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A Publication of the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin


ISSUE 2 • 2011


A Publication of the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin

Official publication of the

Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin


4814 East Broadway Madison, WI 53716-4195 TEL: 608-221-3821 FAX: 608-221-4446 Laura Cataldo Editor OFFICERS David Riley President Kurt Boson Vice President Bob Barker Executive Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer STAFF Dave Bohl General Counsel Jim Boullion Director, Government Affairs Jeri Breen Director, Administration Laura Cataldo Director, Workforce and Industry Outreach Jim Falbo Associate Director, Safety Dan Makovec Plan Room Manager Brent Miller Director, Safety & Environmental Services Jackie Troia Team Assistant PUBLISHED BY: Slack Attack Communications Barbara Slack Publisher Nancy Rudd Art Director Kelly Wolf Project Coordinator Beth Vander Grinten Advertising Sales, 608-235-2882 Wisconsin Constructor® is a quarterly publication of the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, Inc., 4814 East Broadway, Madison, WI 53716-4195, 608221-3821. It is published in January, March, June, and September by Slack Attack Communications, 5113 Monona Dr., Madison, WI 53716, (608) 222-7630. Printing is by Reindl Printing Inc., PO Box 317, Merrill, WI 54452-0317. For advertising information, contact Slack Attack Communications. Subscriptions included in AGC membership dues; non-member subscriptions: $20 per year. Address corrections or subscription information should be directed to the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, Inc., 4814 East Broadway, Madison, WI 53716-4195. USPS #016128. Periodicals postage paid at Madison, WI and at additional offices. ©Copyright 2011 by the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin. Permission to reprint must be secured in advance of publication and credit given to author and Wisconsin Constructor®.

ISSUE 2 • 2011



10 Stevens Construction Corp. Page 10

Headquartered in Madison, the company focuses on what it does best— preconstruction, construction, and project management services.


Braun Corporation Page 16

Departments 4

Message from the President — Preparing for a Brighter Future


Message from the Executive Vice President — Above and Beyond the Fight: Wisconsin is going in the Right Direction


Dear Barry


Legal Issues — The New Concealed Carry Law: Challenges and Considerations for the Construction Community


AGC of Wisconsin Membership


Index to Advertisers


Professional Directory/Buyer’s Guide

Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011


Message from the PRESIDENT o many GREAT things happened at the Summer Meeting – I hope you didn’t miss it! • education with FMI and the Owner’s Panel • networking with fellow construction professionals • inaugural retreat with the Construction Career Academies • Leadership AGC presentation and graduation • scholarship and HERO award presentations • fund raiser for the Construction Education Foundation (over $4000) • cooperation from Mother Nature for the golf outing! Mother Nature aside, the common thread in this list is Preparing for a Brighter Future. In an economic period that has many in our industry frustrated and concerned, Kevin Kilgore delivered a message of motivation and inspiration. In particular, Kevin reminded us that no matter how bleak the economy may seem now, in relation to the rest of the world, we are truly lucky. By focusing our energy on issues that we can change, leaders can make positive impacts in times of uncertainty. The Owner’s panel provided a unique look into the thoughts and perceptions of public and private sector building owners. The group agreed that this is clearly a “buyer’s market” and they hope to benefit from the extremely low prices we are willing to work for. However, this comes with


Dave Riley 2011 AGC of Wisconsin President

Preparing for a Brighter Future Through the AGC we can come together as an industry to learn, celebrate, and prepare — a brighter future is in store!


Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011

a cost! The “low price culture” also brings strained relationships as change orders and clarifications create a lot of conflict and often carry a hefty price tag. There were mixed feelings on the necessity of BIM for projects. Project size and complexity dictate whether this advanced technology is necessary. The owners caution that the AEC industry needs to determine whose scope of work covers BIM – it should not be an “extra”. Sustainability is an agreed upon necessity in today’s building environment. However, the added cost of LEED certification is not necessary for every project. Owners want to identify on a project-by-project basis if certification is the right fit. It is clear that project delivery is going to remain a big issue for our industry as technology and partnerships force traditional models to evolve to meet the demand of complex projects and aggressive schedules. A special thank you to panelists: Al Fish (UW Facilities Planning & Management), Scott Tebon (T.Wall Properties), Mick Hintz (Wilderness Properties), and Rick Stoughton (SSM Health Care) and moderator Mark Federle (Marquette University). The seventh class of Leadership AGC shared the hard work they put into recommendations for the State of Wisconsin Minority Business Enterprise program (MBE). Without a doubt, this is one of the most complex projects that a class has taken on and their proposal is impressive. Earlier in the day, Jeff Plale, Division

