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Tim Cook, CEO, Apple Inc



LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR “We are evolving in to a society influenced by honorable character and leadership that prioritizes positive social change over profits.” – Paul K, writer, In 1914, Henry Ford shocked the business world by increasing his workers’ wages while reducing the workday to eight hours. While other business owners complained about sharing the profits, giving power to the people and sacrificing productivity, Ford stood his ground, and his employees responded through increased loyalty and productivity. Henry Ford was keenly aware of a simple truth that some of today’s leaders are still trying to figure out: Employee satisfaction and engagement are a necessity, and corporate culture starts from the top. In our main feature this month, we highlight 10 CEOs from some the most powerful and most profitable corporations in the world—but that’s not all they have in common, and that’s not why we chose them. These leaders made our list for one main reason: They are loved by their staff. E NJOY TH E I S S U E !

Jennifer White

Director of Content



6 Leadership

Talent Management Today

14 Finance

Do you want to fund a startup? Read this first.

22 Top 10

CEOs to Admire

COMPANY PROFILES 32 YYZ Travel Group of Companies

74 Archer Western Construction Norman Wastewater Facility Project


84 Carolinas AGC

42 North Carolina Department of Transportation


52 VCC 58 The Congress Companies 66 WEST Builders Inc

4 April 2015

90 GW Plastics 102 Intel Products Vietnam

MINING 112 Lundin Eagle Mine

42 North Carolina Department of Transportation




West Builsers Inc


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April 2015




Obtaining the right people is only the beginning


LEADERSHIP LEADERS ARE RESPONSIBLE for building and nurturing talent within their company. While most managers acknowledge this is a key component to a successful organization, few have developed truly effective strategies in this area. As talent management continues to shift toward a “people management” philosophy, there are several innovative ways that those in leadership positions can develop and nurture their staff. 1. Create an Effective Talent Management Strategy Nurturing and developing employees doesn’t happen effectively by accident. Talent management plans need to be developed with a clear purpose while still being aligned with the organization’s overall business plan. Goals and job roles for each employee must be clearly communicated at every level of the company. Understanding and sharing goals will enable different departments to support each other while making sure everyone is moving the organization along in the same direction. 2. Develop an Effective Mentoring System 8

April 2015

The success of any organization is de Mentoring allows a company to use its current talent to impart expertise to those who will serve in similar roles. One of the most challenging aspects of any mentoring program is pairing the right individuals together. Mentees should be given some input into who their mentor will be. Allow them to at least submit their top three or four choices. Some mentoring relationships take off while others stagnate. Ongoing evaluation and input from management is critical to the success of any mentoring program. Buddy assignments can also be incorporated in an effective

ependent upon the effort of its team staff development program. Even employees at equal levels in the organization have different talents and skills, and can learn from one another. 3. Offer Quality Training Training too often becomes boring and even bureaucratic. Reading manuals or watching online videos for several hours usually won’t interest or engage employees. Management needs to provide training that is both innovative and exciting, the kind that employees actually want to take part in. Training should be personalized toward specific departments and

individuals. Effective learning doesn’t have to be all in house either. Offering educational benefits is a great way to motivate employees and nurture talent. This allows employees to take classes that interest them and perhaps even work toward a degree. And, of course, the employee then brings back their increased knowledge to the workplace. 4. Delegate Real and Meaningful Responsibility Motivated, high-potential individuals want to be part of the process, not dictated to. The most talented 9


Creating a culture of never-ending opportunities to learn and advance is critical to developing staff

individuals in your organization want to be challenged and will ultimately grow bored if they’re not. Too many managers, however, are reluctant to let go of the reins. This is likely because knowing what to delegate and what to hold onto is often difficult for even the best leaders. A few guidelines to follow include starting out small, taking the time to clearly explain desired outcomes and objectives, and making sure the employee is given the necessary resources and authority to successfully


April 2015

complete the task. Finally, a leader needs to be able to appropriately monitor the process and step in when necessary without taking over. 5. Optimize Work and Personal Life Employees today, especially millennials, want to balance and even blend their work and personal lives. While Baby Boomers lived to work, making it their prime identity, the younger generation has taken


on a very different approach. Those who wish to attract and retain the most talented individuals in this new generation need to appreciate and embrace their desire to work wherever and whenever. Technology has made it possible to more easily blend work and home. This means that leadership, who may be part of the old-school generation, needs to be flexible. As long as the job gets done in a timely manner and expectations are met, employees should be given more freedom with their daily work schedules. 6. Create Learning and Advancement Opportunities While this may be more difficult to maintain in smaller companies, a culture of never-ending opportunities to learn and advance is critical to developing staff. Many companies have formed acceleration pools to identify and develop high talent individuals. It’s also important to provide several pathways for advancement. Management needs to be flexible and whenever appropriate allow employees to cross job functions and business segments as they advance within the company.

7. Reward Employees Accordingly Instead of waiting for five or 10 year anniversaries to acknowledge employees, rewards should be given as early as the first or second year of employment. Including social media in recognition and rewards programs are also starting to gain ground. Public recognition through newsletters, local media, and even television are great ways to not only recognize employees but to build community relationships. Individualized rewards, such as trips for employees who enjoy traveling or gift cards at specific retailers, are increasingly being used as incentives. Why Developing Talent is Crucial A lack of challenging work as well as limited advancement opportunities are two of the major reasons employees leave an organization. Developing and nurturing talent will ultimately decrease the amount of unfulfilled employees a company has. Of course turnover isn’t always a bad thing, but if left unchecked it can lead to uneven workloads, loss of corporate knowledge, low employee morale, and problems with productivity. Beyond



A successful leader will roll up his or her sleeves and work directly with the team reducing turnover, a highly trained and engaged workforce will ultimately impact an organization in several ways including greater job satisfaction and increased productivity. One of the traits of great leaders is 12

April 2015

that they will desire and draw talented people to themselves. But obtaining the right people is only the beginning. An effective management team will not only implement the above strategies but will take the time to honestly


evaluate the process along the way. They will be flexible enough to change what’s not working and have the patience to see through the necessary adjustments. Finally, they’ll have the vision to realize the success of any

organization is the result of a team effort, and that building and nurturing the best workforce possible is the way to achieve everyone’s goals.




Funding a startup is one of the most common pursuit have but many are not aware of the number of option so. Business Review USA breaks down the most com acquire funding—and what can stand in the way.


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FINANCE FUNDING A STARTUP is one of the most common pursuits entrepreneurs have. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that there aren’t people waiting around to throw money your way just because you’re passionate about a new idea. It will take work to fund your startup. However, the good news is that there are many more options available for acquiring startup funding than there are available for buying real estate or a vehicle. Any entrepreneur who is dedicated to finding the funds they need to grow their business has many options available to them. Although, before you even considering pursuing funds, there is one very important question you need to ask. Do you even need funding? Some Startups Don’t Require Funding – Or Won’t Get It Not every business model requires intensive funding—many can be bootstrapped, meaning any profits made by the company are funneled back into its growth. This also means that if your company doesn’t turn a profit, it will have to shut down. However, bootstrapping allows someone to start a company 16

April 2015

without having to worry about venture capital control, investor returns or taking on debt. Deciding to pursue venture backing means that you believe your company needs to grow faster than the typical revenue stream in order to lock down a large market. It also indicates that you wish to go public someday. Below are some of the businesses and situations that will be difficult to fund with anything beyond credit or personal investment: • There aren’t any publicly traded companies that do what you do. It’s rare for a startup to create an entirely new type of business. There should be a company being traded that has the same core business model as your startup. Most new startups disrupt an existing business or industry, not create one. Most investors won’t want to back a company that’s unable to reach a high level of revenue. • You’re building onto another product. Some developers and founders believe that creating features or plugins for existing products is a great way to build a business. They’ll be purchased by that business, or a competitor, and have the cash they dream of. While it can work, it’s

D O Y O U W A N T T O F U N D A S TA R T U P ? R E A D T H I S F I R S T.

more of a gamble than a business decision. What usually happens when a business is based on expanding an existing product is that the company is likely to simply build in that feature themselves. • Your growth is completely linear. Venture capitalists and any other investors like to see exponential growth. They’d like to put some fuel on a burning fire, not help you light

the match. Linear growth is great for a bootstrapped company, but it’s not going to entice any investors. • It’s only you. You might have a few employees, but if you’re the sole founder it will likely be difficult to secure investments. This is because the investor will be relying solely on you for a return on their investment. What happens when you cross the street just a second too early and

You might have a few employees, but if you’re the sole founder it will likely be difficult to secure investments


If you’re going to solicit an investment, you need to be able to 1 8 that M o nyou t h 2 0can 1 4 make money show

D O Y O U W A N T T O F U N D A S TA R T U P ? R E A D T H I S F I R S T.

walk into a truck? Your company dies with you. Having co-founders also indicates that other people are willing to get behind your idea. Lastly, very few people have the skills required to build a successful business. Bringing in more people means sharing the responsibility. • No money is being made. Operating a startup is much like churning butter: It takes a significant amount of energy and it will create a certain result. You can safely judge a churner by the production speed and quality of the butter. However, if there’s no butter, you have very little information to evaluate the churner. This applies directly to startups. If you’re going to solicit an investment, you need to be able to show that you can make money. All of the above points apply directly to soliciting investments from venture capitalists or angel investors. Many entrepreneurs believe these are the best ways to fund a business. While they can be great if secured, there are additional options that give entrepreneurs enhanced flexibility. Ways to Find Funds for Your Startup Below are a few effective ways that

any startup can use to creatively secure the funds they require. Some of this will only be available to certain types of companies, while others can be used by almost any entrepreneur. • Pursue a line of credit or bank load. It’s difficult for a new startup to secure this type of loan since there are typically no assets to put up for collateral. However, individuals with excellent credit history may be able to pursue this option. You may even be able receive help from the Small Business Administration to receive funds without normal requirements. • Barter your services for help. While entrepreneurs tend to focus on cash flow and expenses, as they should, it’s not the only way. Consider bartering your startup’s service or product in exchange for help with your business. For example, you might provide network support in exchange for free office space. You never know what options are available for those who ask. • Seek out venture capital or angel investors. Is your startup established, showing exponential growth and have a business disrupting model? If so, you might be a perfect candidate for venture capital backing. Typically, 19


these investors are looking for large scale businesses ready to reach the next level. You’ll need a proven team and plan of attack for your funds. • Try crowdfunding. This is the newest option for investors to pursue and one that’s proven to be effective for some businesses. You create a 20

April 2015

page highlighting your product or service and people make pledges to back you. In exchange for their backing, they receive a t-shirt or advanced copy of your copy, for example. In exchange, you receive capital to grow your business and even some added publicity.

D O Y O U W A N T T O F U N D A S TA R T U P ? R E A D T H I S F I R S T.

