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2017 Year-End Wrap Up
From the desk of Dave Schoonbeck, Chief Operating Officer
As 2017 comes to close, we should take the time to recognize the industry-leading projects and growth we had this year.
Our company is now 1,000 RED team members strong, working across seven offices nationwide. To help accommodate this growth we have invested in our people, facilities and technology.
A quote I take to heart says, “Surround yourself with great people. People are what make businesses prosper.” This couldn’t be more true here at Kent Companies. Our HR team of Mindy Curtiss, Sarah Miller and Tanya Escobedo do a tremendous job serving as our front line to find and retain all of the great people that make this company run. When it comes to safety, Rodney Hartline, Carson Greenlee, Rodolfo Santillian, Todd Darling, Carlton Aukeman and David DeGraaf make sure that each of our field team members perform work safely each and every day. Finally, our administrative staff in every office is key to ensuring the office runs smoothly. For that, we are truly appreciative.
With all of the industry leading craft personnel and staff we have, we must ensure our facilities support them as well…and in 2017 we made great efforts on this front.
In Texas, we expanded to incorporate a new training and orientation room to help further our growth and collective knowledge base. For Grand Rapids, we pursued an addition and a new equipment building to accommodate growth. Finally, we are expanding geographically with the reopening of the Traverse City market and the launch of the St. Louis Helical Piering Division and the Austin, Texas satellite office. All of these improvements and expansions are a direct reflection of the RED mentality that each of you carry in delivering our Four Hallmarks to every client every day. Thank you for being an ambassador of that message.
Finally, technology is the “man behind the curtain” that helps support all of us. Matt Fausak and Jeff Brink continue to be there for all of us making sure email servers are running, protecting our digital risk and making sure the phone rings for all of our leads among other things. We have invested considerable time and effort to make sure our team members have the proper technology to complete the task at hand. We’ll continue to invest in technology by upgrading the training rooms with video conferencing capabilities. This will help with training initiatives and even more alignment across various teams.
In looking forward to 2018, we are fortunate to have great projects and great clients. Each project is an opportunity to showcase our phenomenal people. As we are poised for success, we also remain humble and grateful for those opportunities.
Happy Holidays to your families, and Happy New Year!
Avoid Slips & Falls on Winter Job Sites
Cold weather is here, and it affects all of our job sites. In less than three minutes, you can learn nine ways to avoid icy slips and falls. Watch the video here: http://bit.ly/2BIfTab
For more winter weather tips from OSHA, click here.
Internal Job Posting: Sales Representative – Division 1910
Are you looking for a change in your career? Do you have what it takes to make the sale? The Sales Representative position includes the following:
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Responsible for identifying, qualifying, leading, negotiating and closing sales pursuits for deep foundation systems.
- Develop comprehensive territory and new account pursuit plans to identify and qualify sales opportunities with both existing, and especially new, clients. Specific focus on Architects/Engineers, Facility Planners, Residential Clients and General Contractors.
- Leverage knowledge and expertise of the local market as well as relationships with key business contacts. To identify, qualify and close sales opportunities.
- Provide timely follow up, closure and tracking of all identified opportunities.
Education and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in business or equivalent experience.
- 1+ years selling business to business, 2 years of related experience in Building Materials or Industrial/Manufacturing sector preferably as a field sales representative.
- Experience with CRM (Customer Retention Management) Systems, Excel, PowerPoint, Word & Internal Information Tools.
- Strong prospecting, phone and communication skills mandatory.
- Strong skills in time management and organization.
- Ability to close sales while achieving a high level of customer and partner satisfaction.
Employee Service Anniversaries
At our Fall Make it Happen events, we honored employees who have achieved service milestones. Employment anniversaries are recognized at five-year intervals. We’re proud of the longevity of our team!
Five Years of Service
- Ryan Burrier
- Lance Dyer
- Brian Embree
- Victor Esteban
- Richard Fassett
- Mike Garland
- Chris Gwisdalla
- Mike Hodges
- Jorge Najera
- Rigoberto Vargas Quintino
- Steve Westrate
- Corey Wright
Ten Years of Service
- Fernando Bedolla
- Mark Brunink
- Dave Huitema
- Pat Sullivan
Fifteen Years of Service
- Lamont Hardge
- Leo Romero
Twenty Years of Service
- Kristi Ott
- Dave Fordon
Thirty Years of Service
- Randy Brink
Who is your IT Team?
Matt Fausak, IT Manager
Jeff Brink, Network Engineer
What services do they provide?
Matt and Jeff are responsible for making sure our computers, desk phones, cell phones, etc are always running properly so they may be utilized to their full potential every day.
Where are they located?
Matt is located in our Texas office and handles the needs of the personnel there, as well as corporate infrastructure for all companies. Jeff is located in the Grand Rapids office and handles the day to day needs of Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina.
