INSIGHTS INTERNATIONAL CONTRACTORS INC.
The latest company happenings.
Burbank SD 111 Liberty Junior High School Photo: Via Emilia Photography
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Letter from Leadership Bruce Bronge, President
My mother often told my brothers and me as we grew up “Life is not fair.” Frequently her follow up adage would be “Adversity will make you stronger.” Over the past year her words of wisdom rang loud and clear! I do not think anyone will contest that 2020 was a “year of adversity.” ICI was tested, and I can honestly say it made us stronger. Looking back on 2020 it is obvious why we were able to persevere. Our culture made the difference! Our employees demonstrated dedication and resilience. Despite the landscape changing daily, our staff maintained their focus. During one of our many Microsoft Teams company meetings, I referred to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune titled, “Get in the CEO Mindset.” As the title of the article implies, it recommends everyone should be the CEO of their own role and manage their area as if they own that part of the business. I asked everyone to read the article and to take its recommendations to heart. The article suggested how to be the CEO of your role - no matter how big or small. Here are 5 quick takeaways: 1. Take initiative: If something needs to be done-do It! Volunteer to take on projects that stretch you in new directions 2. Be Team Player: Collaborate with your teammates. Build relationships with your co-workers to establish trust. 3. Ask for Help: A good leader has confidence but is humble enough to know when they do not have all the answers. 4. Listen: Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut until you have enough information to make a decision. A good leader has the emotional intelligence to know when to speak and when to listen. Ask questions before you weigh in. It is a great way to learn while gathering the respect of your teammates. 5. Take Risks: No one grows when they are staying small. This should be prefaced with do your homework and have the data before trying a new idea. Risks need to be smart yet well-informed. To date, many of our people are taking these recommendations to heart. I am proud of the high level of communication and service we provided to our customers in 2020. As for me, 2020 reinforced the adage, “Listen to your Mother”!
Walmart Health: A Rewarding Partnership
Walmart has been a client of ICI’s for over 15 years. During this time, ICI has completed more than 75 projects across the nation for the retailer. This past year ICI was afforded a unique opportunity: to partner with Chicago-based Milhouse Construction and complete a Walmart Health Center, the first of two centers currently in Chicago. Walmart Health is the retailer’s new, state-of-the-art facility providing affordable and accessible healthcare for members of the Chicago community right where they shop. Walmart Health is Walmart Health is partnering with local health providers to deliver medical, vision the retailer’s new, and dental services regardless of a patient’s state-of-the-art insurance status.
facility providing affordable and accessible healthcare for members of the Chicago community right where they shop.
The Walmart Health in Chatham was delivered by Milhouse Construction and ICI as part of a larger scope to extensively remodel the existing store to update it to the latest Walmart prototype. The Milhouse / ICI partnership has a proven history with Walmart due to our team successfully building the Walmart Pullman store from the ground up in 2012. The Chatham store was built with innovations such as in-store pickup, delivery, and touch-free pay. In addition to the Chatham remodel, our companies partnered to concurrently deliver a small-scale remodel to the Pullman store. ICI’s team is looking forward to continuing our working relationship with Milhouse Construction on multiple remodels in 2021. We are excited to share the experience and knowledge we have acquired with Milhouse as they continue in the general contracting role.
Recently Completed Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille Schaumburg SCHAUMBURG, ILLINOIS Construction was completed on the 12,000 square foot restaurant in late summer 2020 and the restaurant opened in October. The restaurant features Perry’s newest design elements and offers seating for 330 diners, four private dining rooms and a bar attached to a spacious patio.
Sawmill Station Development MORTON GROVE, ILLINOIS ICI concurrently completed two significant Chicagoarea retail developments for Kensington Development Partners: Sawmill Station in Morton Grove and Market Centre in Westmont. Sawmill Station is a 26-acre property located at the southeast corner of Dempster Street and Waukegan Road. The lifestyle center includes approximately 240,000-square-feet of retail and entertainment space.
Links lead to additional photos and videos.
Burbank SD 111 Liberty Junior High School BURBANK, ILLINOIS In 2020, ICI completed a transformational expansion and renovation to Liberty Junior High School. The dynamic two-story expansion provides a focal point secure entrance to the building, a two-story multipurpose space, 8 science labs, additional classrooms, break-out spaces, a library, art room, special education classrooms and a teacher’s lounge.
