BRUSA February 2015

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Management Best Practices Top 10 Brand Names We Almost Missed



In honor of February, the Hallmark-coined “month of love,” this issue is dedicated to things we love—but none involve Cupid, chocolate, flowers or candy hearts. Why? Because IoT is a lot more fun to discuss! In our Technology feature, The Year of the Thing, we throw out the negative (yet valid) concerns of cyber attacks and simply showcase some pretty cool “things,” the IoT has to offer, including a mattress that will check for monsters under your child’s bed. Who thinks of this stuff? A Managerial Melting Pot outlines management best practices by reviewing classic leadership styles—common behaviors; pros and cons; famous examples; etc. Why do we love this? Because it is always necessary to evolve as managers and ensure our teams are set up for success. Growing as a leader will help to grow as a team and, ultimately, an organization. As you read this digital publication, try to imagine opening a new window and “BackRubbing” the address of a restaurant for your next business meeting. Confused? So were we, which is why this month’s Top 10 features wellknown brands that we almost never knew (at least not by the name we recognize today). Brands we love came close to not being in our lives, so we honor each in our dedication to the “month of love.” E NJOY TH E I S S U E !

Jennifer White

Director of Content 3


22 Top 10

6 Leadership

A Managerial Melting Pot

14 Technology

The Year of Things


Well-Known Brands We Almost Never NAMCOR Knew



26 Turner Construction Alexandria Center at Kendall Square Project

76 Small Mine Development

36 The Congress Companies 44 WEST Builders Inc. 52 Archer Western Construction Norman Wastewater Facility Project 62 Carolinas AGC 68 CG/LA Infrastructure Group

4 February 2015

84 EP Minerals 92 Harrison Gypsum

MANUFACTURING 102 National Waste and Recycling Association

26 Turner Construction Alexandria Cen 36

The Congress Companies


Harrison Gypsum

nter at Kendall Square Project


EP Minerals





A single style of management used to be acceptab

Written by: Je 6

February 2015



ble; today, however, a good leader needs to adapt

ennifer White 7

LEADERSHIP BEING A MANAGER is hard. Trying to juggle the weight of your individual tasks while ensuring the successful completion of others’ is even harder. Constantly evaluating, modifying and reevaluating your own behavior is just plain difficult. Despite that, we as managers do this every day—and we (hopefully) do it with a smile. Why? Because we know that this role isn’t about us and our needs but rather the needs of our staff and the organization as a whole. In the past, management-based studies were quick to define individual styles, pigeonholing leaders based on their natural (or preferred) approach. Management courses echoed these definitions, labeling one person autocratic and another affiliative. Case closed. More recently, however, educators and experts have come to the understanding that practicing just one management style is rarely effective: In order to be successful, managers need to adapt their style to meet the specific needs of the staff and the situation. Knowing the skill level and behavior of each individual on your team is imperative to determining how to best lead, so apply that knowledge when 8

February 2015

Communicate with team members to establishing which “traditional” styles listed below will be most effective. A senior marketing manager isn’t going to react very well to an autocrat, and the recent graduate will fail under the instruction of a laissez-faire leader. Remember: The best management style is an adaptive one. Autocratic Decisions are made by the manager without any input from the employees. The manager sets the goals, defines the tasks, creates the deadlines and

o understand their leadership needs. hands out the discipline when a goal is not met. This is also referred to as a Directive or Commanding style. Pros: Allows for quick turnaround of projects with little room for error. Cons: Doesn’t promote teamwork, collaboration or employee growth. Employees may become resentful, feel undervalued and/or become de-motivated. Famous leader: Martha Stewart Visionary The end-goal or “vision” is defined

by the manager who then remains relatively hands-off, allowing the team to work autonomously, yet will check in periodically to reiterate the vision and provide feedback on task performance. Also referred to as Authoritative or Persuasive. Pros: Empowers employees and promotes growth. Cons: Less experienced employees may not be as successful without hands-on guidance, and new and/or non-credible managers may have a hard time relaying a compelling vision.



Knowing the individuals on your team is key to being a successful manager, regardless of style.

Famous leader: Steve Jobs Affiliative The primary focus of the manager is teamwork and interpersonal relationships. With the affiliative manager, the people come first. Pros: Emphasizes employee satisfaction, growth and collaboration. Cons: The happiness of the team can overshadow the significance—and performance—of the project, and poor


February 2015

performance of an individual may be overlooked in favor of group praise. Famous leader: Joe Torre Democratic The manager will often request input from employees regarding project or organizational decisions rather than simply dictate orders. Also referred to as Participative. Pros: Employees may feel a greater


sense of pride in their work due to being more involved, and the additional input from those close to the task is typically beneficial. Cons: Employees may not agree with one another or be experienced enough to make the best decision. In addition, listening to multiple (potentially conflicting) opinions is time-consuming and may hinder a project’s completion. Famous leader: Bill Gates Consultative A blend of Democratic and Autocratic, the manager will request input from employees but ultimately make the final decision.

Laissez-faire The manager establishes the to-dos and is then relatively nonexistent— how the team chooses to complete the tasks and at what pace is up to them. The manager is available to provide input, if asked. Pros: Offers employees more room for creativity which may cause people to be more invested in a task or project. Cons: Without guidance or defined expectations, quality and timeliness of deliverables is at risk. Famous leader: Warren Buffet

Pacesetter The manager leads by functioning Pros: Offers employees the chance to at a very high level, therefore setting be involved without forfeiting the ability the standards for performance to make the final decision. and expecting equal results from Cons: Those empowered to offer employees. opinions may not be capable of doing so, and the opinions offered may be Pros: High-level performance and conflicting. Also, the potential upset quality deliverables caused by ignoring an employee’s Cons: Employees may become opinion is a risk. resentful and feel inadequate. Famous leader: Donald Trump

Famous leader: Mr. Miyagi




The Internet of Thi “smart” products, products certainly

W R I T T E N B Y: J E N N I


February 2015


ngs has introduced the creation of incredible but are they really useful? These five top-of-the-line y are.



