Blog/News

Employee Spotlight: Mike Behnken

June 15, 2017, 8:00 am

Employee Spotlight: Mike Behnken

Mike’s journey to the construction safety field wasn’t a direct one. He first worked as a carpenter, starting as an apprentice, then moved up through the ranks with various contractors. As his career progressed, he observed the increasing requirements for project safety personnel and decided that role could extend the longevity of his career. Now with 35 years in the construction industry under his belt, Mike uses his in-the-field experience to guide and strengthen improve Shook Construction’s safety program.

What inspired you to get into this career?

I reached a point where I realized that I would not physically be able to work with my tools as a result of the work philosophies that I was taught growing up. As a result, it was a natural fit for me to move into safety in an effort to help find ways that work tasks can be performed to reduce the physical impact on the workers’ body.

Do you have a specific approach or philosophy you use to tackle challenges as they arise on site?

First I try to understand why a task is being performed a certain way and then look for methods that will help produce a quality project by using safe production methods.

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

Because of my background in construction, I can help find better ways to accomplish a task that meets and/or surpasses OSHA compliance requirements.

What are the most important qualities of a leader?

Lead by example, ask and respect input from those working under you, and take responsibility for the decisions that are made.

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

Replacing personal contact with e-mails, texts, and other social medium can quickly become counter-productive, even though they can be easier and quicker.

What does safety mean to you?

Safety means that everybody gets to go home in at least the same condition in which they came to work, if not better!

 

One response to “Employee Spotlight: Mike Behnken”

  1. I enjoyed meeting you at ID castings Noblesville and won,t forget your explanation of the explosive reaction between molten iron and water.

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Employee Spotlight: Steve Seal

May 11, 2017, 8:00 am

Employee Spotlight: Steve Seal

Steve Seal has seen and built a lot of things in his 33 years in the industry. After starting in the field as a carpenter and then field superintendent, Steve went to University of Akron to earn his degree in construction technology. While attending college, Steve served as a co-op at Shook Construction. His technical expertise and laid back personality are a great fit with our team. We hired him upon graduation and have appreciated his contributions to our team ever since. He is currently working as a project manager within our healthcare business segment.

What inspired you to get into this career?

I love working with wood, tearing things apart and then putting them back together.

 Do you have a specific approach or philosophy you use to tackle challenges as they arise on site?

If I don’t have the answer, I reach out to my network to help find solutions.

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

Since I started working in the field first, it helped me learn how everything goes together on a construction project. This helps me today with planning, scheduling, knowledge of all the work/disciplines, troubleshooting problems and finding solutions.

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

Having a plan a day or two ahead of time and then continually prioritizing the items as things change.

What are the most important qualities of a leader?

A leader takes ownership of the processes, delegates clear responsibilities, follows up with the team, and treats team members like they bring value to the project.

 

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Employee Spotlight: Sam Myers

April 13, 2017, 8:00 am

Employee Spotlight: Sam Myers

Sam serves as a project engineer in our Water Resource Mid-Atlantic Region, working out of our Raleigh, NC office. A graduate of Tennessee Technological University, he has been a part of the Shook family for nearly three years.

What inspired you to get into this career?

I grew up around the industry. As a child, I remember sitting in the truck while at “poop” plants while my father worked… It’s a smell that’s impregnated in my mind forever and I suppose that’s why I grew to love the business.

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

Gastonia Two Rivers Water Treatment Plant has a unique GE membrane treatment system that I have never experienced. I like to learn how different treatment processes work, and this is a new one to me.

Do you have a specific approach or philosophy you use to tackle challenges as they arise on site?

I struggle with the confrontation portion of the business, as it is something that none of us look forward to; but, it is something I am working on. I tend to put myself in others shoes to understand fully where they are coming from and feel that it helps the negotiations greatly.

What does safety mean to you?

Completing the task at hand productively and with no injuries or near misses. Our goal is to exceed Shook’s and OSHA’s requirements so that there are no questions for any task that we are performing.

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

The ability to prioritize tasks.

What piece of technology helps you most with your job and why?

Phone calls. Although everything now-a-days needs to be documented through email, I would much rather call an individual up and go through the details as I can learn much easier this way.

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Employee Spotlight: John Cleveland

March 9, 2017, 8:00 am

Employee Spotlight: John Cleveland

John Cleveland has grown up in the Shook family. He started as a co-op while studying construction management at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and made such an impression that he’s continued to be part of our team for the last 18 years. He currently serves as a project manager within our Water Resources Midwest Region.

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

Upgrading the Sidney Wastewater Treatment Plant disinfection process away from using chlorine gas to using ultraviolet light instead. It’s a new process for this facility and will result in decreasing the amount of chemicals discharged into the Miami River.

Do you have a specific approach or philosophy you use to tackle challenges as they arise on site?

I am fortunate to work with some really experienced and talented people. A lot of our field people bring years of experience and knowledge to the table. I tap into their knowledge for solutions to challenges. Chances are somebody working out there has seen it before.

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

Pre-planning our tasks so they are completed safely. This company has a terrific culture of safety first. Making sure we think things out ahead of time and plan properly so they are done safely so that everyone goes home at night is the most important thing I do each day.

What are the most important qualities of a leader?

The ability to listen, the ability to trust those around him/her, and the ability to pause to think before reacting.

Who inspires you?

My two young sons inspire me. They inspire me to be a better father, husband, friend, co-worker and project manager. The responsibility of fatherhood makes me want to be a better man.

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