December 2018

Employee Spotlight: Bill Whistler

2018-12-10T14:27:44-05:00December 10th, 2018|Employee Spotlights|

President and CEO Bill Whistler has gained a tremendous amount of experience, as well as respect, in the industry. From working odd jobs to working his way up to his current position at Shook Construction, he truly has seen it all. These experiences have not only prepared him for whatever life throws his way, but also helped shape him into the leader he is today.

What inspired you to get into this career?

My dad first sparked my interest in the business when he enlisted my help in projects around the house. There were a lot of hands-on construction projects to do, so I quickly learned that way. Soon, that interest expanded into architecture as well. I went off to University of Cincinnati and became a co-op at a company called Shook Construction.

Briefly describe your career path to date.

It’s been a long and winding road. From working odd jobs, such as taking out the trash and picking up mail, to becoming a quantity surveyor then making my way up to CEO, you could say I’ve tried it all. You can never have too much experience though!

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

A tried and true method is to plan the work and work the plan. This approach has helped me to adapt and overcome when the unexpected hits the fan—and the unexpected is inevitable. Each day presents a new problem, so you need to be ready to face it, even if you’re unsure what ‘it’ is.

What are the most important qualities of a leader?

There are a handful of them. A leader needs to be trustworthy, approachable, and decisive. I’ve also learned how important it is to be a good listener. Listen to your team and what they have to say. Having a different perspective on things can be incredibly important when you need to solve a problem.

What does safety mean to you?

Everything…all you have to do is live through handing a new widow her late husband’s car keys to understand why everything means everything.

Who inspires you?

My wife…I got nothing on her 🙂


November 2017

Employee Spotlight: Eric Doench

2017-11-02T13:23:53-04:00November 10th, 2017|Employee Spotlights|

Eric Doench

With a little nudge and inspiration from his father, Eric began his career in the construction industry in 1986 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati. Shortly thereafter, a now-retired Mike Eckley took Eric under his wing and molded him into the project manager he is today. Everything in between has been an exciting learning process in all things construction.

What inspired you to get into this career?

I found the construction industry because of a trifecta of factors: 1) I love building things; 2) I love the outdoors; and 3) my father was an engineer. My father sat behind a drawings table designing HVAC systems. This did not sound fun to me. So my father suggested pursuing a civil engineering degree. Now, I build things, spend ample time outside, and am an engineer. Problem solved.

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

When I’m on the job, I like to go out and say good morning to as many workers as I can. They are busting their butts for us and I want them to know that I realize this.

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

As the saying goes, “you are only as successful as those you surround yourself with.” And so it is with a construction project. The end result is that we want a profitable job and a happy client who wants us to build their next project. For a job to be profitable, you have to get it done on or ahead of schedule. For that to happen, every entity on the project needs to be on the same page with the same goal in mind. If the job runs like a well-oiled machine and gets done on time, then the client will be happy. I want Shook Construction to shine. I want the architects and engineers to shine. Most importantly, I want our subcontractors to shine. Get in and get out, and let’s go build another one.

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

Building half a dozen Dayton Metro Libraries. The ribbon cutting ceremonies are the best, especially in the children’s area. To see these little kids just running around and being enthralled with all the new surroundings and books… Can’t help but bring a smile to your face.

Who inspires you?

My father. Even though he is gone, I still look to him for advice. “What would Frank do?”