TECHNOLOGY ACCORDING TO THE Chinese Zodiac, 2012 was the Year of the Dragon, followed by the Year of the Snake in 2013 and Year of the Horse in 2014. And that same zodiac reveals 2015 as the Year of the Goat—but we see another trend emerging, too. Everyone is talking about it—the Internet of Things, the IoT—but the sentiments can be mixed. Words like “cyber attack,” “privacy breaches” and “data sharing” flow through the natural excitement of a new product reveal, tarnishing it slightly if not severely. While data security is a valid and serious concern, this article will not be addressing it anymore than we already have—let another publication do that. The technology that exists today— and is still being invented as you read this—is science-fiction-movie worthy and we are excited, thrilled, even giddy to be alive to see it. (Seriously, though: How many times will people complain about the Back to the Future inventions that we don’t have? Look what we do! Hovering shoes, anyone?) Bottom line: The devices, gadgets and “Things” we see emerging through the advancement of the IoT are pretty damn cool. Here are a few 14

February 2015

Welcome by Netatmo is sleek yet powerful discreet yet effective that you really should have in your smart collection but be warned: Not all are available until later this year, so start working on your patience. Netatmo: Welcome Never again wonder if your child made it home from school: Your house will tell you. Netatmo’s Welcome is a smart home camera equipped with facial recognition technology that is customizable and, well, smart. Upon noticing Lily (we’ve named her for you) walk in the door, Welcome will

send a notification to let you know. It’s not just any notification, though: It will say “Lily is home.” The camera knows her name. The device will also send an alert should any unknown guests arrive. Apparently, the camera learns the faces of each family member over time. It learns. Pretty cool, right? And there’s more: Welcome is also very cool looking, takes great pictures (1080p full HD resolution), is compatible with Android and iOS, and features bank-level

encryption (but wait, we’re not talking about data security…) Welcome has a 130-degree field of view and night vision with an infrared LED as well, although the Welcome Tags that will be released later this year can help if that isn’t enough visibility for you. Place them anywhere inside or around your home, and the smart sensors will notify you of any movement. There’s also an embedded microphone if you want to really get creative. 15

TECHNOLOGY Lenovo: VIBE Band VB10 One of the sexiest wearables on the market, the Lenovo VIBE Band VB10 is also one of the smartest and most affordable ($89). Similar to other wearable wrist products, the device monitors fitness levels and activity, tracks goals, and acts as a mini personal trainer/coach. But that is about all the VIBE Band VB10 has in common with other “similar” products. In the spirit of the IoT, the VIBE Band VB10 seamlessly connects to you and your other smart devices. Receive phone notifications— including calls, social and text—and

keep track of your smartphone through a proximity reminder that sends a warning if it gets too far away. Don’t worry if you do not heed the initial warning though, because the VIBE Band VB10 also has a phonefinding feature. The battery can last up to seven days, even if the Bluetooth and display functions remain turned on, and it has an E Ink display to eliminate glare. Did we mention it is also waterproof? Sleep Number: SleepIQ Kids Bed Yes, there is even a smart bed to help take care of your kids—and it may

Lenovo’s VIBE Band VB10 is stylish and functional—and not available until April 2015 16

February 2015


SleepIQ Kids Bed by Sleep Number checks underneath the bed for monsters be the best babysitter on the planet. While parents can’t just toss their newborn under the covers and let the bed work its magic, they can work with the child (and, um, the bed…) to improve daily routines as well as sleep patterns. How are Susie’s breathing patterns? How often does Billy stir at night? Let’s find out! Each night, the SleepIQ Kids Bed will assess the child’s quality of sleep through a full-body algorithm, assigning a SleepIQ score that parents can view on a dashboard in real-time.

This smart bed will also alert parents if the child gets out of bed, and offers the added convenience of turning off forgotten lights in the kids’ room from the warmth of the parents’ bed. There is no doubt that this smart device is one of the coolest standouts in the world of “Things,” but our favorite feature is geared more toward Lily, Billy and Susie: This bed checks for monsters that may be hiding underneath.


TECHNOLOGY Quirky: Spotter UNIQ Multipurpose sensor Spotter UNIQ was released as part of a new line of smart home products that are connected, customizable and built-to-order—even down to the color (the décor must match in this smart home!) Up to four sensors or functionalities can be added to just one power source, allowing Spotter UNIQ to alert the owner—or even another smart home product— to handle the culprit.

While this alone is cool, the San Francisco-based microfactory in which Spotter UNIQ was created along with dozens of other connected products stands out as well. The first of its kind, the factory opened in December 2014 and develops built-toorder electronics for smart homes. With 3D printers, automated circuit board assembly lines and more, we predict that Quirky will continue to produce cool “Things” in 2015.

The Spotter UNIQ from Quirky is customizable and custom-built for each order


February 2015

The Scout5000 also has camera that records in realtime for any missed moments

Binatone Global: The Scout5000 Fido deserves something smart, too! Not that we responsible pet owners would ever forfeit the chance to play with, walk or just be near the pooch, but this may come on handy one rainy day. With this smart collar, owners can see, hear and communicate with the pet from anywhere in the world.

Yes, you can be in Australia and still tell Fido to get off the couch in New York. The built-in speaker and two-way audio are accompanied by HD footage that records a live stream from the Scout5000’s collar camera, so even if you miss a minute of the action, Fido is still being watched—and you can rewind.


TOP 10

TOP 10


Well-Known Brands We Almost Never Knew Written by: Jennifer White 21

TOP 10 “What’s in a name?” Juliet asked from the balcony more than 500 years ago—and if the brand name changes below are any indication, the answer Romeo should have given was “a lot.” It is hard to imagine asking someone to “BackRub” directions to the meeting, order you a large Brad’s Drink, or rent a copy of “Breakfast at Tiffany, Young and Ellis’s.” But it isn’t that far-fetched. Here are the Top 10 brands we love but almost came to know as something else.

10 went online in 1995 and is now the largest online retailer in the world (Photo credit: TACstock / founder Jeff Bezos intended to call his internet startup, as in abracadabra. When he called his attorney to 22

February 2015

discuss, the lawyer misheard, thinking Bezos had said “cadaver.” Quickly recognizing the potential recurrence of this mistake, he decided to launch under the name after the world’s second largest river.


Tiffany & Co.


Hasbro Inc.

Tiffany, Young and Ellis began as a stationery distributor in New York City in 1837. When Charles Tiffany assumed control in 1953, he shifted the focus to jewelry, changed the name to Tiffany & Co. and started a legacy.

Before Transformers and Monopoly there was Hassenfeld Brothers. Founded in 1923, the company initially sold textile remnants in Rhode Island before transitioning into manufacturing school supplies and pencil cases and eventually toys. The brand’s first hit, Mr. Potato Head, was introduced in 1952 under the name Hasbro Inc.



