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Covering the Industry’s News

P.O. Box 791290 San Antonio, Texas 78279-1290

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San Antonio


The Industry’s Newspaper Christmas on the River Walk


(210) 308-5800


Volume 18


Number 12



Words to live by

Ruling the roof

PFH crewmembers Fabian Davila, Jordan Rodriguez and Samuel Jackson are ready to start work inside Heart Plaza One in San Antonio.

L-R: Ron Nirenberg, city councilman, Duane Wilson, North San Antonio chamber, Gary Cram, Kim Cram, Scott Voyles, Cram Roofing


abian and Evelyn Davila, owners of PFH Electric Inc., believe in Christian values and rely on their faith in God to provide what they need. Started in 2004, the initials PFH stand for prayer, faith and hope, Fabian says. Those values extend to the employees, as well. “Being a smaller company, we are like family,” Fabian says. “The customers appreciate my guys being very respectful on the job. Their manners are good and show Christian values.” Fabian took electrical trades in high school and stayed in the trade, going through the apprenticeship program and earning his journeyman license. He went to work for the union first, and through that opportunity, learned the

workings of the business. “They showed me the ins and outs and how to find clients and generate business,” he says. “After that, I decided to use that training and open my own company.” He and Evelyn have been married for 32 years and she is president of the company, allowing PFH to hold a Minority and Woman Owned Business (WMBE) certification. “Her certificates allow us to get bid opportunities we would never receive,” Fabian says. “It has opened more doors for us.” He added that PFH has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. continued on Page 24


hen Gary Cram started his roofing business three decades ago, his goal resembles what he has now achieved. In November, Cram Roofing celebrated 30 years in business with a party to honor the important milestone. Cram started off doing the overlooked jobs that set up a solid foundation for his business. “When I started, most of the roofing contractors in San Antonio were not interested in doing repair or small jobs because they were not viewed as profitable,” Cram said. “I realized that and started in that arena with some large customers to get my feet on the ground.” Since then, Cram has grown into a company that does jobs all over the coun-

try out of one office in San Antonio. When Cram Roofing works out of state, the company provides its own employees to ensure established standards of quality. “One of the things that makes us different and unique, is that we actually travel,” COO Mark Eichelbaum said. “All of our equipment and people are based out of San Antonio, but when we do a job in Boston, we take our crew from San Antonio to Boston.” Another part of the business that makes Cram Roofing unique is owning its own sheet metal fabrication machines. Having its own equipment not only keeps costs down, but prevents leaks in a problematic area. “We have a very modern sheet metal continued on Page 24

Restoring San Antonio’s history


ccording to Trichia Stoddard, a co-owner and project manager for JC Stoddard Construction Company (JCS), one of the firm’s favorite ventures is restoring historical buildings and helping beautify the city they call home. Both of these things came together in a recently finished project in downtown San Antonio: the Historic Homes Stabilization and Rehabilitation in Hemisfair Park. Founded 44 years ago, JC Stoddard Construction Company is owned and operated by Curtis Stoddard Sr., Curtis Stoddard Jr. and Trichia Stoddard. “It is a positive project for our city,” Trichia says. “Everybody was happy to be working on it. We love restoring buildings back to period.” She added that JC Stoddard also did a major renovation on the iconic Tower of the Americas, also located in Hemisfair Plaza. The Historic Homes Stabilization and

JC Stoddard’s Historic Homes Stabilization and Rehabilitation in Hemisfair Park project led to beautifully restored historic structures as seen in this “after” photo.

Rehabilitation project took roughly two years to complete and included the stabilization and rehabilitation of 10 historic structures in Hemisfair Park, owned by the City of San Antonio. JCS’s Zach Warren was project manager and Dwight Rapp and Michael Clay were project superintendents. Architect was Fisher Heck Architects. The project involved exterior and interior restoration and rehabilitation of the homes, along with structural repairs and upgrades and a great deal of site work and site improvements.  The scope of the project included select demolition, lead based paint abatement, masonry restoration and re-pointing, repair of metal shingle roofing, new standing seam metal roofing, replicated style and rail doors, window restoration and replication, glazing, plaster restoration and repair, stucco restoration and repairs, exterior paint and coatings.  continued on Page 24

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San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Hot commodity

Construction News ON LOCATION

Behind the desk

Keith Schmidt, Schmidt Mechanical Group Inc., is busy filling out paper work on Nov. 11 in his office on 10927 Wye Drive. –cs

Dustin Sanford, project manager/designer, Humberto Valdez, branch manager of Northstar Alarm and Suppression System, LLC., and Rose McKathen, office administrator.


alking through the Northstar Fire Protection of Texas Inc. and Northstar Alarm and Suppression System LLC. offices, the walls are plastered with framed certificates and degrees. Northstar’s dedication to training and technology is what makes Northstar stand out. “The owners keep the company very up to date with classes and getting certain certificates,” office administrator Rose McKethan said. “For the most part, everyone has their certificates and credentials up in a frame. I’m always looking for classes to take as well; even if it’s a QC class over at Fort Sam.” The office is split between the two businesses that work together. The fire protection side engineers, fabricates and installs fire sprinkler systems. The alarm and suppression section designs, inspects, sells and installs fire alarms, fire suppression and life safety systems. Along with the certificates on the wall, blueprints for building plans and new equipment sit in just about every of-

fice from the engineers on site. The companies do a majority of commercial work, including work on the Alamo Dome, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, high schools in the city and at hospitals. “I think we’re really good at customer service and have really good standing with a lot of our customers,” McKethan said. “We have a lot of repeat customers and they refer us, as well.” Northstar is located in Austin, Lewisville, Houston and San Antonio and is constantly expanding, including having to move locations multiple times. “Since I’ve been here, we’ve expanded,” McKethan said. “What we’re sitting in now used to be Shred-it, but they moved and we bought the other side of the building. Everything we’re sitting on now is a new edition. Prior to that, they used be located at Starcrest but it got too small. “I see us adding new locations. Whether it be in Texas or outside of Texas. It’s a very good company and a very good company to work for. I hope I’m here for many years to come.” –cs

Clients and casinos


erracon held its fifth Client Appreciation and Casino Night Oct. 27 at Aggie Park with around 200 people in attendance. The party gave clients and employees a chance to kick back and give back with a BBQ, live music, casino games and a fundraiser for the Castle Hills Police Department. “We look forward to it every year,” Chuck Gregory senior principal and vice president for the San Antonio location said. “We look forward to giving back and enjoying time away from work with clients and just having a good time. We appreciate their support and encouragement along the way.” –cs

Attendees dressed up for the photo booth.

Dan Gostylo, Providence Commercial Real Estate Services, receives his raffle prize from Terracon employees Melanie Wulff, left, and Brittany Chambers, right.

Terracon clients test their skills and luck at the blackjack table.

Clients and employees get a chance to network with drinks and casino games.

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

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New building, same standards

Construction News JOB SIGHT

We fixed it

With more space and an open floor plan, RidoutBarrett is thrilled with its new location at 922 Isom Rd., Ste. 100.


n 2013, when RidoutBarrett purchased a new headquarters, the CPA and accounting firm thought it was going to be big enough. But it soon became apparent that the company, founded in 1986 by managing shareholder Tony Ridout, was on a fast trajectory to outgrow its new space, even though the building was 5,000-sf bigger than the last. “We ran out of space,” says Karen Ridout, special projects coordinator and wife of Tony Ridout. “We were doubling up in offices.” But with the recent purchase of an even larger space, at 23,000sf, the Ridouts are planning on staying in their new home at 922 Isom Road, Ste. 100, for a long time. One big attraction is the open plan of the new building. “This is a more open plan that allows us to design our own place with our needs and our customer’s needs in mind,” Ridout said. “It enabled us to group departments together and put key people where they needed to be. The

fact that we didn’t have to go in and tear down walls and gut it was appealing. We were able to utilize what was there and design the rest.” Another big attraction was the location of the new company home – close enough to the old location, which the shareholders found desirable. “Location was a real big deciding factor,” Karen says. “We moved about a block away.” With the firm’s headquarters close to the airport and centrally located, everybody was happy to stay in the same area. Another bonus to the new building is the ability to lease space to other tenants. “For the first time, we have tenants in our building, leasing some space,” Karen said. “This is the first time for us to take on something like that. We have some additional space that is up for lease right now – an additional 3,000sf.” RidoutBarret is located in San Antonio and provides professional accounting and business services. –cs/cw

Jaime Rodriguez (left) and Markus Williams (right) of IES finish up on a job at the Virtual Builders Exchange, PACE, and Construction News office building at 4047 Naco Perrin Blvd. –cs

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San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Lending a hand


Walter Caraballo and the San Antonio branch of Handyman Matters celebrated its 10-year anniversary in March.

espite being a national franchise, the San Antonio branch of Handyman Matters brings a small business mindset to its customers. Handyman is locally owned by Walter Caraballo and his wife, Beverly, along with his brother and sister-in-law Mike and Denise Caraballo. Handyman dabbles in a little bit of everything, and the six employees are well-rounded enough to do multiple things at one job site. “We do mostly anything between that rafters and the slab,” Walter Caraballo said. “The types of services vary because we’re all independently owned. I don’t do roof replacement and things like that. I don’t do foundation work. It’s easier for someone to call and ask what we can do than what we cannot do. “They’ve been background checked, are well seasoned with a lot of experience and are well rounded in the major trade areas. When a customer calls and says that they have a drywall that needs

repair and carpentry work, we can send one guy to take care of all those things in one visit.” Handyman’s bread and butter is the honey do list, which can range from small bathroom and kitchen remodels to fixing safety items in the home Handyman does 75 percent residential work and celebrated its 10th anniversary in March of 2016. “One of our values is to leave the communities better than when we found them,” Caraballo said. “We always strive to do a good job and provide excellent customer service so we are a one-stop shop.” Standing by his statement about bettering communities, Caraballo and his staff went out in early October to do just that. “We did this last year and we’re doing it again this year: we’re helping one of the churches for Habitat for Humanity,” Carballo said. “They get together to do a build, and we did it last year as well.” ­­–cs

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

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Showroom showcase


nterceramic opened up its new showroom at 3600 Thousand Oak with a party. Over 200 people showed up to enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres along with a live band. Executives from Garland, TX and Chihuahua, Mexico showed up to show their support, as did people from the Coastal Bend and South Texas. –cs L-R: Alicia Hinojosa, owner of Ferro Block & Tile, Rio Grande Valley, Sherrie Minnich, Regional Brand Manager, Interceramic, Humberto Maese, President of U.S. Operations, Interceramic, Gerardo Cruz, Direction of U.S. Operations, Interceramic.

San Antonio


The Interceramic San Antonio team.

Construction News JOB SIGHT

Getting it going

San Antonio Editor: Mary Hazlett — — 210-308-5800 Publisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Buddy Doebbler Editorial/Production . . . . . . Reesa Doebbler Managing Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cyndi Wright Admin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lacie Cortez Production Manager . . . . . . . . . Sue Johnson Account Manager . . . . . . . . . . . Dana Calonge Construction News Ltd. Home Office P.O. Box 791290 • San Antonio, Tx 78279 210-308-5800 Fax 210-308-5960 If you are a construction-related company in Bexar, Bandera, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina or Wilson counties and are not receiving a free copy of the San Antonio Construction News, please call for a Requester Form, or visit our website.

The San Antonio Construction News (ISSN 1547-7630) is published monthly by Construction News LTD., dba San Antonio Construction News, and distributed by mail to construction-related companies of record in Bexar and 7 surrounding counties. All submissions should be mailed to our editorial offices. We reserve the right to edit any materials submitted. No fees for materials, copy or photographs submitted will be due unless agreed upon in advance in writing. Submissions will be published at our discretion on a space available basis. Construction News, Ltd. , dba San Antonio Construction News, will not be liable for errors in copy or in advertisements beyond the actual cost of space occupied by the error. Publisher reserves the right to reject any advertisement at any time.