Administrator DSF, commended AGC of Wisconsin for work on the MBE program. The outreach efforts by Leadership AGC continue to positively impact our relations with DSF and the future of our industry. Congratulations to the Leadership AGC Class of 2010-2011 for their fine work! New to the Summer Meeting is a retreat with the Construction Career Academies. Five school districts met at the Summer Meeting to work with AGC staff and members to outline key objectives for the CCA program, learn about industry issues and develop curriculum for the

classes. Feedback on the retreat was very positive from both educators and AGC members. I had the privilege to spend some time in the retreat, answering questions and talking about industry examples that can be brought to the classroom. It was a rewarding afternoon and I encourage you to say “yes” when asked to work with the CCA programs! These educators are working with us to develop our next generation of employees! The golf outing was a success as Mother Nature “paid us back” this year by lowering the humidity and keeping the

rain clouds away. The Construction Education Foundation raised over $4000 at this event -helping fund the many initiatives underway to develop our workforce. Thank you to all the golfers, and sponsors that made the day at Wild Rock a success! No summer meeting would be complete without a good dose of networking and reception time. Through the AGC we can come together as an industry to learn, celebrate and prepare – a brighter future is in store! ■

Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011



Above and Beyond the Fight Wisconsin is going in the Right Direction ccording to a recent WMC survey, some 88 percent of corporate CEOs say Wisconsin is going in the right direction, up from 10 percent last year. And, 35 percent say Wisconsin is very pro-business, up from 1 percent last year. Some 44 percent say Wisconsin is somewhat pro-business, up from 6 percent last year. The business community is very impressed with the renewed commitment to tax relief, litigation relief, regulatory reform and spending restraints from Governor Scott Walker and the Legislature. This is positive news for AGC Members, most of whom rely on the private sector for the majority of their business. AGC members have now a friendlier regulatory environment from State agen-

A Bob Barker AGC of Wisconsin Executive Vice President

There is positive news for AGC Members—88 percent of Corporate CEOs say Wisconsin is going in the right direction.


Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011

cies, and an open door policy on issues impacting our members. Tough decisions and affirmative actions to improve Wisconsin’s financial picture and business environment were necessary. The Federal & State Labor Law Poster is Revealing As members know, or should know, AGC produces large Federal & State Labor Law “all-in-one” posters for sale to members as multiple posters are required to be posted in conspicuous places in the office and on job sites. The job site posters are a culmination of various posters required by the Federal and State Government. The posters include the following:

• OSHA : Job Safety & Health…It’s the Law! – Provides safety and health protections. • Employee Rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act – Provides minimum wage and overtime protections. • The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act – Provides civilian employment and reemployment protections for employees serving in the uniformed/armed services, related to any benefit of employment. • Wisconsin Fair Employment Law – Provides protections for employees and job applicants related discrimination (Age, Sex, Ancestry, Disability, Marital Status, Race, Creed, Age (40+), Declining to attend a meeting related to religion or politics, Use of Lawful Products, Arrest or Conviction, Honesty Testing, National Origin, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation, Genetic Testing, or Military Service). • Equal Employment Opportunity is THE LAW – Same as above for the most part. Also covers Federal contracts and subcontracts. • Employee Polygraph Protection Act – Provides employment or preemployment polygraph protections. • Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act – Provides pregnancy and family illness protections. • Employee Rights and Responsibilities under the Family and Medical Leave Act – Provides pregnancy, family illness and military leave protections. • Notification Required When Employers Decide to cease Providing a Health Care Benefit Plan • Employee Rights under Wisconsin’s Business Closing/Mass Layoff Notification Law • Notice to Employees About Applying for Wisconsin Unemployment Benefits History tells us that in the early 1900s unscrupulous employers brought about the need for employee protections for safety and health, leading to the rise of and need for organized labor. As the debate stirred at the Capitol I thought about the arguments related to collec-

(Continued on page 8) Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011


tive bargaining, and what protections are available to employees in the public and private sectors. Today, employees enjoy many protections provided by federal, state and civil service laws. AGC Captive Insurance Program On Track for January 2012 Launch After almost two years of work, AGC’s Captive Insurance Program is in the final stages of development and implementation. The AGC of Wisconsin is partnering with the AGC of Greater Milwaukee,