Taco Bell

Despite an affinity for Mexican food, Glen Bell initially opened American fast food-style restaurants, beginning with a hot dog stand called Bell’s Drive-In. Despite experiencing success with what had become a small chain, Bell’s true calling couldn’t be ignored—he even created a topping for restaurants’ chili dogs that we know and love today as Taco Bell’s famous taco sauce. A few other restaurants and names came along as well but were all replaced in 1962 with the fast food favorite.

Buck. The venture was meant to pay for DeLuca’s college tuition while also supporting Buck’s belief in the increasing popularity of the submarine sandwich. As the business expanded, the name was shortened to Pete’s Submarines, only to be confused for “Pizza Marines” during a radio ad. As a result, the name was changed again to Pete’s Subs, and eventually became Subway in 1968. Today, Subway is a globallyrecognized brand, and Pete Buck and Fred DeLuca are billionaires.


Best Buy

Minnesota-based company Sound of Music was founded in 1966 and experienced relative success. When a tornado literally removed the roof and uprooted the showTaco Bell serves more than 2 billion customers each year (Photo credit: Rob Wilson /



Fred DeLuca opened Pete’s Super Submarines with $1,000 that he borrowed from family friend Pete

Best Buy has approximately 2k stores throughout the U.S., Mexico and Canada (Photo credit: Ken Wolter /


TOP 10 room in 1981, founder Richard Schulze made the best of a bad situation and hosted a “Tornado Sale,” which was also promoted as a “Best Buy,” to salvage any profit possible on the tornado-damaged merchandise. The success of the event inspired Schulze to alter his original business model, and in 1983, the company was officially renamed Best Buy, launching the $10 million-brand toward a multibillion-dollar future.



Playboy founder Hugh Hefner had initially planned to name his worldrenowned magazine Stag Party in honor of a cartoon book he had as a child. This idea was shut down one month prior to publication under the threat of copyright infringement by similarly-named Stag magazine. According to, an associate, Eldon Sellers, suggested the name “Playboy” after a defunct automobile company in Chicago.


February 2015



PepsiCo, Inc. was ranked as third largest FMCG company worldwide in 2013, with North American sales amounting to $38.4 billion (Photo credit: Costi Iosif /

Caleb Bradham concocted a drink out of sugar, water, caramel, lemon oil, nutmeg, and other natural additives and dubbed it “Brad’s Drink.” The North Carolina native and former pharmacist’s apprentice began selling Brad’s Drink at his drug store in 1893, marketing the beverage as “healthy” for digestion. Using the root from the word dyspepsia, or indigestion, Bradham renamed the drink Pepsi-Cola in 1898. By 1902, popularity of and demand for Pepsi-Cola inspired the development of the Pepsi-Cola Company, with Bradham serving as president.




As of Jan. 2014, Yahoo! Inc. reported an enterprise value of $35.75 billion (Photo credit: Ken Wolter /

Stanford PhD students Jerry Yang and David Filo wanted to call their revolutionary internet search engine “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web,” but had a change of heart and chose to take a more sarcastic approach. “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle,” or “Yahoo,” is one of the most recognized search engines in the world today.



Another search engine story began in 1996 when BackRub was launched by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. When the website became too large for Stanford’s servers to manage in 1998, the founders made a revolutionary change—due to an accident. Googol, or the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros, was misspelled on a check to the non-existent company called “Google,” and the rest is searchengine-turned-verb history. Sources: 25

Turner Construction Alex Center at Kendall Square

Building Alexandria Center

Project manager Greg Heiges discusses the company’s un Alexandria Center project and how new technologies and s with contractors is helping to ensure the project exceeds e Written by: Robert Spence Produced by: Tom Venturo

exandria e Project

nique approach to the strong relationships expectations



Northern Kentucky University Griffin Hall Center for Informatics


ince 1902, Turner Construction has earned a reputation for undertaking large, complex projects, fostering innovation, embracing emerging technologies, and making a difference for their clients, employees and community. Their latest project could be their biggest yet. Located in the thriving metropolitan center of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Alexandria Center at Kendall Square is expecting its newest addition, a 910,000-sq mixed-use retail space that will include 10 stories and 6.5 levels of parking. 28

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Unique methodology One of the most distinctive aspects to the Alexandria Center project is the methodology being undertaken by Turner. In agreement with the owners, Turner Construction is utilizing the Up-Down construction methodology, a unique approach that requires the substructure and the superstructures to be built at the same time while the slurry walls are built around the building’s foundation. “The up-down methodology is bit of an artwork and economics and it takes a lot of on-site construction management to manage that and make it work,” says project manager


of the Alexandria Center, Greg Heiges. “The approach helps to save time on the overall schedule and narrow the delivery time on the building. Turner was brought in for this project because of our expertise in up-down construction.” Commencing construction in July of this year, Turner is expected to have the shellcor aspect of the project completed by December 2016. “Right now we’re finishing up the slurry wall, which goes down 90 feet, and we’re putting in the down columns, which are 100 feet. Once those columns are set, we’ll start the race of digging down and putting those up,” says Heiges.


“Safety is paramount for not only our success, but the success of our employees and our contractors. We drive the value and criticality of safety into every single employee.” – says Heiges

Integrated lean approach In addition to the methodology, the company’s w w w. t u r n e r c o n s t r u c t i o n . c o m


Proven Experience. Powerful Performance. State Electric Corporation is a dynamic, full-service electrical construction company providing commercial, utility, and renewable energy and innovative systems services to a wide range of clients throughout the eastern United States. Over the past 26 years, State Electric has grown to become one of the region’s most trusted electrical contractors by consistently providing the proven experience, expertise, and “customer-first” attitude needed to deliver project performance that exceeds our clients’ expectations.