©2016 Construction News, Ltd.

Chaz Sartin, pictured, and his partner, Lee Lawrence, are currently getting their new business up and running. The company subcontracts all kinds of jobs, including power washing, painting and home repairs. Above, Chaz works at The China Sun restaurant on Naco Perrin Blvd.. –cw

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San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Erin Albrecht Director of Operations and Preconstruction J&R Tile


rin Albrecht’s road to director of operations at J&R Tile was not a direct path into her family’s company. Starting off in a small town southeast of San Antonio, Albrecht played college basketball, changed schools, was an educator and coach all before coming home to the family business. Albrecht uses her background to make her installers the most professional and certified in the tile industry. So what is your background? I’m from Kosciusko, a community about an hour southeast of San Antonio, and you probably don’t know - but it’s a very big Polish community. It’s the first Polish community in the United States. I grew up on a ranch and working with my hands. Everybody speaks Polish in our community. It’s an interesting place. I grew up with a good work ethic from my mom and stepdad, and family of strong Polish women. They didn't have much, and it’s all about the grind and working for everything you have. My stepdad and uncle, the J and R in J & R – Johnny and Raymond Kotara – were union tile setters. They went through the union formal apprenticeship training in the 1970s. They worked for a company that was closing the doors, so they went down to the bank, took out a small business loan and paid it off the first year. We’ve been around 30 years. Tell me about your early life? I went to Poth High School and played college basketball after that. I grew up in the sticks where kids sometimes drove tractors to school. It was typical of south Texas schools, except Poth is known for its powerhouse girls’ athletic programs. We won state championships when I was there for volleyball and basketball, and the tradition continues today. How did sports play a part in your life? Coaches Peggy Hosek and Patti Zenner from Poth High School are huge influences in my life, and their names are known across the coaching community in the entire State of Texas. Your last name and the community you represent means everything in Poth. I was lucky enough to get recruited when I was there and went to Concordia University in Austin. I didn’t want to move too far, because it’s a little piece of heaven down there where I’m from. I’ve always been a big homebody. How was life in Austin? Austin was just far enough but wasn’t too far away. It’s kind of a crazy story. My roommate, in college that I played ball with, got into a car accident in a pickup truck and she died. That was three years in and I had knee reconstruction and my roommate died. It was a lot of rehab and I had to get out of there. I transferred to UT-San Antonio and graduated. The only things I only knew were construction and basketball. When I went to college, I wanted to study business

and my family said absolutely not. I got my teaching certification and started teaching and coaching at Marshall High School here in San Antonio. I worked for them for eight years and every summer I was flipping houses - going to J&R Tile and getting all the leftover materials and working with my hands. Funny enough, I stole my estimator Richard Herrick from Marshall. We worked together with at-risk youth, datadriven decisions for standardized testing. It was like Dangerous Minds, but the San Antonio version. We had a blast. How did you end up at J&R then? I sat them down after I got my Master’s degree in education while teaching/ coaching full time and earned their respect. Running crews is a lot like coaching a basketball team. I coached varsity girls’ basketball at Marshall and made the switch. I grew up driving the forklift and being the delivery driver. I was off doing side jobs with dad in the country. I’ve always loved it, but my family didn’t want me to get into it because it was too much stress. My mother, Chris, is the CEO and stress is relative, and coaching and teaching at a 5A high school is no easy task. I wanted to put a winning team together at J&R. Build a Poth H.S.-type team. Coaching in a big city is different. The sense of pride, community, and what your name is isn't the same. I needed to go where I could make a difference. What experiences as a teacher and coach have you taken with you to J&R Tile? I mentored under an outstanding PM/estimator, Merrill Moy, who showed me the ropes. I just kind of sat back and took it all in and thought about what I could do to bring us up to date and make improvements. We run our entire company through a Cloud-based project management system. It was a good transition for me because my background is in education. I came in and saw some things we can improve on. We’ve always had a good reputation in the city. We decided to challenge the men. I told them ‘Look, this is what we’re going to do. We’re not just going to say we’re the best anymore.’ We wanted to make these guys study and they’re going to walk into the field and are educating people. They are walking TCNA handbooks. How did you get them up to speed? They had to pass a 155-question test and a rigorous 10-hours, hands-on test. We want high standards and are going to have the continuing education and training to back it up. We certified all of our installers, even though we lost a couple because they wouldn't buy in. To be competitive, you have to be a problem solver and have solutions. We are trained in new technologies to save people money and give warranties from 5-12 years. Ardex Tile & Stone has been a great partner, and their systems and materials are top notch. We have hands-on training at the warehouse on new products all time. The men in our company have really embraced that model, and love to learn about the newest technologies and products. Plus, Frank Galvan from Ardex is a Certified Tile Installer himself, so he speaks our language. We are an Ardex Choice Contractor, and value our partnership. Every project we are involved in or quote has a job specific warranty from headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA. I actually had dinner and spent some time with the president, his wife, and the director of marketing in Pittsburgh a couple of months ago with my fiancé. What does having your installers certified do? Because of our employee's certifications, we are a National Tile Contractor Association (NTCA) 5 Star Contractor. We are considered the best of the best in the industry. There are only 50 of us in the

Erin Albrecht, back row far right, and her staff have put an emphasis on training and education.

country, and many complicated projects are specified by architects to have NTCA 5 Star Contractors or TCAA Trowel of Excellence (Union) only. We have two installers that are Advanced Certified Installers(ACT). Our CTI's had to do a module mock up and they have an evaluator come down from Mississippi. They have a certain amount of time to do everything to standard. Then, they rip it apart and take photographs of everything and check for proper amounts of coverages to today's standards. I also serve on the NTCA Education and Training Committee. We’re really proud of our men for all passing; it's very uncommon. We have two of the most qualified tile setters in the country with the ACT designation. The other big thing is that Triniti (ACT/ CTI) just got back from Chicago, and we’re so big on everyone else stepping up their game around here that he will be the CTI evaluator in the state of Texas for the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF). There’s no excuse anymore for others not to sign up since we have an evaluator in Texas. How has all of this changed how you do business? We used to just do tile. Now we’re doing moisture remediation and self-leveling products for over 8,000-sf floors that have zero tile. The men we have, I can’t explain how professional they are. They have been to Crossville, Stonepeak, and Dekton Cosentino Thin Panel Porcelain training, and have had the manufacturers pay to fly them all around the country for trainings and factory certifications. Tile now is 5' x 10', and there is a lot of training and tools needed! Our installers take pride in their training, qualifications, and skills. Triniti Vigil is a Ceramic Tile Education Foundation evaluator and advanced certified installer in five areas (Large Format Tile, Membranes, Mud Floors/Walls, Thin Porcelain Tile). Adam Arrellano is also an advanced certified tile installer. Adam and Triniti spent three days doing

this on hands testing at Coverings in Chicago last year. Eleazer Maldanado, Victor Arrendondo and Jimmy Martinez are all CTI's. I am also very happy to say that Johnny Kotara is a CTI too! The Department of Labor has approved a three-year apprenticeship program, and we have four men currently enrolled, and three men signed up and taking the CTI Test in April. There is a serious skilled labor shortage in the industry, and we hope to help the State of Texas get apprenticeships back in local high schools and community colleges. Our CTI's have worked with the P.A.C.E. program and Construction Careers High School, talking to kids about a future as professionals in tile installation. Are you married or do you have kids? I’m engaged and I have three dogs. We have a little wiener dog named Tucker, a retriever named Bear, and a French Bulldog puppy named Lewis. Lewis is in potty training mode now. He’s a mess. Do you have any big events coming up? The National Tile Contractors Association and the Tile Council of North America picked three outstanding contractors in the country to go to Orlando in April to Coverings, which is the largest worldwide tile and stone convention. We received the first invitation. We’re going to be featured on HGTV’s Tiny Houses doing the tile and decking it out. We have also been specified on a very large commercial project by a local architect as a NTCA Five Star Contractor with Advanced Certified Installers. We collaborated and were involved early in the project with budget bids and recommendations. The entire project has Ardex specified as well, and we are offering a 12-year warranty. I've been working a lot lately with architects and directly with developers and owners that want things done correctly the first time and are asking for help. I think our value just might be starting to catch on. –cs

Submitted to Construction News

Celebrating 75

Dumas Hardware Company celebrated its 70th anniversary. Opened in 1946, Dumas Hardware designs, builds and sells doors and hardware. –cs

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

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Giving thanks

For the kids

Service Mechanical Group customers get together at the 11011 Wye St. location for lunch.


ervice Mechanical Group held its 20th annual Customer Thanksgiving Luncheon on Nov. 11 for a chance to give back. GM John Gargotta summed it up as, “They put food on our table and this is a chance for us to put food on theirs.” Around 150 people showed up throughout lunch to enjoy bacon wrapped jalapenos, mashed potatoes, turkey and all the other Thanksgiving staples. –cs

Back row: L-R: Kenneth Moore, Jon Marek, George Holzhaus, Bert Mazac, Barry Hevner. Front row: L-R: Debbie Hannasch, Mike McGinnis, Jennifer Swinney, Nora Romero.


L-R: Rene Chapko, Renee Chapko, Rebecca Travino

he American Subcontractors Association (ASA) San Antonio Chapter held a tailgate mixer and scholarship fundraiser with the proceeds of $10,000 going toward the ASA Scholarship Fund. Around 100 people from different companies in San Antonio and the surrounding area showed up to network, enjoy a some BBQ and have a few drinks with a chance to win raffle prizes. –cs Bill Wurzbach, CFC Engineering, and Gary Joeris, Joeris General Contractors, stopped for a picture while enjoying the event.

L-R: John Gargotta, Cheryl Zinsneister, Yolonda Flores, Buddy Rochester, Barbara Beighley, Jennifer Gargotta

Into Action


ollowing the hailstorm that caused $2.5 billion of damage to the city, Action Roofing and Remodeling’s phone was ringing off the hook. Even today, almost six months later, Action is getting calls daily to repair the damage from the storm. “We get calls everyday from people who are desperate, who have put money down and the roofers took their money or did a terrible job,” Action Vice President Theresa Skrobanek said. “It’s the hardest thing we’ve had to do when we turn them down, because we have to take care of our customers.” Skrobanek and cofounder Bill Clarkson keep Action Roofing is still hard at work repairing damage from their operation small to enthe hail storm in April. sure quality. In January, Action celebrated its 20Action has four employees and uses year anniversary, something made pos- the same six subcontractors. Roughly, 90 sible by positive reviews and word-of- percent of the business is residential with mouth. 30 percent of it on the construction side “We stay true to what we believe in, with siding, fascia, soffit, windows, carand that’s quality over quantity,” Skro- ports and patio covers. banek said. “Even after the big hail storm With such a tight crew, Action makes we had, we didn’t hire any new crews, so sure it takes care of its crewmembers. we just really want to take care of the “We bring them lunch almost every customer. day and bring them Gatorade or water,” “Ninety percent of our customer Skrobanek said. “We sit down and they base is referral based, and we’re really tell us their frustrated. They get frustratproud of that. In times when you could ed: it’s really hot, roofs are steep and it’s run after the money, we stayed with our really chaotic. We have a lot of support for philosophy to take care of our customer them.” –cs first.”

Comfort Air Primo Plumbing and RidoutBarrett employees got together to support the ASA Scholarship Fund.

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San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Fish tales

Plenty of grace at 20

O’Haver Contractors employees recently celebrated 20 years in business in San Antonio.