Fields Porsche Jacksonville JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA The two-story, 41,032 square foot Porsche dealership is situated on a 5.85-acre parcel. The building is comprised of 31,648 square feet on the first floor and 9,384 on the second floor. ICI was selected for the project due to a partnership with the automotive group that spans nearly twenty-five years and our existing familiarity with Porsche brand finishes.
Under Construction Elmhurst CUSD 205 Edison Elementary School ELMHURST, ILLINOIS ICI was hired as CUSD 205’s construction manager for a large, multi-year district-wide capital improvement plan. The first project as part of the construction program is a major renovation and expansion of Edison Elementary School. A major reconfiguration of the existing school will update and arrange classrooms in a pinwheel fashion, revolving around a new focal-point media center.
The Audi Exchange ST. CHARLES, ILLINOIS The ground up 26,000 square foot dealership will be constructed on a redeveloped 3.5-acre parcel. In addition to the construction of the new dealership, ICI will be extending Woodward Drive adjacent to the future dealership, widening Randall Road, and installing a new traffic signal at the corner of Randall and Woodward. This project marks ICI’s fourth with The Exchange Automotive Group.
Indicates construction is viewable via live stream webcam on ICI’s website
Lakeside Bank CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (BRIDGEPORT BRANCH) The new 6,344 square foot Lakeside bank is located in the Bridgeport neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. Lakeside Bank operates 6 branches in Chicago and one in Elmhurst. ICI is also concurrently constructing Lakeside’s Oakbrook Terrace Branch, a two-story, 8,491 square foot banking facility that house offices and meeting space for the bank’s leadership team. Both locations are targeted for completion this spring.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants SARASOTA, FLORIDA ICI built our first Cooper’s Hawk location in Oak Park, Illinois in 2017. Since that time, ICI has completed 17 projects for Cooper’s Hawk that vary in scope from new restaurants, to build-outs, to renovations of their existing stores. Cooper’s Hawk Sarasota is 12,000 square feet with an additional 1,000 square foot outdoor patio. This new location is scheduled for completion in summer 2021.
Employee Spotlight Jason Wasser, Project Manager
How long have you worked at ICI? I joined ICI during the summer of 2013 as an intern and held two consecutive summer internships in 2014 and 2015. In May of 2016 I joined full-time as a Project Engineer. Have you always wanted to work in construction? No, actually. While I enjoyed dusting off the circular saw and building something in the garage from time to time, I never anticipated a career in it. I had always been interested in engineering growing up, but was unsure of which path to take nearing the end of high school. I was lucky to find a great program at Iowa State (the true Harvard of the Midwest) that offered an engineering background with a focus on construction management. What is your favorite thing about being a project manager? Seeing a project go from concept, through design, to completion. As a Project Manager, I’m heavily involved during the early stages of design, so it’s really exciting to see the entire process through and end up with a newly constructed space. Describe a time when you had to “jump in and get your feet wet” at a project? It was during one of my summer internships. I was working on a project at Wheaton Academy that included new artificial turf fields, a running
track and tennis courts. There was a very heavy rain the night before we were supposed to begin placing the stone around the track. I arrived onsite to find that most of the area was now underwater because debris had covered the storm sewers, not allowing them to function. I decided to give Tim Jackson a call and pick his brain on how we should proceed with the day. It wasn’t more than 20 minutes until Tim showed up, popped his trunk and dropped off a submersible pump, 50-foot hose and tall rain boots that appeared to be from a fly-fishing department. “Happy pumping!” he said. I believe I still have those boots to this day. What is your favorite project you have worked on and why? The East Leyden High School Addition is definitely a project that makes the list. The 135,000 square foot addition included two swimming pools, a full-size commercial kitchen, fine arts and daycare wing and a dual-level cafeteria. The sheer scale of the project is really incredible and involved design features rare to most projects: 120-foot long steel trusses, cantilevered exterior canopies above the front entrance and an expansive outdoor courtyard fitted with concrete pavers and sitting areas for students. What show are you currently binge-watching? I just wrapped up Yellowstone. Great show; Ready for Season 4!
March 7-13, 2021
Women in Construction Week 2021
Women in Construction Week takes place annually in early March. The focus of the event is to highlight women as a viable component of the construction industry. This year ICI is spotlighting five women within the company who play a critical role in the success of our construction projects, and our organization at large. Excerpts from the Q&A held with each of these five women follow. For the full interview, visit ICI’s social media each day from March 7-13 as a new individual is spotlighted.