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integrated lean approach is another interesting aspect to the project. According to Heiges, Turner is utilizing its design team and subcontractors in collaboration to bring the best of both worlds to designing and building the project. “We took a lean approach to find efficiencies for the project. First, the design team gets their work to 50 percent and then, based on the trade, they work with the subcontractors to finish drawing the job. Our subcontractors are drawing construction documents accompanied with the engineer of record.” “It’s a different approach but it’s interesting because we find that a lot of time the person with the hammer and nail understands a little bit better than the person with the mouse and keyboard,”


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State Electric Corporation is a dynamic, full-service electrical construction company providing commercial, utility, and renewable energy and innovative systems services to a wide range of clients throughout the eastern United States. We’ve built our reputation on the experience, expertise, and commitment to excellence in workmanship and safety of our teams of electrical construction professionals. Their “customer-first” attitude for effective problem-solving consistently goes beyond the ordinary to ensure every project performance exceeds the expectations of our clients. Since our founding in 1988, State Electric’s mission has remained the same: To be the partner our clients trust for outstanding service and uncompromising integrity. Website:

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Heiges adds. “Bringing those two together and finding the best way to design and build something is like getting the best of both worlds.” One of the biggest reasons Turner is able to implement new approaches to the project is because of the owner. The owner of the building has allowed Turner to do what it does best, utilize new approaches and technology to develop the best possible outcome. “We’re in a fortunate situation because the owner is pushing new innovations and to find better methodology and better systems,” says Heiges. And new technology is what Turner is implementing. The company is applying a wide range of technological advances to the project. “One of the big things we’re using is Bin360.

Plaza Club of San Antonio Renovation

University of Florida - Genetics Institute and Cancer Research Center w w w. t u r n e r c o n s t r u c t i o n . c o m



The software allows us to virtually build the project in 3D, thus allowing the owner and their maintenance staff to virtually see the project before we build it,” says Heiges. “We’re always pushing technology 34

February 2015

and with this project, as a testament to it, we had a full time VDC consultant on board who is a Turner employee. They basically manage, push and drive the whole technological effort.”

KENDALL SQUARE PROJECT Relationships The one thing that really sets Turner apart from other construction companies is their strong relationships with subcontractors. One of the final pieces to the project has been Turner’s relationships with their subcontractors. In addition to helping with the integrated approach, the company’s long-term relationships have been an immense addition to the construction of the project. “We stand by our subcontractors through thick and thin. We see them not as an extension of Turner but a part of the Turner family,” says Heiges. “We work through difficult scenarios, through ups and downs, through tough economics and all kinds of stuff. They understand safety and quality is important to us, and we stick by them through difficult and complex scenarios on projects.” According to Heiges, a vital part to Turner’s success has also been their commitment to safety. “Safety is the very core of Turner Construction. Personally, I feel it’s our greatest attribute. We understand the ramifications of having an incident on site are not only detrimental to the person that could be injured, but its detrimental to the project and the value of the property if things are deemed unsafe. The ramifications and ripple effect for an unsafe work environment go well beyond the direct individuals involved in safety.” He adds, “Safety is paramount for not only our success, but the success of our employees and our contractors. We drive the value and criticality of safety into every single employee.”


Company Information INDUSTRY





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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 37


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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 38

February 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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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 42

February 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 46

December 2014

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


Raymond Theatre Condominium Conversion and Addition - Pasadena, CA

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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818 772-0930 20731 Prairie St. Chatsworth, CA 91311


dedication, strong attention to detail, and a culture of absolute safety. T EL: 408.294.4393 FA X : 4 0 8 . 2 9 4 . 4 3 9 8 202 NORT H 27T H ST R EET S A N J O S E , C A 9 5116 CA C ON T R AC T O R’S L IC . # 574 010


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

Sunset and Vine Apartments Hollywood, CA

“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 50

December 2014

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 54

February 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 5 5




Sanitaire — a Xylem brand, is a proud supplier to the Norman WWTP and would like to thank the municipality for their continued support of our Sanitaire aeration solution. Xylem’s Sanitaire brand is an industry leader in wastewater treatment solutions for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment applications. Sanitaire offers complete biological wastewater treatment solutions, including diffused aeration, sequencing batch reactor systems and membrane bioreactor systems. Sanitaire’s highly qualified experts will provide the best possible solution for your wastewater treatment projects. To learn more about all Sanitaire has to offer you, call (414) 365-2200 or visit

Xylem is a global water leader deeply involved in every stage of the cycle of water, transporting, treating, testing and analyzing, then returning it to the environment. Xylem’s brands produce highly efficient products and systems that require less maintenance, use less energy and provide environmental benefits to users and communities. Doing business in more than 150 countries, the company plays an important role in improving quality of life, helping communities to grow, farms to prosper and industries to thrive. Xylem’s treatment brands include:



​ ylem — a premium applications solutions company dedicated X exclusively to solving our customers’ most challenging water problems — was formed from ITT Corporation’s spinoff of several strategic business segments in October 2011, namely the Water & Wastewater, Residential & Commercial Water, Analytics and Flow Control businesses. As a stand-alone company, we are a world leader in water technology, providing equipment and services for water and wastewater applications with a broad portfolio of products and services that address the full cycle of water — from collection, distribution and use to its return to the environment. Through our signature citizenship program, Xylem Watermark, we bring clean water, sanitation and hygiene education to schools and communities in emerging markets, and respond with water solutions when disaster strikes around the globe. Website:


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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Company Information INDUSTRY


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 64

February 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


February 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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CG/LA Infrastructure Inc Written by: Norman F. Anderson, President & CEO

c. 69


The North American infrastructure market is poised for take-off, ready to ride the way of three fundamental economic transformations. First, the explosion in energy production has given us a tremendous lift, with natural gas prices at less than $5 MMBtu less then 1/3 of our European and Asian competitors. Second, the tremendous growth in US exports is causing a re-design in our freight infrastructure (rail, ports, waterways, highways and intermodal facilities). Third, the increasing orientation toward transit-oriented communities - particularly among millennials - is creating driving new investments in urban mass transit (heavy rail, light rail and even streetcars) along with social infrastructure (schools and hospitals). CG/LA Infrastructure, a global market maker focused on doubling the level of infrastructure investment focuses on identifying priority projects, and ensuring that those projects go forward optimally as productively and rapidly as possible. Through our Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum Series and revolutionary online projects platform, GViP, CG/LA is 70

February 2015

bringing order, predictability and even imagination to the global infrastructure marketplace. Strategic Project Identification Norman Anderson, President and CEO of CG/LA Infrastructure and former project developer, founded the company to help countries and regions around the globe become more competitive and successful by making smart, robust investments decisions on strategic infrastructure projects and initiatives. Strategic project identification is the cornerstone of CG/LA’s global vision - bringing innovative leaders together from both the public and private sectors to focus on specific projects and push them rapidly forward to completion. CG/LA releases a quarterly market intelligence report, the Strategic Top 100, of the top infrastructure projects, with business opportunities in the next 3-18 months, in regions that complement the next Leadership Forum. The Strategic Top 100 is the cornerstone on which the Infrastructure Leadership Forums


are built. The most recent report, The 2014 Strategic Top 100 North America list, shows what is actually required – in terms of financial and human resources – to rebuild the competitiveness of North America. Projects were selected over a sixmonth process, beginning with a preliminary list of over 400 projects and narrowed down using CG/ LA’s proprietary ranking model. Comprised only of shovel-ready projects with business opportunities within the next 3-18 months, the 2014 Strategic Top 100 North America is valued at US$369 billion. Download the Strategic Top 100 NA here.

