Blog/News

New Dayton Office Embraces Our Culture

November 12, 2018, 2:32 pm

After 24 years, Shook closed the doors of its Northcutt Place office in Dayton, OH. While it was bittersweet to say goodbye, we were excited for the new home awaiting us. In September, Shook’s headquarters relocated to 2000 W. Dorothy Lane in Moraine, OH.

The Moraine office was a special project for us as we enlisted the help of our own employees to repurpose the facility. Having our own people in charge of planning the office design allowed us to best represent ourselves: modern, yet down to earth. As this plan unfolded, we realized we were mapping out the future of Shook—our new home will help us evolve as a company and continue to best serve the needs of our employees and clients.

To reflect the aspirational, innovative culture we celebrate at Shook, we want our building to be modern and forward-thinking. Some of the features in the office are high-tech devices, such as the flat screen TVs in the collaboration spaces and tablets outside the conference rooms used for making room reservations. Other features like the workout facility were added for employee enjoyment and to promote healthy living and stress relief. We purposely added more open spaces with cozy furniture, motivational quotes, and white boards to inspire creative thinking and collaboration.

What makes the building truly unique to Shook is its interior design. It was important for us to show that we are a company evolving with the times, but we also wanted to pay homage to our past. One can get a sense of this when touring the facility. When people walk through the office, they catch a glimpse of Shook’s history through photos from the early ‘50s that were used as wallpaper. Visitors can admire the black and white images of past employees and old machinery.

Our core values, mission, and vision statements were created based on not only our culture, but also our aspirations and accomplishments. We chose to display these statements throughout the building to serve as constant reminders to employees. We must remember what is important to us and continue to align ourselves with our values and goals. 

There is much to look forward to now that we have finally moved into a wonderful, new space. We are excited to see where the future takes us as we enter Shook’s next era.

 

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Key to Success: Project Collaboration

October 12, 2018, 3:55 pm

As any sports fan knows, there is no “I” in “team.” Our favorite teams have proved this time and again—individual talents are sought out, then joined with others to create a force to be reckoned with. The most successful teams have been victorious because they recognize the importance of unity and comradery. Victory cannot be secured if one player walks out onto the field alone. The power is in the collective abilities of the whole.

Construction work is no different. When our team walks onto a jobsite, we work together to provide the best results for our clients and keep each other safe. This is especially important on mission critical projects. Due to the complexity of these facilities, which range from data centers to telecommunications buildings and more, we emphasize the importance of working together—and building a cross-disciplined team to deliver the work successfully.

Shook works with subcontractors that specialize in mechanics, electrical engineering, and plumbing to ensure that the necessary building environment is maintained for operation. It is critical that the system continues to properly function during construction since most clients do not have the luxury of closing for several months. Therefore, we work closely with them and our subcontractors to guarantee a smooth process.

Data centers, telecommunications buildings, and call centers are all critically dependent on their mechanical and electrical systems to maintain the building environment necessary for operation. Collaboration is key on these projects—that is why we work with specialty contractors from the MEP trades to add value early in the process. This is exemplified by a recent project our team worked on for University Hospitals. When we were working on the project, we enlisted outside help that enhanced the planning and execution.

This team was able to achieve real results. With all hands-on deck, we managed to finish our University Hospitals data center upgrade six weeks earlier than planned. This saved our client a great deal of time and money.

We recognize that some projects require special attention and have different needs that we cannot always provide. By seeking out experts and working closely with them in the building process, we have improved our work, given our customers’ positive experiences, and even better facilities to work in. Not only is that a win for the client, but a win for us as well!

 

 

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Employee Spotlight: Randall Beck

August 8, 2018, 12:31 pm

Randall Beck has had a prosperous career due to his openness to change–whether that is by preparing for the unexpected or adjusting his leadership style. After working on countless projects, he has found the best equation for being successful in this field of work: by using his extensive engineering knowledge and believing in himself.