First-place team


lumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors (PHCC) San Antonio’s 24th annual Memorial Fishing Tournament was Oct. 1 in Rockport. More than 200 fishing participants competed in the tournament, enjoyed dinner catered by San Antonio’s own Acadiana Café’s shack, and tried their luck at some great raffles of hunting/fishing equipment. –cw Winners 1st place team:  PMI Sales (Buster Williams, David Bugge, Gary Haecker) 2nd place team: Holes of San Antonio (George and Ken Majors, Fred Maberry) 3rd place team:  A & A Plumbing (Joey Suarez, Patrick Smith, David Earlley) Heavy Trout: Jimmy Shafer, Shafer Services Heavy Flounder:  Patty Martin, Beyer Plumbing Most number of spots on Redfish: Steve Carmichael Jr. Division: 1st place - H Hemby;  2nd place - N Cernosek;  3rd place – J Kilhorn $10 Gun Raffle winner: Scott Supak


ounded in 1996 by Donald R. O’Haver II, O’Haver Contractors is celebrating 20 years of service in the San Antonio and Texas construction industry and O’Haver gives all the credit to a strong faith in God and ongoing support from the community. “Our 20th anniversary means a celebration of God’s faithfulness,” O’Haver says. “It’s by His grace that we have been in business this long. After that, it means it’s time to reflect back on all the great relationships that have been built and all the lives the company has impacted in a positive way. We mark this milestone by giving thanks to all those who have supported us over the years – and there are many.” O’Haver reflected on the many changes to the construction industry his company has seen over the years. “Over the last 20 years, there have been some positive changes in the industry and some not so positive,” he said. “Construction related laws have changed

that allow public entities to award projects and spend tax dollars in a subjective manner. Also, the digital age has changed a great deal in our industry with the way documents are distributed. There have also been changes with the introduction of drones to the industry, phone applications, project management software and regulations. Perhaps one of the most impactful is the increased shift of risk to the general contractors by changes in contract documents.” O’Haver said his company was started from scratch, after spending years with national firms, and the growth they have experienced has led to amazing success and the ability to grow industry leaders from within the company. Future goals include a continued strive for excellence and continuing to build the projects they enjoy. When not working, O’Haver is active in his church, enjoys outdoor activities and married the love of his life in October. –cw

Sundt shoots for a cure

L-R: Joe Thomas Ortiz, Wounded Warrior program, John Hoot, Quality Fence and Welding, Jon McKelvain, Sundt Construction, Todd Calder, Sundt Construction


he Sundt Foundation raised $20,020 for ALS research at the annual Mike Gaines San Antonio Charity Golf Tournament. Over 100 golfers got together on Nov. 8 at the Silverhorn Golf Club of Texas. The fundraiser is named after Sundt Construction Inc. employee Mike Gaines, who lost his battle with ALS in 2001. The foundation has raised $1.7 million since then with golf tournaments in Tucson, Phoeniz, San Diego, Sacramento, San Antonio and a skeet shoot in Tucson. –cs

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

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Into the sky



The employees of Massengale Armature Works are adapting new technology to the work place.

ohn Massengale has had sole ownership of Massengale Armature Works for three years, and has made changes to ensure the business is at the top of its game. Massengale’s father bought the business in 1965, and when he passed in 2005, John took it over with his brothers until 2013 when he became the owner of the motor repair company, along with his wife, Robin. Massengale’s scope of services is very wide, ranging from servicing pumps to making replacement parts in its shop. “We are very diverse. We repair a lot of large industrial commercial motors and some pumps,” Massengale said. “We work on a lot of different rotating apparatuses. We support local industries here, mechanical contractors, entertainment parks and in the oil fields.” HVAC is a large chunk of what Massengale does and he wants to branch out to more on site work to offer more services. “We do some field service work and are looking to branch out into more field

service work.” Massengale said. “We’re starting to get into field service work for pump repairs and pump removals and the pump part of the business.” Along with expanding its services, Massengale added more equipment to be more functional. “I’ve been telling people for 30 years how the business should be run, how I want it to be run, as far as making the business more efficient, as far as how we invoice, produce and how the work flow is spread out,” Massengale said. “We’ve spent upwards of a million dollars over the last two years on making improvements in the business.” Some of those improvements are an updated vacuum impregnation system, motor analyzers for in-house and in the field and vibration and alignment analysis software that can display its results on an iPad. Massengale employs 22 people, some who work in the shop that, like its services, varies in different types of jobs. –cs

Industry FOLKS Guy Katz Director of Manpower and Safety



uy Katz quit his job when he was 18 years old, and when he got home, his father told him to go see his uncle, an electrician, the next day. It turned out to be a good decision for Katz, since he has spent 35 years at Alterman Electric as a journeyman electrician and now as the director of manpower and safety. “I didn’t know I wanted to do this, but it turned out to be a pretty successful run,” Katz said. “I’ve still got two or three years to go. It has its challenges every day. When you wake up in the morning, you’re not doing the same old thing.” After work, Katz is an outdoorsman, which he considers almost a fulltime job. “I have a big yard, have seven dogs and I fish at Laguna Madres and Port Aransas,” Katz said. “I like Rockport, but I like to fish and work around the house. “I fish for trout and red fish, and Amy finds all the flounder. I can’t catch a flounder. I can’t even shoot one if I see it.” Katz married his wife, Amy, in September after being together for nearly 16 years. “We go to the range every two or three weeks to get out and get some sunshine,” Katz said. Katz says he has a nice collection of firearms, ranging from an AR-15 to

pistols. “I have an FN Herstal that our forces used as their primary assault rifle until 2013, then it went to a different rifle,” Katz said. “I was doing some research on it when I bought it, and it has the lowest misfire rate of an AR. It’s about the finest one in the world.” On the handgun side, his go to is his Colt Commander 45, which he doesn’t go too far without. ‘That’s the one I keep near me at most times,” Katz said. “I have two that are very simple. One is a Taurus Judge, and the other is a Smith and Wesson Governor.” Katz also works with the AGC and attends safety fairs, along with talking to students at the Career Center Academy to get them interested in a career as an electrician. “A lot of them want to be engineers, so what we say to them, they don’t want to hear,” Katz said. “We explain to them that there will be no student debt, and you can make about $175,000 in the next five years without the debt.” –cs

Overall top team


merican Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) gathered for its annual Sporting Clays Tournament Oct. 20 at San Antonio Gun Club. Congrats to the winners! –cw Sporting Clays Overall Top Team Score: Hank Gray, Jeff Gray, Ben Gray and Marshall Lasswell

Top Individual Female Shooter Score: Deb Wertheim Top Individual Male Shooter Score: Kenneth Kotara Most Room for Positive Improvement Award: Thomas Seltzer and Chelsea West

Page 10

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Contractors: 5 questions to start your year Michael Kuchar, CPA, CCIFP, Construction Group Shareholder Doeren Mayhew Houston, TX


eady or not, a new year is just around the corner. As your construction business looks to make it a successful one, consider these five best practices for optimizing your financial position. Are you taking advantage of all the tax savings opportunities available to you? Frequently overlooked by construction professionals, the Research and Development (R&D) tax credit rewards businesses for improvements to their processes or technologies. New and innovative construction techniques, improving an existing building structure and designing and constructing a new facility are just a few examples of projects that may meet the R&D tax credit requirements. The Section 179D deduction is another opportunity to consider. Although more complex to qualify for, Section 179D allows contractors performing qualified energyefficient lighting improvements for taxexempt entities to qualify for the deduction even though the cost of the improvements were paid for by the taxexempt entity. Have you created a budget for the year, and is it realistic? A well-constructed and maintained budget allows you to properly plan your expenses, determine revenue and ensure your financials are on track for each project. While creating your budget, be sure to estimate revenue, calculate upfront costs and account for your monthly expenses in order to get a better understanding of monthly financials. Once the actual numbers are in, make sure to compare your budget to actual costs to determine what changes you need to make for upcoming months or future projects. Stay on track with budgeting and your financials with benchmarking tools and resources available to you through the industry associations. Are you prepared to effectively manage your jobs? In order to keep projects on track and on budget, it’s important to know the job schedule and be prepared. By developing a schedule, you will know in advanced when every facet of the job is to begin, when it should be completed, timing for arranging subcontractors and progress throughout the various project stages. It is also important to keep in contact with your team and to have your group on the same page. Often times your team can provide strategic thinking to help with challenges as they arise and give valuable input on cost cutting throughout projects. This can be achieved by conducting weekly or biweekly meetings with accounting

professionals, management and account managers. Do you understand your financial standing and what the numbers mean? Working with accounting personal to analyze financial statements allows you to catch potential problems early on before they become bigger issues and result in costly losses. Understanding your financial standing allows you to be on the lookout for problematic areas impacting cash flow, such as profit fade, under-billings, change orders and flaws in the billing process. Communicate problems or concerns to your accounting professionals to develop and implement processes to minimize cash-flow risks. Have you taken steps to protect yourself from fraud and scams targeting the construction industry? As technology continues to evolve, fraud also continues to rise. The construction industry in particular is targeted because of the various cost inputs, multiple suppliers and subcontractors. Industry professional suggest establishing internal controls and implementing employee policies and procedures to reduce fraud opportunities. One scam we’ve been hearing a lot about involves a fraudulent email address imitating an assistant or company employee you work closely with, sending an email on your behalf asking for a wire transfer to the account they provide information for. Make sure your policies and procedures include measures to protect yourself from such scams. Once money has been transferred from one account to another, there is very little, if anything, that can be done to reverse the transaction or replace what has been lost. Planning for the unknown of what 2017 holds for your construction business can be challenging. Doeren Mayhew’s specialized group of construction CPAs can help you implement strategies that are just right for your individual needs. Michael Kuchar, CPA, is a shareholder and leader of Doeren Mayhew’s dedicated Construction Group in Houston. A top 100 U.S. firm, Doeren Mayhew’s CPAs and business advisors serve more than 500 suppliers and general and specialty contractors doing business domestically and abroad. For more information, visit

What is Surety??? Becky Landry, Surety Manager Catto & Catto LLP San Antonio, TX


ebster’s defines surety as “a person who takes responsibility for another’s performance of an undertaking.” The first known record of contract suretyship appeared in an etched clay tablet from the Mesopotamian region in 2750 BC.

What is the difference between surety and insurance? Insurance is a device where a group of individuals contribute to a common fund for the purpose of utilizing this fund to pay for losses sustained by these individuals. It is a two party obligation between the insured and the insurance company and assumes there will be a loss. The policy premium is actuarially determined based on aggregate premiums earned versus expected losses. Surety operates on the premise that there will never be a loss. Surety is a three party obligation. One party (Surety Company) guarantees a second party (owner/obligee) the successful performance of a third party (principal/ contractor). Surety is more of a credit function. Sureties collect premiums as a charge for lending credit to a contractor. The fundamental difference between insurance and bonds is that surety companies demand reimbursement from principals in the event there is a loss. A General Indemnity Agreement is a contract between the surety company and the contractor. It obligates the contractor to protect the surety from any loss or expense that the surety sustains as a result of having issued bonds on behalf of the contractor. There are four basic types of contract bonds. Bid bonds assure the bid has been submitted in good faith and guarantees the bidder will enter into a contract at the proposed price and provide performance and payment bonds, if requested. A performance bond states that the principal will build whatever it is that he has contracted to build in accordance with the plans and specifications. A payment bond guarantees anyone supplying labor and/ or materials will be paid subject to the contract provisions. A maintenance bond may be requested upon completion of the project and guarantees against defective workmanship and materials. There are three main components that a surety company looks for in a contractor, which are also known as the Three C’s. Character – what is the moral and ethical nature of a contractor? What is his

standing and reputation in the community? Contractors should be honorable and dependable business people. Have they been in any previous legal disputes is also valuable information. What is their credit history and banking relationship? Do they have a line of credit? Reference letters indicating the size and scope of previous projects are very helpful in providing background information on projects completed. Capacity – does the contractor have the necessary skills, knowledge, manpower and ability to complete a project? Does he have the plant and equipment necessary to perform their contracts? Capital – measurement of the contractor’s financial ability to assume the risks of the business activity. Do they have the financial wherewithal to finance a new project along with their current obligations and any problems that could arise? Corporate and personal financial statements are required to determine the financial strength of the principal and their ability to support the bond provided by the surety company. While not necessarily one of the 3 C’s, but equally important is the Continuity of the company. What happens if the owner of a construction company dies unexpectedly or decides to retire? There should be a formal written plan of succession to complete all projects currently under contract. BuySell Agreements and Key-Man Life Insurance are both good instruments in providing continuity. A contractor should look for a surety producer they can trust, and who has the experience, integrity and knowledge to help a contractor grow. The producer should have a vast knowledge of the construction industry and be an integral partner of a contactor like his banker, attorney and CPA. Becky Landry is the Surety Manager for Catto & Catto, LLP. Her company and agency experience gives her a unique understanding of the surety industry. She can be reached at or by phone at 210-222-2161.

