Building The Future Together

Hunzinger Construction Company recently held its annual Q3 awards recognition reception at The Milwaukee Rep’s Stackner Cabaret.  This Hunzinger completed interior renovation gives a total refresh to the lobby including new carpeting, new wood panel ceiling, marque lighting, lounge seating, new video screen and a new mobile bar.  The theater itself has increased seating capacity and better site lines as columns were removed along with the installation of new carpeting, a fresh coat of paint and new acoustic cloud panels on the ceiling.  The main bar and bathrooms were relocated and a new permanent bar and new bathrooms were built in addition to their commercial kitchen getting all new appliances.  This stunning project provides greater comfort and convenience for their patrons and allows for more people to enjoy the great shows at The Stackner Cabaret.

In keeping with Hunzinger’s high standard for quality craftsmanship, the company established a company-wide Total Quality Management Program called Q3 (Q-Cubed). Q3 simply reinforces our mission statement of “Do the Right Thing” when dealing with employees, subcontractors/suppliers and clients. This effort encourages employees to continually examine how Hunzinger delivers services and empowers them to make recommendations that improve the way we work. Employees are also encouraged to bring new quality control initiatives forth for evaluation, consideration and implementation. Successes are celebrated and become a regular part of the project delivery system for all future projects.

As part of our Q3 initiative, we solicit nominations from our employees of clients, subcontractors, and fellow employees who have demonstrated an exemplary dedication to excellence and illustrated the qualities outlined in our Total Quality Management program. This year, we received over 60 nominations that are reviewed by our company owners and recipients are selected. Twelve Hunzinger employees, 5 subcontractors and 5 owners were recognized with Q3 Awards.

Hunzinger Executive Vice President Kevin O’Toole was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening and kicked the program off with a Q3 award to Peter Feigin, the President of the Milwaukee Bucks and an extremely busy man.  The past few years he has had a lot on his plate, like building an arena and a competitive basketball team, but he always found time to make ALL OF our workers feel part of the big Buck’s family.  His respect FOR and appreciation OF our workers was something special.  In addition, he was very easy to work with and was quick to review and approve project paperwork.  He was a true partner in every sense of the word.  He set the tone that made this project one of the most rewarding of our team’s careers.

The Buck’s team awards continued as Mike Abrams of CAA ICON Development who served as the Owner’s Rep for the Milwaukee Bucks on their Entertainment District received a Q3 award because we couldn’t have asked for a better partner.  Mike is extremely knowledgeable about construction and he really understands our process.  Mike was fantastic to work with and he was quick to respond to questions or issues. He processed paperwork very timely and his own process was very complimentary to our own.  You really had a symbiotic relationship that was built onmutual respect.  It was a pleasure working with Mike.

Project Executive Jon Jansen and Superintendent Dan Von Rueden were recognized with Q3 awards for their exemplary work on the Bucks Entertainment District. Recognized for his ability to track all the separate project costs from multiple funding sources and complex paperwork requirements, Jon did a great job.  Dan Von Rueden drove the schedule on all of the buildings and his 3-week look ahead schedules continue to be the best and an example for all project leadership.  He never let up and was relentless.  He never took his eye off the ball.

The next project recognized was Silverado – St. Charles Memory Care Community located at 4058 East Main Street in St. Charles, IL. Hunzinger served as the Construction Manager on the project.

This 47,746 sq. ft. new construction wood frame single story memory care facility includes a 90-unit memory care community featuring sunrooms and skylights, a full commercial kitchen, a greenhouse, a large outdoor courtyard and covered patios to encourage connection with outdoor spaces and natural light.

Senior Project Manager Jon Sheahan was recognized for his dedication, excellent communication and problem solving and Superintendent Ken Skrowronski were recognized for his commitment to the project and his willingness to drive almost 5 hours round trip daily.  Ken ran a great project and remains dedicated to his work at Hunzinger.  We were fortunate to have wonderful local subcontractors and presented Q3 awards to Bob Luebke and Todd Streit of Hartwig Plumbing and Caleb O’Donnell and Jeff Pickert of Connelly Electric for their thorough, safe and incredible work from start to finish helping to make Silverado – St. Charles a huge success.

In 2016, MGIC embarked on a multiple phased interior renovation of their 4 story headquarters building and 10 story tower.  A little over 2 years later, the project is nearing the finish line.  Both buildings are fully occupied, so Diane Munz and Kurt Thomas of MGIC and Paul Gondak of Avison Young, the owner’s rep, had the unenviable task of relocating MGIC’s employees to allow for construction activities while also keeping the employees happy and productive. They did an amazing job of keeping the moves to a minimum with very little swing space to work with.

MGIC goes the extra mile to work with and listen to the end users of their space and have been very diligent in making sure the company got what they wanted and needed.  The entire organization was a joy to work with and made us feel welcome from day one.  The project team, security team and onsite facilities team all contributed to making this a successful partnership.

Stand out Hunzinger employees included Project Manager Anne Gryzwa, Assistant Project Superintendent Justin Polster and Jose Diego our Lead Carpenter who had been on the MGIC project since day one.  Jose would come in early or stay late whenever needed.  He did a fantastic job coordinating his work with the other trades and takes charge when needed.  Lead Project Superintendent Dave Klermund came to depend on Jose to help manage and supervise select scope within the overall project and became Dave’s go to guy.  Jose’s knowledge and attention to detail was extremely important to the success of the MGIC project.

