January 22, 2016
January 13, 2016
Dave Fleming, Sundt’s Vice President and Corporate Director of Dispute Resolution and Corporate Director of Ethics and Compliance, recently earned the American Institute of Constructors Stephen P. Byrne Award. The honor is given annually to an individual who supports the advancement of constructor certification.
Dave’s primary responsibilities at Sundt are contract oversight and strategic support for the company’s operating divisions. Prior to his current position, he served as Operations Manager for the company’s Texas and Federal projects. He has worked at Sundt since 2003 and prior to that spent eight years consulting for the company. Before joining Sundt, Dave was Executive Vice President of Operations for a Texas-based contractor.
Dave has spent 40 years in the industry and holds a bachelor’s degree in Building Construction from Texas A&M University.
How surprised were you to win the award?
This award was a total surprise to me when I was informed by AIC. I never expected the award because I was just doing what was right and helpful to the industry and for student-level certification of construction graduates.
What do you believe were your best qualifications to be considered for the award?
I had been working very hard on transforming the student AIC testing, called the AC or Associate Certification, which is given twice annually at more than 75 colleges and universities within the U.S. and in the past was given internationally at universities with Construction Education programs. The testing helps universities obtain their certification requirements for higher education.
You knew Stephen Byrne. How much more meaningful does that make this honor?
Steve and I were classmates at Texas A&M in the mid-’70s. We knew each other a long, long time. Steve was a very big advocate of AIC and the certification of construction programs. He sat on certification reviews for many colleges in his years of service. He understood clearly that students in construction were the first level on making our industry a professional level of membership. He taught at A&M for many years after a successful business career in the Austin area. Steve talked me into becoming involved with AIC at a national level and I am a better person for his leadership in this area. We lost Steve suddenly three years ago and AIC and I lost a great friend. To have been named to receive this award given in Steve’s name is a great honor, and I hope to live up to helping more construction students and professionals achieve their personal goals as a result.
While this is an individual award, it also says something about the team with which you work. How much did having great co-workers assist you in winning?
It starts, as it should, at the top. CEO Dave Crawford and former CEO Doug Pruitt promoted professionalism in the company. They have encouraged all employees to advance their careers by obtaining more education and professional certifications. Sundt has led the nation in numbers of people who have obtained their AIC Certified Professional Constructor designation. If you’re a builder, you should want to achieve the CPC, just like Engineers want to be Professional Engineers or Architects want to be Registered Architects. Many Sundt employees have obtained this level of designation, and many of them started in field operations and are now superintendents. The CPC is for any industry person willing to study and pass a CPC exam. I am very proud of the professional builders at Sundt who elected to obtain CPCs and have taken the time to obtain those personal credentials they will carry for their entire careers.
How much does winning an award like this inspire you to keep doing what you’re doing?
Being nationally recognized as a leader in our industry is a rare event and makes me want to leave this place better than when I came. I will continue to work to improve the industry and Sundt in this area until I am done and sit down to toast a drink and look back at all the years of trying to help improve the program, the industry and Sundt as a company.
How much pride do you take in representing Sundt as the Stephen P. Byrne Industry Achievement Award winner?
I am just the representative of all Sundt CPCs who have been on this journey. I thank Doug and Dave for the motivation for every Sundt person who has obtained certification and look forward to our current President, Mike Hoover, and others continuing the effort in education and personal excellence in the future. Sundt is a great place to be. Having helped Sundt since 1991, it shows that my 20-plus years of consulting and as an employee has been a great journey. Learning from good people is a lifelong adventure at Sundt.
January 6, 2016
Not everything is bigger in Texas. The town of Corsicana has around 24,000 residents and an idyllic downtown lined with shops, restaurants and stop lights.
Oh, yes, and 18-wheelers passing through town hauling goods through North Texas. Lots of them stopping and going through a congested passage every day.
Fortunately, relief is on its way. Sundt has been selected to construct a Texas Department of Transportation relief route for State Highway 31, the main route through downtown. Work on the $106 million heavy civil project begins this summer.
The 12-mile four-lane road will improve mobility by allowing motorists to bypass Corsicana to the south, helping enhance safety and traffic flow. Big rigs using State Highway 31 every day have no other option than to travel through downtown Corsicana.
The project also includes 2 miles of reconstruction on Interstate 45. The relief route goes under the interstate at one point.
“The project strengthens our position in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which we consider to be one of the strongest and most stable local markets for heavy construction in the United States,” said Sundt Area Manager Abel Ortiz.
Sundt has more than 45 years and nearly $2 billion of project work throughout Texas.
December 30, 2015
After successfully completing a terminal replacement at Wichita Falls Regional Airport in Texas in 2014, Sundt and joint venture partner Trinity Hughes Construction are getting started on another project in the city.
Trinity Hughes|Sundt, A Joint Venture held a ceremonial groundbreaking in November on the Wichita Falls Independent School District (WFISD) Career and Technical Education Center (CTE). The 123,000 square foot K-12 construction project will prepare WFISD’s high school students for college or careers. Students will receive advanced skills, certification, college credits, and the ability to explore their future from the comfort of high school.