Construction News ON LOCATION

Quality stone

Pacific Shore Stones employee Jose Pompa stoppped work for a picture when we visited the store on Jones Maltsberger Road. –cs

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Page 11

Forum-Selection and Choice-of-Law Provisions: Are they enforceable?

A Roadmap for meeting the requirements of the respirable Crystalline Silica Law 29 CFR 1926.1153

John C. Warren, Principal Cokinos, Bosien & Young Houston, TX

Joann Natarajan Compliance Assistance Specialist OSHA Austin, TX


orum-selection and choice-of-law provisions are found in most construction contracts. You’re probably familiar with them; they generally stipulate the forum for any dispute resolution, and specify the law that will govern. These provisions are often utilized by larger construction companies that work across broad geographical areas to make dispute resolution more predictable, efficient, and/or advantageous. Though they might be overlooked by some at the outset of a new project, they quickly become an important consideration when a dispute arises. The forum for dispute resolution, and the law that will control such dispute, will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the outcome of a legal battle. Even the most burdensome forum-selection and choice-of-law provisions, freely negotiated, are generally enforced as written by courts. quires courts and arbitrators to “rigor“Home-Rule” statutes In an apparent effort to protect local ously enforce” agreements to arbitrate in contractors, subcontractors and suppli- accordance with the terms of the coners from being forced to litigate in for- tract. This means for a project in Texas, if eign jurisdictions and/or pursuant to for- the contract has an agreement to arbieign laws, many state legislatures have trate in Louisiana under Louisiana law, enacted “home-rule” statutes to prohibit and the FAA applies, the parties will likely the enforcement of such clauses. Home- have to resolve any disputes in Louisiana. So what does this mean for you? Keep rule statutes generally void, or make voidable, contract clauses which provide an eye out for forum-selection and that the exclusive forum for dispute reso- choice-of-law provisions in your conlution shall be in another state, or subject tracts, as they can play a significant role disputes to the laws of another state. For in any dispute that may arise. If you are instance, Texas has a home-rule statute unsure as to whether they are enforcethat applies to a contract that is “princi- able, consult a construction lawyer for pally for the construction or repair of an advice. John C. Warren is a principal in the improvement to real property” located in Texas. It provides that if the contract con- Houston office of Cokinos, Bosien & Young. tains a provision making any conflict sub- John focuses his practice on all aspects of ject to another state’s law, or litigation/ construction law and commercial litigaarbitration in the courts of another state, tion.John has been involved in cases relatthat provision is voidable by the party ed to petroleum processing facilities, tank obligated to perform the construction. farms, marine terminals, pipelines, convenOver 20 other states have enacted similar tion centers, airports, schools, hospitals, such statutes, including Louisiana, Okla- hotels, federal government buildings, office homa, New Mexico, Florida, and Califor- buildings, condominiums, commercial/retail buildings, roads, bridges, and residennia. To better explain, consider a con- tial construction. In addition to his litigastruction project that is located in State tion practice, John also regularly drafts, reA. The contract, however, has a forum- views, and negotiates all types of construcselection and/or choice-of-law provision tion contracts. John is a frequent speaker that specifies disputes shall be litigated and author on various legal issues within in State B, pursuant to State B’s laws. If the construction industry, and has been State A has a home-rule statue, then the named a Texas “Rising Star” in Construcprovision in the contract designating tion Litigation in 2015 and 2016. He is “AV” State B as the forum and governing law rated by Martindale-Hubbell peer review may be void (or at least voidable), and ratings, the highest rating possible. See his State A will then likely be the proper fo- full bio at: john-warren/ or email him at: jwarren@cbrum and law. Kelsey L. Walker is an associate at CokiNot so fast - FAA preemption? However, home-rule statutes don’t nos, Bosien & Young that assisted with this always control. If the contract contains an article. She has a B.A. from Texas A&M Uniotherwise enforceable arbitration agree- versity and graduated from South Texas ment, so long as the project involves in- College of Law in 2016 where she was an terstate commerce (likely for most large editor for the Construction Law Journal construction projects), the Federal Arbi- and an officer in the Student Bar Associatration Act (“FAA”) has been held to pre- tion. empt home-rule statutes. The FAA re-

1. Determine if the silica standard applies to your employees. Could employees be exposed to respirable crystalline silica at or above 25 μg/m3 as an 8-hour TWA under any foreseeable conditions, including the failure of engineering controls, while performing construction activities? No: No further action is required under the silica standard. Yes: Choose to comply with the standard using either the: Specified exposure control methods in Table 1, or The alternative methods of compliance 2. Determine what additional requirements you must meet under the standard, based on the compliance method you are following. Requirement

Must the Employer Follow this Requirement



Exposure Assessment


Methods of Compliance


Respiratory Protection

Yes, if respirator use is required by Table 1



Written Exposure Control Plan


Medical Surveillance

Yes, for employees who must wear a respirator under the silica standard for 30 or more days a year.

Communication of Hazards



Yes, for any employees who are getting medical examinations

The silica standard for construction provides a flexible approach for construction employers to achieve compliance. The standard includes Table 1, which lists 18 common tasks using various types of tools or equipment found at construction sites. For each employee engaged in a task in Table 1, employers who choose to follow the Table for that task are required to fully and properly implement the engineering controls, work practices, and respiratory protection specified in Table 1. Employers who comply with Table 1 are not required to conduct exposure assessments or comply with a PEL for those employees. 512-374-0271 x232

Submitted to Construction News

Planning central

Construction News ON LOCATION

Holding down the fort

Hillary Lira is hard at work for Quality Fence and Welding. –cs

L-R: The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) South Central Region held its annual Fall Conference Nov. 11-12 in Houston. Past directors who put the event together were (L-R) Dena Rowland (Fort Worth), Miki Haas (Northshore, LA), Jennifer Swinney (San Antonio), Sandy Field (Houston), Christine Barnhill (Northshore, LA), Julia Campbell (Fort Worth), Laura Culin (Austin), Karolene Pittman (Fort Worth), Luci Roberts (Austin). –mjm

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San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Vibe was electric

CenTex apprentice Riley O’Neal wins 2nd place in the National IEC 2016 wireoff competition.


uring the week of Oct. 26-29, thousands of people from all over the U.S. converged on San Antonio for the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) annual national convention. –cw Texas awards included: Apprenticeship Alumni Award: Joe Chandler, IEC Dallas 2016 IEC National Apprentice of the Year: Riley O’Neal, Great Basin Industrial, CenTex IEC

Joe Chandler

Excellence in Construction Awards Multi-family up to three stories, including senior living: Central Electric (San Antonio); Kent Place Residences Low-Voltage Systems: Central Electric (San Antonio) Service Contractor: Milestone Electric (Garland)

Milestone Electric

Central Electric in San Antonio took home two awards.

Starting young

L-R: Kerry Gain, assistant superintendent for curriculum and academics; school board members Marty Bartlett, Amy Freund, David Drastata; superintendent Andrew Kim; school board members Stephen Smith and Laurie Schley and assistant superintendent of school support services John Montelongo.


ided by some young volunteers, Joeris General Contractors broke ground on a middle school for the Comal ISD at the Kinder Ranch Subdivision.

The 171,000-sf school will open up its doors in 2018 for students from Timberwood Park and Kinder Ranch elementary schools and other surrounding schools to enjoy. –cs

L-R: Maddie Patten, Jacob DeLaGarza, Joaquin Flores, Daniel Matousek, Katelyn Shenk, Ella Winkler, Leinell Ombaba and Moses Alvarado.

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016


Tool time

nited Tool and Fastener hosted DEWALT as it displayed some of its new products at an open house Oct. 27. DEWALT and United teamed up to serve chicken fajitas and beverages to people looking to buy and learn more about the products. A steady stream of customers came through to check out the new Flexvolt battery that was displayed on different tools. The customers were able to use the tools on site and to purchase them. –cs

Page 13

Construction News JOB SIGHT

Making it look good

Patrick Pilliam, Dewalt, puts on a demonstration for the people watching.

Kyle Zataznik of Lone Star Reprographics Inc., replaces the letters on the outside of Schmidt Mechanical Group. –cs

BakerTriangle employees stopped by to look at the displays and to pick up some free merchandise. L-R: Charlie Beasley, Baldo Guardiola, Marco Ortiz.

L-R: Albert Guerrero and Manny Diaz grill up some chicken fajitas.

Page 14

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Submitted to Construction News

Construction News JOB SIGHT

Pancakes for the people

Welcome welding

Lynwood Building Materials Inc. held a pancake breakfast for its customers to stay engaged with the people they are serving. It was Lynwood’s first customer appreciation event, which they hope to do monthly going forward. Around 100 customers showed up for breakfast at the 1146 West Laurel location. L-R: Carl Shumann flips a pancake while Bryan Thrasher keeps the grill clean as a customer awaits his breakfast. –cs

RCO Construction LLC is currently working a project at Lackland Expand Main Switching Station. Welder Matt Hernandez is fabricating a hatch for access to the volt underneath the building. –cw

Construction News ON LOCATION

Submitted to Construction News

Training in session

Pink and proud

Northstar Fire Protection of Texas Inc. is training a group of employees in a two-day class for HydraCAD software. –cs

L-R: Kyle Menard, Ben Carmona, Joel Phillips, Chad Menard, Henry Vloo, Norma Craig, Adrian Ford-Mann, and Sherry Cincotta of Braun Intertec wear pink to work to support breast cancer awareness in October. –cs

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Page 15

cooler you should notice a better feeding window during morning hours as the sun warms the water throughout the day. Pay close attention to major and minor feeding times and be sure to be fishing an area you have confidence in during these times. Many people make the mistake to relocate to a different spot and don’t realize the bite may be happening while they are moving.

Last cast of the year by Capt. Steve Schultz Sponsored by: Waypoint Marine, Majek Boats, Evinrude Outboards, E-Z Bel Construction, Power Pole Shallow Water Anchor, Aggregate Haulers, ForEverlast ­­­ Hunting and Fishing Products, MirrOlure, andColumbia Sportswear.


oodbye fall fishing patterns and let’s make some room for winter trophy trout fishing. As we prepare to close out the 2016 season, we are also getting out our winter wading gear for the beginning of some of the best trophy trout action of the New Year. Anglers that prefer wading shorelines and the popular rocks in the Baffin Bay complex throwing artificial lures, this is your time to shine. Although water levels and temperatures remain higher than normal, it’s just a matter of time before they began to fall as we start getting cold fronts in on a regular basis. As soon as the water gets

Good luck and Good Fishing.