The Infrastructure Leadership Forum Series As a project developer, Norman saw firsthand that the key to both infrastructure project development and business success was leadership. And the Leadership Forum - whether the Global Forum, the North American Forum, the Bahrain/EMEA Forum or the Latin American Leadership Forum - identify and recognize the dedicated and sophisticated executives who develop the strategic infrastructure that defines their country’s futures. The Leadership Forum events w w w. c g - l a . c o m


Gen. Bostick

CG/LA INFRASTRUCTURE, INC are differentiators in the industry, gathering a community of 500+ experts around a dynamic projects marketplace. Forum events focus on 11 infrastructure sectors, from highways, to power generation to water & wastewater projects, convening a global community that includes decision makers from all aspects of a project lifecycle: financial lenders and investors, legal, design, engineering, and construction firms, as well as owner operators. Save the Date: 6th North American Strategic Infrastructure Forum On October 28-30, 2014, over 500 executives will gather at the 6th North American Strategic Infrastructure Forum at the Mayflower Renaissance in Washington, DC to meet with the sponsors of the Strategic Top 100 infrastructure projects in North America ($369 billion in total project value). The North American Forum is a dynamic 2.5 day event, focused on infrastructure development in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico,


while facilitating business and promoting projects across the region. Key Features of the leadership Forum include: • Project Presentations: Rapid project presentations of priority projects, allowing developers to make targeted presentations focused on their needs and business opportunities. • Private Meetings: Prescheduled private meetings system allows registrants to pre-schedule up to 10 meetings with project sponsors and Forum speakers, for the second day of the Forum. • Workshops and Roundtables: Thought leader discussions and debates on critical issues, fundamental for thinking about and building great infrastructure. • Community Building: Receptions, Special Breakfasts, and especially GlobalViP allow you to build strong relationships with project developers and sponsors, and experts throughout the global infrastructure community. GlobalViP (GViP) GViP harnesses the energy of the Infrastructure Leadership Forum w w w. c g - l a . c o m



Series, taking it online for users to access 24/7/365. GViP brings together nearly 1000 (10,000 by the end of 2014) infrastructure experts as a Just in Time resource for project managers to identify and access critical expertise - when they need it, and how they need it. GViP’s algorithms cut down project development costs by 60%, and diminish the time required to develop a project by 50%. This translates into significant costs


February 2015

savings -- and also generates productivity increases that exceed 100%. Join GViP and access this thriving community of infrastructure experts today. About Norman Anderson As President and CEO of CG/LA Infrastructure, Norman Anderson has 35+ years of competitive project identification, advising strategic infrastructure investment, and conducting regional analysis


Company Information INDUSTRY

Energy/Construction HEADQUARTERS

1827 Jefferson Place NW Washington DC 20036 USA

on energy projects worldwide. As the Founder and President of CG/LA Infrastructure, Inc., Norman oversees the development and execution of CG/LA’s proprietary analytic and regional infrastructure demand models, the successful Leadership Forum Series which selects, highlights, and hosts four regional events focused on infrastructure project investment. He is a member of both the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Infrastructure and the Strategic Infrastructure Initiative and is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Guarani.

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Small Mine Development (SMD)

Customized solution providers for the mining industry

General Manager Keith Jones discusses how Small Mine Development has become a leader in mining solutions by integrating safety and employee satisfaction into its company culture Written by: Robert Spence Produced by: Bobby Meehan



An Atlas Copco ME7 Simba finishing drilling a long-hole stope blast pattern.


eadquartered in Idaho, Small Mine Development (SMD) is a leading underground mining contractor. Since 1982, the company has earned a prominent reputation for building and operating some of the largest underground mines in the United States, as well as for being a leader in productive and innovative mining solutions. Similar to their approach to 78

February 2015

mining, the company is building a safety-based culture by integrating tried-and-true methods developed by major mining companies and creating new approaches to the idea. Customized solutions Through the years, Small Mine Development has developed a comprehensive approach to mining operations. The company, which


Remote mucking in a stope utilizing a Nautilus Buddy System proximity detection system.

maintains an excellent working relationship with both their client and regulatory agencies, understands the strict policies and requirements in the mining industry and continues to adopt and comply with the policies for each specific job. One of the many ways SMD provides new solutions is through its expertise. The company’s workforce, which includes years of experience in various stages of mining activities, helps SMD implement cutting edge tactics and initiatives into operations. “We bring specialized skills and expertise to the table for our clients,” says Keith Jones,

General Manager of Small Mine Development. “As a mining contractor, we provide customized solutions for mining projects.” According to Jones, projects sometimes require the need for customized solutions such as equipment needs, and many companies aren’t versed in that aspect. “Sometimes you have to modify machines and build your own gear. We’ll work with the manufacturers to upgrade equipment and provide new additions and solutions to equipment. In the past, we’ve worked with clients in implementing new initiatives such as bio diesel to improve operations.”

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DRIVING SUCCESS TOGETHER We’re proud to see our equipment working hard for Small Mine Development as they continue in their success. 355 W. River St, Elko, NV 775-777-2204 |

Building a culture of safety As a leader in mining solutions, SMD is more than just a contractor. The company employs roughly 400 members across the organization and is committed to cultivating a workplace free of injuries and occupational illness. The company actively strives to uphold its motto— The most important job you have is to go home safe and uninjured at the end of your shift— and has implemented a rejuvenated approach to do so.


February 2015

Launched in 2011 by Newmont Mining, the Safety Journey is a program that describes a company’s safety culture in terms of a journey. The stages range from simple awareness of safety issues to full integration where it’s simply how business is conducted. It provides tools for changing a safety culture within an organization and is meant to be an employee-driven program aimed at ensuring workplace safety. A key piece of the program is Vital Behaviors. There are six

SMALL MINE DEVELOPMENT (SMD) sources of influence and to incorporate lasting change, at least three to four of the six specific behaviors must be affected to facilitate lasting change. Employees are asked to consider their actions in terms of the motivations and abilities to ensure that their actions are aligned with safe work practices. Workers are asked to consistently choose the Vital Behaviors that could have an impact on the job’s safe outcome. “The Safety Journey program is essentially a mechanism to build a company culture based on safety,” says Jones. “The program integrates safety management training and leadership programs to achieve that culture.” The company’s safety accolades speak for themselves:


Remote mucking in a stope utilizing a Nautilus Buddy System proximity detection system.

