INSIGHTS: ICI's Spring 2022 Newsletter

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The latest company happenings.


Spring 2022

years 40

Letter from Leadership Bruce Bronge, President

This year, we’re turning 40. Yes, as hard as it is to believe, November 2022 marks yet another significant milestone for ICI as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary. We all have much to be proud of. As context for those of you who may not have been born yet 40 years ago - and as a reminder for those of us who were - officially, International Contractors, Inc. was formed in November 1982 by Richard and Randy Bronge, my father and brother. By the way, that is the exact same year that Buffalo Wild Wings and Adobe began their businesses as well. So we were, and still are, in good company. Back then, it was a bold move for anybody to consider starting a business, any business, as we were at the tail end of a recession that began in 1981. Unemployment rates were at a whopping 10.8% the month ICI opened its doors. But it didn’t stop ICI from becoming reality. Since then, many more milestones have passed for our company, with growth and grit and good people seeing us through turbulent times and yes, a few more recessions. 2007-2009 specifically comes to mind as we lost nearly half our volume of business and therefore too much of our staff. Many of you may remember those difficult times, but we persevered. Also during that time, in 2008 actually, the business transitioned to the next generation of leadership, which is when I was honored to take the helm. This was another bold move for the company as coming out of this deep of a recession while navigating a significant leadership transition could have been a recipe for disaster. But it wasn’t. Thanks to so many of you, it was another tremendous feat for our company. My mother was always a believer in the old adage that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” She was right,

and because of those challenges ICI is stronger today than ever and is destined to prosper well into our next 40 years. Since 2008, we put a heightened focus on people, progress, and processes. Our strength has always been, and always will be, our people. We knew throughout that we would need a team who fit our culture, embraced change and progress, and, could build and implement the processes to help make each project repeatable no matter the market. Reflecting on these last 14 years, I have to say we have done a wonderful job on all accounts. We grew to who we are today because key people stepped up to face the challenges that kept coming our way. So many of you took on new roles and added responsibilities while others dedicated themselves to improving skill sets, setting new standards, and developing the processes that are now the foundation of our operations and software platforms. ICI’s current identity really took shape during this time thanks to the hard work and dedication of each of you. And personally, while I was not technically at ICI at its inception 40 years ago, I am grateful that my family trusted me and you supported me and the entire business throughout the past 37 years. If our history is any indication of our resilience and our strength, then I can only imagine what the next few decades hold for us. I am now looking forward to seeing those who step forward and continue to lead ICI through our next 40 years. While we have accomplished so much, in many ways I feel we’ve barely scratched the surface of what we can achieve.

Featured Concepts

Two Restaurant Clients Underway on new Concepts and Expansion

After two years of fluctuations and modifications to their businesses due to the pandemic, it appears restaurants are feeling hopeful about the prospects of 2022 and beyond. Although the industry is still experiencing hardships such as supply chain issues and staffing shortages, two of ICI’s prominent restaurant clients are emerging from the pandemic with new concepts and expansion.

Piccolo Buco by Cooper’s Hawk ICI began our working relationship with Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants six years ago. During that time, our partnership has evolved from general contractor to construction manager responsible for the new construction, expansion and renovation of more than 20 locations across the country. Our newest undertaking with the restaurant group is “Piccolo Buco by Cooper’s Hawk.” Construction is currently underway and the 8,400 square foot interior build-out is scheduled to open in the first half of 2022 in Oak Brook Shopping Center in Oak Brook, Illinois. The concept was developed alongside Luca Issa, owner of the famed Piccolo Buco in Rome. The restaurant will feature Neapolitan pizza and classic Roman-style dishes; with many ingredients sourced from Italy. For parent company Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, ICI is concurrently building new construction locations in Gurnee, Illinois and Gilbert, Arizona, as well as remodeling and expanding the restaurant group’s existing Kildeer, Illinois location in 2022.

Carve American Grille ICI’s working relationship with Perry’s Restaurants developed in a manner similar to Cooper’s Hawk

– our partnership began as a general contractor for an individual interior build-out of their Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille concept and grew into a construction manager arrangement responsible for new construction and remodels in multiple states. Perry Restaurants’ latest portfolio addition is a second Carve American Grille location. ICI is building the craft-focused concept within an existing mid-rise, mixed-use development in Austin, Texas. The onestory build-out is comprised of 8,700 square feet of restaurant space with an adjacent 780 square foot patio. Carve American Grille pays tribute to its parent company’s butcher shop beginning and incorporates hand craftsmanship into the dining experience. During construction, ICI will face multiple construction challenges including delivering mechanical and electrical systems sixty feet through shafts to the roof and installing new structural steel to accommodate sliding glass partitions around the entire perimeter of the restaurant.

Since the company’s founding 40 years ago, ICI has focused on restaurant construction. Our team’s commitment to a high level of finish, coupled with expertise in restaurant infrastructure, has led to multiple long-term relationships with well-known restaurant groups across the country. In recent years, ICI has completed more than $100 million in restaurant construction projects throughout the United States. In the planning stages of a construction project? Contact our restaurant experts: ICIBUILDS.COM

Project Updates

Recently Completed Fields Mercedes-Benz Asheville ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA ICI completed the new construction 30,000 square foot Mercedes-Benz dealership in Asheville, North Carolina earlier this year. The former Mercedes-Benz was operating out of a shared facility with Mazda and Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram brands and the format no longer met the Fields Auto Group’s needs. The multi-brand dealership remained in operation throughout construction and then MercedesBenz subsequently moved into the newly completed freestanding facility.