• Fund it yourself. Starting a business has never been cheaper. Bootstrapped businesses are often self-funded. It will take time to save money for growth, as well as paying your living expenses, but you’ll have complete control over your business and an excellent sense of

achievement. Every entrepreneur deserves a chance to succeed. Explore each of the above options and see which will be perfect for your startup.


TOP 10


From receiving the approval of 100 percent of staff to running a company that landed on the “Most Admired� list 18 years in a row, these leaders are getting it right.

Written by: Jennifer White 23

TOP 10

CEOs are an interesting breed: equal parts selfless and selfish, these corporate figureheads are often the most disliked person in a room, a sentiment that is not always warranted. In the Age of the Employee, the stereotype of a “boss”—the traditionally cold, relatively unseen man (or woman) behind the curtain who barks orders, criticizes work and never, ever says ‘thank you’—is mainly exaggerated. However the fact remains that there are more cases to support the existence of a laptop-wielding evil dictator than the opposite. Thankfully the need to rule with an iron fist is a dying trend: these 10 leaders are proof of just that. A number of factors were considered when populating this list, and the final decision was not as easy as it may seem. The pendulum of professional practices has been steadily gaining momentum toward bosses who guide, mentor and support their employees, simultaneously moving away from the caricature described above. The 10 CEOs we 24

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chose below are like magnets for that pendulum; gravitational pulls that inspire and encourage the shift through their own actions.


Jeff Bezos,

Similar to the other leaders on this list, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has received a number of awards throughout his career. What sets him apart in the recognition arena, however, is his recent award from the International Trade Union Confederation (IUTC): World’s Worst Boss. Not everyone agreed: Harvard Business Review ranked Bezos second on its list of best CEOs in the world, and Glassdoor’s recent

Jeff Bezos, CEO of (CC) James Duncan Davidson,


list of the “50 Best Places to Work for in the World” named Amazon. com number one. He has also been honored as Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 1999; one of America’s best leaders by U.S. News & World Report in 2008; and Businessperson of The Year by Fortune in 2012. And with his recent approval rating in the 80th percentile, it is safe to say that IUTC may not be right this time.


Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn

“During an interview with Business Insider, Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, was asked, “Is being CEO fundamentally different from Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn: (CC) Sylvain Kalache,

being a manager?” This was his answer: “Yes. The more people you’re responsible for, the more your words and the way you communicate those words and your body language and essentially everything you do is taken into consideration by the team. You have to be that much more aware of the way in which you’re coming across. And I think the best leaders maintain awareness of their environment and in real time can course correct. It doesn’t matter if they’re in a one-on-one, a staff meeting, an all-hands, or speaking to thousands of people at a keynote. They are always aware of the way they are being received. They can course correct so they can ensure that what they’re saying is resonating and that it’s bringing people together.” With this approach toward leadership, it is no surprise that Weiner topped the charts on Glassdoor’s list of the 50 Highest 25

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Rated CEOs, receiving an unprecedented 100 percent approval rating based on employee feedback. Weiner joined LinkedIn in 2008 after seven years in various leadership roles at Yahoo.


John T. Chambers, Cisco

John Chambers joined Cisco Systems, Inc., the third best place to work in the U.S. in 2015 according to a survey by Glassdoor, in 1983 as senior vice president, Worldwide Sales and Operations. By the time he was promoted to CEO in 1995, Cisco’s annual revenue had grown from approximately $70 million to $46 billion. A recipient of countless awards for his commitment to corporate philanthropy, including the Clinton Global Citizen Award and the U.S. State Department Top Corporate Social Responsibility Award, Chambers was named Chairman of the Board in 2006. Additionally, Cisco has been included on Fortune’s coveted list 26

April 2015

of the “Top 100 Companies to Work For” every year since initial publication—that’s 18 years in total, and Chambers has been at the head of the table each time.


Craig Jelinek, Costco

In 2013, Bloomberg Business published an article entitled “Costco CEO Craig Jelinek leads the cheapest, happiest company in the world.” While this may sound like a hyperbole, the writer was right: Just one year into his tenure with the nation’s second-largest retailer, share price was up 30 percent—and morale was even higher. Costco pays hourly workers an average of nearly $21 per hour, compared to the national minimum wage of $7.25. Additionally, 88 percent of Costco employees have company-sponsored healthcare for which they contribute a mere 10 percent. Not surprisingly, Jelinek has a staff-determined 95 percent approval rating, and under his leadership, the company was


ranked sixteenth out of the 50 most admired companies in the world by Fortune.


Ken Chenault, American Express

As the son of Hortenius Chenault, a dentist who graduated from Howard University’s prestigious dental school in 1939, and the man who still maintains the highest score ever recorded by the New York State bar as of January 2014, Ken Chenault is no stranger to barriers—or breaking them down. As the brains leading the brains behind American Express, Chenault is the third black CEO of a Fortune 500 company. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Chenault joined American Express in 1981 as part of the Strategic Planning Group. By 1997, he was

Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express: (CC) William Munoz,

president and COO: by 2001, he was named CEO. While intelligence and a strategic vision are imperative to the success of any executive, Chenault understands that leadership practices are equally as important—and that every person on a team is an asset. “I reach down to all levels. Any employee who sends me a question, I respond,” he said in a 2013 interview with Inc. “It may not be 100 lines, but something, and if people know you can be approached, they will come to you. “The physical presence of a leader is important. It shows the organization, no matter how large, cares about its [employees].”


Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

Some consumers almost expect that the founder and CEO of one of the most popular websites in the world would come strapped with an ego—what 30-year-old 27

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has he led his company to unimaginable heights with a market value approaching $200 billion (and a place on the list of the 50 most admired companies in the world), he is an all-around good guy—just ask the 93 percent of staff who approve of him. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook: (CC) Brian Solis, and

entrepreneur wouldn’t have an attitude with such a résumé? Apparently, this one. Yes, he launched a startup that catapulted the slow-starting social media trend into generationdefying addiction. Yes, he is the youngest billionaire in the world. And yes, is one of the world’s most loved CEOs. Zuckerberg’s successful leadership style is praised across the globe as opinion- and logistic-based lists including “World’s Best CEOs” (Barron’s) and “America’s Top 20 Favorite Bosses” (Forbes) rank him against other well-known leaders. Not only 28

April 2015


Larry Page, Google

As the leader of the world’s most well-known search engines, Larry Page has his work cut out for him, but is clearly up for the challenge. The visionary behind the brand, Page has achieved corporate success and personal success throughout his career—and somehow managed to do so

Larry Page, CEO of Google, during an interview with Charlie Rose: (CC) Steve Jurvetson,


without sacrificing the happiness of those around him. For the past eight years, Google has held the number one spot on Fortune’s list of the top 100 companies to work for, and recently secured the number two spot on Fortune’s list of the 50 most admired companies in the world. The inventor of PageRank and self-made billionaire was recently listed by Barron’s as one of the world’s most powerful people, while Fortune referred to Page as “One of the Most Ambitious CEOs in the Universe” in 2014. Universe. That’s a lot of competition.


Howard Schultz, Starbucks

93 percent staff-based approval rating and the eighth spot on Glassdoor’s annual list of highest rated CEOs. “When we began Starbucks what I wanted to try to do was to create a set of values, guiding principles, and culture,” he revealed in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013. After starting his career with Starbucks in 1982, Schultz purchased the corporation for $3.8 million in 1987 when only four stores were in operation. Today, more than 20,000 Starbucks coffee shops exist around the world—and Schultz hasn’t wavered at all from his core values. In 2014, he was awarded The Pace Award for his “demonstrated

While this may come as a surprise, Howard Schultz is not the founder of Starbucks. He is, however, the cultivator of its culture—a culture that has resulted in the company being ranked as number five of 50 on Fortune’s list of most admired companies in the world, and Schultz himself receiving a 29

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ethical leadership in establishing a values-based organization with high standards of quality, service to the community, and respect for humanity,” the organization’s website explains. “[Starbucks] was also selected because of its well-implemented ethics and compliance program.”


Marc Benioff,

Not the most well-known on the list, Marc Benioff is nevertheless one of the most admirable. Not only is he revolutionizing the tech industry with cloud-based and CRM-focused innovations, he is paying it forward—and backward and sideways. After making a second donation of $100 million to support medical needs for children, Benioff used his entrepreneurial influence to encourage other CEOs to help address the housing affordability issue in the Bay Area where he resides. Among other philanthropic endeavours such as the Salesforce 30

April 2015

Foundation, Benioff also developed the company’s “1-1-1” program, an annual initiative that donates 1 percent of the company’s equity, products and employee time to good causes. Over the course of its 15 years of business, Salesforce has donated $73 million in grants, contributed 743,000 hours of employee time and given free or reduced products to more than 23,000 nonprofit agencies. Salesforce is also listed as one of the 50 most admired companies in the world, and is ranked eight out of 100 on Fortune’s list of best 100 companies to work for in 2015.

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce. com, at Tech Crunch San Francisco: (CC) Kevin Krejci,



Tim Cook, Apple

Shortly after Tim Cook succeeded Steve Jobs to become Apple’s CEO in 2011, Time magazine included Cook on its annual list of the top 100 most influential people in the world. Today, as Apple stocks are at an all-time high and Cook has a staff-based approval rating of 92 percent, the vision Jobs set out to achieve lives on. Not only is Cook bringing success to the corporation, he is doing so without compromising the values both men have not only preached but also practiced: for any and all decisions, focus on people, strategy and execution. “If you get those three right,” Cook explained during a speech at Duke University in 2013, “the world is a great place.” In April 2015, Fortune published a list of the world’s 50 greatest leaders. Guess who was listed as number one?