2013 – Nevada Mining Association’s Underground Operations, Small Category (20-99 employees), First Place at Starvation Canyon Mine. Crews here worked 82,000 hours injury free in 2013. 2013 – Nevada Mining Association’s Underground Operations, Small Category (20-99 employees), Third Place at the Lee Smith Mine. Crews here worked 185,000 hours with one injury for a Reportable Rate of 1.09 in 2013. 2012 – Sentinels of Safety Winner for the Small Underground Metal Group at the Fire Creek project. A total of 45,715 hours were worked injury free. 2011 – Sentinels of Safety Winner for the Small Underground Metal Group at the Fire Creek project. The portal pad, infrastructure, portal and

Employees review their five-point work area inspections and complete a safety share underground.

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A two-boom jumbo drilling a round in Northern Idaho.

2,000 feet of drifting were completed skills within its management and while working 27,250 hours. workforce to establish a solid company culture centered on safety. According to Jones, the program “The program initiates employees has helped SMD achieve the to speak up and ask questions as 82

February 2015


well as build leadership qualities. The program has enhanced our safety record in 2012 and 2013 and Newmont was gracious enough to allow us to make it our own.” In addition to the Safety Journey initiative, SMD incorporates a number of in-house initiatives. These include: High-Level Risk Assessments on various tasks the company encounters; Inspecting work areas to ensure areas are completed utilizing its 5-point safety system, including a field level risk assessment; and holding daily lineout meetings to discuss immediate on-site job concerns as well as conducting weekly in-depth “tool box” meetings for each member.

Company Information INDUSTRY


Boise, Idaho FOUNDED



Employees and vendors As well as creating a company culture based on safety, the company is dedicated to being an employer of choice. SMD has worked with a large amount of people in the mining industry and is arguably one of the best mining contractors to work for. The company, which was recently given the bronze award for best employer in Northern Nevada, believes its employees and vendors are a vital part of their success. “We value their support and sometimes we’re pretty demanding,” says Jones. “Vendors and employees are a key part to our success. We can’t do what we do without them.”

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EP Minerals

A Long History, A Modern Approach

w the industrial minerals company impacts the world over. Written by: Ian Hanner Produced by: Bobby Meehan 85


EP Minerals Lovelock, Nevada plant


ver the course of its storied 171-year life, EP Minerals has grown to become one of the more exciting and progressive industrial minerals companies in the United States—and it’s just getting better. Founded in 1843 by Edgar and Stephen Conkling, the company originally went by the name Eagle. In 1916, Judge Oliver Picher merged the company with his own lead mining business to create EaglePicher Lead, the forerunner of modern day EP Minerals. 86

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In the years since, the ambitious minerals company has acquired a series of highly valuable assets, such as a large diatomaceous earth (DE) deposit and factory in Clark, Nevada. In 1959, the company commissioned a DE producing plant in Lovelock, Nevada, which remains the largest DE producing plant in the world to this day. That plant was upgraded in 1993 with a perlite expander, officially bringing the company into the perlite business. A new DE plant was built and commissioned in Vale,


Loader and equipment at the Lovelock, Nevad mine

Oregon in 1985. In 2013, EP Minerals acquired the Moltan Company and with it additional mines and processing facilities in Nevada and Tennessee. Finally, in 2014, a new perlite facility was opened in Blair, Nebraska. “We have six plants, close to 600 employees, plus or minus, and with that we sell all over the world and to about a hundred countries,” said Al Kaczanowski, vice president of marketing. What They Do EP Minerals doesn’t just sell its products in bulk. The company maintains a full-scale R&D department devoted to the development of cutting-edge,

products, such as AXIS DE and AXIS Ceramic soil amendments, AgReady fertilizer carrier, DEsect insecticide and NXT-2 arsenic remediation product. While perlite and absorbent clays are a large part of the company’s business, the cornerstone of their product offerings is DE. Though this material is regularly present in almost everyone’s life, its applications are often overlooked by those not involved in the sector. “We sell DE into well over a hundred markets,” said Gregg Jones, president. “Our largest market is beer filtration, [which] would be a radically different process if DE wasn’t available. Same thing goes for wine and juices.” w w w. e p m i n e r a l s . c o m


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EP MINERALS He added that DE is an essential component in high-quality paints, giving them a matte finish. “We also sell it as an animal feed,” Jones said. “It’s used for filtration in biodiesel and in the oil and gas industry. It goes into catalysts, polishes, and even facial scrubs. It is used to filter corn syrup, citric acid, sugar, vegetable oil and soy sauce. It’s really a key ingredient in almost every food and beverage that gets filtered, and the reason they use it is that it’s extremely versatile.” The list goes on: maple syrup, fertilizers, pet litter, pharmaceuticals, swimming pool



filters and more. In addition to the many applications for EP Mineral’s DE, their absorbent clay is regularly used on baseball fields as well. “The product that’s used a lot on baseball fields is calcium bentonite. That’s the red clay that goes around the field,” Jones said. “That’s a product that’s important in the United States, Caribbean countries and Japan.” Who They Are Many companies refer to themselves as “family companies” or having “family values,” but ultimately


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EP MINERALS most fail to display those values. EP Minerals appears to be an exception. “We’ve spent a lot of time defining what behaviors represent our culture today and what we want it to be in the future and we call that the EP Way,” Jones said. “These fundamentals [cover] how we interact with each other, how we treat our customers and how we make decisions on a daily basis, and we’ve just rolled that out across the whole organization. “