Walmart Training Center CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (CHATHAM) Members of the ICI team recently participated in a momentous event at Walmart’s newly completed Chatham Community Learning Academy: a ribbon cutting and the first class’s graduation ceremony. The academy provides public programming on topics such as personal finance, resume building and interview skills as well as training for Walmart employees moving into management positions or other specialized roles. The Chatham Community Learning Academy was completed in partnership with Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc.

Links lead to additional photos and videos.

Elmhurst CUSD 205 Transition Center ELMHURST, ILLINOIS The newly renovated 5,000 square foot Transition Center offers special needs students ages 18-21 designated support as they move from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment and independent living skills, to name a few. The new building features a open spaces for collaboration, several stoves, washing machines, exercise equipment and a variety of other rooms and appliances designed to help teach students the life skills they will need moving into adulthood.

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille 5 LOCATIONS IN ILLINOIS, TEXAS, COLORADO ICI recently completed concurrent renovations to five Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille locations. The scope of work varied by location but largely included transforming each of the restaurants into Perry’s newest scheme: a vibrant color palette with modern touches punctuated by details that celebrate the local community. Each restaurant remained open throughout construction.

Project Updates

Under Construction Construction will be viewable via webcam on ICI’s website beginning in June.

Elmhurst CUSD 205 Field Elementary School ELMHURST, ILLINOIS In continuation of an existing partnership with Elmhurst CUSD 205, ICI is replacing Field Elementary School with a new construction school being built on the same site. Once students vacate school for the 2022 summer, ICI will demolish the existing building and begin construction on the new 81,000 square foot facility. LEED Silver is being pursued by utilizing low-emitting construction materials, natural lighting and recycling demolition debris from the existing structure.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants GILBERTS, ARIZONA Off the heels of the successful delivery of the restaurant group’s Scottsdale and Chandler, Arizona locations, ICI was engaged for the construction of their upcoming Gilbert, Arizona restaurant. The ground up, free-standing restaurant will be more than 11,000 square feet with a 720 square foot exterior patio. The restaurant marks Cooper’s Hawk’s third store in Arizona.

Fields Lexus Glenview GLENVIEW, ILLINOIS ICI is currently underway on a significant renovation and expansion to Fields Lexus Glenview. The dealership will remain open throughout construction so ICI has phased the project accordingly. The scope of work includes renovating and expanding the existing showroom as well as renovating the general offices, new car delivery and the service waiting area. The exterior façade is being replaced and updated with a new metal panel and curtainwall system in line with the current Lexus brand standards.

Elmwood Park CUSD 401 Elmwood and John Mills Elementary Schools ELMWOOD PARK, ILLINOIS ICI is currently undertaking the largest capital improvement program ever implemented by CUSD 401 at Elmwood and John Mills Elementary Schools. Sixty thousand square feet of John Mills Elementary School and 50,000 square feet of Elmwood Elementary will be renovated during the summers of 2022 and 2023. These improvements are based on a recent referendum that was overwhelmingly approved by the constituents of Elmwood Park.

Employee Spotlight Jerrett Demski, Quality Control & Compliance Manager

How long have you worked at ICI? 4 years

What is your favorite project that you have taken part in and why? Sawmill Station takes the cake on that one. There was

What is your favorite thing about your new role,

never a dull moment with a 26-acre site development

Quality Control and Compliance Manager?

with multiple projects going on at the same time. From

Getting to see how fast a space can change from one

completely demo-ing out the existing buildings and

look to another in such a short amount of time and

sitework to installing a storm trap that could hold over

tracking every task. It’s truly the fine detail in things

1 million gallons of rainwater (or the equivalent to an

that I enjoy seeing.

entire waterpark’s worth of water!), it was all truly a site to behold.

What does your role entail? My role has me going to all the Walmart projects and

Have you experienced obstacles throughout your

helping to ensure that we are keeping a consistent

career? How did you overcome them?

standard of quality across the board. This includes

There have been multiple times that I’ve come across

going over various compliance protocols, measuring

hurdles within my career. The best thing that I’ve been

the standard of work that is installed, assisting

able to do to get past these obstacles is to think about

Superintendents with any problems they may have

the goal, or the perfect version of what I am trying

onsite, and staying up-to-date with all of Walmart’s

to accomplish, and start working backwards from

latest bulletins.

there. Envisioning the perfect version of something really helps put things into perspective. Once I have a

Tell about a time when you had to “jump in and get

solution, I like to consult my team and see if they agree

your feet wet” at a project?

that this is the best route to go. Having a team that

I would have to say this would have been at the

I can trust and rely on means the world to me. After

Walmart remodel project in Hammond, Indiana. It was

collaborating, the solution is implemented and the

my first time being a daytime superintendent and it was

pieces fall into place and we end up delivering a stellar

an entirely different experience than I had experienced

product to our owners.

as a nighttime superintendent. With the help of my project manager and nighttime superintendent, I

What show are you currently binge-watching?

was able to successfully get through this project’s

Succession on HBO

challenging areas and deliver a quality product to the owner. The challenges and growth that I experienced

What is your favorite sports team?

during this project really helped shape my skillset of

Da Bears


2022 Promotions Timothy Jackson, LEED AP BD+C Executive Vice President

Terry Fielden, LEED AP BD+C Vice President / Dir. of K-12 Education

Todd Scharbert Project Executive

Scott Leadbetter, CPC, LEED AP Project Executive

Renoj Jacob Senior Project Manager

Kevin Sullivan Senior Project Manager

Jerrett Demski Quality Control & Compliance Manager


Fields Auto Group Mercedes-Benz Asheville, North Carolina • New Construction © Steven Freedman Photography