AGC of St. Louis and Avizent Alternative Risk for the purposes of establishing and operating a member owned captive insurance program. Coverages to be written include Workers Compensation, General Liability, and Auto Liability/Physical Damage. Ancillary coverages may required and written depending on program needs. The foundation of this program is the large pool of successful and safe contractors based in Wisconsin and Missouri. The AGC Chapters involved in starting this program are strong advocates for, and providers of, loss control and safety services for members. While not completely finalized, here are a few details about the program: Structure: The program will be structured utilizing Avizent's Bermuda domiciled segregated cell captive facility. Primary layer risk sharing will be structured with the Wisconsin chapters establishing a separate segregated cell to assume chapter member risk participation. The AGC of St. Louis members will have a separate segregated cell to assume their chapter member risk participation. Each chapter will also participate in an excess layer representing the risk associated with all chapters. Avizent will likely assume risk with the AGC chapters and/or members. Specific reinsurance above member participation and aggregate reinsurance will be provided by the carrier partner(s) and/or reinsurers. Target Market: This is a contractor program: eligible members must be in good standing with their respective AGC chapter; must be in business for 5 years or more; residential work represents no more than 20% of total exposure; subcontracted work represents no more than 90% of total exposure; and loss ratio for 5 years prior, excluding current year, is 50% or better. Interested risks will have a strong commitment to safety and loss control and claims and return to work programs, will have better than average loss history and strong financials, and most importantly must be willing to assume risk in exchange for access to customized services and the return of underwriting profits. Target minimum premium per account is $150,000 to $1,000,000. Underwriting: Avizent will perform initial underwriting services to ensure

Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011

submissions are complete and opportunities are properly vetted prior to formal submittal to the program. It is anticipated that carrier partner(s) will perform rating, quoting, billing, auditing, and policy issuance services. Claims Services: Avizent will provide WC, GL and AL claims administration and managed care services. Risk Management: The goal for this program is to offer one coordinated loss control and safety program combining services currently being provided by each chapter. Requested and required services falling outside of the intended scope of program service offering may be provided by Avizent, pre-approved independent service providers, and/or the carrier partner(s). Our intent is to coordinate these efforts and communicate these, and other risk management services, as part of a website dedicated to this program. Marketing: The marketing approach for this program will be will be structured to provide insurance program continuity and stability for participating members and represents a long term investment by participating chapters. Insurance agencies have been identified by each chapter based on associate member status, industry recognition and acknowledgement that each agency possesses construction industry insurance experience, technical skills, and alternative risk transfer experience. Rather than appointing agencies, specific individuals within appointed agencies will be offered the opportunity to offer, access, and support this program. AGC members will also receive direct communication, education, and training about the program directly from the AGC individual chapters and the dedicated program website. Avizent will provide program and agent marketing and sales support through training and education seminars, webinars and conference calls. Watch for more information in the coming weeks. ■

Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011



by Mark Crawford

Founded as an engineering firm in 1952, Stevens Construction Corp. quickly evolved into a full-service general contractor. Headquartered in Madison, the company focuses on what it does best—preconstruction, construction, and project management services. Stevens Construction Corp. is well known for large wood-frame and concreteframe construction projects for a variety of markets, including multi-family, student housing, retail, commercial, industrial, office, hospitality, and senior housing, as well as specialty projects such as water parks. Their work has primarily been in southern Wisconsin, however, they generally have at least one large project out of state with key clients or architects. “Our ideal project is a privately developed, large-structure building,” says Mark Rudnicki, CEO of the company.“A key area of our expertise, and one that few other general contractors can equal, is concrete framing. Post-tension concrete construction is most practical for large structures five stories or higher, so student housing is ideal. Over the last ten years, we have poured in excess of two million square feet of concrete—about 50 percent of our revenue comes from concrete framed buildings.” Stevens is a construction company to its very core—the six shareholders have a combined tenure of nearly 75 years in preconstruction, project management, and


Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011

finance.“Our depth of experience allows us to run the business in a highly professional and competitive manner, performing as well or better than many larger organizations,” says Rudnicki. Rudnicki is proud of the company’s reputation for getting the job done. “We are never late,” he says. “We do whatever it takes to catch up if a project falls behind schedule. This is a huge selling point for us. If you are building student housing and student move-in is August 15, you had better be ready to open on August 15. We have great people who identify and get issues resolved quickly so each project is completed according to plan.” It is not just project owners who notice Stevens’ scheduling savvy. A few years ago, Stevens Construction and several other general contractors were building projects in Champaign, Illinois and Stevens was the only one that opened on time. A developer noticed this and shortly afterward contacted the company about a potential job in Michigan. Stevens Construction landed the contract to build a 14-story, privatelyowned, student-living building on the edge