February 2015

He added, “All of us, including me, have things to work on that we don’t do so well today; leave your ego at the door, practice blameless problem solving and listen generously.” How They’re Evolving While EP Minerals’ facilities obviously don’t date back to the company’s origin 171 years ago, some of their infrastructure has become dated none-the-less. In an effort to maintain the quality of their products, the company announced a wide range of facilities upgrades, some of which have already been completed. “We put a new dryer on one end of our kilns at Lovelock—a very big investment that improves the quality of the product coming out of the process,” Jones said. “A big investment in our Clark plant to make what we call our natural powders and some of the technology we put in there was new to us. It gives a better particle size distribution and better control of the product


overall for the marketplace.” The company recently finished construction on a perlite plant in Nebraska. “We’re shipping ore from Nevada—our own mine, our own perlite ore facility— and we’re shipping it in railcars to Nebraska,” Jones said. “It gives us a nice centrally located perlite facility to supply what is a pretty big market in the Midwest.” He added that among other improvements, the company is also investing heavily in their exploration group to facilitate the discovery of new ore deposits. Among those investments are technologies that improve their overall drilling ability. It would be wrong in every sense of the expression to refer to the veteran company as an up-and-comer or say they were “on the path” to success—they’ve been there for some time. Rather, it’s important to point out all the ways they’re already present in the market around us, and that they have no intentions of slowing down. “I think it’s worth noting that a lot of businesses are selling commodities and they don’t have a lot of interaction with the end-use markets,” Jones said. “One thing that we’ve always been focused on, and its part of our growth story, is not only understanding our markets that we sell into and understanding the value that our products contribute to those applications, but working on new applications. That’s what’s always gotten me interested in the business: the constant opportunity to find something new and figure out how we can sell into a new space.”

Company Information INDUSTRY





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Harrison Gypsum The World of Gypsum

Harrison Gypsum discusses how the company has developed into the largest producer and supplier of gypsum in the United States Written by: Robert Spence

Produced by: Bobby Meehan



Wirtgen 2200SM Continuous Miner (Milling Machine) 94

February 2015


Overview of Bouse Junction Mine in Northern Oklahoma


ince 1956, Harrison Gypsum has been a prominent figure in the gypsum mining sector. The company has made a name for itself by maintaining a consistent and high level of product quality. They operate four gypsum mines in Oklahoma, one mine in North Texas and three limestone mines – two in Oklahoma and one in South Kansas. The company also operates a number of hard rock quarries and pits in South Texas. Used as a fertilizer and constituent in many forms of plaster, gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium

sulfate dihydrate. The use of gypsum is prevalent in the oil and gas industry as a road aggregate, and widely used as a calcium additive for yeast food products like bread. Harrison Gypsum has developed into one of the largest producers and suppliers of gypsum in the United States by integrating a family-oriented approach, careful acquisitions and continual investments in mining equipment and infrastructure. From the beginning Born and bred in Oklahoma, the w w w. h a r r i s o n g y p s u m . c o m


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Oklahoma City, OK 405-787-6711

Elk City, OK 580-225-7772

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High Purity Gypsum Rock being pushed up w w w. h a r r i s o n g y p s u m . c o m


HARRISON GYPSUM Harrison Gypsum Company started from humble beginnings. The mining company, which originally formed under the name Cement Gypsum Company, started as a small family operation supplying gypsum to local neighbors in the community. Commencing its first mine (Mine No.1) in 1955, the company changed its name in 1956 to reflect its overall commitment to the mineral. Along with a family-oriented approach to business, Harrison



Watco Companies is proud to serve our great Customer Harrison Gypsum. Watco Companies is a transportation services provider offering rail, mechanical, and terminal and port services.


Gypsum believes pursuit of consistent quality leads to cost effective mining and operational efficiencies. This dedication to quality and efficiency has aided Harrison Gypsum in becoming one of the top gypsum producers around the U.S. In fact, in 1994 the U.S. Department of the Interior Publication named the company’s Gypsum No. 2 mine the largest single gypsum mine in the United States. In continuation of their dedication to quality products, Harrison


Gypsum established Allied Custom Gypsum Inc. in 1987, a customized service aimed at providing customer-based solutions for quality gypsum products. As its own entity, Allied Custom Gypsum Inc. provides custom products and a series of ground gypsum products including flame retardant fillers, animal feed additives, agricultural and turf products, and a high purity food and pharmaceutical grade gypsum to select markets in the industry. “We take pride in offering flexible responsive services to our customers, while also maintaining consistent quality standards that produce a premium product,” says Kris Kinder, Vice President of Operations at Harrison Gypsum.

in South Texas for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition became ACG Materials, which now operates six mines producing aggregate material used to build and maintain roads. The company includes a grinding operation that produces gypsum products for a multitude of enduse applications – including food grade calcium sulfate. Additionally, a state of art plaster plant that produces both alpha and beta hemihydrate plasters which are used in construction products, ceramic products and dental formulations in also included within the division. The company also supplies soilstabilization products and steel products manufactured for the energy market. “We are very excited about this Growing through acquisitions next stage of growth for Harrison Harrison Gypsum is content on Gypsum. Our new Eagle Ford growing its business through operation will ... help us capitalize acquisitions. The company, which on the significant growth occurring is keen on furthering its success in South Texas,” said Russ Harrison, by incorporating new projects to CEO of Harrison Gypsum. “Our its repertoire, has acquired a wide expertise in mining aggregates and array of companies in recent years. existing customer relationships In early 2013, the company should bring significant benefit to purchased the assets of Pinnacle ACG Materials.” Materials LLC’s Eagle Ford Division w w w. h a r r i s o n g y p s u m . c o m



Heavy loaders managing windrows of gypsum that milled from a prepared production pad


February 2015


Along with acquiring new businesses, Harrison Gypsum is committed to capital investments. The company has made multiple investments to upgrade to modern mining equipment and improve infrastructure, helping the company expand projects, gypsum reserves and production capacity. The company also utilizes a preventative maintenance program that ensures dependable operation and minimal downtime.

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Oklahoma FOUNDED

Striving for perfection Along with acquisitions and company culture, the success of Harrison Gypsum boils down to quality products. The company has created a system that assures every possible measure is taken into account to maintain a consistent and high level of product quality. The company thoroughly tests deposit sites to ensure the resultant ore is up to par and suitable for use. In addition, selective mining techniques are utilized to ensure recovery of gypsum is maximized and contaminants and substandard rocks are prevented and discarded. Additional, Harrison Gypsum controls all aspect of mining, processing and packaging operations. This guarantees a high level of quality and product confidence along with customer satisfaction.