When should you contact them?
- If your company provided cell phone becomes compromised (i.e. screen breaks, not responding, etc.)
- When a laptop needs to be replaced.
- If you do not feel confident in opening a strange email or external file, they can isolate and open it for you or determine if it is a malicious file.
- If you have trouble with systems such as PlanGrid, FoxPro, etc…they can help troubleshoot and lead resolution with the appropriate party.
How can we get in touch?
|Matt Fausakfirstname.lastname@example.org||(c) 214-434-2413|
|Jeff Brinkemail@example.com||(c) 616-490-1399|
2018 – Logo Switch!
As we complete our 60th anniversary year, we retire our anniversary logo. All Kent Companies logos will revert to the traditional corporate logo. Please update your documents and email signatures accordingly. The IT team will issue instructions and a reminder to convert your email signature.
- Contact Jeff Brink or Matt Fausak for assistance updating your email signature.
- Contact Leah Gradl for assistance updating documents, presentations or other templates with the logo.
A complete brand standards guide is available by clicking here: Kent-Brand-Guidelines.pdf (138 downloads)
For reference, here is the correct logo, beginning January 1, 2018.
New Pump Truck Added to the Fleet!
At the Grand Rapids Make it Happen event, we unveiled a brand new Putzmeister 47Z concrete pump truck. The five-section Z-Fold boom maneuvers in, over and around obstacles and provides vertical reach of 151 feet 3 inches and 138 feet 1 inch of horizontal reach.
- KCI – Division 110 – Snowfall and early twilight on Exchange Place (December 27, 2017)
- Watch the KCI Division 110 Exchange Place set the standard in cold weather construction safety. Thanks to the entire team for working safely throughout the coldest temperatures in West Michigan in nearly a year. Click here to see the story on WOOD TV8.
- KCI – Division 110 Hosts Calvin College Engineering Students at 601 Bond (photo gallery)
- KCI – Division 110 Hosts Muskegon Area Tech Center Construction Trades Students at 351 Western (photo gallery)
- KC Southeast – Frankie’s Fun Park drone video
- KC Southeast – Brookwood XI drone video
- KCI – Division 110 – First deck pour on 150 Ottawa (photo gallery)
- KCI – Division 110 – 150 Ottawa tower crane drone video
Kent Companies Gives Back – Campaign Update
As we close the year, we’re thankful for the opportunity to give back to the communities where we build every day. We recently made gifts to the following organizations. Each one was nominated by a Kent employee and voted to the top of the list by YOU!
- Gord Westra nominated Degage Ministries. Degage offers help and hope to homeless and disadvantaged individuals in West Michigan. Our team also partners with Degage on the Make it Happen Bus Ticket Program, which provides bus tickets for essential appointments such as job interviews and medical visits. Degage recently shared this video celebrating their impact on the community.
- Mark Brunink nominated Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. He shared, “My niece received treatment for brain cancer there and is a survivor. The many times I was there, I saw many families struggling. There is definitely no shortage of need for the families seeking treatment there.”
- Ana Bowman nominated Thompson – Care for Children in Need. Thompson serves children and families struggling with neglect, abuse and hardship. They provide outpatient services in homes and schools, through family education or with full psychiatric services and residential programs.
- Kelly Pfieffer nominated the National Alopecia Areata Foundation: Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin disease, causing hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes on other areas of the body. It affects as many as 6.8 million people in the U.S. with a lifetime risk of 2.1%.
- Melissa Kersh and Arturo Sierra nominated Children’s Health of Dallas. Arturo shared that his daughter receives treatment for leukemia at Children’s. Melissa serves as Kent Companies’ KIDstruction team lead. KIDstruction returns in early 2018 in our Dallas office. Read about the Texas team’s huge success in KIDstruction in 2017 by clicking here.
The REDford Team Gives Back
Our Redford team partnered with Community Living Services to fulfill Christmas wish lists for seven adults with disabilities. A few days before Christmas, Liz Schwendeman and Ed Hardesty presented Christmas gifts for the clients of Community Living Services to Shawna Viskantas, Supervisor for Macomb Supports.
The organization thanked the Redford team with a formal letter. Here’s some of what they had to share:
“Community Living Services would like to thank you for your incredible compassion this holiday season. Your contributions have given individuals with disabilities a Christmas that they never would have had otherwise. We cannot describe the beautiful joy on each and every one of their faces when they were told they had been adopted for the holiday.”
Kudos to Division 1810, Port City Die Cast
Submitted by Jeff Moomey, Project Manager
A big kudos to Foreman Chris Gwisdalla, Baldo Lopez, David Martinez, Isaac Dorado, JC Cole, Ciriaco Lopez and Charlie Helms for all their hard work at Port City Die Cast in Muskegon, Michigan.