of the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. At 235,000 square feet with 606 beds, 173 apartments, two levels of underground parking, and retail space on the first floor, it will be one of the largest construction projects in the state. "We have an immense amount of experience with student-living projects, but our expertise in post-tension concrete structures also helped this project come to fruition", says Geoffrey Vine, President of Stevens Construction Corp. "Brian Wagner, our Vice President of Preconstruction, worked tirelessly with the development and ownership team for more than 18 months to develop a plan that also worked financially. In the end, our competitive price for self-performed concrete work made financing for the project possible." Integrated Project Delivery Stevens Construction Corp.’s preconstruction services go beyond traditional cost estimating to include collaborating with the client and design team on key areas such as cost management, site analysis, preliminary cost modeling, constructability review, sequence planning, and project scheduling. Both the construction project manager and superintendent participate in the preconstruction stage, which streamlines the construction phase and ensures Stevens will deliver a high-quality project that accurately reflects the expectations of the client. Construction services include project management and coordination, subcontractor and material procurement, dealing with long lead-time items, safety management, and project closeout and warranty. Crews self perform demolition, cast-in-place concrete, and rough and finish carpentry. As demonstrated by the University of Michigan project, Stevens Construction Corp. uses an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach for every job, where owners, designers, and constructors collaborate in the earliest design stages (as well as throughout the project) to find the best possible ways to achieve maximum constructability at the lowest cost. “It is during the design stage that the ability to reduce overall project costs is highest and the cost to make changes is lowest,” says Rudnicki. “The major advantage of getting Stevens involved

Stevens Construction Corp. is proud of the craftsmanship of their crews.

early is cost savings—the larger and more sophisticated the project, the greater the value for the owner.” Relationships that Last Stevens Construction Corp. is also proud of its long-term relationships. “Our goal is to develop long-term relationships with our clients and our business partners.” For example, Stevens Construction has maintained a business relationship with Johnson Bank for 12 years.“Over this time we have been impressed by the ability of the company to adapt to market conditions and client demands, which has

served them well,” indicates Eric A. Johnson, Senior Vice President of Johnson Bank.“Stevens Construction has a diverse and thoughtful ownership group that gives them balance and perspective when serving clients and making business decisions.” Willis of Minnesota has served as Stevens Construction Corp.’s bonding agent for almost a quarter of a century. “I have represented Stevens Construction in the surety industry for 22 years,” says Dennis Loots, Senior Vice President of Willis of Minnesota. “Many construction companies are perpetuated through fam-

Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011


ily but Stevens has long had the model of being owned by a collection of construction professionals. This allows the company to expand its core competencies and geographical reach, along with increasing single-project capabilities and a total backlog the company can support. Many repeat customers keep coming back as new projects develop because they know they will be treated fairly and offered a real value for their construction dollar.” Another long-term partner is AGC of Wisconsin. “AGC is a very valuable organization and we utilize many of their resources,” notes Rudnicki, who has served on the AGC General Board of Directors since 2009.“They do a great job of keeping us informed on OSHA updates and other governmental policy changes. AGC of Wisconsin is also highly effective with their lobbying efforts and work hard to promote educational and workforce initiatives —they are a great partner to have in this business.”

Park Regent Apartments — Madison, WI


Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011

A Skilled and Safe Workforce From top management, to field crews, to the front office, Stevens Construction employees are highly regarded as productive team members.“You will not find a ‘not my job’ mentality in the office or the field,”states Rudnicki.“Everyone is teamoriented and supportive of one another.” Randy Bruce, an architect and managing member with Knothe & Bruce Architects LLC in Middleton, agrees. “I’ve worked on Stevens Construction’s projects for 20 years,” he says. “The Stevens’ personnel are creative problem-solvers who can make difficult projects successful; both financially and in terms of the project schedule. They work as a team with the architect and owner to create a beautiful and enduring building project that meets the budget needs.” Today, Stevens Construction Corp. employs about 90 workers in the field and 30 in the office. Safety is a top priority on the job. Stevens maintains an Experience Modification Rate of 0.63, the result of a top-down safety culture, intensive OSHA training, and a dedicated safety department. Extensive safety research and preparation is conducted prior to awarding bids to subcontractors. A member of the safety department attends all pre-construction meetings to evaluate the safety plan and mitigate any possible concerns. All employees are

empowered to make safety decisions on the work site. “Safety Director Duane Reith is a big reason we have been so successful,” says Rudnicki. “Duane has earned the respect of our field forces. He has helped create a “can do” safety culture where anyone can come to him with a potential dangerous situation and they will figure out the safe way to get the task accomplished. The most important goal is getting everyone home safely at the end of the day.” Selected Projects Park Regent Apartments, Madison This mixed-use development includes 1.5 levels of parking, one level of retail, and five levels of apartments. The structure consists of a post-tensioned concrete frame and a mat foundation. Construction began in late August of 2009 and finished 11 months later. Since the foundation walls were built on the property line, there was no space to conventionally form them. An h-pile/wood lagging earth retention system was utilized to temporarily support the excavation. Also, because of the tight space con-

straints, materials could not be staged on site. Instead subcontractors and suppliers scheduled deliveries “just in time” to ensure the products were there when needed. “Stevens Construction was very helpful in suggesting and pricing creative alternatives, which allowed me to make informed decisions about how to proceed,” comments owner Tom Degen. “During construction, the project management team impressed me as having a thorough understanding of the construction process, and a real desire to do everything possible to keep my project on schedule.” The Depot, Madison The Depot Apartments are located in the historic Bassett Neighborhood of downtown Madison. Because the project began in October 2009, most of the structure was constructed in the heart of winter. By early January 2010 the footings, walls, and columns of the west half of the parking garage were complete, then work could begin on the post-tensioned roof slab.