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National Waste & Recycling Associat

The National Waste & Recyc Association (NWRA) is the vo all things waste and recycling

Written by: Jessica Mayorga, Interim Communications Director Produced by: Br


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Executive Leadership Roundtable, 2014


he National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) is the voice of all things waste and recycling. NWRA is the trade association representing private-sector U.S. waste and recycling companies, as well as the manufacturers and service providers that do business with those companies. More than 800 association members—including large publicly traded companies and both small and large privately owned companies—operate in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia. The Association’s mission is to be the leading organization providing leadership, advocacy, research, education and safety expertise to 104

February 2015

promote the North American waste and recycling industries, to serve as their voice, to create a climate where members prosper and to provide safe, economically sustainable and environmentally sound services. History and Organization When Sharon Kneiss became president & CEO of the Association in 2012, it was evident that the industry was in transition. The Board challenged her to reenergize the organization, to get in front of the many changes the industry was seeing and to refocus Association efforts not only to promote the spectrum of waste handling solutions, but also to reflect the


importance of industry innovation in handling waste as a resource from which value can be extracted. Kneiss was also challenged to create greater value for the membership and to build both the image of the industry and a stronger capability on legislative and regulatory programs at the federal level. One of the key aspects of the Association’s work is its efforts at the state chapter level. NWRA recently added three states to its Chapter network and now serves 28 chapters in 30 states, addressing critical issues at the state and local levels. For instance, the Association was instrumental in passing legislation in states such as Florida, West Virginia and Wisconsin to protect trash truck workers by requiring motorists to slow down to safely get around the workers. The Slow Down to Get Around campaign remains a cornerstone of NWRA’s legislative agenda. Positioning Waste as a Valued Resource Central to the Association’s efforts is positioning America’s waste as

a resource from which to extract value. Sustained innovation in the waste and recycling industry over several decades has led to more methods for extracting value from waste than ever, including the most effective recycling system the country has seen in its history. By streamlining recycling with improved curbside collection and cutting edge Materials Recovery Facilities, or MRFs, we are recycling more than one-third of our waste, finding new purposes for recycled materials. Through state-of-the-art landfill facilities—which are critical components in the country’s spectrum of waste management infrastructure—America’s private waste industry is also producing increasingly valuable renewable energy through landfill gas collection. Highly regulated, highly engineered landfills serve as systems that regenerate some of our natural resources including the capture of methane gas emissions which are processed and repurposed as energy to power and heat homes and facilities. In the last year, the industry produced w w w. w a s t e r e c y c l i n g . o r g



The rally included dozens of representatives each from Laborers Local Union 108, Un

Service Workers Union Local 339, and the International Union of Journeyman & Allie Trades Local 726, NWRA members and business groups — at New York City Hall.

enough renewable energy through landfill gas to power 2 million homes and businesses. Landfill systems also capture wastewater to be treated on site or offsite ensuring the environment is protected. In addition to production, the waste industry is also a national leader in using alternative fuels, with many companies electing to shift their collection vehicle fleets to cleaner-burning compressed natural gas (CNG). Some of these companies use their own landfill facilities to produce this gas, powering the very trucks that service those facilities in a sustainable loop.


February 2015

The Voice on Waste and Recycling Issues As the recognized and respected voice of the waste and recycling industry, NWRA is looked to for guidance and information on major issues affecting members. The Association frequently provides official comments to federal and state regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, engaged in rulemaking on issues relevant to Association members. These comments support policies that promote the sustained growth and welfare of the industry, the safety of its employees, and continued development




of the country’s sustainability infrastructure. NWRA staff have also been tapped to offer their expertise on all things waste and recycling in a variety of public speaking functions, including—within the last two years—the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conference, an Environmental and Energy Study Institute recycling panel on Capitol Hill, an international paper recycling conference in China, and the SXSW Eco sustainability conference in Austin, Texas. Most recently, the Association stepped up to establish collaboration and information sharing among major government

agencies and additional stakeholders to provide guidance on how to deal with the issue of Ebola-related waste. As the Ebola virus became a nationwide concern in the United States, with several cases reported in the fall of 2014, NWRA provided information and coordination for the industry ensuring that its members had the education and resources necessary to make decisions regarding Ebola waste. The Association set out to work with leading government agencies to coordinate handling requirements and provide members with the information they needed to keep their employees safe and communicate to them how they w w w. w a s t e r e c y c l i n g . o r g


N AT I O N A L WA S T E & R E C Y C L I N G A S S O C I AT I O N would or would not be affected by handling this waste product. The Association forged and strengthened valuable relationships with key regulatory and governmental agencies while fostering dialogues, including a visit to the White House, that produced highly desired guidance for members. This exercise demonstrated the opportunity for successful collaborations among the various teams and experts that make up NWRA’s leadership and staff. This multi-pronged strategy allowed each team to fulfill their goals and roles while yielding value-add support to members at large. NWRA’s leadership in this space prompted industry partner organizations, such as the Solid Waste Association of North America, to link to the dedicated web page to drive their constituents to NWRA’s materials as the primary source of information on this topic. This case speaks to NWRA’s role as the accepted and trusted voice of the industry to which members look to for guidance and support on national, serious issues.


February 2015

Industry Leadership and Stewardship The Association has also enhanced its existing safety and education programs, and created greater capabilities in technology, including the creation of a recycling committee. The creation of a certification program marks an important and valuable new arena for the industry. As part of this effort, NWRA launched a certification program that promotes safety among professional commercial drivers. The Association developed the program to address the specialized needs of the industry and the specific driving hazards its employees face each day. The safe driver certification program, developed in cooperation with industry and insurance experts, promotes best practices in safe driving. An individual who successfully passes the certification exam has a foundational knowledge of industry best practices in driver safety. Certified drivers demonstrate a base level knowledge proficiency in the elements of commercial driving, safety protocol, procedure, regulations, standards and performance.


NWRA includes a number of institutes representing the interests of landfills, recycling, and healthcare waste. The association works closely with Penton Media to offer quality education programming at WasteExpo, North America’s largest waste and recycling exposition and conference. The Association also encourages its members to support one another through the Member Buy From Member Program. This program encourages members to consider conducting business with other members whenever possible. This is a unique program in the association space and delivers a new level of value by directly connecting members for the purpose of conducting business. NWRA works year-round to internally and externally recognize and promote the quality service and dedication its member employees provide their companies and communities, often above and beyond the call of duty. The Association recognizes many categories of award winners, including its Driver of the Year recipients and inductees into the National Waste & Recycling Hall of Fame, at the annual NWRA Awards Breakfast at WasteExpo. The waste and recycling industry is one that touches all Americans, is passionate and proud of the service they offer and continues to find innovative and productive solutions to handling waste. Learn more about NWRA at www.

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Manufacturing HEADQUARTERS

Washington DC FOUNDED

May 1962 MEMBERS


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