• Specific statistics and rankings

considered include: 50 Highest Rated CEOs (Glassdoor) 30 Best CEOs in the World (Barron’s) Top 50 Best Places to Work for in the World, 2015 (Glassdoor) Top 100 Best Companies to Work for in 2015 (Fortune) The World’s Most Admired Companies, 2015 (Fortune) The Best Performing CEOs in the World (Harvard Business Review) The Best CEOs of 2014 (CNN) 10 Most Beloved CEOs (Business News Daily) Ranking of the World’s Most Powerful People (Forbes) Other sources include: 31

YYZ Travel Group Excellence in a Boutique Market

Executive President Vicky Zaltsman discusses three decades of success for boutique agency YYZ Travel Group, and why travel is always better with an expert Written by: Sasha Orman

Produced by: Michael Magno



YYZ Travel Headquarters, Toronto, Ontario

YYZ Travel was born on the 19 of August, 1986, and was nourished and flourished from one employee to over 100 employees today, from one department to many different entities,” said Vicky Zaltsman, the travel group’s founder and executive president. “It has a lot of history, a lot of sleepless nights, and total dedication to the job that I love: people entrusting you with their dreams, and YYZ having the responsibility of realizing those dreams.” For Vicky Zaltsman, YYZ Travel Group is more than just a business. It’s the realization of a lifelong passion for travel, and for almost 30 34

April 2015

years, the Ontario-based boutique agency has helped countless clients realize their own travel dreams. With a team of over 100 international agents speaking over 35 languages, offering packages ranging from worldwide high-end leisure and corporate travel to boutique specialty tours through Russia and Israel, YYZ Travel Group offers clients a crucial combination of convenience and knowledge for a seamless and stress-free experience. Excelling Within a Niche Market When forming YYZ Travel Group, there was only one true goal in mind: to provide and maintain service, knowledge, and expertise at the

Celebrating YYZ Travel Group’s 25th Anniversary. YYZ Travel Group Executive Team: From left, Vicky Zaltsman, Executive President; Inna Zelener-Vinokurov, Vice President; Alexandra Pelts, President

highest level. This simple objective has helped YYZ Travel Group in building its business and staying on top through a drastically changing industry landscape. “Not many independent traveler management companies can survive in this business as long as 30 years,” said Zaltsman. “The industry is a tougher environment today than it was 30 years ago. Technology has revolutionized how people book travel—we’re facing competition from online travel agencies and direct relationships with our suppliers.” Zaltsman attributes YYZ Travel Group’s continued success over the years to its business model that prizes depth over breadth and quality results over volume. “You can’t be all things to everyone,” said Zaltsman. “We know our niche and specialty, and

“You can’t be all things to everyone. We know our niche and specialty, and try to be the best at it.” – Vicky Zaltsman Executive President, YYZ Travel Group

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In World Business Class we’ll tune into your rhythm You may cross one or more time zones during your journey. Whatever rhythm your body and mind are in, we accommodate our service to your sense of time. When do you want to sleep? When and what do you want to eat from our menu? Other wishes? We’ll get it just right for you. Visit for more information. New: KLM Edmonton-Amsterdam flights start May 5, 2015

YYZ TRAVEL GROUP try to be the best at it. We survived this long because we’re able to excel in our sphere and carve a place for ourselves in our marketplace. We stay close to our respective communities, and we find products and services that are underserved in the marketplace, for example accessible travel programs.” Building Partner Relationships for the Best Customer Service “Relationships are everything in this business,” said Zaltsman, explaining that YYZ Travel Group is in constant contact with its travel partners in order to maintain those

relationships. “One way we provide value to our clients is that, when something goes wrong or we need something special for our clients, we have that contact and can pick up the phone or send an email to a key person—the consumer alone does not have this option.” YYZ Travel Group’s constant contact with travel partners does more than just keep its relationships with suppliers and partners strong— it also keep YYZ travel agents up to date on the latest products and services. “We have suppliers coming in on a weekly basis to discuss their products,” said Zaltsman. “It could

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For nearly a century, Delta Air Lines® has been at the forefront of global travel, and through its partnership with European-based KLM, Air France, and Alitalia, business travelers experience unparalleled service and convenience with the world’s largest transatlantic network. Each year, Delta has the privilege of flying more than 170 million people to 325 destinations in more than 60 countries on six continents. In addition to its unsurpassed global network, Delta offers businesses an exclusive business travel rewards program to help extend their travel budgets even further. Once enrolled in SkyBonus® companies can earn SkyBonus points any time one of their travelers flies Delta or one of its joint venture partners - Air France, KLM and Alitalia. Companies can redeem points for business travel rewards, including flights, upgrades, Delta Sky Club® One-Day Passes and more. There’s no cost to enroll in SkyBonus and employees will continue to earn their miles in the SkyMiles® program even as they help their company earn SkyBonus points. Visit to learn more and enroll today. Terms and conditions: To enroll in SkyBonus, companies in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico must provide a valid Federal Tax ID or VAT number. Enroll your company at Companies with a Delta, Air France, KLM or Alitalia Preferred Carrier Agreement are not eligible. Travel agencies and other sellers of travel are also not eligible. All SkyBonus program rules apply to SkyBonus program membership, points, offers, point accrual, point redemption and travel benefits. To review the rules, please visit Taxes and fees for award travel are the responsibility of the passenger and must be paid at the time the ticket is booked. Award travel seats are limited and may not be available on all flights or in all markets. Companies in select countries are not eligible for SkyBonus. Additional restrictions may apply. Enroll your company at

YYZ TRAVEL GROUP be anywhere from a walk around the office to a seminar or webinar. Our agents are constantly up to date and engaged and they’re on top of the products being offered.” This is a crucial part of providing clients with the best experience possible, as agents can be made aware of random temporary circumstances that could potentially derail a relaxing vacation, like weather issues or a normally luxurious hotel going through renovations. “It’s important for us to be aware of that and pass this information on to the clients,” Zaltsman noted. “Especially in North America, where on average people have 2-3 weeks’ vacation. If you go on vacation for a week or two weeks, that’s it—the whole year’s almost gone. People work so hard for their money, and they want to have a vacation that’s worry-free.”

Award-Winning Service Throughout its decades in business, YYZ Travel Group has grown into a travel agency that is frequently recognized as being among the best of the best. The agency is a part of Virtuoso, an esteemed and exclusive high-end travel consortium ensuring quality luxury travel experiences for its clients, in addition to being a member of Air Canada’s Circle of Excellence. “To put it into perspective: out of 5,000 travel agencies in Canada, about a dozen are part of Virtuoso,” Zaltsman explained. “We’re very proud of that. We’re also members of Circle of Excellence in Canada— and again out of thousands only 54 travel companies across Canada are part of the Circle of Excellence. It’s [membership] by nomination every year within Canada, and we’ve been part of it for the last six years.” On a larger scope, YYZ Travel Group has also been recognized as

“People work so hard for their money, and they want to have a vacation that’s worry free” – Vicky ZaltsmanExecutive President, YYZ Travel Group w w w. y y z t r a v e l . c o m



an outstanding member of Ontario’s small business community. The travel agency has received multiple “Best Entrepreneur” awards from the Russian-Canadian Business Awards, and has been nominated in the “Best Small Business” category at the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce’s upcoming business achievement awards. “It’s great to be recognized for our achievements,” said Zaltsman. “We don’t set out to win awards—we set out to just do our best. So when someone recognizes us, it does make us proud.” 40

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Travel Agencies and a Long Future in the Industry What does the future hold for the travel industry? Zaltsman predicted an undeniable increase in the advanced role technology will play in booking and planning—but at the same time, this rise in technology may be driving an increase in consumers turning to the expertise and know-how of travel experts. “With so much saturation over the internet, many are overwhelmed and unsatisfied and are returning to travel professionals seeking guidance for

their travel plans,” said Zaltsman. “I don’t foresee that technology will change in the future—it will only escalate, and to a certain degree it will leave clients more frustrated. Certain situations that come to me: itineraries definitely cannot be booked on the internet, and clients planning a wedding or planning a honeymoon need a personal touch and guidance from a travel professional.” Because of this, there will always be a place in the world for knowledgeable and well-connected agents in the travel industry that can harness the advances of technological convenience to provide even better customer service. “We can combine technology with a personal touch, and that’s what makes us different,” said Zaltsman. “If there’s a problem, we’re the insurance for our clients—they can rely on someone being there on the other end of the line, a real human rather than dealing with a computer.” When the person on the other end of the line is as passionate, determined, and immersed in the industry as Zaltsman and her crew, it’s welcome and comforting insurance indeed. “I love my job so much that whatever it is, whatever it takes, the most important thing is to facilitate client dreams and make them happy,” said Zaltsman. “I travel a lot myself, and pass my experiences on to the clients. I’ve been to all 7 continents, and there’s still room to travel and room for exploring.”

Company Information INDUSTRY


7851 Dufferin St. Thornhill ,Ontario Canada, L4J 3M4 FOUNDED



$60 Million

w w w. y y z t r a v e l . c o m


North Carolina Department of Transportation

N.C. Department of Transportation Bringing Infrastructure into Digital Age With innovative approaches to funding and prioritization, the NCDOT is setting an example for states across the nation. Written by: Ian Hanner

Produced by: Tom Venturo



Evening view of Downtown Raleigh with free-flowing traffic


n North Carolina, one of the nation’s fastest growing states, the Department of Transportation is hard at work overhauling major pieces of critical infrastructure. America’s aging infrastructure has become something of a campaigning tool in recent years as more and more facilities fall into disrepair. But while regarded as a priority for almost every candidate, it’s rare to see the kind of followthrough evident in the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). One of the men calling the shots at the department is Mike Holder— the 44

April 2015

department’s chief engineer. Holder is a 31-year veteran of NCDOT and a proud graduate of North Carolina State University. Filling a number of roles throughout his extensive career, Holder now oversees over 12,500 employees and a number of vital projects throughout the state. Within North Carolina, management of transportation infrastructure is broken down into 14 transportation divisions, each with division engineers reporting to Holder. “We probably own and manage about 5 million square feet of office and field office space across the state,” Holder said.



Bridge Construction

Holder added that while he loves his job, he misses going out in the field. “I spend a lot more time on the computer and working with our legislature here in Raleigh than I do out in the field anymore,” he said. “I do definitely miss that.” It’s easy to see why. There are a lot of major changes within the NCDOT right now. “There are just a lot of people coming to our metro and rural areas both and the governor charged us with providing connectivity throughout the state to move people and goods in a safe manner,” Holder said. “And that’s what we as

engineering staff try to do every day.” A Change in Direction Holder isn’t just referring to the governor’s directive in an abstract sense. When Governor Pat McCrory came into office, he approached the NCDOT with a clear set of goals, including a 25-year plan for transportation infrastructure in the state. “The governor came in and wanted to create a 25-year vision for North Carolina for transportation,” said Mike Charbonneau, deputy secretary of communications. “His whole approach coming in was, w w w. n c d o t . g o v


phone 252-482-7071



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‘Let’s figure out how to be more efficient with the dollars we have. Let’s create a vision for the future to show people where we want to invest, how and why. Then, let’s figure out the other funding reform piece.’” The funding reform that Charbonneau referred to has to do with a major problem facing North Carolina, and many other states in the nation: revenue isn’t keeping up with the state’s growth. While the state’s population growth— especially from citizens coming in from other states— is a measure of how well the state is rebounding from the financial maelstrom of the


last few years, it also means extra stress on roads, bridges and other infrastructure on which goods and people move. And without the money to overhaul them, the NCDOT was faced with the choice to either ignore their necessary projects or find alternate ways of diverting funds. “We’re now branching into conversations about how to pay for infrastructure moving forward,” Charbonneau said. “Not just about being efficient with the dollars that we have, but looking into some possible funding reform models, [including] more public-private partnerships.”