Four pours of post-tensioned slabs were completed. The building arrangement prohibited the opportunity for cycling the slab-forming system. Stevens’ workmen installed slab shoring and forms, placed all rebar and PT cables, poured and finished the concrete, and then pulled tension on the PT cables. The first PT pour was the largest—40 workers used two large concrete pumps to pour 990 yards of concrete in less than six hours. The site was extremely cramped with adjacent buildings along the property lines. Road construction was also being performed by the City of Madison and there was not enough room for most construction activities. To solve this problem Stevens erected a mini-tower crane in the center of the plaza at the rear of the buildings to bring in materials. The plaza deck portion of the parking garage roof was shored to accommodate the weight of the tower crane, delivery trucks, and material storage. “Stevens did a tremendous job,” states David Meier, co-owner of Depot Development, LLC. It was bitterly cold that

The Depot — Madison, WI

Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011


winter. They made good recommendations and were very willing to make changes. Their guys were friendly to work with. They helped us through the city permitting process, came to local meetings, and advised on estimates, before we had signed a contract. They were already very strong partners, even though we hadn’t signed a contract and could have gone with somebody else.”

The Depot — Madison, WI

Johnson Bank — Madison, WI


Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011

Johnson Bank East, Madison The highlight of this exquisitely-finished bank building is the eye-catching interior. The lobby and waiting area feature finely-crafted casework blended with white stone elements and a series of columns with LED lights within aluminum shrouds. Colors and action of the LEDs come in thousands of colors and movement options. Curvilinear shapes of wall, soffit, and flooring elements are blended together seamlessly. An LED-illuminated textured wall behind the teller stations is another creative element that transforms the work area into a point of interest for client and employee alike. The board room features a continuity of finishes with floor-to-ceiling walnut pivot entry doors, LED-lighting wall treatments, and stainless steel ceiling panels. The kitchen is a welcoming space for employees with plenty of natural light, walnut cabinetry, and white stone countertops. The highly-complex design and finishes, combined with a tight project delivery schedule, required very fast turnaround on shop-drawing submittals and reviews. Electronic submittals and very responsive review times were essential. “The quality of work and attention to detail matched our expectations,” indicates Johnson Bank President Greg Dombrowksi. “Scheduling and budget were kept on target. The architectural firm had a vision that pushed the limits on the design, as well as the scope of materials used. Some of those materials had not been used by Stevens before. The project manager was proactive in partnering with the material vendors to fully understand the application of those materials. The outcome is spectacular. We continue to receive compliments about the uniqueness of our space—we owe those compliments to the Stevens team

University Avenue Mixed Use — Madison, WI

for the outstanding construction job they performed.” University Avenue Mixed Use, Madison This 200,000-square-foot mixed-use property, developed by HUM West Wilson LP, consists of 130 apartments, eight townhouses, three flats, and six commercial spaces. A post-tensioned concrete frame supports the two-level parking structure, apartments and flats, and commercial spaces (the townhouses are wood-framed). The apartments feature wood floors, granite countertops, custom cabinetry, expansive windows, and underground secured parking. A large private green roof deck is located above the parking structure. “The bids from contractors came in substantially over budget,” says Brad Mullins, a partner with HUM West Wilson LP. “We asked the bidders to propose value-enhancement suggestions. Stevens rolled up their sleeves and found a way to save $2.5 million dollars without diminishing the quality or the architec-

ture of the project. The size of the savings is a credit to Stevens’ experience, expertise, and ability to come up with creative win-win solutions.” Construction is on schedule to be completed in July 2012. Moving Forward Stevens Construction Corp. is wellpositioned to take advantage of the recovering economy. Its backlog of projects is impressive—“as solid as it was four to five years ago,”comments Rudnicki. “Fortunately we have a lot of strength in those project types that can get financing more easily—market-rate multiple residential units, student housing, and subsidized, low-income housing. Hospitality is another market segment starting to make a comeback. As the economy improves we will also keep an eye on other market opportunities, such as health care.” Rudnicki is proud of the fact the company has stayed profitable in the challenging economic environment. “Although there was some downsizing in our office and field staff during the down-

turn, we were able to keep 100 percent of our field superintendents. They are a huge asset for us and by retaining them we felt we would be in a great position to hit the ground running when the economy turned around. I am also very pleased to say we have hired back all of the field workers we were forced to lay off, and have hired over 30 new employees as well.” “Before the recession our average annual revenues were about $90 million,” says Rudnicki.“This year we will be about $60 million and 2012 is forecast in excess of $100 million. The recession was tough on everyone in the industry. Now, the challenge is strategizing how to get all our projects built, instead of wondering where the work will come from—that is a nice change.” ■

Stevens Construction Corp. has been a member of the AGC of Wisconsin since 2003.

Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011



Specialty Contractor

Braun Corporation adison-based Braun Corporation has been in operation for four decades, with roots tracing back to Rollie Braun’s start in the business in 1948 with Berman Electric Company, which Rollie became part owner in 1958. Subsequent consolidation with Berman-Kern Elevator Company in 1965 resulted in the formation of the Berman Electric and Elevator Company. Following Lester Berman’s retirement in 1970, Rollie Braun became sole owner of the company, changing its name to Braun Electric and Elevator Company in 1972. A significant stage in the Braun’s history was its establishment in the 1950’s as a distributor for the Montgomery Elevator and Rotary Lift Company, which later became the Dover Elevator Company. Substantial growth ensued beginning in 1957, when Braun was awarded its first major contract for the installation of two unique Montgomery freight elevators in the Strategic Air Command building at Truax Field in Madison. One of these 16,000-pound capacity units was an unusual corner-post design featuring three car openings. The successful installation at Truax Field demonstrated Braun's ability to handle large, specialized projects and heightened its visibility within the industry. During the same period, Braun also began manufacturing and installing its own line of dumbwaiters, scores of which were installed throughout Wisconsin. Many of these units remain in service today, including at the Governor’s mansion in Madison. The Braun Electric and Elevator Company continued to thrive through the decades, became a leader in the accessibility lift market. Despite rapid growth and constant change, the company never lost sight of its core values as a familyowned business. After growing up in the family busi-


ness, Rollie’s son Darrell S. Braun rejoined the company in 1986 after an 11-year career with Westinghouse Elevator Company. The name of the Company was changed to Braun Corporation and Darrell became President in 1993. Under Darrell’s guidance the elevator division pursued a strategy of becoming a highly-focused, consumeroriented service company and was rewarded for its efforts. During this growth period, Braun restructured, opened operations in the Milwaukee area, and moved its headquarters to a new and expanded facility. The company also diversified product lines and began securing highly-trained, experienced and motivated technical field staff, which remains a hallmark of current operations. In the early 1990’s Braun Corporation established new distributor relationships with Concord Elevator and Thyssen Elevator Corporation. The latter relationship would prove to be central to Braun Corporation’s current success in the elevator industry. In 2005, Braun Corporation entered into a unique partnership with ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corporation, the world’s second largest elevator manufacturer. The formation of Braun ThyssenKrupp Elevator, LLC, the banner under which the company provides elevator services today, solidified the company’s role as an exclusive regional provider of ThyssenKrupp Elevator goods and services. With offices in Milwaukee and Madison, the company is under local ownership and management with full access to ThyssenKrupp Elevator resources and support. Today, Braun Electric continues to provide residential and commercial electrical services throughout Wisconsin, while Braun ThyssenKrupp Elevator offers new construction, moderniza-

tion, maintenance, ADA accessibility, and repair services to elevator consumers throughout Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Braun Corporation remains a highlyfocused specialty contractor committed to good corporate citizenship and fulfilling its responsibilities to customers and employees. Continued pursuit and development of market-leading products, services, and benefits position Braun as an industry leader. The company also remains family owned, with third-generation Braun’s involvement in daily operations; Darrell Braun’s son Andrew is currently Supervisor of Elevator Service and Repair out of the Madison Office. Important to Braun’s continued success is involvement in industry trade associations including the Associated General Contractors, which Braun Corporation has been a member of since 2004. Timely industry news, legislative updates, and access to staff resources allow Braun Corporation to remain current on issues that have a direct impact on company operations. Company Vice President Mark Browning says “AGC’s resources help us to stay informed on relative topics, which helps us to provide our customers with better service. We continue to support the AGC and find new ways to incorporate their resources into our operations.” ■

Braun TKE Mechanics Scott Friedle and John Leigh installing rails for a new elevator in Madison, WI

Braun Corporation has been a member of the AGC of Wisconsin since 2004.


Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011

deAr bArry,


We have clients that want us to work with them outside of Wisconsin. This is new “territory” for our company. What are the issues that I should be prepared for?

