April 21, 2017
April 20, 2017
Sundt Senior Corporate Counsel Matthew Meaker.
Matthew Meaker recently started work with Sundt as Senior Corporate Counsel at our Tempe, Arizona headquarters. Before joining the company, he practiced law as outside counsel for approximately 14 years with a focus on construction law.
Matthew was born in Mission Viejo, California and holds bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Arizona. He is Chair of the Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Arizona.
How much did you know about Sundt before you got your job?
Prior to joining Sundt, I had represented a number of general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers over my 14 years of legal practice. I knew Sundt as a company of high ethical standards that always got the job done. When I told my clients I was going in-house with Sundt, general and subcontractors alike acknowledged I was joining one of the “good guys.” I am proud that our peers and our subcontractors see Sundt that way.
What’s the most interesting part about being involved in the construction industry on the legal side?
The variety of issues that arise. I have had the chance to learn a little about a lot of things, as my clients over time have built single-family homes, skyscrapers, casinos, office buildings and military facilities, to name a few. I have had a chance to work with companies as large as Sundt to companies with just three employees. Depending on the day, I could be focusing on payment issues, employment issues, government advocacy and more
What advice would you give college students who want to enter the legal field?
The field is so much more than being a litigator in the courtroom. While I have handled my share of litigation, I have had the opportunity to do other things. I have testified to government leaders about the use of Public-Private Partnerships, been an adviser to my clients while they grappled with strategic company decisions and now I serve on a team supporting Sundt’s employee-owners. None are things I would have guessed I would have had a chance to do when I was in college.
What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you?
I saved a man from drowning 13 years ago after his car crashed into a manmade lake in Ahwatukee. I pulled over after watching him run a stop sign, hit a curb and have his SUV go airborne before landing in the lake. When I got out of the car, I heard him yelling that he could not swim. I swam approximately 30 yards to the SUV. He had gotten himself to the back bumper. He fought me the whole way back. Halfway back, I looked and the SUV was underwater. That was when I got nervous and for the first time realized what I had done. By the time we got onto the shore, police and fire had arrived.
Where do you like to travel?
I prefer places where I have the opportunity to slow down. I’ve been to Hawaii a few times and the pace there suits me just fine. A couple of years ago, my family and I went to Bar Harbor, Maine for part of the summer. When I arrived, I discovered I had no cell signal all week. That was a vacation! I like traveling to places where I feel like I have truly escaped from the day to day.
If you could only have one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is an area where my Midwestern roots typically show. If all I could have was good, all-American food the rest of my life (hamburgers, French fries, steak, mashed potatoes, spaghetti), I would be a happy guy.
April 19, 2017
Sundt’s Fiesta spirit is on display in San Antonio this year.
To celebrate Fiesta San Antonio and show our commitment to the Alamo City, Office Manager Terri Pasley and Senior Marketing/Proposal Specialist Dustin Hicks put together our first commemorative medal for the event. Fiesta San Antonio starts today and runs through April 30.
Each year, local companies and organizations create unique medals to sell or trade during Fiesta San Antonio, an event that started in 1891 to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto. Proceeds from medal sales benefit local charities. Fiesta medal history dates to 1946, when the Texas Cavaliers, now a civic organization of more than 500 business and community leaders, created small coins to take to hospitalized children.
Terri and Dustin collaborated on the design, choosing from a selection of pre-made medals offered by the vendor they chose. Since they are already receiving great feedback, they plan to create a custom Sundt medal for next year’s event.
“As a local contractor, I thought it would be great to show our San Antonio pride by taking part in this fun community event,” Terri said. “Dustin and I put our minds together to create the medal.”
Projects we have under way in San Antonio include VIA Stone Oak Park & Ride and San Pedro Creek improvements.
Fiesta San Antonio has become one of this nation’s premier festivals with an economic impact of more than $284 million. Fiesta is the “Party with a Purpose” and the money raised by events provides services to San Antonio residents throughout the year.
April 17, 2017
A subcontractor lowers a cased sewer line into an excavation on the future Gilbert Road light-rail extension in Mesa, Arizona. The sewer line runs perpendicular to the tracks.
Sundt is hitting the road for another extension of the Valley Metro Light Rail system in Greater Phoenix.
The 1.9-mile Gilbert Road Extension in Mesa will stretch the system beyond the Central Mesa extension on Main Street to Gilbert Road. Scheduled for completion in 2019, the $113 million transportation project consists of two stations and a park-and-ride on the west side of Gilbert Road. The project will provide the ability to draw more light-rail passengers from the East Valley and bring more development opportunities to central Mesa.
The joint venture with Stacy and Witbeck will construct a roundabout on the route. The multimodal roundabout allows for cars, bikes and pedestrians to move freely, and when a train is present, the east and west traffic remains free-flowing. This innovative traffic control measure is the first of its kind at a four-way intersection on a light-rail project in the U.S.
Construction on the extension started in October 2016. Temporary lighting and traffic lights have been installed along Main Street from Mesa Drive to Gilbert Road and the median has been removed to make way for underground utility work.
The joint venture team recently completed the award-winning Northwest Extension. In 2008, the team completed more than half of the original 20-mile starter section of the Valley Metro Light Rail transit system (Line Section 4 and Line Section 5), plus the system’s maintenance and operations facility.
April 14, 2017
Sundt’s joint venture with Stacy and Witbeck on the Northwest Extension was delivered three months ahead of time and on budget.
Completing a challenging project requires a team effort. Sundt’s teamwork with Stacy and Witbeck produced a needed extension for a light-rail system in the Phoenix area and many awards, including a 2016 Arizona Transportation Partnering Excellence honor.
The joint venture was recognized for Valley Metro’s Northwest Light Rail Extension, a 3.2-mile addition to the Valley Metro light rail system that was completed last year. The award was presented at the annual Roads & Streets Conference in Tucson last week.
The transportation project was delivered three months ahead of schedule and on budget despite the challenges of being located in an urban area with a high volume of vehicles and pedestrians. Sundt/Stacy and Witbeck also coordinated more than 20 months of utility construction to remove and replace 100 percent of the water, sewer and storm systems.
To keep the community informed, the team developed a smartphone app to provide project updates and information about changing traffic control. The app also contained coupons, business promotions and route information.
The awards recognize teams that demonstrate a high degree of achievement through their practice of the partnering principles and application of partnering processes in the transportation industry.
Sundt Senior Project Manager Brian DeMartino.
Senior Project Manager Brian DeMartino brings nearly 20 years of experience in the construction industry to his new position with Sundt. He has worked on retail, themed entertainment, dining, housing, offices, manufacturing, recreation, K-12 and higher education projects.
Brian, who is working in our Irvine, California office, has a degree in architectural engineering from the University of Texas and is LEED-Accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council.
What has been the most interesting thing about working for Sundt these first few weeks?
Its people. Construction companies are defined by a few things like values, leadership and technology. But one thing I have learned in my time in the construction industry is that the biggest factor in how a company feels and how it performs are its people. The people I met during the interview process were great – smart, professional, engaging. But I knew it was going to be hard to know how the company as a whole would be until I started to meet everyone on my first day at work. What I have found is a range of tenure – employee-owners who have been at Sundt for decades, some who are new just like me and everything in between, and all of them are driven, friendly and incredibly helpful.
How important was the employee-owner culture when you were considering whether to work at Sundt?
Moving to a company with a strong retirement plan was key. I started my career at an employee-owned company. I transitioned to another company after a few years with the hope that it would eventually offer some kind of retirement benefit but that never developed. So this move for me was targeted at a solid, well-run, well-respected construction company with an ESOP.
What’s your favorite movie?
“The Usual Suspects.” What drew me in when I saw it and what keeps me going back is the depth and variety of the characters. That cast is amazing. But then add in the plot with its twists and the writing and it’s hard to find a better film.
What do you do away from work?
I spend most of my time outside of work with my wife and kids. Having a 12 year old and a 5 year old means full-time playing, homework, sports and after-school events and parties. We like taking road trips as a family. Last year our trips were to Santa Cruz and Monterey on the California coast and Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks in the Sierra Mountains. We are planning our next trip to Yellowstone.