Waff Contracting is a licensed general contractor for commercial and industrial work, specializing in pile driving and marine construction. Waff Contracting Incorporated in July 1980 but the construction background extends to the early 1950’s when four Waff brothers started Waff Brothers Construction. Paul Waff, son of an original Waff Brothers founder, is the current owner and President of Waff Contracting. Website:

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Road crews work to repair Highway 12 on the coast of NC after Hurricane damage

He added, “I think from a high level it’s really about making sure that North Carolina is moving forward with the infrastructure that’s going to help us to continue to support the people who live here, create more jobs, connect people and make sure that we have a vision for the future and the funding to get us there.” One program introduced under 48

April 2015

the governor’s watch isolates key data points on infrastructure from employees across the state and plugs the metrics into a centralized system. From there, the data is able to be analyzed objectively and funds are diverted to the projects that are deemed most essential. While this approach is one that companies have been adopting


more readily in recent years with the advent of “Big Data” and “The Internet of Things,” it’s somewhat less common to see its implementation within a government organization, marking what seems to be an earnest move toward reducing inefficiency and waste within state departments. “[The data program] makes good

value-based decisions about what projects we’re going to actually implement and move forward with,” Holder said. “And the division engineers that I have across the state are integral in the success of that process.” As a side note, this same principle is at play in North Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles w w w. n c d o t . g o v



An NCDOT airplane sits on the runway at RDU

(DMV), which falls under the purview of NCDOT. When McCrory took office, he directed DMV and NCDOT leadership to find ways to streamline processes at the DMV, cutting down on wait times and expanding online service offerings. Major Projects From this data-driven approach to project prioritization, several key projects were isolated and are now underway. One such project is the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway. The NCDOT website says of the project, “The Winston-Salem 50

April 2015

Northern Beltway is a multi-lane freeway that will loop around the northern part of Winston-Salem. By building this road, NCDOT will help alleviate congestion and enhance safety along heavily traveled routes such as U.S. 421/Business 40 and U.S. 52 in Forsyth County.” “We’re really excited about that job,” Holder said. “It’s a large earth job with a lot of structures on it and it’s in a section of the county that is growing quite a bit. There’s a lot of traffic up there. It’ll definitely be an improvement to the transportation system in that part of the county. “



Another key project is the I-40 and I-77 Interchange in Statesville. According to the NCDOT website, the current interchange was constructed at the end of the 1960s with use projections of up to 5,000 vehicles per day. Now, over 70,000 vehicles use the interchange daily—a rate projected to grow to 110,000 by 2035. Finally, just to the south of that project is another improvement to the I-77: express lanes. In addition to generating some revenue from tolls, the express lanes will provide drivers a choice that should in turn alleviate severe congestion on one of North Carolina’s busiest roads. “In addition to being the first major privatepublic partnership road project, it’s also the first express lanes concept project being built in North Carolina,” Charbonneau said. “For this area in particular, this 26-mile stretch is one of the most congested roadways in North Carolina and the public-private partnership is allowing us to move forward with the project now and have it built in just a few years instead of having to wait more than a decade before funds could be available to even start the project.” The ability of a transportation department to reliably maintain and upgrade its infrastructure is one of the most important factors to any governor, but in North Carolina it would seem McCrory has taken it a step forward in alleviating the budgetary and structural woes within the NCDOT. If successful, the state could serve as an example for the rest of the country.

Company Information INDUSTRY

Government; construction & maintenance HEADQUARTERS

1501 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina USA, 27699-1501 EMPLOYEES

+12,500 REVENUE

NOT Disclosed

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Tampa Premium Outlets Project in VCC’s Able Hands 10 months from groundbreaking to grand opening Written by: Ian Hanner

Produced by: Tom Venturo

s 53


Ashley Park


n Dec. 12, representatives of VCC and Simon Property Group broke ground on what is to be the large Tampa Premium Outlets. That same project is to be completed by October of this year, but the story missing here is about the construction company behind the project, which boasts such great streamlined efficiency that a project of this size could be completed in less than a year. That company is VCC. VCC was brought into the project 54

April 2015

by client Simon Property Group (SPG), one of the world’s leaders in retail real estate development and management. With more than 441,000 square feet of leasable space, the mall is no small undertaking. According to SPG, the outlet will predominantly feature apparel, home furnishings, specialty items and other high-end consumer goods in an environment with a “Key West” style. “We are excited to be breaking ground on this long-awaited project,” Danielle DeVita, senior vice


Park & G

president of development for Simon Premium Outlets, said in a news release. “We are looking forward to serving the Tampa Bay region and expect Tampa Premium Outlets to make a significant economic impact with the creation of 300 to 500 construction jobs and more than 800 full-time and part-time retail jobs upon opening.” So what sort of company can build a full-scale outlet mall in 10 months? VCC has offices in Arizona,

Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Texas and even Brazil. With such an expansive presence, the company is able to take complex jobs in the United States and many international regions, but it’s what the company does inside its own office walls that form the back bone of the capable contractor. According to seemingly everyone in the company, VCC fosters a very transparent, team-oriented environment that facilitates the utmost cooperation on all tasks. “Everybody has an open door w w w. v c c u s a . c o m


VCC policy, whether you’re going into the vice president’s or executive vice president’s or project manager’s office,” said Ryan McClendon, president. “Everybody wants that person to succeed.” McClendon’s view is shared by the rest of the company. “While VCC is a robust organization with significant resources at its disposal, there is no greater asset in our organization than our people,” the company’s website reads.

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“Individuals working seamlessly together are what ultimately make a project succeed and we believe that we have the best team members in the industry. Through the preconstruction/pre-bid process all the way to project close-out, every VCC employee works together internally and with the broader project team to ensure a job well done!” Of course, with millions of dollars on the line, simple teamwork isn’t the only way the company ensures success. Through proprietary,


company-developed software called Endeavor, every stakeholder is able to see the most recent updates on project progress. “[Endeavor] gives our whole team, plus ownership and architects, access to real-time data across the board,” said Project Manager Justin Couch. “So everything from RFIs to submittals to daily reports, job photos [and] schedules.” While this particular software is proprietary, construction management systems are anything but new. These programs allow for seamless sharing of vital information across the entire chain of operations, allowing for greater efficiency and attention to detail. Things like Endeavor—relatively small changes that can streamline the way entire companies operate—have allowed VCC to build a reputation for quality work over the last few decades. With that reputation growing, VCC’s ability to attract and retain new clients has never been stronger. “One of VCC’s most important principles is client retention and you can see that by our client list,” McClendon said. “We’ve worked with the same clients for over 25 years. Our number one goal when we obtain a new client is to ensure their complete satisfaction so we do that second project and third project with them.”

Company Information INDUSTRY


600 E. Las Colinas Blvd., Suite #1225, Irving, Texas, USA, 75039 FOUNDED

Not Disclosed EMPLOYEES

Not Disclosed REVENUE

Not Disclosed

w w w. v c c u s a . c o m


The Congress Focusing on Collabor to Demonst

Bill Nicholson, CEO of The Congress Companies, discuss best value, not lowest price, has resulted in customer Written by: Lindsey Ryan

s Companies ration and Experience trate Quality

ses the company’s growth and success and how offering r satisfaction and continued business time after time. Produced by: Tom Venturo 59


Golden Pond Assisted Living Community, Hopkinton, MA Owned and Operated by Golden Pond Resident Care Corp. Designed by Khalsa Design, Inc.


ince its establishment over 60 years ago, The Congress Companies has been providing exceptional construction projects that are customized and designed to meet every client’s individual needs and specifications. The company was created by its two founders, brothers Paul and Peter Nicholson, who had a vision to start a construction company that would demonstrate the simplicity of building quality buildings while developing strong client relationships. It was when Howard Johnson Corp. took notice of the firm that The 60

April 2015

Congress Companies really began to experience success. Building 80 Howard Johnson Hotels and over 200 Howard Johnson, Ground Round, and Red Coach Grille restaurants, the company was able to obtain the experience and build a reputation within the industry that was needed to move them forward. Primarily working in New England, New York, and New Jersey, the company is known today as a merit shop construction firm that specializes in Senior Living/Health Care and Multi-Family Residential market sectors. The company is now in its second


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generation of ownership and is currently led by CEO, Bill Nicholson, who has been with the company since he was in high school and has since moved his way up through the ranks. In his years with the company, Nicholson has seen how the company has evolved with the times and he believes the company’s experience and knowledge in the industry has enabled it to thrive. He explains, “We see how the industry is evolving and we’re able to respond to those evolutions.” Commitment to Quality The Congress Companies is

a specialized company that is constantly increasing its knowledge and expertise with every new project it takes on within its sector. Nicholson explains that customers can trust that the staff working on their project will be experienced construction managers and consequently deliver an excellent project. The company uses its experience to follow trends and evolve with the industry to ensure that they are always delivering quality products that clients are proud of. Because each project has its own unique factors, there is a commitment

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T H E C O N G R E S S C O M PA N I E S to quality that must be taken to meet the expectations and standards of the client. The Congress Companies goes above and beyond to provide finished buildings that are marketable and meet the particular business, operational and economic objectives of each client. To ensure this, senior managers meet weekly to review continuous improvement strategies and development processes that the company stays very disciplined to. To Nicholson, quality is more important than quantity so the company is careful not to spread itself too thin and compromise the excellence of the final product. “The company is pretty boutique in its nature, so while we view growth as a good thing, we’re not focused on growth, we’re really focused more



William A. Nicholson – President


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Rendering - Avon

on quality. We’re focused on serving a select number of clients at any one time who value a collaborative approach to construction,” states Nicholson. Collaborative Model When asked how the company ensures that projects will be 64

April 2015

completed on time and in budget, Nicholson answers that it is the collaborative model that has contributed to countless successful projects. He explains, “We’re interested in a collaborative model —What that means to us is that before we put our shovel in the ground, we’re


collaborating with our customer and the design team to make sure that the building meets the customer’s needs and that we have the best possible approach to building it in terms of construction and design.” This pre-construction strategy and constant communication throughout projects allows The Congress Companies to perform to the highest ability and produce a well thought-out finished product. Additionally, while it is important to collaborate with the clients, collaborating with subcontractors is just as important. Sub-contractors play a huge role in the delivery of projects and Nicholson explains that there are very stringent requirements for trade subcontractors to be considered by The Congress Companies. Just as the company succeeds by selling best value, not lowest price, that is what they look for in sub-contractors as well. Nicholson discusses how the company has built strong relationships with the experienced subs that they constantly use time after time for their quality work and willing to collaborate to complete a project. He believes, “At all levels in the company, if you have the experience, you do the right collaboration up front, and you don’t spread yourself too thin, then, to me, that’s a recipe for success.”

Company Information INDUSTRY





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WEST Builders Inc.