What is the most important thing you do each day when prepping for your work day?

Expect the unexpected. I can never predict every single thing that happens on a jobsite. I have to allow the unexpected to happen and just go with it. The way I handle it is what matters.

What are the most important qualities of a leader?

A leader must understand that not everyone responds the same. What works best for one person may not work for another. Having a leadership style that is flexible and adaptable to the multiple personalities on your team will almost always guarantee you success.

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by anyone who goes above and beyond their expectations for themselves. This motivates me to push myself every day and do my absolute best. When I fail, I don’t give up. I remind myself of my own potential and try again. 

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

Water treatment plants are the best projects there are. We use all aspects of Civil and Mechanical engineering in every job we do. I always enjoy bringing all the knowledge I’ve gained in this industry to one project and watching it come together to create a final product.

What is a specific skill-set or attribute you possess that you believe adds value to your projects?

My engineering skill set is something I bring to the table when I’m working on a project. It gives me an advantage because it allows me to understand why things are designed a certain way. Once I figure it out, I can think of ways to build more efficiently.

 What is the most important lesson you have learned in the last year?

I’ve found that having goals and dreams are key to finding happiness. If you’re unhappy, you’re not going to be motivated to be your best self. Not only do you suffer, but so does your potential for creating great things. So, for your own sake, find something you’re passionate about and enjoy doing!

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Construction Around an Occupied Facility

July 23, 2018, 2:15 pm

Many of our projects involve working in, around, above, or below occupied facilities. This scenario involves not only creative techniques to tie in to the existing building, but also increased communication with your staff to coordinate construction activity around critical—and unplanned—operations.
 
Construction Above and Next to Occupied Facility
One such project was the addition and renovation of St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center, which involved the following general scope items:
 
  • Two-story addition above existing surgery suites
  • Six-story, 184,000 SF tower addition above the existing lobby and surgery suites
  • Various renovations to the existing structure
Because of the construction above the existing surgery units, extra coordination with the surgeons dictated when we needed to halt our work for a planned—or unplanned—surgery. Below are some specific obstacles to overcome.
 

Reinforcing Columns

One of those obstacles was presented by the existing OR’s steel columns, which were designed to accommodate a one-story addition; however, this project added two stories. Our team developed a plan to reinforce the steel columns without any interruptions to the surgery schedules. To accomplish this, our team built a plan to–over the course of eight weekends–systematically tackle the steel columns, two or three per weekend.
 
  • Friday night: tear out the drywall.
  • Saturday morning: weld stiffening plates and angles to the columns.
  • Saturday night: fireproof the columns.
  • Sunday: patch up the drywall, paint and clean up.
The team would begin work after the last surgery Friday night and leave the operating room spotless by Sunday night, showing no signs of our presence.
 

Maintaining Existing Roof during Construction

The existing OR roof needed to remain in place during the two-story vertical expansion.  Over a three-week period, our project team built temporary roof curbs over each column that needed to expand vertically.  This allowed us the flexibility to open up the roof when the weather cooperated, remove the curb cap and make the appropriate structural connections.  The roof then was temporarily flashed back around the added columns.  After the vertical expansion was built and dried-in, the existing OR floor roof was then removed to make way for the interior build-out of the NICU floor (1st story of the two-story addition).
 
As the finishing work of the two floors commenced, our project team continued to coordinate work around the surgery schedules because the finished project did not allow as much insulation above the OR to minimize noise and vibration from certain construction activity (i.e., rolling around drywall on carts). At times, it was necessary to cease construction immediately to accommodate planned/unplanned surgeries.
 

Connecting the Old to the New 

Connecting all floors horizontally to the existing building also provided several challenges.  One was keeping the building dry. To address this, we left the existing façade intact and only opened it up at each beam connection. Once the building was dried-in, we then demolished the existing exterior walls/façade.  Another challenge was matching existing elevations at the floor level without removing the whole façade.  Strategically located as-built elevations were taken to allow us to build the new structure and make field modifications prior to removing the façade.
 