The next Q3 awards went to Vice President Director of Preconstruction Services, Dan Cole, for his work on multiple projects because he continues to go the extra mile with our prospective, new and existing clients and Project Manager, Brent Verheyen, for his Fresenius Grand Avenue and CUNA Mutual Group Renovation projects where he pushed through many challenges and worked tirelessly to complete these projects on time.

Hunzinger is proud to have completed multiple projects for GE Healthcare over the past year and particularly their Technical Center of Excellence (TCOE). Hunzinger Superintendent, Dan Parente, was recognized for not only living and delivering Hunzinger’s brand but also because he is dedicated to mentoring and leading those under him.  The TCOE project was extremely complex, fast tracked, multi-phased in an occupiedenvironment and all done in off hours and Dan embraced the challenge to complete the project and exceed the owner’s expectations.  Greg LeFeber, Hunzinger’s lead foreman on the TCOE project was also given a Q3 award for his work on the project.

The Steamfitters Local 601 Training Center was another project that Hunzinger completed this past year and Kevin O’Toole called up Chris Valerine and Joel Zielke of the Steamfitters Local 601 to recognize them as special owners. Chris was responsible for overseeing the construction progress and his knowledge of the trades and quick sense of humor had a positive impact of the tenor of project coordination meetings.  He got to know all the subcontractors and always looked out for the Local 601’s best interests.  Chris’ involvement and his hard work, ensured the success of the Steamfitters Training program in Madison.

Hunzinger’s continued work at Caterpillar, completing multiple machine foundation projects has brought much deserved Q3 awards to Hunzinger Superintendent Todd Norgel, Foreman Mike McNeil and Senior Project Manager Jon Sheahan.   The Caterpillar foundation projects require great attention to detail in the design and layout to meet the owner’s strict tolerances and specifications for their machines. Todd and Mike understand the scope, logistics, owner concerns and challenges, manpower that would be required for our significant self-perform work and then executes to a tee. They always kept quality, safety and schedule at the forefront.

In addition, Kevin O’Toole acknowledged Ben Koepsell and Craig Herbst of Michels Foundations one of our outstanding subcontractors on Michels Foundations multiple projects down at Caterpillar with scopes of work ranging from concrete slab, precast wall & timber demolition, hydro-demolition, excavation, helical piers, dewatering wells and earth retention systems.  Lead by Ben Koepsell in the office and Craig Herbst in the field Michels has performed like a true professional.  Michels has carefully managed multiple overlapping projects, tight schedules, and the overall complexity of each of the projects.  Having used other subcontractors on this project for similar scopes, the contrast between the quality of work between Michels and the others is very clear and evident.  Good communication, a clear plan and precision on the execution of the plan has given Hunzinger the confidence in Michels to handle projects in the same manner in which we are expected to perform from Caterpillar.  Working in a fully occupied facility and immediately adjacent to production lines at Caterpillar is no easy task and one that can’t be taken lightly.  Michels has shown they take the time and energy to consider what equipment and personnel will not only complete the work efficiently and safely, but also what will have the least impact to the owner’s operations.  They also are a true team player, frequently assisting other trades with moving equipment or materials in order to advance the overall project.  Having a sophisticated contractor onsite like Michels has minimized unforeseen conditions impacts to the schedule due to their ability to self-perform an array of scopes of work, ultimately keeping projects moving forward without long delays.

To round out the Caterpillar recognitions, Dean Waldschmidt, Manufacturing Plant Engineer at Caterpillar was given a Q3 award.  Dean has been leading the charge on most of the projects at Caterpillar and in particular the most challenging foundations from not only a complex design standpoint but also tight schedules and site logistics.  Working in an occupied space that works multiple shifts requires constant communication and planning.  Dean is always available and accommodating to the needs of our construction trades and to assist where ever he can.  Having an owner who is fast to react and quick to decide is a tremendous benefit not always seen.  Dean is well organized and accomplished at developing and implementing a master schedule that involves not only all the multiple construction projects, many occurring simultaneously, but also Caterpillar’s ongoing production needs and massive moves into the north of Rawson buildings.  Without good leadership the continuous construction projects could not be completed.  Through all the unforeseen conditions (which there were many) modified designs and scope changes, Dean has been a huge part in our success both in the completion of our work but also in the project awards.  The Caterpillar projects have been primarily completed with our own self-performing crews who also value Dean’s role and support he provides.

The final award of the night went to our hosts and a truly transformation project for the Stackner Cabaret, their renovation headed up by Melissa Vartanian of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and her staff at The Stackner Cabaret. Melissa and her staff were a phenomenal client to work for. She went above and beyond to accommodate the construction project in her facility. We had extremely tight deadlines and many unforeseen conditions that they were truly team players in handling. 

They brought in building staff early in the mornings and on the weekends in order for us to complete our work. Melissa played an integral part in our coordination and was a truly invested player on our team. She embraced the jobs meetings, toured the site multiple times a day, and was quick help coordinate whatever help and resources we might have needed. Melissa thank you for your patience, the doughnuts, and dedication in making this project a success!

That wrapped up a great night of good food, attentive service, a wonderful event venue and impressive accomplishments evident in all the owners, subcontractors and employees recognized for their extra efforts.