Wade fishing is usually the norm during this time of the year, slow rolling soft plastics and suspending baits over soft mud and rocks in Baffin Bay. While top water baits land some of the largest specks during warmer months, they will still land some large trout throughout the winter. Don’t be afraid to give your favorite plug a few casts, especially amidst an abundance of mullet. If you catch one of these beauties make sure you handle them with care. Their only protection against predators is their slimy coating. Try to keep them wet while taking photos and never use a towel to handle them, as you will remove their natural defense. Before closing, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I would also like to thank all of my clients who have fished with me in the

1st place: Albert Loya, Todd Mann and Leo Garcia with University Health Systems. Also pictured are SpawGlass team members Veronica Gutierrez, Margie Lopez and Eric Kennedy.


I have already started to fill the calendar for the upcoming 2017 season. Don’t wait till all the good dates are gone! To schedule your next bay fishing trip give Capt. Steve Schultz a call at 361-813-3716 or 361-334-3105 or e-mail him at

It is also important to remember that as water temperatures start falling, your presentation should slow down as well. Smaller lures work best finding feeding fish before changing to the larger patterns for wall hangers. Don’t be mistaken - some of the largest trout I have brought to the Boga Grip have come of 3-4 inch soft plastic lures.

Bay it forward

pawGlass had its 12th annual Bay Fishing Tournament on South Padre Island on Oct. 1. Proceeds ben-

years past. Another shout out is to all of my sponsors that help make my job better throughout the year. If you are searching for the perfect gift for the outdoors person in your family, I offer gift certificates for your convenience. Give me a call and I can set one up on a moments notice.

efit Walk for Women, UTRGV, Easter Seals, and Texas A&M Construction Science Program. Congrats to the winners! –cw

The SpawGlass team – Michael Emmons, Eric Kennedy, Bobby Miller.

Trophy tout season is upon us and it’s the most productive time of the year to land a 30” trout like this one caught in Baffin Bay by Capt. Steve Schultz.

Page 16

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Ken Milam’s Fishing Line Since 1981, Ken Milam has been guiding fishing trips for striped bass on Lake Buchanan in the Texas Hill Country, You can hear Ken on the radio as follows: The Great Outdoors: 5-8 am Saturday on 1300, The Zone, Austin and The Great Outdoors: 5-7 am Saturday on 1200 WOAI San Antonio The Sunday Sportsman: 6-8 am Sunday on 1300, The Zone, Austin All on iHeart Radio

Make your escape!


he campfire crackled and I gathered my jacket closer around me. Granny was getting to the part where her great grandma Josie and her sister spied the Indian in the tree at the watering hole. Those girls turned tail and flew home as fast as their high-buttoned shoes could carry them, and they could hear the Indian behind them just about falling out of the tree laughing at them! They lived to tell the tale and we still tell it to this day, a century and a half later. If you have ever shared a campfire with someone, you can probably relate to what a special experience it is. It doesn’t matter if it is a deer camp cooking fire or a wiener roasting beach fire, it doesn’t take long for everyone to come close for the warmth and company. Tall tales and outright truths all take on a new life as your gaze is drawn to the flames. We need to do more of this. Now we are finally getting to the time of year when a fire feels good and we get to see friends and family during the holidays and hunting season. Try to get in a little fireside time if you can. It is an elemental part of who we really are and where we have come from. We have come a long, long way from needing fire to survive. It has chased away our fear of the night, cooked our

Submitted to Construction News

Bogged down

food and kept us warm, but we largely have gotten over it. Now television tells us stories, the internet gives us our gossip, and our phones and computers run our lives. I wonder about this technological prison we seem to be making for ourselves. Even old school me sometimes forgets that I can just put the device down, and back away from the screen. We are so blessed to be in Texas! We have access to just about any kind of place you can imagine to get out and explore and play. Go west for mountains and desert sands. Up north you’ve got prairies and Canyonlands. Central Texas has hill country, wildflowers and BBQ to die for. East Texas has forests, lakes and swamps and south Texas has big old deer and beaches…did you say beaches? We have the whole gulf coast to play on! Texas has 94 State Parks that give you access to all of this! Anything you want to do is right outside the door. Fishing and hunting are always popular, but then you have birding and stargazing. You can hard or take it easy, waterski or go kayaking, or just float a lazy river. Make it your own kind of adventure. And most importantly, take a kid with you if you can! Kids today have not known the preelectronic world. If you don’t help them discover the rest of the world they are about to inherit, how can they understand the importance of caring for it and about it. This holiday season, the most important gift you can give might just be the gift of your time and the outdoors. We need to remind ourselves and teach our youth that we are so much more than the devices that entertain and enslave us. Happy holidays! Have some fun and we’ll see you next year!

Happy Holidays Y’all Submitted to Construction News

Bagged a buck

Dave and Amy Sanchez, Hispanic Contractors de San Antonio, visited Maine in October and while there, went cranberry bogging! –cw

Half or Full Day Fishing Trips All Bait, Tackle & Equipment Furnished Your catch Filleted and Bagged for You

Ken Milam Guide Service (325) 379-2051

Furnish your TPWD Fishing License & Refreshments, and WE DO THE REST!

Becca Major, daughter of George Major, Jr. of Holes Of San Antonio Inc, tagged her first buck on Nov. 12 with a .243 Winchester Youth Rifle in McMullen County. The eight-point buck was shot out of a blind with George and her mother, Vanessa, next to her. –cs

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Page 17

European escape

Running with a purpose Submitted by Jason Wiederstein, Drash Contracting Company, LLC


his past weekend, I participated in the 41st Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. My entry was free, and I partnered with a charity and agreed to raise $650. I raised more than $7,000 for Autism research, with most of it from subcontractors. I think the lifeblood of a successful project is the subs; having mutual respect and a good relationship. It means the world that they believe in me enough to donate to my charity partner and help us accomplish the goal of raising funds and awareness. I was even asked to give a speech at the pre-race dinner on Saturday evening. The weekend was spent with friends and family from the area. I got to visit the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico and Jason Wiederstein, Drash Contracting Company LLC, stops in front of the Washington Monument. some of the monuments in D.C. Honoring significant events and It’s very somber and tough to get through people is what this was all about. The without choking up. Blue Mile is part of the run where fallen My running experience goes back to service members pictures are displayed. conditioning in high school and regular PT as a Marine infantryman, but I just started distance running two years ago. There’s something to be said for the training you do as a runner; how it relates to the construction field. I ran within seconds of a personal best half marathon. Then the sun broke through and the temps started climbing. My thighs were cramping at mile no. 19. But as I said in my speech, there’s that same discipline of endurance. Just like a project, you’re tired and ready to be done but there’s more to do. You put your head down and push on. Being successful in construction is about endurance. Running has helped me when it comes to seemingly insurmountable tasks: a big bid, a tight schedule and difficult people. But when I think that a 230-pound guy can run 26 miles, nothing Jason Wiederstein, Drash Contracting is impossible! Company LLC, and his wife, Rhonda, pose by the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington D.C

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After three weeks of pursuit, David Jones, CEO of RL Jones LP Construction, finally outsmarted this south Texas typical 6x9 mammoth that carried 203 6/8’s inches of antler to his credit. Jones was guided by son, Josh Jones, on a CH Wildlife Services ranch just outside of Pearsall.   –cw

Mimi and Blaine Beckman in Stockholm, Sweden.


laine Beckman, F.A. Nunnelly, took a European vacation with his wife, Mimi, that featured beautiful sites, history and a lot of walking. The couple spent five days in Reykjavík, Iceland, where they snorkeled in a glacier runoff, saw the northern lights and saw waterfalls, volcanoes and black sand lava fields. After Iceland, they went to Stockholm, Sweden, and immersed themselves in the culture by eating different foods and touring old Stockholm. They eventually traveled to Oslo, Norway, on their last leg of the journey on the Flam Railway. After returning home on Oct. 30, the Beckmans realized they had walked 75 miles in two weeks. –cs

Blaine Beckman at a waterfall on the south coast of Iceland.

Page 18

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Working for dinner

Quality time for the children


owell Crane & Rigging Inc. held its 22nd annual Skeet Shoot BBQ & Dove Hunt Oct. 8 at Howell Ranch in Olmos, TX. Plenty of employees, families, customers and others came out to enjoy the day. –cw


On your marks. get set, shoot!

Winners for best shooters out of the men and women’s Annie Oakley shootout included Justin Oats.

After the shoot, a dove-licious feast was enjoyed.

A drone caught a good shot of all the action.

WT Quality Fasteners Inc. employees and friends once again stepped up for the company’s 8th annual Washers For A Cause washer tournament on Oct. 15. A total of 109 individual players took part, as well as lots of other family and friends who came out to the event.  Between the players, the silent auction, the raffle, and sponsors, Quality Fasteners raised $15,000 for the San Antonio Children’s Shelter. Overall, the company has raised more than $45,000 since teaming up with the organization in 2011. Good job! –cw

Winners were, L-R: Matt Prater, 2nd place; Nick Villa, 1st place; and Travis Peltier, 3rd place.

Employees, L-R: Martin Bellard, Sean Reynolds, Courtney Prater, Dale Faulstich, Mark Matula, Jill Matula and Larry Matula; kneeling, L-R: Talon Baier and Stephen Faulstich

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Raising them right

Bartlett Cocke General Contractor’s Russell Harder is raising the kids right – by example! Harder and his two boys love to get outdoors and do some fishing! –cw

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Page 19

Not just for kids

Tony and Eloina Benavides, Arts and Advertising LLC

Paula Casiano, Arts and Advertising, LLC

Quality Fence & Welding

HJD Capital Electric Inc., L-R: Marissa Almanza, Gabi Alexander, Tyler King, Raymond Martinez Jr. Ridout Barrett, best overall and most creative LMD Architects PLLC

Baker Triangle RSM US LLP

GD Interior Construction

Virtual Builders Exchange

Raba Kistner Red Hawk Contracting

continued on Page 20

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San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Defining design

continued from Page 19 — Not just for kids

Cram Roofing Studio8 Architects San Antonio team obviously love the taco scene in San Antonio.


Alpha Building Group

he founder of Studio8 Architects says his firm is all about working with clients to design and implement something that truly reflects that individual business and its culture. “We pride ourselves on learning about our clients and being a real partner with them,” says Milton Hime, AIA, who founded the Austin office in 2003 and the San Antonio office in 2011. “We make sure what we are doing for them is a reflection of their culture and the way they do business. We want to bring them really great design. At the end of the day, the building is a reflection of them, not us.” Studio8 is strictly commercial and focuses on offices, both interior and shell, as well as tenant improvements, planned communities, master planning and mixed use. “We like to do things from the inside out,” Hime says. “Our preference is enduser buildings, inside and out.” Besides being thoughtful when it

comes to clients, Hime says Studio8 is a great place to work. “We focus on our employees and their development for their careers,” he said. “We do love great design.” There are 25 employees in Austin and five in San Antonio, including five principals: Hime, Lisa Cuddy, AIA, Jennifer Carter, IIDA, LEED AP, Paul Detke, AIA and Robert Byrnes, AIA. Megan Moshier is the director of the San Antonio office, although Hime spends a couple of days a week there. Hime says the San Antonio office was opened when Studio8, named for his studio number when he was at another firm, was redeveloping Windsor Park Mall for the City of Windcrest and the new tenant, Rackspace. The company’s culture also includes giving back to the community. This year, they completed the design work on People’s Community Clinic pro bono, as well as having a 23-year relationship with the Central Texas Food Bank. –cw

Who is your favorite athlete? David Robinson. David served our country in a full capacity for whatever his term was because they didn’t want to let him go. Then he went on to become a superstar and he does a lot to give back. Gary Cram, Cram Roofing

Raba Kistner: back row L-R: Rosie O’Leary, Nancy Parker, Joe Irizarry; front, D’Anna Wallace

LeBron James. Honestly, I think he’s just the greatest player. I think he doesn’t really care what people think and doesn’t

really care about the money because the money is going be everywhere he goes. Rose McKethan, Northstar Fire Protection of Texas Michael Jordan. He got me into basketball when he first started. I enjoyed watching him, and for whatever reason, I’ve always liked Michael Jordan. Monica Harris, Accu-Air Roger Staubach of the Dallas Cowboys. I grew up watching him play. He was such a competitor and role model. Scott Parker, Bartlett Cocke The first person that comes to mind, and I’m not very into sports, but I love the Spurs and I love David Robertson. He’s a man of God and in his career and personal life, does the right thing. I appreciate that in a man in a pro athlete who has the ability to influence so many people. Denise Rimkus, Affordable Blinds and Shutters Fran Tarkenton because I had a second grade teacher that was from South Dakota, and he was big Minnesota Vikings fan. In second grade, you’re pretty impressionable and since he was a Vikings fan, I was a Vikings fan. I fell in the love with the Vikings. John Massengale, Massengale Amature Works Inc. Jesse Owens for obvious reasons. Lowell Tacker, LPA Inc. Michael Jordan, because I grew up in the Jordan era. There’s something special about watching Jordan play in his prime. Braden Haley, LPA Inc.