The geographic boundaries of Wisconsin are no longer a limitation for contractors searching for opportunities and new work. Whether following a client or simply following a lead, the fifty states and beyond now provide prospects that are too good to pass up. However, with those prospects comes additional risk – financial, legal and insurance as each state has different laws and regulations. Here is a quick laundry list of considerations every contractor should look into before working in a new state… Financial: • What are the state’s rules for payroll tax withholding and reporting? • What are the state’s rules for paying and filing state unemployment tax? • Does the contractor have a sufficient presence in the state that it must register to collect sales tax on taxable transaction? Must the contractor file sales tax returns in the state? • How does the state treat purchases of materials for exempt entities? Legal: • Do contractors need to register with the Secretary of State to do business in that state or is a company, trade, and /or individual tradesmen license as well as associated testing for competence required? • What are the lien law notice requirements and timelines? • Are “pay if paid” contract provisions legal or illegal? • Are liquidated damages for delay, or otherwise, permitted?

Insurance: • What are the state’s limits on indemnity? • Is there a requirement that “consideration” be exchanged for indemnity? • What is the contractor’s liability in covering a “third party over” action? …and this list goes on! It is always a good idea to do as much research as possible. Specific municipalities may have its own requirements and/or codes. Check the city or county where the project is located for a list of adopted codes and specific ordinances. Specific municipalities within a state may have its own requirements / building codes. Check the city or county the project is located within for a current listing of adopted codes and specific ordinances. To help AGC of Wisconsin contractors develop a strategy that limits the risk of multistate contracting, the Associate Board of Directors is hosting a threepart web seminar. Professionals from the financial, legal and insurance industry will provide a comprehensive checklist of items to consider before beginning projects in new geographical jurisdictions. Watch for more information on dates, times and presenters. If you have any questions on multistate contracting, please contact David Bohl at the AGC of Wisconsin office or

Have a Best Practices question for Barry? E-mail: Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011



Associate Member

Komisar & Spindler, s.c. omisar & Spindler, s.c. is proud to be just a little different than their CPA and management consulting colleagues. Their philosophy is for clients to get to know not just one person, but all four of the members of the advisory team, adding truly a different approach and perspective from many of their counterparts. Diane Kingery and Brian Peglow join Robert Komisar and Mark Spindler on Komisar & Spindler’s team. Diane and Brian strive to learn all aspects of the client’s business so their depth of knowledge is an extension of the personnel of their clients. The hands-on approach by the partners allows their clients to experience one-on-one advisory services from their most trusted professionals, “the outside CPA.” In 2011, Komisar & Spindler, s.c. is celebrating 20 years in business, serving the construction and real estate industries. While their home office is located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, they have an office in Tampa, Florida and are licensed to practice in Florida, Georgia and Wisconsin. Komisar & Spindler, s.c. never tries to be everything to everyone and every


industry. They understand and know the construction industry, allowing them to provide an extreme amount of resource to their clients because each of their professionals have in-depth experience with construction and related real estate businesses. A Komisar & Spindler, s.c. client states, “we have used K&S for over 10 years to assist us with process and accounting improvement, strategic planning, and financial advising. We find them to be very instrumental in all aspects of our business and each of our three different locations throughout the United States. We continue to stay with K&S because of the personal touch that comes with their service. Our Company has benefited greatly from their direction and plan to stay right where we are for years to come.” Komisar & Spindler, s.c. provides the standard assurance and accounting services, tax consulting, operation reviews, strategic planning facilitation, technology selection, evaluation and implementation, process improvement and documentation services, litigation support, continuity planning, and training. The K&S team acts as train-

ers – allowing all of their clients, large and small, to be self-sufficient. Today with shrinking margins, it’s important to have not only an“outside eye” from a 10,000 foot view, but also from the project manager, project administrator, or project accountant perspective in order to build profit while implementing the proper controls in the office and at the jobsite. The view is one of risk assessment and promoting strategic differentiation from the client’s competitors. Mark and Bob have been involved with Associated General Contractors for more than 25 years and their firm joined immediately upon being formed. Their commitment includes providing articles and presentations, committee chairmanship, associate board involvement, and most importantly, being present and learning from a diverse group of contractors and industry professionals. AGC provides the opportunity to build relationships and critical support for companies and individuals seeking growth in the construction industry. Learn more about Komisar & Spindler, s.c. at, or contact Bob Komisar at 262-257-0575. ■

Komisar & Spindler, S.C. has been an Associate Member of the AGC of Wisconsin since 1991.

Bob Komisar


Mark Spindler

Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011


The New Concealed Carry Law Challenges and Considerations for the Construction Community Bruce Keeble, Assistant VP/Sr. Claims Consultant, Aon Risk Solutions Bruce B. Deadman, Attorney, Davis & Kuelthau, s.c.