Division 1810 helped Port City Die Cast expand for a new production line by:
- Installing a conveyor trench measuring 145 feet long, 9 feed wide and 4 feet deep. The entire conveyor trench has a double angle step in the walls, which required precise installation by our skilled crew.
- Forming and pouring four trim mold press foundation pads measuring 9 feet by 28 feet by 30 inches deep. Each trim mold press pad is surrounded by trench drain.
- Pouring a furnace pad measuring 13 feet by 26 feet.
- Removing 30,000 square feet of concrete floor and replacing it with an 8” slab on grade.
Kent’s Four Hallmarks were evident working for Port City Group. Safety was at the forefront with demolition, excavation and construction all taking place while Port City maintained their six-day, three-shift work schedules. Productivity, Quality and Customer Service were all demonstrated by coordinating all trades, with Chris is driving the schedule for Port City. We maintained the highest quality finished product and kept Port City’s busy production schedule moving and uninterrupted. Go RED!
Kudos to the Deep Foundation Services Team
Submitted by Mike Wegman, Executive Vice President
Todd Weston is off to a fantastic start for Division 3310 in the new fiscal year. Since November 1st, Todd has secured over $350,000 in contracts for 3310. Division 3310 has a healthy backlog and is poised to have a fantastic 2018 due to Todd’s professionalism and persistence. Division Manager Jeff Warchall adds, “In addition to his continuous sales effort, Todd did a great job helping brief me on all of the active jobs in Detroit. The extra time he put into getting me up to speed while not letting his sales effort falter was a good example of going above and beyond.”
The 2510 Logistics Team Makes it Happen
The 2510 Logistics team of Russ Simons, Rick Foster and Patrick Finch constantly amaze Division 2510 customers. Both our customer base and our sales team are demanding. Russ, Rick and Patrick are famous for quick turnaround requests and meeting last minute change orders. Russ, Rick and Patrick are fantastic with our customers. Our customers know that they can count on Kent Companies to deliver orders efficiently and accurately every time. I constantly remind our team if they weren’t so good at their jobs, our customers wouldn’t expect so much. Our success and ability to grow our business the way we have is a credit to the hard work and dedication of Russ, Rick and Patrick. Division 2510 is controlled chaos with all of the shipments in and out of Grand Rapids and Fort Mill. We receive and ship thousands of parts on a monthly basis. The team does this safely and accurately. they are the reason that we are successful in 2510. Stay warm fellas, and keep Making it Happen!
St. Louis is Up and Running
Congrats to the Division 3910 team for making November a success. The 3910 team sold over $200,000 in contracts since November 1st and installed $80,000 for the month of November. The highlight of November was completing the Castlereagh project.
The original contractor backed out of the project, but we stepped into Make it Happen. The general contractor contacted Troy Ruiz because of his reputation and experience. Our team provided the design and engineering for the project. We installed 22 piles and eight tiebacks in six working days. We met the general contractor’s schedule and budget. The helical tieback installation would have been difficult for most companies, but our team has the experience to complete even the most difficult applications. It was “just a regular day at the office” for them.
Division Manager Steve Schmidt commented about the fast start in St. Louis, “The 3910 team is off to a great start, and this is just the beginning. We have a very talented team that understands the how to Make it Happen each and every day. We have a tremendous opportunity to grow the 3910 business, and I am extremely proud of our team’s performance in November.”
Ring the Bell – Contract Awards for Kent Companies Texas Commercial Division
Submitted by Wes Marek, Pre-Construction Manager
Project: Wilson Creek Kroger & Site
- Estimator: Phillip Linden
- General Contractor: Ridgemont Construction
- Scope of Work: 130,000 square foot Kroger building with two small retail buildings and 500,000 square feet of paving
Project: Park 820 Phase II
- Estimator: Wes Marek
- General Contractor: Ridgemont Construction
- Scope of Work: 270,000 square foot tilt wall building with 250,000 square feet of paving
Project: At Home- Plano, TX
- Estimator: Wes Marek
- General Contractor: Parkway Construction
- Scope of Work: 400,000 square feet of paving and 50,000 square feet of tilt wall panels
Kudos to Division 810, Poggemeyer Design’s Architecture and Engineering Office
Submitted by Dean Stacer, Division Manager
Kudos to Tim Redwood and the Division 810 crew who completed a tear out and pour back for Poggemeyer Design Group in Bowling Green, Ohio. Here’s what Thomas Stuckey, the Poggemeyer Project Administrator had to say:
“I want to pass along my thoughts and thanks. Poggemeyer’s business puts us in direct contact with many contractors. I am very impressed with the professionalism, efficiency and courtesy your field team exhibited on this project. I want to thank you and your staff and add a special thanks to Tim and his crew.”
Football practice pays off.