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Page 21

Aiming for nationals

L-R: Instructor James Martinez, Pedro Rivera, Triple R Electric, Jorge Saenz, IEC Commercial, Instructor William Stewart

L-R: Instructor Grady Mann, Samuel Vasquez, Joeris General Contractors, Travis Bippert, Joeris General Contractors

L-R: Instructor Mauricio Payan, Herman Lopez, Quarter Moon Plumbing, Joseph Johnson, TD Industries

Straight shooters


Red course First-place team: Terracon Consultants

he Associatec Builders and Contractors Association (ABC) South Texas Chapter held its 30th annual Sporting Clays Shoot Nov. 10 at the National Shooting Complex. The competition had about 200 people participate in the events and also raffled off five different items for people in attendance. ­–cs Results Red Course Team competition 1st – Terracon Consultants (Jerry Nelson, Rudy Bazan, Bill Ethridge, Steve Ethridge) 2nd – Bartlett Cocke General Contractors (Dean Thayer, Tommy Adams, David Garzo, Harry Moeller, Jr.) 3rd – Smithers Merchant Builders (Jeff Smithers, Mark Anderson, Rick McNealy)

The greater good

First place winners Greater San Antonio Builders Association (GSABA) held their annual BUILD-PAC Golf Tournament at Fair Oaks Ranch Golf and Country Club on Oct. 3. More than 100 golfers battled it out for trophies, prizes and. more importantly. bragging rights! First place team was XL Land Development, second was Gibson Plumbing and third was DPIS Engineering. Other winners included Ladies Longest Drive, Carrie McRee with Edward Jones, Mens Longest Drive, Johnny Johnston with XL Land Development, Ladies Closest to the Cup, Kristal Powell with CKC Homes, and Mens Closest to the Cup, Woody Nance with Parrish & Co. –cw


he Associated Builders and Contactors (ABC) South Texas Chapter and Contractor’s Apprenticeship Trust competed for a chance to advance to the ABC National Craft Championship. The competition gave the six participating apprentices a chance to show off their skills in carpentry, electrical, plumbing and sheet metal. The competitors participated in the Local Craft Championship on Nov. 5 at the St. Phillip’s College South West Campus and will compete in a written portion at the end of November. –cs

Submitted to Construction News

Individual Competition 1st – Rudy Bazen, Terracon Consultants 2nd – Bill Ethridge, CDS Muery 3rd – Adam Hughes, Keystone Concrete Placement Yellow Course Team competition 1st – B.G. Metals (Derek Snoga, Chris Christians Jared Bernshausen, Jared Cain) 2nd – Zurich Surety (Doug Mercer, Cash Murphy, Scott Hildebrandt, Eddie Ojeda) 3rd – Beck Companies (Grant Norman, Keven Londo, Fred Wakefield, Eddie Gonzales) Individual Competition 1st – Mark Billings, CEMCO Steel 2nd – Erek Stone, TD Industries 3rd – Chris Christians, Lynwood Building Materials

Yellow course First-place team: B.G. Metals

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San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Award Wonderland


he San Antonio Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) held an awards and casino night to honor its members on Nov. 11. The event, held at Morgan’s Wonderland, had around 200 people in attendance enjoying food, drinks and games. –cs

Architech of the Year: LPA, Inc. GC of the Year: F.A. Nunnelly

AGC San Antonio President Mike Kaiman

Outstanding CLF Member of the Year: Fernando Figueroa, Cude Enginners Morgan’s Wonderland owner Gordon Hartman addresses the crowd.

Supplier of the Year: Sunstate Equipment Company

Bubba Moeller Award: Patrick Byrnes, Turner Construction Company

Ace Tinch Service Provider of the Year: Raba Kistner, Inc.

Engineer of the year: Cude Engineers

Specialty Contractor of the Year: Baker Triangle

L-R: Charles Atkins, Simon Ortega, Enterprise Fleet Management

L-R: Jacob Fuentes, Preston Parker, Weston Tietze, Raba Kistner

L-R: Lowell Tacker, LPA, Denise Rimkus, Affordable Blinds and Shutters, FM Duffy, Alamo Iron Works

L-R: Tom Whitney, Wortham, Jeff Barier, Guarantee Company of North America, Richard Sauer, Guarantee Company of North America, Jim Albright, Traveler’s Bond, Karen Albright, Neurosurgical Associates of San Antonio

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Page 23

Fared well


First-place Net

ne hundred and thirty four golfers came out to Olympia Hills Golf & Conference Center on Sep. 24 to participate in the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) San Antonio Chapter 16th annual golf tournament. As always, a highlight of the event was the crane ball drop – Joey Blazi was the lucky winner who’s purchased ball was closest to the hole. Congrats to the winners!! –cw

Glenn Ermis 1st place Gross: Crawford Electric Supply with Scott Shaver, Nelson Blanchard, Brian Zigrang, Harris Sharawi 2nd place Net: G&M Electric with Greg Bennett, Richard Flores, Dave Barrows, John Bruce 3rd place Net: Elliott Electrical Supply with Tanner Flowers, Justin McCrary, James Sandoval, Zach Johnson

1st place Net: Bell & McCoy with Garon Shuler, Ryan Hasbrook, Scott Keller,

Longest Drive: John Escamilla Closest to Pin: James Sandoval

First-place Gross

Submitted to Construction News

Bacon and diversity

Rene Watson with Bexar County Small Minority Woman Owned Business Enterprise Program leads a Construction Zone Breakfast presentation at the Dominion Country Club. ­–cs

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San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Greens for good

First-place gross winners, AR Utilities: Abel Medina, Charlie Schlechty, Chris Strause and Juan Rivera


he Hispanic Contractors Association de San Antonio (HCA) held its 17th annual Golf Tournament on Oct. 14 at The Republic Golf Club. Everybody

had a great time and some of the proceeds went to benefit the Alamo Colleges Scholarship Program. Congrats to the winners! –cw

First-place net winners, DES: Adrian Silva, Earl Roberts and Jeremy Leal

continued from Page 1 — Words to live by PHF does both commercial and residential projects, and specializes in gas stations, hospital, medical facilities and new construction. “I started in residential and I like doing it, plus it helps train my apprentices,” he says. “I train them myself. When we go into your house, we are going to treat your house like it’s our house.” One thing that makes PFH different is that Fabian is very hands on. “Most companies don’t have a master electrician on the job site, so that makes my company different,” he says. The company currently has eight employees, with Evelyn handling the office work and Fabian Jr. on the crew as an apprentice.

“He’s been working with me for five years and is close to getting his journeyman’s license,” Fabian says. PFH is basically the perfect size, Fabian says. “Most companies are driven to grow and get bigger,” he said. “Our goal is to stay busy and always have that homegrown attitude where we can specialize the needs of our customers. We want to stay busy, stay small and have a one-onone relationship with our customers.” When not working, Fabian says he and wife Evelyn love to go to the coast and just sit by the water, enjoying the sound of the surf and the breeze. “We enjoy life and creation,” he says. –cw

continued from Page 1 — Ruling the roof facility and we’re able to break up 20 foot sheets of metal with what is called a double bender, which bends the metal both ways instead of having to twist it,” Gary Cram said. “It’s kind of the latest and greatest in metal bending. “We’re able to produce 20-ft sheets of trim with fewer joints, which is the most common place for a roof to fail.” Along with sheet metal, Cram does tile, slate and low-sloped roofs in a variety of different types. Not only does Cram Roofing have the machines to keep ahead in the busi- Gary Cram unveils a gift donated to Cram Roofing for its 30th anniversary. ness, but also the software to make the jobs efficient and as accurate as possible. “We always want to be very efficient ing, providing excellent quality and cuswith our time and costs, so most of our tomer service. superintendents are using an iPad or a “We want to keep serving our cuslaptop with technology and other pro- tomer and doing the right thing everygrams that expedite the process,” Cram day,” Cram said. “We will probably grow, said. but we’re not growth-only driven. We will With 30 years on the books, Cram continue to serve the great customers we aims to keep doing what has made them have.” –cs successful in the past to continue grow-

continued from Page 1 — Restoring San Antonio’s history Site improvements included new sidewalks, two large areas of pavers, curbs and sidewalks and an ornate wood deck gathering area. It was erected between two of the historic home sites. The

deck was made of Fijian Mahogany with an extensive rail system, seating and stairs and ADA ramps. According to Trichia Stoddard, major challenges were working in the downtown area, including moving materials in and out, as well as tourists and visitors always eager to check out one of San Antonio’s most historic areas. She said working with Brian Orebaugh, Design and Development assistant for the City of San Antonio, and Roger Tavares, project manager for Hemisfair Plaza, was a pleasure. “It’s an honor to see all that downtown revitalization happening and to be a part of it,” she says. “It’s wonderful to help make the downtown area a better place.” JCS specializes in historic building preservation, conservation, and restoration. The company’s skills in historic foundation stabilization, historical carpentry, wood and window restoration are documented in many projects throughout Texas, including major courthouse restorations. JCS Construction has worked on preservation projects across the state of Texas and they are familiar with the guidelines of individual Historic Districts and with Texas Historical Commission.  They strive to identify, retain and preserve the beauty of every historic building that they work on. They protect and maintain, repair and replace as necessary in order to preserve the defining historic characteristics of a building. With roughly 40 employees, JCS also does religious, government, institutional, industrial and recreational projects. –cw

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Page 25

Construction Equipment Working to solve workforce problem Brian P. McGuire, President and CEO Associated Equipment Dealers Shaumburg, IL.


s you are aware, there is a shortage of skilled technical workers, and the construction industry is in dire need of qualified technicians. AED is making strides to quantify this issue and change it for the better through a workforce study in collaboration with the College of William & Mary. Acknowledging that our industry has a problem is the first step. There are many job openings and not enough people to properly fill them. Fifty percent of the responders in AED’s workforce study stated that the inability to find skilled workers hinders business growth and creates inefficiencies in their organizations. This generates a huge domino effect, causing major problems in these businesses.