Q What was your favorite construction project and why? The Fields Volvo Dealership in Northfield, Illinois (LEED Silver). As construction was gearing up for ICI’s first LEED project, Tim Jackson, VP Operations, invited me to participate on the Project Administration Team. Sustainable construction was relatively new to ICI at that time and many of us were taking the opportunity to educate ourselves with the LEED Process. Several team members and I decided to pursue (and attained) LEED accreditation together. Not only was this a challenging and exciting project for ICI, but it was also a time when the team really bonded together and achieved something terrific. I keep my LEED AP BD+C Accreditation current and am still proud of the achievement.
Nancy Quinn, VP Administration Q What does your role entail? I am heavily involved in the Human Resources of ICI and am proud to devote much of my effort to employee recruiting, retention, and engagement with a top priority of keeping our staff happy and working together as a robust team. Another significant aspect of my role is supporting each department by working with our team members to develop well-organized procedures, train and assist personnel to work effectively with our tools and within our processes, and continually strive to improve communication and workflow.
Deanna Harris, Assistant Project Manager Q What do you enjoy about your job? I like that throughout the course of each project or group of projects, my role changes. It’s like a cycle of tasks that starts fresh with a different set of drawings and a new team of people on each project. I also especially enjoy managing budgets.
Women in Construction Week 2021 (Cont.’d) Have you experienced obstacles throughout your career? How did you overcome them? Yes. As an Xennial single mom trying to pay off a Master’s Degree, and working through a recession, I was more focused on money and professional advancement for some years during my career than was completely helpful. I finally took a step back and thought about my strengths, interests, personal limitations, and what I realistically wanted to get out of my career. That new perspective and clarity was very helpful.
Natnaree Stanisavljevic, Assistant Project Manager How did you get into the construction industry? I went through a staffing agency to find a temporary position while I decided which career I wanted to pursue. In 2015, I had a temp position with a GC in the city and fell in love with construction. I was hired on full time after two weeks and stayed in the industry since. What was your favorite construction project and why? I cannot say I have one favorite project, but I do enjoy working on the Cooper’s Hawk projects. We currently have projects in multiple states, and it is always exciting to see the outcome since they are never the same. Have you experienced obstacles throughout your career? How did you overcome them? Yes, but I try not to hold on to anything or let it bother me. I take obstacles as a learning experience and grow from it.
Heather Dobrotka, Project Administration Manager What does your role entail? I concentrate on contracts both on the Owner side and subcontractor side. Managing insurance, submittals, costs, change orders, contracts, closeout, accounting. I touch most sides of the business besides estimating. I am also heavily involved with Preconstruction and public bidding of our school projects. What was your favorite construction project and why? I would have to say ESPN Zone in Chicago. This was the first project I was involved in. I was in the field for that project. It was the perfect job to learn on. From the field, I was able to visualize a lot more than when I was in the office.
Courtney Francis, Assistant Superintendent How did you get into the construction industry? At 18, I started as an office manager of an industrial cooling tower company in Denver. Over the 6 years that I was there I moved into the position of project purchasing agent. After going back to school and earning my degree in English and Secondary Education, I took a job with a GC in Denver as a project assistant. The rest is history, and here I am as an Assistant Superintendent at ICI!
Company News PROMOTIONS Courtney Francis Assistant Superintendent John Malamos Assistant Superintendent Tom Navins Project Manager Jason Wasser Project Manager Deanna Harris Assistant Project Manager
NEW TEAM MEMBERS Sergiy Pluzhnyk Project Engineer Sree Anilkumar Estimating Intern
YEARS OF SERVICE Paul Baloun 15 Years Eleanor Bronge 15 Years Sam Bandfield 5 Years Juan Rodriguez 5 Years Ken McInturff 5 Years
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Fields Porsche Jacksonville, Florida Photo: Deremer Studios LLC
ICI BUILDS TRUST. CONFIDENCE. PARTNERSHIPS.
ICI's newsletter, INSIGHTS, contains the latest company happenings, updates on our construction projects, feature articles, and more!
Published on Feb 25, 2021
ICI's newsletter, INSIGHTS, contains the latest company happenings, updates on our construction projects, feature articles, and more!