Setting a Higher Standard Todd Whitlock, CEO of WEST Builders Inc., discusses how strategic planning and a commitment to company culture have played a role in the company’s success in the industry and how employees can make the difference to avoid becoming a commodity. Written by: Lindsey Ryan

Produced by: Tom Venturo



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stablished in 2003, WEST Builders Inc. is a customerdriven construction company that offers negotiated general contracting, design build and design assist services, and development management to commercial private real estate sectors. The company is highly organized and committed to providing exceptional customer service and solutions that elevate it above the level of being a hardbid commodity. Success in this effort has afforded WEST Builders the opportunity to negotiate work with a large client base including developers such as Prometheus 68

April 2015

Real Estate Group, UC Berkeley, Tooley Company, LBA Realty, Veeva Systems and CBS. Todd Whitlock, CEO of WEST Builders Inc., strongly believes that the company needs to perform beyond customer expectations. Through engineering expertise and effective communication with the client throughout a project, WEST Builders Inc. stands apart from the competition. He states, “If we’re not moving heaven and earth for our customers then we’re just a commodity and would be forced to function in the bid environment. Why should


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an owner pick you if you’re just performing at a commodity level? You ought to be a hard bid.”

a reality and WEST Builders was established. The strong commitment to the company culture, which each founder Strategic Planning demonstrated by working an entire WEST Builders Inc. was first year without compensation, was established when the three founders quickly rewarded as the company’s decided to branch off from their annual revenue reached $100 M within existing companies to create its first four years. WEST Builders Inc. Having worked When the recession hit in 2008, together since the early 1980s, the industry had no significant they knew they each had a united private sector commercial desire to exclusively build projects construction occurring in the market within the private sector, as they and many companies opted to had done in the early years of their begin bidding on public sector careers. work, which was the only area with In 2003, their vision became constant activity at the time. With w w w. w e s t b u i l d e r s . n e t


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WEST Builders Inc.’s focus on private sector work, they had to make a decision pertaining to the company’s future position in the industry. Whitlock states that they decided to take a risk and stay true to the company values. He explains, “We thought that would change our culture and to be successful in hard bidding you have to exploit gaps in scope, but what we want to do in our delivery system is close gaps in scope and be incentivized to do that.” As a result, the company downsized to survive and sustained itself on retained earnings from the first growth period coupled with numerous renovations to existing office buildings that were being repositioned by their customers. In this way, the company was able to preserve its core culture while maintaining a strong clientele base. Now, with the economy bouncing back and customers becoming active once again, WEST Builders has made a name for itself in the private sectors and is expecting to reach $100 M revenue again within the next year. While many companies went out of business during the recession, Whitlock is pleased that WEST Builders stayed committed to the company’s founding initiatives and that this decision resulted in a positive outcome. Because of the decision to stay true to its values, the company came out on top with a larger platform, higher reputation and more exposure into the marketplace than it did prior to the recession. “We don’t grow for growth’s sake; we grow

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“We thought that would change our culture and to be successful in hard bidding you have to exploit gaps in scope, but what we want to do in our delivery system is close gaps in scope and be incentivized to do that” – Todd Whitlock, CEO of WEST Builders Inc.

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829 Folsom Street, San Francisco

because our customers like our product so we continue to have more and more repeat business with great customers. The growth is a bi-product of our success and our delivery system that we practice,” states Whitlock. People Make the Difference Part of what makes WEST Builders Inc. an outstanding company is the people that make up the team of engineers. The company typically hires engineers directly out of college who buy in to the attitude and desire to bring value to every project. WEST Builders is often involved very early on in projects and uses this opportunity 72

April 2015

to work closely with the client to plan accordingly and efficiently so that there is very minimal re-design required. Because of this, projects are consistently completed on time and in budget. Whitlock stresses how crucial this open communication is and states, “It’s important to us that our engineers feel like they really make a difference every day and that they’re not involved in a daily adversarial struggle. Our success is dictated by how seamlessly we work with our customers towards the common goal.” With 60 employees, WEST Builders Inc. focuses on mentoring its young engineers so they can get experience and participate in all


aspects of a project from start to finish. Whitlock explains that this has proven to be much more successful and beneficial than generic training courses. President of WEST Builders Inc., Bill Hughes, maintains a hands-on approach with the young engineers, monitoring their work and overseeing the projects, to ensuring they are receiving the necessary knowledge to succeed. When asked how the team ensures that each project will be completed on-time and within budget, Whitlock replies, “By making sure you have great people that understand and follow the delivery system we use - that’s probably the biggest thing, really training engineers to evaluate if sub contractors’ productivity is keeping us on schedule and to conduct man power studies to make sure each crew size is appropriate early on. We’re very proactive.”

Company Information INDUSTRY


Point Richmond, CA FOUNDED



$100 M

Upcoming Projects In addition to its general contracting and design build services, the company also occasionally works as a developer and manages the permitting processes for various projects. For example, UC Berkeley has recently asked WEST Builders Inc. to build a student housing development for them. The five-floor project will include a 220 room student housing facility with a full garden and terrace in addition to a 30 foot cliff that gives the appearance that the building has been built into the side of a cliff.

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Archer Western Construction Norman Water Reclamation Facility Project Archer Western Construction Begins Wastewater Treatment Plant Project in Norman, Oklahoma

David Nine, Archer Western Construction Project Manager for the Norman Wastewater Treatment Plant Project, discusses how the company became involved with the project and explains how the project will benefit the city once it is completed. Written by: Lindsey Ryan

Produced by: Tom Venturo



Activated Sludge Aeration Basin with Blower Pipe and Sanitare Diffusers


he Norman wastewater system is owned, maintained and operated by the city of Norman, Oklahoma, and in November of 2013, the Department of Environmental Quality mandated that the treatment facility be upgraded. This $60 million project, consisting of an expansion to allow for increased water flow, an ultra violet disinfecting plant and overall rehabilitation of the existing infrastructure, was bid out to six different pre-qualified contractors and after review and consideration of all bids, the project was awarded 76

April 2015

to Archer Western Construction (a subsidiary of the Walsh Group). David Nine, Archer Western Project Manager for the Norman Water Reclamation Facility Project, explains that Archer Western Construction had been doing smaller projects in Oklahoma for about five years and when the company caught wind of this project in 2013 while it was in its early design stages, they knew this could be their chance to launch their operations and establish themselves in Oklahoma. After putting together a winning strategy and providing their bid, the company was awarded the


New Centrifugal Blowers installed

project in April 2014. “It worked out great; it’s very seldom do you identify the project a year out, pursue it, chase it, win and get to go build it,” states Nine.

be working to expand the treatment capacity from 16 mgd to 32 mgd, adding two new clarifiers, 3 new activated sludge aeration basin, new sludge pump station and dewatering facility, new screenings About the Project facility and odor control. Prior to The Norman Water Reclamation beginning that work, Nine explains Facility expansion is the largest that Archer Western Construction wastewater treatment plant is first working to complete another expansion ever awarded in the component of the project, the UV state of Oklahoma and the project disinfecting plant. is being funded by the Oklahoma The UV Facility includes the UV Water Resource Board (OWRB), who basin, UV building and Post Aeration granted the city of Norman a $50 Basin, 3000 lf of 66” pipeline and million construction loan. outfall structure, all of which must Archer Western Construction will in operation by the early completion w w w. W a l s h g r o u p . c o m 7 7




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milestone of November 14, 2015. Currently the treatment facility has primary and secondary treatment but no disinfection, so this is an additional treatment step which will allow the city to re-use that water in the future. In addition, $10 million is going towards odor control throughout the entire plant. The UV plant and odor control are major components to the project and are extremely beneficial to the city of Norman. Nine states, “Once the UV Facility is completed, a nearby composting facility will start using the reclaimed water for their composting operations so the city will be able to re-use this water.” Archer Western Construction will build about 75% of the project itself, only sub-contracting about 25% of the job. The treatment plant is currently in phase 2 out of 3 and is


expected to be completed on time in November, 2016. Looking forward, the treatment plant is expected to pump the reused water to Lake Thunderbird where Norman gets its drinking water. Community Support The Norman Water Reclamation Facility serves the city of Norman, a population of about 100,000 people, and the community as a whole has been extremely supportive of the project. “This is unique project because the citizens in the city of Norman voted 78% in favor of this expansion so the whole community is really behind the project,” Nine says. On November 5, 2014 the mayor and city council were on site at the project for a publicized ribbon cutting event to launch the project

“It worked out great; it’s very seldom do you identify the project a year out, pursue it, chase it, win and get to go build it” – David Nine, Archer Western Project Manager for the Norman Water Reclamation Facility

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New Centrifuge Thickening Equipment

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Irving, Texas FOUNDED



and show their support. Also, since the University of Oklahoma is in Norman, Nine explains that Archer Western Construction has even hired three college graduates to work as engineers for the project. Overall the project will be a great resource for the community and an environmental step towards sustainability.



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Carolinas AGC CAGC Author: Lori McGovern



Pinnacle Awards


he rebounding construction industry in North and South Carolina has already seen some major investments in infrastructure, such as the recently completed Raleigh-Durham International Airport terminal modernization, a $68 million project. A recently completed 20year South Carolina Department of Transportation Commission study found a $29.54 billion gap in funding for transit needs over the next 20 years, making future funding for infrastructure projects an even greater emphasis for the industry. The Carolinas Associated General Contractors (CAGC) lobbies for funding of building, highway and 86

April 2015

utility construction projects, and supports its members through tools and resources to help the industry thrive. Since 1920, CAGC has worked to help members influence, plan, grow and connect to other contractors in the Carolinas and beyond. CAGC is a trade association for general contractors, specialty contractors, suppliers and service providers who work in the commercial construction industry throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. Lobbying On Our Members’ Behalf CAGC has four full-time staff lobbyists who, along with members’


assistance, lobby on behalf of the commercial construction industry. In North Carolina, CAGC led efforts to enact legislation that resulted in a legislative study of the multibillion-dollar need for public building and utility construction work and permanent funding sources through the year 2025, as well as a new law that takes North Carolina from one of the weakest states to perhaps the strongest state concerning underground safety and damage prevention involving construction. In the upcoming North Carolina legislative session beginning in February 2015, CAGC will work with the transportation coalition it co-founded, NC Go!, to secure long-needed additional transportation funding revenue to support a sustainable North Carolina Department of Transportation program of delivering needed transportation projects and associated maintenance activities. In South Carolina, CAGC was instrumental in the passage of a $600 million road funding package, which includes $50 million in recurring funds allocated to the State Infrastructure Bank to be

bonded for $500 million, $50 million in one-time funds to be used for bridge repair, and moves half of the sales tax on automobiles to the Highway Fund on a recurring basis, generating approximately $41 million annually-- the first increase in highway funds in 20 years! Carolinas Construction Projects Other exciting construction projects that have been completed or are nearing completion include the I-485 turbine interchange in Charlotte, the I-77 toll road from Charlotte to Lake Norman, and major investments from Duke Energy in North Carolina and Boeing in South Carolina. Projects like these are making a big impact on the industry. But more funding and projects need to be planned to ensure prevention of ailing infrastructure in the future. Carolinas AGC will continue its crusade to bring positive impact to the Carolinas for its members and the entire construction industry. Recognition of Members’ Good Work In recognition of the great work by members, CAGC honors stellar w w w. c a g c . o r g



construction projects with the CAGC Pinnacle Awards, the most prestigious recognition in the Carolinas construction industry. The awards honor the work of general contractors and their partners, and projects are awarded in the building, highway, and utility construction categories. A panel of CAGC member representatives evaluates the work of their peers