The impact of this skills gap is great. Businesses affected by it may be losing as much as nine percent in yearly revenue. The ramifications of this calculation, if true for both manufacturers and distributors, will be profound impact for both sectors. It could lead to losses of as much as $2.4 billion for distributors and $180 billion for manufacturers. AED does, however, have an idea why these issues are arising. There have

been a lack of certification and accreditation programs ensuring that college and technical school students are getting the proper education. To remedy this, The AED Foundation Accreditation program is trying to reach as many technical schools and college technician programs as possible to ensure that the necessary education is made available. Our accreditation program assures that students are well prepared for a technical career right out of school and that dealers get workers who are ready for the challenges these careers hold. Continuing education is also important. Technology in this field is ever and quickly changing, and workers must constantly adjust to the new technology. Professional development opportunities such as webinars, self-study courses and seminars provide vital information to keep workers ahead of the curve and prepared for changes in the industry. The AED Foundation provides these opportunities for workers in any depart-

ment of a business, so there are options for everyone. Our researchers at the College of William & Mary are already working to help us further improve career educational programs nationwide. AED’s next study – due out in early 2017 – will investigate what’s happening on at the state level (where all federal career technical education dollars, along with state funds, are managed). By reviewing policies, charting investment levels and documenting the condition of skills-based training in our secondary schools, the new report will provide tools that we can use to bolster and maximize the value of workforce development programs. This industry-wide issue is one that needs to be resolved quickly, and one that AED is aiming to help resolve with our continuous work. If you care about the future of our industry and this issue specifically, AED would appreciate your involvement in our association. –cw



he most popular frame size in Bobcat history got a new upgrade. Operators already familiar with the 700 and 800 platform loaders tout the performance, comfort, visibility and machine protection of the machines. Now, the M-Series lineup is more complete, from the radius lift path and all-around versatility of the S510 to the extra power, vertical lift path, excellent reach and large, high-flotation tires of the S590. Premium M-Series cab has new positioning for better visibility; increased cab space, best-in-class pressurized interior and reduction in cab sound levels provide the ultimate in comfort. Stronger hydraulics and more than 20 percent improved attachment performance increase attachment productivity. The model offers increased performance; convenient, easy-to-use controls and many other features to save you time and effort on the job. A host of M-Series machine protection features simplify daily maintenance and prevent damage to the machine. Of course, the hallmarks of Bobcat performance remain in the new 500 platform: construction, smart cooling and a maintenance-free chaincase. Horsepower ranges from 49 in the s510 to 66 in the S590. Travel speed in the 2-speed option tops out at 11 mph in all models. Rated operating capacity ranfges from 1,650 lbs to 2,100 lbs. An Auxiliary high flow option in the S550, S570 and S590 powers the hydraulic system to 26.7 gpm. For more information, contact Bobcat Equipment of San Antonio at 210-337-6136.



ohn Deere’s 1050K Crawler Dozer crawler dozer was designed with customer feedback. A dealership focused on customers first. Sounds like a solid onetwo punch, right? It is, and you can have both with the John Deere 1050K from RDO Equipment Co. John Deere designed the 1050K with additional weight and power to meet customer requests for more productivity. Other enhancements include an EPA Final Tier 4 (FT4)/EU Stage IV diesel engine and new EcoMode that regulates engine rpm to burn up to 25 percent less fuel. It’s the biggest and the best in the John Deere Crawler Dozer lineup. Just as John Deere didn’t take customer demands lightly when designing

the 1050K, RDO Equipment Co. knows customers need the best equipment offerings and deserve the best in service and support. The RDO Promise™ – Uptime Guaranteed, is the company’s exclusive commitment to delivering the best by going above a standard equipment warranty and typical customer service. With the RDO Promise, value-added benefits and optional opportunities like customized GPS monitoring and tailored preventative maintenance programs are all part of the package. Get to work with the John Deere 1050K from RDO Equipment Co. Call RDO Equipment Co. at 844-551-5597 or visit to see more offerings and find the store near you.



aterpillar introduced its new 304.5E2 XTC (Xtra Tool Carrier) into the MiniExcavator lineup, delivering industry leading innovation. The addition of a Skid Steer Coupler Interface offers unique worksite versatility by giving the ability to attach a Skit Steer Work Tool onto the 304.5E2 XTC. The 304.5E2 XTC enables operators to achieve multiple tasks at a single jobsite, using a single machine. With the addition of the Skid Steer Coupler the operator is able to improve productivity in material carrying applications and reduce backfilling times. Recommended Work Tool Attachments include: MultiPurpose Buckets, General Purpose Buck-

ets, Blades, Forks, Power Box Rakes, Brooms, and Trenchers. Standard features include automatic two-speed travel, pass code protected security system, 100% pilot controls, superior 200 degrees of bucket rotation, front shovel capability and blade float. CAT Lease Rates to highly qualified buyers begin at $865 per month for a 2017 well-equipped 304.5E2 XTC with open canopy and includes a Hydraulic Thumb, 72” Multi-Purpose Bucket and 24” Digging Bucket with CAT’s Dual Lock Pin Grabbing Coupler. Contact HOLT CAT at 877-714-0978 or visit

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San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Construction Equipment Ditch Witch

Link Belt


he TCC-1100 110-ton has been well received and is the third in a growing lineup of Link-Belt telescopic crawlers, cementing the company’s presence in the market. Its design focuses on robustness, simplicity and reliability for the general contractor or bare rental fleet owner. It offers an impressive capacity chart at radius that rivals even lattice crawler cranes with a similar base rating. Its full power boom, fabricated from ultra-highstrength steel and formed in Link-Belt’s own facility, makes it fast and east to operate. The main boom is 150 feet (45.7 m) long and incorporates Teflon wear pucks to eliminate boom grease.



eica Geosystem has introduced the world’s first self-learning MultiStation Robotic Total Station. The Leica Nova

D For more information on the TCC-1100, contact HOLT Crane & Equipment at 877714-0978.

MS60 brings together all available measurement technologies in one instrument, including 3D scanning, robotic total station capabilities, and GPS connectivity. To further meet the demands of ever-changing work sites; the MS60 multistation combines the latest measurement technology with the world’s first self-learning targeting recognition environment, ATRplus. With the use of dynamic laser control, history logs of reflected laser targets and tighter sensor synchronization, Leica’s ATRplus technology ushers in the latest generation of robotic total stations and the one and only MultiStation capable of continuously adapting to a changing environment. For more information contact Easy Drive at (210) 491-9449.

itch Witch customers asked for more power to perform all functions at once. Both the JT30 and its counterpart, the JY30 All Terrain, are the most powerful and quietest drills in their class – by a long shot. And both are products of direct customer feedback from years of experience in all types of job conditions. You asked for a drill that tackles the toughest conditions, from solid rock to cobble and hard dirt. You wanted a compact design to operate in the tightest spots. You needed a patented, inner-rod design to save you time, and a mechanical drive to save you money on drilling fluid and transporting water. We delivered it all, and much more, with the Ditch Witch® JT30 All Terrain Horizontal Directional Drill. A comfortable operator is a more productive operator, which is why we’ve equipped the JT30 All Terrain Horizontal

Directional Drill operator's station with a cutting-edge design. It features: • Open-top vise wrenches are angled toward the operator for an excellent view of the tool joint when making up and breaking out pipe. • Industry-exclusive, double-pivot drill frame allows steep entry angles without raising the tracks off the ground; enhances operator comfort because operator’s station stays level. • Optional cab features climate-controlled heat and air, for greater operator comfort and productivity. • Operator’s station features intuitive joystick that controls all drilling functions, ergonomic seat, color LCD engine display, and an excellent view of all drill functions. Call Ditch Witch of Central Texas for more information at 210-651-6393.




his mid size dumper features a 6,600 lb (3-metric ton) payload capacity, power swivel material handling and hydrostatic permanent four-wheel drive as standard. The hydrostatic drive system offers user-friendly controls, eliminating the need to change gears. The 3001 offers superior performance, the drive system automatically provides torque when and where it is needed. With no clutch to wear or gears to grind, hydrostatic drive

eliminates the high parts and labor costs associated with replacing these components. ROPS and heated cab versions are available. • Operator station is easily accessible from both sides for added convenience. • Swivel bucket allows material to be unloaded on either side of the unit for ultimate versatility. • Four-wheel drive provides perfect traction in difficult terrain. Articulated steering with central hose routing allows for tight turning radius and protection of the hoses. • Dashboard displays a full range of dials/ indicator lights such as fuel gauge, low fuel warning light and parking brake light for operator convenience. • Engine cover lifts high giving excellent access to all the service points For more information, contact Tejas Equipment Rental at 210-867-7885

NEXT MONTH January 2017

Construction Forecast


hen it comes to serving the individual and fleet trucking needs of customers across the U.S., no dealership provides a more complete, diverse truck inventory than Grande Truck Center in San Antonio. A one-stop-shop for trucking needs, the dealership provides sales, parts and service. From a start-up truck retail operation in 1967 to a top national dealership today, Grande has kept trucks on the road for 49 years. On the ground, in stock and ready to go, Grande’s truck brands include Mack, Volvo, Western Star, Autocar, and Ford SUVs and Crossovers, Light-duty, Mediumduty and Super-duty trucks. The Mack truck featured in the accompanying photo is a Granite model GU533 and just an example of how Grande keeps inventory built out and ready to go to work. Grande specialty trucks include crane, bucket trucks, dump trucks, service trucks, garbage trucks and mixer trucks and can create turnkey packages or supply just the cab and chassis. Ford’s Transit and Tall Transit Vans can be custom up-fitted. Grande’s sales team with 300+ years of combined truck sales experience has the

expertise to get customers into the truck they want. Grande services vehicles from all 48 states in the contiguous U.S. from light trucks all the way up to Class 8. Its main service department houses CNG approved, heavy, medium duty and light truck bays for a total of 61 bays. The Grande North location provides additional service bays. With factory-trained technicians, extended hours, and transmission and chassis dynamometers, Grande can meet any customer’s service and maintenance needs. The highly qualified parts personnel are dedicated to customer service and available 24/7 to handle all parts needs. “If we don’t have it, we can get it” is a motto the company stands by. With an extensive parts inventory, Grande can get trucks back on the road promptly. Stop by, call or reach the parts department via email at Local delivery, competitive prices and parts shipped worldwide. Visit for monthly deals and latest inventory.

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

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Lighting a spark

ASA members got to see some of the dangers on the work site first hand.

Attendees had open forums to discuss safety.

The fire department was on site to ensure nothing went wrong with the demonstration.


ssociated Subcontractors Association (ASA) San Antonio Chapter held a safety demonstration at TEEX: H. B. Zachary Training Center with some explosive results. The event showed what happens when an excavator hits a

gas line, creating a fiery portrayal. Those in attendance got to see the demonstration along with Q&A sessions with different people in the safety industry and a provided lunch. –cs

The free lunch of fajitas was too good for the members to pass up.

Submitted to Construction News

Lego of my building

NAWIC judged a Block Kids Contest where fourth and fifth graders built structures out of Legos, rocks, string and foil. The annual event was held at Madison Elementary School. –cs

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San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016




Jason E. Puchot, a senior associate at RVK Architects, received his board certificate in healthcare architecture from the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA). He is one of two certified in San Antonio.