The new concealed carry law affects virtually every Wisconsin employer, employee, and property owner.

isconsin Act 35, commonly known as the “Concealed Carry Law” will become effective November 1, 2011. The law affects virtually every Wisconsin employer, employee and property owner, yet there is much misinformation concerning its scope and effect.


What the New Law DOES • Creates the right for holders of concealed carry permits (licensees) to carry concealed weapons; • Creates a permitting process administered by the State Department of Justice; • Creates immunity for employers and property owners who allow licensees to carry concealed weapons at their place of work or premises;

• With some exceptions, allows licensees to have concealed weapons in their own vehicles in designated parking areas. • With some exceptions, prevents employers from prohibiting employees who are licensees from having concealed weapons in their own vehicles even while that vehicle is being used for work; • With some exceptions, creates a means to prohibit licensees from carrying concealed weapons in a public or private building or on that building’s grounds. What the New Law Does NOT do • Allow ANYONE who is NOT a licensee to carry a concealed weapon on their person or in their vehicle. Violators are, as they always have been, subject to felony charges; • Allow the transportation in a vehicle or motorboat of any firearm other than a handgun that is not unloaded and in a case. Violators are subject to a significant fine; • Allow licensees in possession of a concealed weapon to consume alcohol at a premises licensed to serve alcohol. Violators are subject to a significant fine and revocation of their permit. Options The process involved in deciding which option to take is beyond the scope of a short article. Briefly, there are three main options companies have with respect to the concealed carry law: 1. Allow people to bring concealed weapons onto their property. 2. Prohibit people from bringing concealed weapons onto their property. 3. Inform people about the company’s position regarding bringing concealed weapons onto their property without actually prohibiting them. Employers or property owners who wish to allow concealed weapons on

Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011


their property do not need to do anything regarding signs or notices. Under the new law, employers or property owners who reach this decision are immune from liability from any liability resulting from that decision. Employers or property owners who decide to prohibit concealed weapons on their property waive the statutory immunity, and must post signs stating what specific firearms are prohibited. There is no specific language requirement, but the sign must be at least 5 by 7 inches. Violators are subject to fines under trespass laws. While the law provides for oral and written notice, the prevailing view is that the lack of signage would render the prohibition legally unenforceable. Those who wish to discourage but not prohibit people from bringing concealed weapons on their property may post informative signs, but will not be entitled

to invoke trespass provisions against those who ignore the signs. Employer/Employee Issues An employer may prohibit the carrying of a concealed weapon in the course of the employee’s employment. However, an employer may not prohibit a licensed employee from carrying a concealed weapon in the licensee’s own motor vehicle whether or not the vehicle is used in the course of the employee’s employment or whether the motor vehicle is driven or parked on property used by the employer. Example- an employee with a concealed carry permit who uses his/her personal vehicle for company business may not be prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon in that vehicle, even while on company business. The restriction does not apply to employees who use company-provided vehicles.

Parking Areas A property owner may not restrict the possession of a firearm, including a concealed weapon, in a vehicle driven into or parked in any area used for parking. However, this exception does not apply to concealed weapon in parking areas on school grounds. Construction companies who do work at schools should be aware of this difference. Policy Considerations • Are you are going to prohibit concealed weapons on your premises; • If so, what will your signs say and where will you post them? (Remember, if you do not post signs, in the vast majority of cases that means that concealed weapons are not prohibited); • Do HR policies need to be revised? (Pay particular attention to broad policies that may violate the parking lot provisions of the new law.) • What will employees be expected to do if they know or suspect that a fellow employee or a patron is carrying a concealed weapon in violation of policy and/or signs? Call HR? Call the police? Politely ask the person to leave? • Construction companies should consider designating specific areas of job sites as parking areas and follow the policies of the project owner. The decision to obtain a concealed carry permit and exercise the right to carry is an individual one, as is an employer or property owner or occupant’s decision regarding whether and to what extent it will prohibit concealed weapons on its premises. If the history of the concealed carry laws in 48 other states is any indication, the transition to Wisconsin becoming a concealed carry state should be a smooth one. ■ For further information, please contact either of the authors of this article: Bruce Keeble—920.431.6365; Bruce Deadman—920.431.2228; This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a definitive synopsis of the subject. The information contained herein is not, and should not be construed as, legal advice and is not meant to serve as a comprehensive analysis of the entirety of the subject. Contact legal prior to the development of any policy, procedure or rule.


Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011

MEMBERSHIP General Contractors

Specialty Contractors

ACS, Inc.

Market & Johnson, Inc.

Alfredson Bros. Construction Co., Inc.

Maryville Construction Company, Inc.

Bacco Construction Company

McCabe Construction, Inc.

Bachmann Construction Co., Inc.

McGann Construction, Inc.

Bauer & Raether Builders, Inc.

McKee Associates, