April 22, 2016
April 15, 2016
Liz Harvey recently joined Sundt’s Fort Worth Office as Business Development Representative. Liz is responsible for supporting the company’s growth in its building sector.
She comes to Sundt from a Dallas-area structural and civil engineering firm where she worked for more than seven and a half years, most recently as Director of Business Development, Industrial & Infrastructure. She has more than 10 years of experience in the industry.
Liz graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in Communications and Public Relations. She serves on the Tarrant County American Council of Engineering Companies Education Committee and the Greater Dallas Planning Council’s Water, Energy and Natural Task Force Committee.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling, attending the theatre and opera, reading and spending time with family and friends. She is a huge movie buff and loves stand-up comics.
What interested you about working for Sundt?
It was a combination of things. Coming from an engineering/infrastructure background, I wanted to learn the construction/building side of our industry. I am also in the process, a quite laborious, painful process, of trying to buy my first home. (Darn sellers’ market.) I live in Dallas and want to move to the mid-cities, close to Fort Worth. So it’s the opportunity to move as well as learn and grow in a new side of our industry with a stellar company such as Sundt.
What have you been doing in your first few weeks with the company?
I am rounding out my first month. It’s been fast-paced, non-stop greatness. Tactical planning, making and attending client meetings, helping track and research leads, digging into our customer relationship management database and more.
How deep are your North Texas roots?
Sort of deep! My family is from South Dakota and Colorado, but my immediate family has been here for roughly 30 years. I still say soda, but I have my Texas slang, too.
Dog person or cat person?
Ha, ha! Both. I grew up with dogs, but I worked too many hours to have one. I inherited my older brother’s two small dogs two and half years ago after he passed away. They are just now tolerating each other. It’s taken some adjusting, but my fur babies are all spoiled rotten and happy.
Where’s your favorite place to travel?
I love going to Washington D.C. The history and scenery … you just can’t go wrong. I do have a trip planned this August to the Dominican Republic. I’m pretty sure it will top D.C.
Read any good books or seen a good movie lately?
A must read is Peter Hedges’ “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” Such a great book. Two recent documentaries that are well worth watching are Ken Burns’ “Jackie Robinson” and “The Roosevelts.” So good.
If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would it be?
It would probably be Agatha Christie because she was a great author and lived an interesting life. It would be interesting to hear how she came up with her stories and characters and how they evolved. I would need to ask her about the 1925 Harrogate scandal. The other possibility would be Susan B. Anthony. Without the efforts of her, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and many others women’s rights wouldn’t be what they are today. I would want to hear all the trials, tribulations and triumphs they went through.
March 25, 2016
Sundt employee-owners help kids build toolboxes during Arizona Construction Career Days last year.
The country’s lack of skilled trade workers is a hot topic, even reaching the editorial pages of the hallowed New York Times.
It’s a challenge that all contractors face as lost jobs begin coming back after the Great Recession. Fortunately, Sundt is making efforts and building projects to get more young people into the trades.
We opened the Center for Craft Excellence in Phoenix last year for those who are just getting started or are a little further along in their careers. The Center offers training and certification in a number of disciplines, from equipment operator and mechanic to industrial carpentry, pipefitting, ironworking, electrical, welding and millwright.
Our company’s recent donation to the East Valley Institute of Technology in Arizona and sponsorship of Arizona Construction Career Days has enabled our employee-owners to connect with high-school students who are considering construction careers. Getting recent graduates into the business is critical; the average trade worker is in his or her late 40s.
We work in partnership with school districts to construct career and technical education centers that offer high schoolers the chance to get a head start on a trades career. We have one under way in Wichita Falls and have completed three in San Antonio.
Speaking of Texas, one of our employee-owners there regularly makes presentations to elementary school children about the profession. You’re never too young to start dreaming about a career.
For more information about a career with Sundt, please visit our website or Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages. We’re always on the lookout for great talent to fill positions both on jobsites and off.
February 11, 2016
Sundt’s John Carlson speaks to a class of fourth graders at Blattman Elementary in San Antonio.
Sundt employee-owners believe in the importance of being engaged in our communities. We are committed to improving and inspiring the cities and towns where we work.
Some of that outreach is made to younger generations who will eventually be community leaders. For example, Corporate Strategic Business Officer John Carlson recently spoke to four classes of fourth graders at Blattman Elementary in San Antonio. John is based out of our San Antonio office, where he will assist with strategic projects for building, heavy civil and industrial work throughout Texas and nationwide. Additionally, he will continue to educate and advocate for the use of alternate project delivery methods as a national leader in this area, including public-private partnerships, design-build and construction manager at risk. He will also focus his efforts on national industry organizational involvement.
John Carlson and his daughter, a student at Blattman Elementary.
During John’s classroom visit he explained the positive impacts the construction industry has on everyone’s lives and how rewarding it is to be in a line of work that improves our communities. He also showed the kids a video on Sundt’s 125-year history and the global impacts the company has made. He gave them a quiz about the company’s history and correct answers were rewarded with Sundt solar powered calculators and beanie hats. The prizes were great motivators, encouraging the kids to ask more questions about Sundt and its many positive impacts.
John took a few minutes to tell us about his experience and the importance of getting children interested in the construction industry or any career.
How did this opportunity arise?
My daughter approached me about the opportunity to present to four fourth-grade classes on Career Day at her school.
What did you tell the kids in your presentation?
I talked about what construction is and how the schools, houses, roads, bridges, water and electricity they use every day came as a result of a general contractor constructing those facilities. I told them it is an engineering-based field for the management in construction and that there are architects and engineers who design facilities we build. We also discussed the skilled trades, including carpenters, laborers and equipment operators who are the people who actually to build these facilities.
What was the biggest piece of advice you wanted to get across to the classes?
I told them the most important skill to have in any profession is good communication. In construction, we’re always reading contracts and plans, writing letters and proposals, speaking and listening to people inside and outside the organization. It’s extremely important if you want to be a leader for people to follow and understand what you are trying to get across.
How important is it to get youngsters interested in the construction industry?
Extremely important. We have a craft and engineering shortage in our industry and these are our future employees. If we don’t get them interested in our industry early, others will.
How much did you enjoy speaking to the classes?
I love having a chance to interact with kids at all levels. They are future leaders in our communities and difference-makers. Kids need opportunities to be exposed to different careers so they can find their passions and be the best people they can be in life. I love to tell kids there are several reasons I am passionate about the construction industry: the chance to make tangible, lasting improvements our communities that change people’s lives for the better.
February 10, 2016
Kids Excel El Paso, one of the grant recipients in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2016, uses dance to teach students how to work hard, strive for their personal best and never give up.
Sundt’s employee-owners and company have a long-standing tradition of caring about their communities. It’s one of the reasons the Sundt Foundation was formed in 1999.
That tradition of giving back was going strong in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2016, when the Foundation awarded 47 grants totaling $111,921.88. The money was raised through donations by employee-owners and matching contributions by the company.
Over its lifetime, the Sundt Foundation has given more than $7 million in grants to non-profits that help disadvantaged adults and children. Most of that support went to organizations in Arizona, California and Texas.
Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow could stop the Sundt team from completing the US Highway 84 and bridge reconstruction project ahead of time.
Despite weather issues on the site near Abilene, including rain totals that once measured eight inches in 48 hours, we reached substantial completion on the heavy civil project in late December, 33 working days ahead of schedule.
Work included demolition and reconstruction of a 530-foot bridge over Union Pacific Railroad tracks, reconstruction of US 84 and new lighting and roadway barrier improvements. The US 84 project included around half a mile of roadway that was fully reconstructed and installation of 40,000 cubic yards of embankment used to bring the grade up to match the finish slab elevation of the new bridge, which was built by Sundt’s Concrete Division.
“This project was successful due to hard-working and talented Sundt superintendents and craft employees who helped construct the new bridge and roadways,” said Project Manager Cade Reddig. “Having their experience and outstanding team communication set us up for exceptional coordinated efforts with the owner to get the work done safely and ahead of schedule.”
As a result, the team received 100 percent of the Texas Department of Transportation’s No Excuse Incentive built into the contract for early substantial completion and the community had a new bridge and roadway finished more than a month ahead of expectations.