“The partnership is beneficial to both companies and the local economy,” said Sundt Area Manager Bob Aniol. “Pairing our national project experience with Trinity Hughes Construction’s local expertise allows us to maximize the use of local subcontractors and keep costs down.”
We have more than 45 years and nearly $2 billion of project work throughout Texas.
November 13, 2015
A Sundt joint venture team keeps going back to school in San Antonio.
Our team completed improvements at Lanier High in time for the school year in August and is finishing renovations and additions at Burbank High in January. The joint venture with Guido Brothers Construction also worked at Brackenridge High, where a project was completed in August 2014. All three are part of the San Antonio Independent School District.
The Burbank and Lanier K-12 construction projects include new gymnasiums and locker rooms, dance studios, JROTC classrooms and training facilities, culinary arts facilities, computer labs, college preparation centers, STEM and business labs and softball fields.
“These projects are important because the new facilities provide much-needed space and state-of-the-art equipment for career training during high school,” said Sundt Project Manager Ben Martin. “The schools now have adequate space and equipment to properly train high school students in a variety of careers to prepare them upon graduation.”
At Lanier, good budget and cost control allowed the team to upgrade the exterior from stucco to metal panels and buy culinary and auto equipment for the school district within the construction budget. Burbank’s scope of work included six different design packages.
Working on active campuses added to the challenge. In addition to student traffic management, the team was providing solutions to keep campuses open while connecting to new utility services and dealing with often unmarked existing buried lines.
Larry Luke is an Area Manager in Texas. He has more than 25 years of experience in the construction industry, primarily working on large highway and bridge construction projects. He also has served as a Project Engineer, Paving Superintendent, Estimator, Project Manager and Large Project Executive/Area Manager.
His career has taken him to California, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Colorado and Utah. His recent experience as a Large Project Executive/Area Manager has him pursuing alternative delivery design-build and CMGC projects and overseeing those projects through construction. He graduated with a Civil Engineering Degree from Colorado School of Mines.
Larry recently took a little time to answer questions for our “Getting to Know …” series.
What was it about Sundt that attracted you to work here?
Sundt has a long rich history and an excellent reputation in our industry. I think all employees, like myself, want to work for a healthy company, a company that honors their people, is growing but financially stable, competitive winning new work, and is a leader in the industry. Aside from the basic fundamentals of a strong company, I was attracted by the leadership, employee-ownership model, and plans to grow the heavy civil business.
What has been your impression of the company so far?
Very positive. I have seen a company focused on growth, a clear strategy for moving forward, and employee-owners who are engaged in making every project successful. I’ve met a lot of long-term Sundt employees who help pass on Sundt’s culture and history. I have also met a lot of new employees who are bringing new ideas and energy. I see great opportunities for the company and employee-owners, which is great for everyone.
What does your job entail?
My job as an Area Manager involves identifying good projects to pursue, working to obtain new work, building high-performing project teams and overseeing the management of projects through execution.
Which project are you most involved in right now?
I am currently involved in the $158 million I-10 project in El Paso. My initial focus is to ensure the project start-up and construction are on track. My role is to ensure the project is staffed correctly, establish good relationships with the bonding company and Texas Department of Transportation, and ensure our project management team has all the resources and assistance it needs to be successful. In the future, I will be helping grow the Heavy Civil Division, strengthening our presence in Salt Lake City and pursuing work in Utah and Colorado.
What’s the most exciting thing about the I-10 project?
The start-up of all large heavy civil projects is exciting in that you are facing many new challenges and success is very dependent on the efforts and decisions made early in the project. The excitement for me comes from putting together a team from diverse backgrounds and experience, and drawing from their individual strengths to accomplish building a complex project. While the scope of work has unique attributes, the real challenge and reward is seeing a team of people working together as a unit, and being part of building a lasting infrastructure.
What do you do for fun away from work?
I live in the mountains of Park City, Utah, and love all the many things to do in the outdoors. I particularly enjoy hiking, skiing, mountain biking and hunting. I am an avid road cyclist, racing in the Masters Category 3 criterium and road races. Lately, I’ve also gotten into competitive shooting events with my son.
Cat person or dog person?
Definitely a dog person. Our family includes two border collies, Coco and Raisin. They were born from working cattle dogs on my parents’ family ranch. Although, where we currently live, we have to keep them busy hiking and playing fetch.
Where do you like to travel?
After living in the mountains with winter six months a year, I enjoy a spring getaway to any beach with sun, sand and a lounge chair.
Read any good books lately?
I’m reading “The Heart of Everything That Is,” which is the story of Red Cloud, a Sioux warrior-statesman. The depiction of his brutal life, but also his cunning strategy and political awareness in the mid-1800s is interesting. I’m also a fan of Jon Krakauer, and his books “Into Thin Air” and “Where Men Win Glory.”