April 2019

Employee Spotlight: Kelsey Greco

2019-04-08T15:57:53-04:00April 8th, 2019|Employee Spotlights|

Kelsey Greco’s passion for design helped pave the way that led her to Shook. Raised in a family that worked in construction, she has always had an interest in it. Now, she is forging her own path as she explores new roles and responsibilities at the company.  

What inspired you to get into this career?

My parents both worked in construction, so I was always around it growing up. That, combined with a love for design, made it inevitable that I ended up on the same path.

Briefly describe your career path to date.

I completed my degrees in Construction Management and Architecture at the Ohio State University and worked as an intern. After graduation, I joined the Shook team as a Project Engineer, then entered the field as a Superintendent. I plan to continue moving in this direction in my career.

What are the most important qualities of a leader?

One of the most important qualities of a leader is to be respectable. This doesn’t happen overnight; you must work hard to earn it from the crew.

What does safety mean to you?

To me, safety is to never compromise a person’s well-being to finish a job. We work in a stressful environment, but it’s never worth it to take shortcuts and risk an accident.

Who inspires you?

My parents are my biggest inspiration. My father is a carpenter and has built homes he designed, while my mother works as an accountant for a construction company. They work on the residential side of construction and I have seen what they have been able to accomplish with rather difficult upbringings. They inspired me to go into the larger, commercial side of the industry to help create better buildings and structures for society.

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

This year taught me how important it is to pay attention to detail and to plan ahead. Understanding the project, scheduling in advance, and conferring with the experts helps keep work flowing and problems under control. The goal is to be proactive, not reactive.

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

Having an iPad and PlanGrid on the job site is helpful. I can review, mark up, and search drawings in the field without flipping through pages or trying to remember the location of every detail. Being able to use 3D models helps solve problems ahead of time.

March 2019

Using Technology to Improve Project Performance

2019-03-07T07:50:53-05:00March 6th, 2019|Project News, Thought Leadership|

Shook continuously searches for ways to dramatically improve our performance. As the industry evolves, it is increasingly apparent how essential technology is. Not only does it save us time and money, but also it attracts new talent and customers. Recently, we introduced the enhanced technology processes, which have tremendously benefited our projects.

DRONE TECHNOLOGY

James Hillegas, a project engineer at Shook, has been an avid drone pilot for years. When he became aware of the opportunity to use them onsite, he was ready to help.

Mapping Existing Site Work  

At the Community Tissue Services project in Kettering, Ohio, James used drones to gather sitework images which he then shared with Project Manager Matt Wendel. The data collected assisted Matt in narrowing in on the site work estimations, which in turn freed up funds to reallocate to other project needs.

Bringing the Project to Life: Augmented Reality 

Hillegas also used a drone to gather photos of the existing facility, which then were used to create a model of the new building. This model allowed the owner to visualize how their new building would look when completed. “Augmented reality helps the owner better understand the project,” Hillegas said.

Source: John Poe Architects

Ensuring Safety

On the Summa West Tower project in Akron, Ohio, a drone helped us proactively prepare for the possibility of an emergency. As the project progressed, James flew the drone to collect updated site photos. These images were sent to the fire department to communicate where access points were in the event of an emergency.

PLANGRID TECHNOLOGY

Improving Onsite Efficiency  

Source: firstround.com

Another device introduced on the Summa project was PlanGrid, a cloud-based program that grants users mobile access to project information, including document drawings. PlanGrid has been incredibly helpful with organization and timeliness. All the project drawings were accessible in the program, which kept the project team from wasting time flipping through pages of drawings.

Project Engineer Rachel Mulholland shared the benefits of using it, stating, “Having all the drawings on the same system has saved us a considerable amount of time.”

Holding Subcontractors Accountable

PlanGrid alleviated some of the stress during closeout procedures. Shook asked their subcontractors to use the program to track and report the overall schedule. This helped keep everyone accountable. The team would open PlanGrid to check the floor plans and, based on the information, assign tasks to certain people. Rachel found this to be one of the greatest benefits of the program.

Technology is improving our productivity and enhancing our ability to communicate. From saving time to solving problems proactively, these tools have drastically changed the way we perform our work.

February 2019

Employee Spotlight: Kyle Canon

2019-02-25T15:02:58-05:00February 25th, 2019|Employee Spotlights|

Kyle Canon understands the importance of teamwork and project collaboration. Having worked in multiple positions himself, he is a firm supporter of learning about the different types of work performed on site. This has helped him tackle problems and perform his best work.

Briefly describe your career path to date.

I’ve worked in multiple market channels since I started my career. In each channel, I’ve had different roles such as estimator, project engineer, and superintendent. Each position taught me a great deal about construction.

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

Challenges can be tackled when we work as a team and successfully implement project collaboration. There are always several disciplines on site. Instead of working individually, we unite, communicate, and do an outstanding job.

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

I like to start each morning by making my to do list and determining the order of importance. This is a great way to keep me organized. It also helps me keep track of the products that have been approved, as well as their scheduled installation. Tracking this ensures that we stay on schedule with installations.

Who inspires you?

My dad has always been my greatest role model.

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

Never be afraid to ask questions. Construction is complex; it’s better to be certain how to do something rather than guessing. The more you know helps you and the team perform at a higher level.

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

At Summa [Health’s Akron City Hospital] West Tower, CAD and the modeling programs were tremendous in helping me do my job. While I was not the operator of these programs, they were key in my management of the envelope team coordination. These programs allowed each team member to confidently install the steel embeds, structural steel, curtain wall embeds, curtain walls and envelope framing/finish systems.

January 2019

Employee Spotlight: Rachel Mulholland

2019-01-16T14:38:23-05:00January 16th, 2019|Employee Spotlights|

Project Engineer Rachel Mulholland discovered her interest in engineering as a college student. Ever since, she has devoted herself to learning more about the industry. Ultimately, this has taught her how it can support local communities, as well as how she can be a leader.

What inspired you to get into this career?

I was inspired by my civil engineering classes I took when I was an undergraduate. Learning about the application and execution of principles made me want to get out there and do them in the field. I was able to put them into practice when I started working in construction. I also wanted to support my local community. It wasn’t long before I realized I could do so by working in the construction industry. I have been able to contribute to the success of multiple communities thanks to my career.

Briefly describe your career path to date.

I began as a co-op in college, which provided me with valuable experiences. After graduation, I was hired full-time and have been working for the past two years.

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

My approach has always been to tackle the most daunting problems first. Once those are out of the way, I can focus on simpler tasks, which are quicker to finish. I also believe that when an issue arises, it is critical to talk to my teammates to try to find a solution.

What are the most important qualities of a leader?

The best leaders are knowledgeable and understand the project they are working on. If they aren’t sure how to do something, they are willing to learn. A leader should also be approachable. They keep the team together and functioning. If people aren’t willing to talk to the person in charge, problems will arise. Finally, it is important that leaders clearly communicate. Confusion can be detrimental to the outcome of a project and can put us behind schedule.

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

The new West Bed Tower for Summa Health Systems Akron Campus in Akron, OH.

August 2018

Employee Spotlight: Randall Beck

2018-08-08T12:31:05-04:00August 8th, 2018|Employee Spotlights|

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!

May 2018

Employee Spotlight: J.D. Craft

2018-05-02T15:03:10-04:00May 2nd, 2018|Employee Spotlights|

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.