April 2015

and winning projects are celebrated at CAGC’s Annual Convention each year. Along with the Best Building Project Award, the Best Utility Project Award, and the Best Highway Project Award, CAGC also recognizes the contributions of a non-contractor individual for his or her role in advancing the construction industry and the overall Carolinas economic welfare. This


distinguished Build With The Best Award honors individuals from outside the industry altogether or from a Carolinas AGC supplier/service company member. In 2013, this honor was bestowed on North Carolina Representative Mike Hager, who led efforts to rewrite the state’s underground safety/damage prevention laws. Together with members, Carolinas AGC provides a strong voice in the legislature, advances construction companies, unifies the industry and fuels its future. With 30 volunteerled committees and five Divisions (representing building, utility, highway, and specialty contractors and supplier/service providers), CAGC provides many opportunities to directly impact the direction of the construction industry in the Carolinas. The CAGC Foundation, Inc. supports the future of the industry through workforce development programs as well as safety, leadership and craftworker education and training. Preparing a qualified workforce continues to be a focus of the Foundation, as a recent Associated General Contractors of America study found that 83 percent of construction firms report having trouble finding qualified workers to meet the growing demand for construction services. Hear about the latest CAGC initiatives or learn more about membership at

Company Information INDUSTRY


Charlotte, NC

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GW Plastics

GW Plastics’ Comprehensive Consistency Moves Company forward, Maintaining Mission and Core Values GW opened for business 60 years ago with just two molding machines and a handful of customers. Today, they rank among the top injection molders in the world with locations in the United States, Mexico and China. Written by: Andrew Rossillo

Produced by: Brian Mooney




W Plastics was founded over a half-century ago in 1955 when two early plastics pioneers, John R. Galvin and Odin A. Westgaard, decided to combine their extensive business and materials engineering experience, and their initials, to start a plastics injection molding firm. After building GW Plastics into one of North America’s premier precision injection molders, they sold the company to Carborundum in 1973. A series of large-company M&A transactions in the 1980s resulted in ownership by Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio). In 1983, a group of company managers and investors led by Plastics Pioneer Frederic Riehl, purchased GW Plastics from Sohio. In 1998, Brenan Riehl became the President and CEO after an early career with Owens-Illinois and General Electric, assuring a successful leadership transition and continuity of ownership. The company has remained closelyheld, under the same ownership, to this day. “We are a high precision injection molding and contract manufacturing company” said GW 92

April 2015

Plastics’ President & CEO Brenan Riehl. “We make precision injection molded thermoplastic and silicone components as well as completed assemblies primarily for the healthcare, automotive safety critical and industrial markets. The majority of our business is with Fortune 1000 market leaders who we supply on a global basis.” Riehl explained that what the Company primarily does is help their customers achieve a competitive advantage in the marketplace by helping them develop, innovate and manufacture their products. Contributing to GW’s competitive advantage is their experienced workforce and stability of ownership. “We’ve really enjoyed an exceptional period of stability of ownership and leadership with the company,” said Riehl. “We are also fortunate to have a professional leadership team supported by an outstanding Board of Directors and a talented, longtenured workforce. This has allowed us to keep a steady hand on the tiller, and GW on an even keel, as we have traveled through the highs and lows of the economy.” This steadiness throughout the


GW Molding

company has also allowed GW to reinvest back into the business with confidence. “We’re a privately held and financially strong company. We don’t have the burden of chasing quarterly earnings reports. This allows us to invest for the longrun which resonates with our customers,” said Riehl. Consistent Mission The mission of GW Plastics is to manufacture medium- to highvolume, close-tolerance molded components and assemblies. Their emphasis is on profitable growth supported by continuous improvement in all phases of their operations to meet and exceed customer expectations.

“What’s especially notable about our mission and value statement is that it hasn’t changed in over 20 years, which provides some insight into our culture. It has stood up against the test of time. We don’t chase the flavor of the month. Our mission and value statement has provided consistent and steady guidance in how we operate and conduct our business. We always put our associates, customers and integrity first,” said Riehl. GW Plastics’ Mission Statement first commits to stating that people are our most important asset, and that we must treat each other with respect and trust. “We really do take that very seriously from our leadership team through the w w w. g w p l a s t i c s . c o m


Global reach. Local solutions.

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entire organization. We practice servant leadership at GW, starting with me and flowing throughout the organization,” said Riehl. This approach allows the Company to listen to its associates and to do their best to make sure they address their needs and concerns. As mentioned, what’s especially notable about GW is their longtenured workforce. “We have a remarkably talented and longtenured workforce. For example, last year we recognized two associates with 50-year service awards. We consistently recognize associates with 40-, 30-, 20-year and 10-year

service awards. At the same time, we are hiring new talent to support the growth of our company. We really care about our associates and celebrate their longevity with the company. Experience matters,” said Riehl. GW encourages this longevity by taking care of their associates, by investing in its people. This includes a very strong compensation and benefits program (e.g. profit sharing, 90 percent of healthcare covered, tuition reimbursement, generous 401(k) plan that makes both a fixed and matching contribution) internal and external training, and more. These benefits combine to nurture a



Highly reputed for our experienced sales staff, technical guidance and logistics expertise, customers depend on Entec Polymers to deliver the trusted total solutions that meet their exacting specifications and material needs. - See more at: Website:

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GW Automation

GW PLASTICS truly loyal and engaged workforce. The second pledge of GW’s mission statement reads: “Customers are the only reason for GW’s existence and must be treated as such.” Speaking on this point, Riehl points out that when you get stability of ownership and leadership, paired with a highly trained, motivated and engaged workforce, you get very solid alignment with customers. “We really focus strongly on aligning with our customers. We work hard to make sure we achieve the right fit, so that our business, our culture and our way of working together, which is predominantly a collaborative mindset, aligns well with our customers,” said Riehl. “We work very hard to satisfy our customers. Our focus is really on making sure that we remain exceptionally customer-focused. For all the people of GW, fostering a strong and lasting customer relationship is of the greatest importance.” Furthermore, most of GW’s senior management spends much of its time outside of the office visiting with customers. As


part of that, in-person, quarterly, customer business reviews are strongly encouraged to ensure proper business alignment. “If you look at our customer base, it’s composed primarily of Fortune 1000 companies, where we are the preferred supplier to most, and where we have customer relationships that typically exceed 10 years. That’s of critical importance to us,” said Riehl. GW’s third element of their mission statement reads: “Quality of product and services is the number one priority. We must strive for excellence in everything we do.” As such, quality is a very high priority for the Company, starting from Riehl and reaching throughout the Company. Their focus on quality is intense to the degree that it challenges every employee in every department of the Company. The fourth component of GW’s mission statement holds that “Profits and enhanced shareholder value are absolutely essential to the success of the company.” “GW has never shown a net-income loss in its history,” said Riehl. “We’re responsible financial stewards, w w w. g w p l a s t i c s . c o m



GW Medical Device Contract Assembly

working very carefully to ensure that we’re here today, and we’ll be here tomorrow for our customers and shareholders. We manage the Company in such a way that we encourage consistent performance year-over-year.” This echoes very well not just with GW employees and shareholders, but with its customers and suppliers as well, since it serves as an indicator that GW can be relied upon. Furthermore, a majority of GW’s growth has been organic, versus pursuing a serial M&A strategy choosing to grow in a responsible, planned fashion, avoiding undue risk that would jeopardize the Company, their supply chain or their customers. “Not too many 98

April 2015

companies can show that they’ve never had a loss, particularly a company that’s been in business as long as we have,” said Riehl. This enables GW to reinvest back into the business with confidence, supporting the ability to grow with their customers, and be where they are needed throughout the world. The final element of the Company’s mission statement reads: “Integrity is a must in all of our dealings. We are a Company of great integrity — our word is our bond,” said Riehl. “We work very hard internally as well as with our customers, practicing what we preach, so that our employees and customers can trust each other.”


Investments GW has invested responsibly, but aggressively over the years to support their customers’ needs. “In the area of process consistency and process control, we’ve had a very aggressive investment strategy with regard to making sure we have state-of-the-art injection molding equipment to match our customers’ objectives and give them a competitive advantage, both in terms of productivity and quality,” said Riehl. GW also invests heavily in new technology. “We’re one of the few companies that have an advanced in-house tooling capability where we make our own molds; both here in the U.S. and in Asia,” said Riehl. “We’ve also invested very

heavily in multi-shot molding, liquid silicone rubber molding, clean room contract manufacturing and automation to improve process consistency and control.” “We also have a high level of standardization from plant to plant, whether it’s in Bethel, Vermont or Dongguan, China. When you walk into any GW facility, you see the same clean, environmentally controlled and high-tech facility, highlighting our investment commitment to standardization of facilities, equipment, systems and procedures. We are the manufacturing cousins of successful, standardized franchisees like Starbucks or McDonalds said Riehl. w w w. g w p l a s t i c s . c o m



In-house Training Supporting GW’s strategic investments and critical mission statement commitments is the Company’s comprehensive dedication to in-house training. Underlining the importance for internal training, Riehl pointed out that the United States workforce is losing a significant amount of highly experienced and talented people to retirement, making it increasingly more challenging to replace those skilled individuals and fill the gaps they’re leaving in the workforce, “GW recognized this many years ago, and began investing heavily in workforce training. Specifically, we have a long-standing apprenticeship 100

April 2015

program in our tooling areas. We’ve also invested heavily in some very innovative training and recruiting initiatives. With respect to recruiting, we started the GW School of Tech this year. Essentially, it’s an on-site high school accredited program where we bring in high school students into our facility; with high school teacher support. The students spend two days a week for an entire semester, learning about manufacturing.” One of the things the Company is trying to accomplish through this program is to get young people interested in manufacturing again. GW has also formed relationships with local tech schools in Vermont,


partnering with them and offering very generous, targeted scholarships, both for two- and fouryear technical degrees including paid internships. When certain criteria are met within this process, GW then offers employment at the Company. Extending the reach of and bolstering these efforts, Riehl said, “we are also working closely with Vermont state leaders and educators to help students earn free two-year associates degrees in technical fields.” In addition, GW also has a number of internal training programs. “Two years ago, we started a program called the GW Certified Manufacturing Technician Program. As part of this, we’ve partnered with Vermont Technical College, which is one of the finest technical colleges in New England. This program includes one class per semester for four years, covering a technical curriculum that helps GW employees become more effective in their roles within the Company. In addition to certification and increased proficiency in their role, those who successfully complete the program are awarded with a substantial increase in pay. With GW Plastics’ stability of ownership, professional leadership team and experienced workforce promoting a culture of customer focus, collaboration, continuous improvement, and adherence to core values GW is well positioned to continue on its steady course of growth and success.

