Operations Administrative Coordinator Lisa White is a key member of Sundt’s Thirst-Aid team that supplies bottled water for the homeless in Phoenix.
“Being able to work for a company that recognizes the need to be present in the communities where we work gives us all the opportunity to give back,” Lisa said.
Building on that experience, Lisa and a few volunteers started the company’s Thirst-Aid initiative, which provides water to the less fortunate in Phoenix. She got the idea after volunteering at Andre House of Hospitality, a ministry in Downtown Phoenix that provides meals, water, clothing, laundry service, showers and blankets to the homeless.
“I know something we take for granted could be a life or death situation for the less fortunate in our community,” Lisa said. “Most of us are not aware of the needs in our community because we all lead busy lives, and until someone raises awareness these basic needs go unnoticed.”
Lisa and her team started Thirst Aid in 2010 with the hope of collecting 2,880 bottles. The initial drive ended up collecting nearly 50,000 from our company and industry partners, and the campaign passed a million total bottles last year.
“I see myself as the messenger and from there the word spreads so much that our subcontractors, vendors and suppliers all want to contribute,” Lisa said.
Participating in Sundt Foundation activities came naturally to Lisa. Giving back has been an important part of her life.
“Attending parochial schools, community service was one of our core missions,” she said. “If there was a need in our community, we came together as team to help. These values stick with you because the rewards are endless.”
The Sundt Foundation has made almost $8 million in grants to non-profits since it formed in 1999. Our employee-owners have also put in countless volunteer hours in the communities where we work. For more information about a career with Sundt, please visit http://www.sundt.com/careers.
July 11, 2017
Sundt Warehouse Manager Rick Garcia.
Warehouse Manager Rick Garcia has been with Sundt since 1983 and has served in his current role for 23 years. A Phoenix native, Rick started with the company in Tucson as a driver. He moved back to his hometown in 1994 to manage our warehouse.
What are your responsibilities as the Warehouse Manager?
My duties are to support the field with quality equipment and forming systems while managing inventory and purchasing in bulk if necessary to help keep costs down.
What do we keep at the warehouse?
We stock all personal protective equipment, small tools and forming systems for jobs. We are also capable of building concrete forms that get shipped to the job for placement.
How hard is it to keep up with everything?
It is crucial that everyone must have the same goals. Safety, quality and support is what we pride ourselves on and having to do things twice would be not only a waste of time, but very costly.
What’s one of the more gratifying things that has happened to you on the job?
One of the non-profits our Sundt Foundation supports needed our help when its handyman had his tools stolen. It’s a small organization that helps people in the Tucson area and it didn’t have the money to replace the tools. We worked with our supplier to get the handyman set up with an account that allowed him to replace the tools at no charge. Our vendors are really generous people and we’re lucky to work with them.
What’s your favorite TV show?
I would have to say “Seinfeld.” Funny thing is I never watched it when it played many years ago but watch all the reruns almost every day. “No soup for you!”
What do you like to do away from work?
I like to travel and when I retire I will drive my motorhome all around this beautiful country.
June 5, 2017
Jennifer has undergone two double-lung transplants while living at the Ronald McDonald House in Tucson.
Jennifer is 19 and was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 6 months old. Her condition, a life-threatening disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system, has caused her to undergo two double-lung transplants.
“She was doing better and hoping to start college but her lungs failed again,” Ronald McDonald House Tucson Chapter President & CEO Kate Jensen said of what brought about Jennifer’s second transplant.
Thanks to support from organizations such as the Sundt Foundation, which made a $2,500 grant to the Ronald McDonald House last year, Jennifer’s situation is getting better. The House used some of the money to help Jennifer’s father, who was driving back and forth to Tucson from the family home in Yuma, fix the air conditioning in his car.
Jennifer’s mother has been staying at the Ronald McDonald House with her daughter. Since officials at the Tucson Ronald McDonald House started keeping records in 2006, Jennifer has stayed there for 639 nights. Her longest stretch was 151 nights.
“She has literally grown up here,” Kate said.
The Ronald McDonald House also used the grant from Sundt to help a family after a bad car accident. Their car was totaled on a planned trip from California to Texas, their sons were taken to Banner-Diamond Children’s Medical Center and the mother and father hitched a ride to Tucson from someone they had never met.
Once they arrived in Tucson, they had little more than the clothing on their backs.
“We keep supplies of toothbrushes, soap and shampoo,” Kate said. “We used some of the money to help them buy clothes. Having that emergency fund available helps us meet families’ needs in ways we normally couldn’t.”