Despite these impediments, we persevered. With our core value of being reliable in mind, we found new ways to accomplish these tasks and stayed true to our promise of finishing on time, even if it meant working overtime and on weekends. At the end of it all, we were proud of our determination and what we had created with all the cards stacked against us.    
 

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Employee Spotlight: Jim Trueblood

June 20, 2018, 9:10 am

Jim Trueblood’s interest in building has led to him having a well-rounded career in the construction industry. He has worn many hats, from carpenter to general foremen to his current role as project superintendent in our Mission Critical market segment. Every day, he is approaching problems from different angles, looking for the best solutions.

Construction can be a challenging business. Do you have a specific approach or philosophy you use to tackle challenges as they arise on site?

Every problem has a solution. There is no need to make an issue bigger than it needs to be.

What are the most important qualities of a leader?

A leader should possess these three qualities: the abilities to listen, analyze, and measure his or her reactions. In my experience, I’ve discovered this combination works wonders and results in the best outcomes.

What does safety mean to you?

Taking care of my coworkers.

Who inspires you?

My kids inspire me every day.

What is a specific skill-set or attribute you possess that you believe adds value to your projects?

People know they can approach me with a problem and I won’t overreact in a negative manner. It is essential to work well with others, especially on a project site. So much more is accomplished as a team instead of as a group of divided individuals.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in the past year?

If people feel like they have investment in a decision, they will have more interest in the outcome.

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Shook Revamps Vision Statement

June 7, 2018, 2:32 pm

The Shook family is always up for a challenge; our new vision statement presents just that: “To relentlessly build a company so exceptional that the best talent and clients in the world pursue us.” It is an ambitious goal for any company; some would claim that it is “unattainable.” We have other ideas.

The vision statement is an aspirational goal that drives the direction of our company. Like any goal, we must develop a plan. Our plan is focused on our most valuable asset: our people. It includes a culture in our workplace that inspires our employees to put forth their best work every day. When our employees work with passion and drive, we thrill our clients and build on our reputation as a reliable organization that delivers on its promises.

Our vision statement motivates us to be the best version of ourselves every day. As one of our teammates states in the video, “The vision statement is big and bold”—so are our aspirations …

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Employee Spotlight: J.D. Craft

May 2, 2018, 3:03 pm

J.D. Craft is no stranger to working outdoors. His childhood was spent growing up on a farm, which led to him later wanting a career where he could be outside as much as possible. He began his career as a carpenter and now serves as a project superintendent for Shook.

Construction can be a challenging business. Do you have a specific approach or philosophy you use to tackle challenges as they arise on site?

I keep in mind that I’m unable to control everything. Construction has taught me to prepare for the worst-case scenario—you never know what to expect.

What are the most important qualities of a leader?

Having the ability to adapt to your environment, as well as maintaining a level head when things go wrong.

What does safety mean to you?

Sending everyone home in one piece! The last thing I want is to have to take somebody to the hospital, or worse.

What is a specific skillset or attribute you possess that you believe adds value to your projects?

I can picture shapes before we build them, so I have a pretty good idea of what will or will not look good.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in the last year?

Those who can, do.

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Construction Engineering Scholarship Recipient Joins Shook’s Ranks

March 7, 2018, 8:51 am

We are excited to announce that David Ramsey, the 2017 recipient of Shook’s annual Construction Engineering Scholarship at the University of Dayton (UD), is joining our team as a project engineer in our water resource business segment in the Midwest. Soon to graduate from UD with a degree in civil engineering, David already has an impressive amount of experience in his chosen field.

During his time at UD, he was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and was elected to Social Chair two years running. His co-op with Adams Robinson Enterprises and summer volunteer work for UD’s Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service learning (ETHOS) program gave him valuable experience in engineering and water treatment construction.