Pape-Dawson Engineers Inc. recently hired Stacey Weichert, PE, LEED AP, as a new senior project manager. Weichert brings more than 25 years in planning, design, permitting, construction and management of infrastructure, drainage, environmental and land development projects for public and private clients. She holds a Bachelors of Science in civil engineering from Texas Tech University and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

This is a monthly section for brief company announcements of new or recently promoted personnel, free of charge, as space allows. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Email (w/digital photo, if available) by the 15th of any month, for the next month’s issue (published 1st of each month). Email info to appropriate city issue, with “Round-Up” in the subject line: –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– San Antonio: Austin: Dallas/Ft. Worth: Houston: Submitted to Construction News

Aiming for education

Window shopping


enise Rimkus purchased Affordable Blinds and Shutters five years ago, and since then, she has kept the tradition alive and well as she looks to expand. Affordable Blinds and Shutters has been around for 21 years doing a majority of work on the residential side, but Rimkus sees a lot of opportunity reaching out to the commercial side of business. “It’s just a way to grow,” she said. “There’s plenty of work out there for residential, but I’ll hire someone to handle just residential. I, personally, as the owner, would pursue the commercial side of it.” A majority of the business is highend residential work, where they sell and install the windows and blinds. With a constant increase in construction, Rimkus and her staff have been busy. “There’s a definite upswing, especially in San Antonio where there’s so much building going on in the residential and commercial end of it,” Rimkus said. Customer service is important for every company, and for Affordable Blinds, it is a cornerstone and integral part of how the business operates. “We’re largely a referral business. That’s mostly why Affordable Blinds has been around for 21 years,” Rimkus said. “It maintains itself because we’re largely referral based. A lot of our business comes from Google, as well. We come up easily on Google.” Operating in a male-dominated industry can cause issues for Rimkus with some contractors but wants her professionalism to be the focus rather than her gender. “I guess one of the main challenges that I’m hoping to overcome quickly is

Denise Rimkus

being a woman in a man’s world,” Rimkus said. “As far as bidding goes, bidding is basically paperwork so they’re not going to be face-to-face. We just need to be accepted in this man’s world. Sometimes, with contractors, the men feel more comfortable dealing with men. Some of them, not everyone. Some of them know how professional we are.” Affordable Blinds and Shutters has been locally own and operated in south Texas since 1996. Affordable Blinds and Shutters offer pricing, selling and installing for residential and commercial projects. Denise Rimkus has owned and operated the business since 2011. ­–cs

Association Calendar

Content submitted by Associations to Construction News ABC Associated Builders and Contractors Bartlett Cocke was the title sponsor at the Northside Independent School District’s annual Northside Education Foundation Sporting Clay Shoot at the San Antonio Shooting Complex. About 150 participants helped raise funds to provide resources to NEF for educational opportunities. CDS Muery took first place, while Bartlett Cocke finished second. –cs

Dec. 8: Fire Extinguisher Training, ABC Office, 9-11am, Contact Chris Preetorius,  Dec. 8:First Aid, CPR, Blood-Borne Pathogens and A.E.D. Training, ABC Office, noon-6pm, Contact Chris Preetorius, Dec. 13-16: Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Construction Training, 8am-5pm, Contact Chris Preetorius, Dec. 26: Office Closed in Observance of Christmas

AGC Associated General Contractors

Dec. 6: Safety Training: Boom Lift Training, Chapter Office, 8am–12 noon Dec. 8: To celebrate this year’s accomplishments and ring in the holiday season, AGC will host a Holiday Open House from 4–7pm at the Chapter Office, 10806 Gulfdale. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served. Dress is casual. Dec. 12: BIM Unit 2: BIM Technology, Chapter Office, 8am–5pm

HCA de San Antonio Hispanic Contractors Association

Dec. 7: OSHA 10 Dec. 8: OSHA 10

IEC Independent Electrical Contractors

Dec. 5: Journeyman/Master Prep Class, IEC Office, 8am–3pm (fifth night) Dec. 6: December luncheon at The Barn Door Restaurant, 8400 N. New Braunfels Ave., from 11:30am-1:30pm. Guest speaker is Jerry Daniel from the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation with a TDLR update. $20 per attendee. Dec. 7, 2016: Journeyman/Master Prep Class, IEC Office, 8am–3pm (master’s

only) Dec. 9: Membership Appreciation Casino Night, IEC Office, 6–11pm Dec. 17: Electrical Maintenance Technician Class, IEC Office, 8am–5pm Dec. 19: Continuing Education Meeting, IEC Office, 5–9pm Dec. 26-30: IEC Offices & School closed in observance of Christmas & New Year’s For more information on these events, contact the IEC office at 210-431-9861 or go to

MCA–SMACNA Mechanical Contractors Association Sheet Metal & A/C Nat’l Assn.

Dec. 14: Joint Labor/Management Meeting at MCA-SMACNA Office at 11am Dec. 21: MCA-SMACNA Christmas Party – Oak Hills Country Club at 11:15am

NAWIC Nat’l Assn. of Women in Construction

Dec. 10: 6-10pm Christmas Party at El Tropicano Hotel,110 Lexington Ave. $50 per person. Contact Patty Wylie for more info at 210-524-7067

PHCC Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors

Dec. 3-17: Plumbers’ Professional Continuing Education Dec. 8: Structural Engineers’ Plumber Training Dec. 20: Board of Directors 2017 Planning Meeting Call Heidi Trimble at 210-824-7422 for more information

SAMCA San Antonio Masonry Contractors Assn.

Dec. 8: Holiday Celebration & Banquet; Sunset Station, 1174 E. Commerce, 6 10:30pm; $65 per person includes casino games, prizes, & dinner; contact Debbie 830-606-5556

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

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hen working on a project, it’s all hands on deck when LPA Inc. puts a plan together. Instead of everyone just doing his or her part and handing it down to the next person, everyone that is involved in the project works together. “We’re an integrated design firm,” principal Lowell Tacker said. “Under our roof, we have landscaping, architecture, interior design, engineering. But the difference is that everyone is part of the design and problem solving process. The way I describe it is instead of having an architect, engineer and interior designer around the table, we have six smart people.” LPA merged with OCO Architects in July 2014 on the firm’s 30th anniversary, and the 30 employees from San Antonio joined a network of 350, countrywide. “The majority of our firm, all 350 employees are LEED accredited,” Tacker said. “That’s a huge piece of our culture. We were just recognized by Build San Antonio Green.” Tacker believes that LPA’s approach to design is the company’s difference maker.

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Innovation Industry “We’re not just trying to finish a project or meet a budget,” Tacker said. “We’re trying to do a project that creates an environment that is conducive to what we are designing for the users, the owners and visitors. We want to create something that people want to use.” Its holistic design can be seen in Nimitz Middle School, recently finished by LPA and Joeris General Contractors. The 135,000-sf build and remodel of the middle school named after Chester W. Nimitz, a Fredericksburg native who served as a fleet admiral in the US Navy during World War II. The Navy influence is seen throughout the building, including a mural on the floor of Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, the material on the outside of the building that resembles a ship and a mural with a letter from Nimitz. “I think that (Joeris) did a very good job making people realize the importance of the quality of this,” Tacker said. “The flooring contractor who did the Nimitz and the painters who did the flags and murals…I think they all took it to heart what we were trying to do.” –cs

LPA Inc. won the Architect of the Year Award at the AGC Awards on Nov. 17.

Apprentice showcase

M&M Metals apprentices Roger Mortensen and Amanda Alonzo make toolboxes out of sheet metal for people in attendance.


heet Metal Workers Local No. 67 Area Joint Apprenticeship hosted an open house on Nov. 17 for a chance for people to check out the facilities and see demonstrations from apprenticeship programs around San Antonio. Around 50 people made their way through the facility to see the booths and presentations. It is the second National Apprenticeship Week and the 79th year of apprenticeships in the state of Texas.­–cs Right: Leoniel Busto, Heat and Frost Insulators Local Union 87

L-R: Brenden Gutierrez, second-year apprentice and Jim Meyer, instructor at Plumber and Pipefitters Local 142

Submitted to Construction News

Quality support

The team at Quality Fence & Welding showed their support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month with plenty of pink! Pictured, top, L-R: Richard Teran, commercial project manager; Jamie White, controller; John Hoot, general manager; and Craig Noto, president; bottom, L-R: Rick Navirez, structural steel estimator; Jenniffer Holt, accounts receivables; Meghan Frank, sales associate; Amy Avila, contract specialist; Cat Bole, accounts payable; and Hillary Lira, receptionist. –cw

San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

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Cruisin’ for a cure


oftin Equipment Co. held its first benefit car show with the proceeds going to the Lone Star Parkinson’s Society. On Oct. 15, 17 participants showed up to show off their classic rides. “The car show was my boss’ idea, and he has a ’72 Barracuda,” Loftin Equipment Co. service writer Darryn Wright said. “He does a lot of car shows and we had been talking different things to do and he came up with it. “I thought it was a great turnout for what we were up against with there being other shows in the area on the same day. I thought it was a complete success. We’re already planning on doing it next year.” Raffle prizes were awarded along with first and second place prizes for in

different categories. A total of $3,500 was donated to the Lone Star Parkinson’s Society. “People need to get together and talk about their issues and provide support,” Wright said. “It became a big cause for me, personally, when I was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s.” With another show planned next year for a great cause, Wright is already thinking ahead to make it a bigger success. “The biggest thing we’re going to do is get after it earlier next year, as far as advertising,” he said. “We would like some bigger sponsors to help cover the cost of the event and things like that. We just want to get out to all the car clubs and get all the support we can get.” –cs

Visitors check out the line of classic cars at the Loftin car show.

John Wright’s 1955 Bel Air

Michael Castorena won the Loftin’s Choice Award for his 1933 Ford truck.

John Wright, Alterman, won first place Chevy.

Winners in their respective categories received a trophy.

People had the chance to observe and appreciate cars from different eras.

Cars from different decades were on site for the Loftin Car Show.

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San Antonio Construction News • Dec 2016

Filling the work force


he San Antonio metro area has the sixth-fastest growth rate in the country, and an obvious product of that is construction. While contractors, roofers, electricians and plumbers are constantly busy, a problem that has been around the industry for quite some time has risen to the forefront: the lack of trained laborers. According to the Texas Bureau of Labor Statistics, in January of 2011, there were 40,300 construction jobs in the San Antonio-New Braunfels area. Just over four years later, that number has increased by over 15,000. Steve Albert is the director of Electrical Systems Technology Technical Apprenticeship Program at MacArthur High School. He has seen first hand the need from businesses for skilled workers. “What we’re finding, on our end, because I think it’s a generation thing, is that it’s becoming more difficult to recruit kids that want to pursue a construction trade,” Albert said. “There’s nothing real glamorous about it, you have to work out in the elements, which today’s kids don’t really do at home. When I was growing up, we hardly ever stayed in the house. “We’ve got several companies that

on a regular basis come and talk to the kids about career opportunities in their businesses.” Albert’s program starts with recruiting in middle school for the four-year program, “We tell them that you don’t have to be an electrician,” Albert said. “You can work at HEB in their maintenance department making $50,000 a year. You can go to work for Holt Caterpillar. There’s a lot of different areas that you can go into that aren’t really electrical.” Some people began pouring cement or working in carpentry in high school as a job, however, those that do not have the chance to work with different programs throughout the city and area. “The advantage to the kids is that they are companies that belong to the IEC,” Albert said. “These contractors agree to pay our kids a certain wage. They do a wage survey and they know what the average wage of journeyman electrician is amongst all their members and the kids make 50 percent of that.” It is not only many trade schools who are having trouble filling up spots in programs, but businesses are being hindered by not having the right kind of workers available.

Students of the Construction Career Academy put wood paneling on the outside of their project.

On, there are 1,420 construction jobs listed in just San Antonio. The positions range from carpentry installers to project coordinators to painters.

Mike Byrnes is an instructor at Construction Careers Academy, associated with the Northside Independent School District at Warren High School. CCA is a four-year magnet school that gives kids interested in the construction field a chance to learn and get apprenticeships. CCA gets around 500 applicants a year and can accept just 150. “There are students that are finally realizing that construction isn’t just hard hats and digging,” Byrnes said. “Construction means architects, engineering, plumbing, electricians and construction management. They also realize how good the salaries are in the construction trade.” Like Albert, Byrnes sees a generational gap being an issue. “I think that there’s a disillusionment there also that they think they need to have what their parents have right now,” Byrnes said. “They don’t want to wait 30 years. They want to make it right now. There’s an attitude that they want to make money but not work hard for it.” John Massengale, Massengale Armature Works Inc., is an employer of an expanding business and needs people such as the ones coming out of the various trade programs around the area. “Our biggest challenge is to find people that want to do hands-on work and to find people that pay attention to detail and have pride in what they do,” Massengale said. “It’s hard to find people that want to work up the ladder. I’m a school board trustee for a local school district here in San Antonio and I’m always trying to get some kind of trade or technical education into local high schools. It’s an area that the future is really going to need.” –cs

Season’s Greetings

San Antonio Construction News December 2016  

Monthly publication covering the construction, design and engineering industries in the San Antonio, Texas area.