More of the Sundt Foundation grant was used to assist a high-school senior from Douglas, Arizona who had a premature baby. While the baby was hospitalized, the young woman stayed at the Ronald McDonald House to finish her senior year at Douglas High School. She was even asked to be the inspirational speaker at graduation this spring.
“We used the emergency fund to buy her a new dress for graduation,” Kate said.
Ronald McDonald House Charities provides resources and care to children and their families being served by leading hospitals worldwide. The Sundt Foundation is funded by employee-owner contributions that are matched by the company. Its mission is to assist underserved children and adults in the places we do business. Since it was formed in 1999, the foundation has made almost $8 million in grants.
May 23, 2017
Longest drive with a short driver is one of the activities at our Mike Gaines events.
Sundt’s commitment to raising research money and awareness about ALS continues Friday with our Mike Gaines golf tournament at the Riverwalk Golf Club in San Diego.
Our company and industry partners support the fight against ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, by holding five golf tournaments and a trap-shooting event at locations across the Southwest. They honor the memory of Mike Gaines, a longtime Sundt employee-owner who died in 2002 from ALS complications. The events, which started with a golf tournament in Tucson in 2001, have raised more than $1.9 million.
There are still a few spots available for the San Diego event. Check here for more information. After San Diego, the next golf tournament is Oct. 27 in San Antonio.
Sundt Project Executive Bob Aniol has combined with the Sundt Foundation to make more than $25,000 in donations to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
For more than two frustrating years, Sundt Project Executive Bob Aniol and his wife were shuttled from doctor to doctor trying to find out what was happening to their young daughter, Caitlynn.
When Caitlynn started walking at 14 months old, she often fell. At her 18-month visit, Caitlynn’s pediatrician referred her to an orthopedic surgeon to address her parents’ concerns regarding her walking posture and tendency to fall. As time went on, she was also referred to multiple neurologists, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, and a geneticist. They could all see the problem, but no one could offer a diagnosis or solution.
“It’s extremely stressful when you visit one specialist after another, only to be referred to someone else who does not know and you’re left to figure it out yourself,” Bob said.
Over the next two years, many diagnostic tests were run and the results were normal. The Aniols didn’t get answers until their daughter was 4 years old and the family was directed to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas.
With one observation of Caitlynn’s walk, a Scottish Rite neurologist said she had Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), a group of disorders characterized by progressive weakness and stiffness of the legs.
“The Scottish Rite Hospital is a collaborative working environment where in each visit a neurologist, orthopedist, physical therapist, occupational therapist and nurses see the child individually and then everyone meets with the parents at the same time for a group discussion,” Bob said.
A leading pediatric orthopedic center, Scottish Rite has treated more than 250,000 children since its inception and has more than 35,000 clinic visits each year. The hospital tailors treatment to the individual needs of each child and family.
Since their daughter’s care is considered research, Bob and his family aren’t allowed to pay for her treatment. Bob has given and raised money that, combined with grants from the Sundt Foundation, has added to more than $25,000 to assist the hospital’s HSP research efforts.
The hospital grounds are bright and welcoming. There’s a playground on campus and the staff plans .events that bring college and professional athletes to the hospital to visit with kids and sign autographs.
“The hospital is phenomenal,” Bob said. “They try to make it the happiest place they can.”
Caitlynn visits the hospital, five hours from the Aniols’ home in San Antonio, twice a year for four-hour appointments. She has spent time in the hospital’s Movement Science Laboratory, which uses motion-capture technology to determine how patients move and walk. The same technology is used for animated movies and video games.
“They videotape her every time she’s there,” Bob said. “They then go back to video history to see how she’s progressing.”
Now 16, Caitlynn uses a wheelchair to get around her high school’s large campus and when she needs to avoid getting knocked over in crowds. When she walks, she drags her toes, causing her to trip. Otherwise, she lives her life much like any other teenager.
“She loves music,” said Bob, whose other daughter, Carlie, is 13. “We have traveled the country going to concerts: One Direction, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez.”
Caitlynn plans to go to college after she graduates high school in two years. Bob’s sister already lives in College Station, Texas, giving Caitlynn a good support system when she attends her parents’ alma mater.
“She does incredibly well in school,” Bob said. “She plans on going to Texas A&M like her mom and dad.”
April 11: Project Healing Waters
April 18: Restore Education
April 25: Reynolds Home
May 2: Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse
May 9: Canine Companions for Independence
May 16: Court Appointed Special Advocates