Company Information INDUSTRY

Manufacturing HEADQUARTERS



Not Disclosed REVENUE


Plastics, Manufacturing

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Intel Products Vietnam:

Planning for Increased Business and Opportunities in Vietnam Written by: Laura Close Produced by: Camilo Sanchez



Intel Vietnam wins top prize in Vietnam HR Award 2014


ntel Products’ history in Vietnam begins in 1997 when the company opened a representative office in Ho Chi Minh, followed shortly by another office in Hanoi. Then in 2006, the company announced a first: Intel would be building Intel’s largest Assembly and Test facility. Not only is this Saigon-based facility in Hi-Tech Park the largest, it was also the first $1 billion investment in the country, and the largest ever from a US-based firm. As an early and substantial investor in Vietnam, Intel Products 104

April 2015

has since been able to help shape the investor market. “It has been our experience at green field sites globally—where Intel is the first high-tech investor—that more investors tend to follow. We are also seeing this in Vietnam,” said Sherry Boger, Intel Products’ general manager. “We see this as a positive effective and look forward to having the high tech eco-system evolve.” But Intel Products’ biggest investment in Vietnam hasn’t been in its infrastructure. With a strong commitment to producing the best technology products and a

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Intel Products Vietnam receives Environmental Award recognized by MONRE

continuing interest in the well-being of the community and its employees, Intel Products brings much more than business to the country. Technology Means Everything As the tech sector continues to set a breakneck pace, Intel continues its progress in research and manufacture on more complex technology products. To meet the demand for the world’s most advanced CPUs for desktops and SOCs for mobile devices; Intel’s facility is ramping up across its product suite.

“Progressing to CPU production has been a great milestone for Intel Products Vietnam, taking only a few months from initial engineering training to the start up of production ramp,” Boger said. “In contrast, the first products at our plant— chipsets—took us five quarters from engineering training to the start of production.” Shipping to the World To maintain its top high-tech standing, Intel Products’ facilities are seamlessly integrated on a realtime and near-time basis worldwide.

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Solar power at Intel

Intel Products Vietnam’s Assembly, Testing & Manufacturing facility in Ho Chi Minh City plays a crucial role in the global manufacturing story. “At a local level, we have been working with Saigon High Tech Park to seek more local suppliers whose goods and services meet our standards and expectations,” Boger said. “Due to the nature of global demand, but also the complex basis of our manufacturing, we employ a variety of shipping and distribution 106

April 2015

methods from air freight to shipping. As you would expect a company with the size and complexity of Intel, we have a global systems and processes to guide local implementation.” The Facility at Ho Chi Minh Intel’s decision to build its largest Assembly Test facility in Ho Chi Minh is the first of its kind in several ways for Vietnam. As mentioned earlier, it was the largest financial commitment made by a US-based firm to the Asian country and

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additionally, it is the first investment of its kind in the semiconductor industry in the Vietnam. Mid-2010 marked the beginning of chipset production at the facility. To support the continuing demands of mobile computing, Intel Vietnam utilized advanced chip package technology called FCBGA (Flip Chip Ball Grid Array) “As the first major foreign investor in high technology in Vietnam, the new facility supports Intel’s digital ASEAN (d-ASEAN) program,” Boger explained. “The program works to develop a stronger digital workforce, integrate technology into education and government, and make technology more accessible for business and consumers within Southeast Asia.” The facility isn’t just built to produce the latest technology though. Employees benefit greatly from the facility with the use of a fitness centre, sports facilities, indoor recreation amenities, Health for Life centre, Mother rooms and cafes. Investment in Employees The great facility at Ho Chi Minh also provides a host of other employee

programs like hobby and social clubs, organized leisure activities, Family Fun events, quarterly employee parties, pampering amenities, convenience services and social networking channels. Intel Products Vietnam involves their employees in many parts of the business, including its innovation goals and investments. Boger detailed that she has found this to be a positive for the company, as its shares best practice among employees and drives new creativity and ideas in the company’s manufacturing and across operations at Saigon’s Hi-Tech Park. “Intel’s success in Vietnam relies on the availability of local, skilled workers,” Boger shared. “We work closely with governments, universities and industry across the country to help build a technologically-advanced and knowledge-based economy in Vietnam and to develop the required talent-pool.” One of the keys to the company’s success is a strong career development program, which has increased employee retention. Intel allows flexibility for employees

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INTEL PRODUCTS VIETNAM to move across departments or countries to acquire different skill sets and on-the-job experience, giving them different job options within the same company. The HR team employs a Learn—Connect— Experience model in most of the development programs, which has been a successful way to transfer knowledge at practical level in a fun and interactive setting. With as much as Intel does for its employees, the staff at Intel Products Vietnam is more than willing to give back. Since 2008 to end of 2013, Intel Vietnam employees volunteered more than 100,000 hours giving back to the community. These hours also get “matched” from the Intel Foundation as part of the company’s Intel Involved Matching Grant Program, to be used to improve learning and teaching facilities, fund scholarships and more. “I’m really proud of Intel Vietnam’s young and energetic workforce,” Boger commented. “They are always eager to learn and ready to take on new challenges and new roles. As one of the world’s leading 108

April 2015

companies in the high technology industry, we value the creativity and innovative ideas that our young employees bring to Intel.” Intel’s standing in the semiconductor industry has been proven by numerous awards and accolades related to the excellence of their employees. Vietnamese central and local governments have recognized Intel Products Vietnam for its contribution to the country’s growth. Intel also is the recent recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award and The best “Employer of Choice” by the Talent Net and Ministry of Labor in 2014, Intel Vietnam also won top prize in Vietnam HR Award 2014 and the Award for Corporate Excellence from the US Department of State in 2012. Improving Local Education Opportunities Intel understands that quality employees start with a quality education. Therefore the company is committed to helping transform the lives of future and current employees as well as the lives of those in the surrounding community through education.

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1st CPU made in Vietnam Celebration

“Previously we operated a study abroad program, which sponsored a total of 73 students from Vietnam technical and engineering universities of the third year to study two more years in the US to complete their bachelor’s degree at Portland State University,” Boger said. “All of them completed their study and are now working at IPV.” Financial support has also been provided for the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Vietnam master’s degree program in Ho Chi

Minh City. This has supported 41 Masters students with five cohorts, and all of them have joined IPV workforce since July till December this year. “With more than 93 percent Gen-Y, our employees have an unquenchable thirst for learning new things, so we strive to inspire them in their never-ending quest for knowledge and skills, making sure we have fun along the way,” Boger commented. It was early on that Intel identified

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Sherry Boger, General Manager, Intel Products Vietnam 110

April 2015

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a need for capacity-building in skills development. As a result, the company was a founding partner of the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program, which is transforming engineering education in faculties across Vietnam. In addition, Intel Vietnam has been focusing our support to increase the technical diversity in its hiring strategy by giving away hundreds of scholarships to female students from vocational to university levels, included this driving force in both IVS and HEEAP initiatives.

Company Information INDUSTRY

Manufacturing HEADQUARTERS

Tân Phú Ho Chi Minh Vietnam FOUNDED



Solar Power at Intel

$1 Billion

Looking Forward “We don’t speculate about where we will be in five years; we set our vision and then plan and iterate on the plan as needed” Boger said. She knows the factory in Vietnam is a long-term investment, and while the company is satisfied with its progress, it also understands that its innovative product pipeline requires new skills and continual improvement. For the future, Intel Products Vietnam’s focus will be on developing the talent of its current and potential employees so that the company is well-placed to meet the evolving needs of the tech business.

PRODUCTS/ SERVICES Intel was a first-mover and early investor in Vietnam. The company opened a representative office in Ho Chi Minh City in 1997, followed shortly afterwards by Hanoi. Less than a decade later, in February 2006, Intel announced its plans to build the world’s largest Assembly and Test facility in Saigon Hi-Tech Park. 2006 was the first announced $1B investment in the country and the largest FDI by a US-based firm. Intel Products Vietnam is an early and substantial tenant in Saigon HiTech Park, located in the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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a subsidiary of

Lundin Mining –

Eagle Mine Creating a Legacy at Eagle Mine As sole owner, developer and operator of the Eagle Mine, Lundin Mining is creating a legacy of responsible mining Written by: Robert Spence

Produced by: Bobby Meehan



Drill Core

Situated in the western Marquette County of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Lundin Mining’s Eagle Mine is gearing up for an exciting 2015 year. The underground nickel and copper mine, which was purchased in 2013 from Rio Tinto, has produced more than 218,642 tons of nickel and copper ore since commencing production in July 2014. Over its estimated eight year lifecycle, the mine is expected to produce 360 million pounds of nickel, 295 pounds of copper and small amounts of other metals. In building Michigan’s first 114

April 2015

new mine in decades, Lundin is dedicated to safety, protecting the environment and putting local people to work. The mine has been a shining example of the legacy Lundin Mining is striving to create. Creating a legacy Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Lundin Mining Corp. is a metals mining company with operations and development projects in Chile, Portugal, Sweden, Spain and the United States, producing copper, zinc, lead and nickel. Lundin also has a 24% interest in the Tenke Fungurume in


Ball Mills

the DRC and 24% interest in the Kokkola Refinery in Finland. Both with Freeport. Lundin’s goal for Eagle was to build, operate and close a low cost, efficient modern mine. Because company-community relations were strained from inception, the company recognized it needed to be transparent with the community. “We set out to be very transparent with the community and make this project a two-way engagement,” says Mike Welch, General Manager of Eagle Mine. In the beginning of 2010, the company commissioned a series of focus groups to identify the issues of importance to the community when it came to new mining projects. The series was facilitated by external consultants with the aim to assist Eagle Mine

“It’s about boots on the ground, it’s about engagement, it’s about positive reinforcement, and it’s about understanding how they do their job” – Mike Welch, General Manager of Eagle Mine

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Building the Midwest Bacco Construction Company, Michigan’s oldest prequalified contractor, is very proud to be an integral part of the Upper Michigan’s rich mining history. Bacco Construction’s unique array of expertise surpassed the Eagle Mine’s needs for an all-encompassing contractor. Upper Michigan and Northern Wisconsin’s best choice for comprehensive mine site development.