He enjoyed his past experiences in his co-op and service learning program and sees Shook as the next step in his career. His interview convinced him, as he felt the connection with our people and the culture of our Shook family.

His goal is to improve communities’ quality of life by using his skills in his career. He fits right in at Shook, where our mission is to dramatically improve the communities we serve.

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Christina Friend Named Director of Human Resources

February 12, 2018, 12:11 pm

 

Because of her credentials and her continued contributions to the company, Christina Friend is Shook’s new director of human resources and project administration. She is an outstanding representative of the company’s culture and values, and we are excited to have her take on this leadership role within the company.

With a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in HR, Christina originally was hired by Shook in 2006 to serve as an office manager in our Indianapolis office. She was responsible for the establishment of our project administration group, which under her guidance has realigned many of our internal work-flows, increased our efficiency, and enabled our project teams to increase their focus on project delivery and customer service.

From the onset of her time here, Christina demonstrated an outstanding balance of task management and critical thinking skills. She is a fun, likable teammate who interjects her personality and energy into her daily work.

 

One response to “Christina Friend Named Director of Human Resources”

  1. Kim Massie says:

    Congratulations Christina on a well deserved promotion!

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Leadership Changes in our Building Markets

January 5, 2018, 8:16 am

Shook Construction institutes several leadership transitions as the company grows within its building construction group (education, healthcare, industrial, and mission critical). The company’s organizational structure has been retooled to provide more opportunity for employee growth.

The company’s business segment structure will remain the same with the following new individuals leading each effort:

Huelsman, Freitag, Knueve, Schmidlin

  • With 13 years of experience, Matt Huelsman has transitioned to vice president of education. Matt has been instrumental in the growth of our education business segment while managing the construction of the new Kleptz Early Learning Center and new high school at Northmont City Schools, along with currently building the new PK-12 facility for Northridge Local Schools.
  • Chris Freitag will step up as vice president of healthcare. Chris is an 18-year veteran of Shook Construction, having led the construction of the new Atrium Medical Center, the southeast tower addition at Miami Valley Hospital, and the new bed tower addition at Miami Valley Hospital South.
  • Serving as the new vice president of industrial is Tim Knueve, who began his career at Shook 20 years ago. Tim has led our construction efforts at Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Reiter Dairy, and many others.
  • Mike Schmidlin, a 40-year veteran of Shook, will continue to lead our mission critical business segment as vice president. Mike has been vital to the growth of this business segment, having led efforts at Verizon, JP Morgan Chase, Macy’s, Bridgestone, and many more.

In addition to the above personnel changes, Shook has added a regional focus on its operations by assigning personnel to enhance specific local operations.

Halapy, Goetz, Hayes, Peabody

  • Chris Halapy will remain in his executive vice president role, but now will focus specifically on Northeast Ohio. To focus on the company’s efforts within the Midwest, Andy Goetz will step up into the executive vice president role in the Miami Valley. Both of these roles will support the company’s education, healthcare, industrial and mission critical (data center) business segment leaders in completing work under contract and growing market share within their respective regions.
  • To support the individual business segments and provide regional leadership, the company has created a regional director role. Ryan Hayes, a 10-year veteran of Shook, will fill this role in Indiana. In this role, Ryan will oversee safety, sales, project execution, client/partner relationships, and talent management.
  • To further increase our focus in Indiana, Chuck Peabody will transition out of his operations role into business development and preconstruction under the title of vice president of business development. Both he and Ryan Hayes will become a powerful team enabling us to use future growth within the Indiana market as a means of enhancing our overall company growth. With 43 years of experience, Chuck has worked at Shook for over 30 years.

“Once again, we continue to build from within, leveraging the incredible talent already residing within our company,” shares President and CEO Bill Whistler. “This approach has been key to 91 years of continuity and it allows us to stay focused on providing outstanding value to our clients while growing as a company.”

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