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Bacco Construction Company, a contractor established in 1915 and incorporated since 1930, is Michigan’s oldest Department of Transportation prequalified contractor and is once again very proud to be an integral part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s rich mining history. Bacco Construction Company began ground breaking operations in July 2010 for the Eagle Mine portal in the Yellow Dog Plains of Marquette County and continued with mine site development. Upon building a great working relationship with Eagle Mine representatives, the scope of work Email: for Bacco Construction expanded onto the Humboldt | Mill ore processing facility development which will be completed with final pavement and restoration in the spring of 2015. Bacco Construction Company is a proud partner and supporter of the mining industry. Bacco Construction’s wide range of construction methodology and all-encompassing capabilities pairs extremely well with the needs for establishing mine site facilities. The vast array of construction expertise for the Eagle Mine includes: mass excavation, landfill construction, crushing operations, piping and utility placement, GPS mapping, concrete and foundation work, multi-plate culvert/portal construction, concrete and asphalt pavements, rail spur construction, and site restoration. Bacco Construction Company also completed 12 miles of entirely new roadway construction and 22 miles of reconstruction as part of a joint venture to service the Eagle Mine. Bacco Construction Company is Upper Michigan and Northern Wisconsin’s best and only choice when it comes to comprehensive mine site development. Website:

LUNDIN MINING – EAGLE MINE in understanding the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of mining from the community’s perspective. The focus groups ultimately provided a social baseline of the views the community held about new mining projects in the region. “I think every operation has to look at what their own community’s concerns and interests are, and what is the best way for all parties to communicate,” says Welch. “We now do these focus groups every two years and we keep building that knowledge capacity to understand what the community concerns are and how we can improve our performance in the community.” Secondary initiatives With constructive feedback from the focus groups, Eagle Mine has developed environmental and


community programs aimed at addressing the community’s interest. In an effort to build community trust and confidence, the company has developed a community scorecard which allows community members to rate Eagle’s performance in five areas– environmental performance, local hire, safety, communication and engagement, and community development. During town hall meetings community members receive an update on Eagle’s operation, ask mine representatives questions and then use electronic clickers to score the company’s performance as: “exceeds expectations”, “meets expectations”, “below expectations”, or “need more information”. The scoring is provided real-time during the meetings – for complete transparency the results go up on a screen for everyone

“We now do these focus groups every two years and we keep building that knowledge capacity to understand what the community concerns are and how we can improve our performance in the community” w w w. e a g l e m i n e . c o m


Industrial Services, Inc.

Our core mining management staff has more than 150 years combined mine maintenance, operations and repairs in mining and mine processing facilities. A FULL SERVICE HEAVY INDUSTRIAL GENERAL CONTRACTOR

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4305 W. US 2 Iron River, MI 49935 Phone: (906) 265-2100 Fax: (231) 344-5919

LUNDIN MINING – EAGLE MINE in the room to see. After scoring, community members are asked for comments on how the company can improve or what else they would like to see from Eagle. Next, the company takes the results and publishes them on their website and in the local paper. If there are areas of improvement identified, Eagle creates an improvement plan and publishes that too. Every six months the company will go back to the community and conduct the scorecard again. “Historically, there have been



perceived risks to such an open and frank style of communication, however that has not been a consideration and all our efforts have been of full value,” says Welch. He added, “For us, this works. The community has appreciated the opportunity for two-way dialog and as time moves on, community concerns have dampened. People have come up to us and thanked us for the transparency of the project. This has helped build more trust in our community relationships.” Taking it a step further, Eagle helped develop an independent


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LUNDIN MINING – EAGLE MINE program to conduct environmental monitoring of its mining operation. The program is called the Community Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP) and it provides the community with third party verification monitoring at the mine, mill and along the transportation route. The program is administered by the Marquette County Community Foundation (MCCF) and the Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) who work in unison to monitor Eagle’s environmental performance. MCCF provides an oversight board and serves as the pass-through of funds from Eagle to SWP while SWP is responsible for monitoring the company’s environmental performance. All together the program serves to strengthen


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Established: 1998 Industry: We help companies improve operational performance (safety, quality and productivity) and their bottom line, sustainably, through customized training, advising and coaching in best-practice management systems and leadership. We do not impose a recipe; with you, we design a “fit for purpose” solution. Recent and On-going Projects: Lundin Mining, Eagle Mine: Successful operational readiness and ramp-up including daily, weekly, and monthly reporting of production, quality and safety KPIs as well as leadership/active supervision coaching to foster the right conversations around results. Glencore, Raglan Mine: Reduce waste of resources by 15% through better management/ communication systems and active supervision. Glencore, Raglan Mine: 45% improvement in main ramp drilled meters per day for a new underground mine. Management: Pierre Capistran, Managing Partner For a free consultation on how we can help you and your organization reach and sustain world-class results, contact us today. Website:

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relationships in the community and build trust within the local stakeholders. Whether it’s a community scorecard or independent environmental monitoring, the community has a say in how Eagle Mine operates. One common goal As mentioned before, one common goal among the company and the community is safety. The company employs roughly 355 employees, which includes full-time Eagle employees and contractors, making safety a top priority for the company. Derived from portions of the DuPont Safety System, the company employs the health and safety program Visible Felt Leadership. The program integrates a one-on-one engagement

Humboldt Mill w w w. e a g l e m i n e . c o m




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MAIN OFFICE 180 TRADERS MINE RD | IRON MOUNTAIN, MI 49801 | (906) 779-2303 BRANCH OFFICE 200 5TH STREET | CALUMET, MI 49913 | (906) 337-0700


LUNDIN MINING – EAGLE MINE approach to making safety personal. “We use the leadership program as an engagement tool. When we talk about zero harm, what we’re saying is we’re engaging each employee individually with the philosophy that every injury is preventable,” says Welch. “It’s a mandate that this management and operations team has taken on.” According to Welch, one key tool of the program is Pre-task Hazard Assessment. Because environments change every day, the program ensures all work is being performed safely by assisting employees and contractors in continuously observing their surroundings to identify potential safety hazards. “It’s about boots on the ground, it’s about engagement, it’s about positive reinforcement,


Mike Welch General Manager

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Know Your Watershed est. 1998

n o r t h j a c k s o n c o m p a n y | 3 07 s o u t h f r o n t s t r e e t, s u i t e 10 5, m a r q u e t t e , m i 49 8 55 c o r v a l l i s T e l : 5 4 1 -2 0 7 - 3 7 3 5 | m a r q u e T T e : 9 0 6 -2 2 5 - 6 7 8 7 | w w w . n o r T h j a c k s o n c o . c o m

LUNDIN MINING – EAGLE MINE and it’s about understanding how they do their job,” says Welch. “We all have a common goal and these safety programs and initiatives are a continuation of the common goal.” Along with Pre-task Hazard Assessments, Lundin encourages their team to interact and converse with other employees and contractors about the tasks they’re completing, as well as observations and desired behaviors recognized. “Many of the contractors we’ve employed weren’t used to the rigorous safety standards we required while working onsite,” says


Welch. “They had to change their own culture in order to meet our requirements.” “We’ve had contractors in the past who’ve brought our training and tools to new operations and other sites they work on. It goes to show the lasting impression we’re having on people. One of the company’s first commitments to the area was a local hire goal of 75% during operations. While the area has a lot of talented, hard workers, it didn’t necessarily have the people with the exact skills needed to commission and start an operation. Lundin had to be strategic

Eagle Mine w w w. e a g l e m i n e . c o m


Contact Us: +1 705.699.3 40 0 info@ w w w. x p s .c a

XPS would like to congratulate Lundin’s Eagle Operation on the successful commissioning of their mine and mill. XPS is a metallurgical consulting and testwork business with exper tise in: Nickel, Copper, Zinc, Gold, PGMs, Industrial Minerals and Rare Ear th Elements.

LUNDIN MINING – EAGLE MINE with its training so that it could hire people from the local community and skill them up for the job. Today, Eagle has a local hire percentage of 84 percent. Eagle partnered with Northern Michigan University to develop specific training programs for its employees. Classes include Bearing & Power Transmission, Welding Testing, Conveyor Maintenance, Basic Pump Maintenance, Manual Alignment, Laser Alignment, Hydraulics, and Welding Training. Last but not least, Eagle is funding a Technical Middle College (TMC). The Middle College will provide high school students in the area the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree at no cost to the student. The program offers students the opportunity to pursue an associate degree in six career areas: Clinical Sciences, Industrial Maintenance, Electrical Technology, Building Technology, Automotive Service Technology, and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. Operations at Eagle Mine


Although Lundin has commenced production at Eagle Mine, the company is still currently ramping up production to reach its nameplate capacity. Current operations include a long hole stope mining method, which requires a main decline tunnel, a primary ventilation system and an emergency secondary egress to the surface. Once ore is mined from each stope, it is then backfilled with a cemented/ aggregate/sand mix to maintain structural integrity before mining the remaining stopes in the section. The ore is transported 66 miles by semi-trucks to the Humboldt Mill. At the Mill the ore is crushed (three stages) and then ground into a fine slurry whereby the nickel and the copper are floated, thickened and filtered to produce separate nickel and copper concentrates. This is where the process ends at Eagle. The concentrates are shipped to off-site facilities for smelting and refining before they can be used to manufacture the products that fuel society. Not to be outdone, Lundin implements some of the most w w w. e a g l e m i n e . c o m



Mine Entrance


April 2015


recognized and respected technology and equipment onsite. The company couples the latest equipment including crushers, grind mills, float circuits, filter presses and pumps with stateof-the-art programmable logic controls (PLC), DCS systems, and collects nearly 5,000 data points throughout the process. All-in-all, this mill is wired for success. In following with its community transparency plan, Lundin strives to ensure all water at the mine is up to the highest standards. The company employs a robust water management program with a reverse osmosis water treatment plant. “All the water we treat is discharged as drinking quality water, or better,” says Welch. “That’s the standard the community wanted and we wanted to ensure we delivered.” As sole owner, developer and operator of the Eagle Mine, Lundin Mining is creating a legacy of responsible mining by taking the community into consideration, incorporating transparency into operations, and providing one of the safest mines in the United States. “Our biggest obligation during and after we’ve completed operations at Eagle Mine is to make sure we’ve maintained our credibility with the community,” says Welch. He adds, “When you look back and think of Eagle Mine, it won’t be that we mined for eight years. Our legacy will be: did our employees go home safe, were we protective of the environment and did we have the trust of the community.”

Company Information INDUSTRY


Champion, Michigan, United States FOUNDED

1994 (Lundin Mining) Eagle was discovered in 2002, commenced production in Q3 2014. EMPLOYEES


Not Disclosed

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BRUSA April 2015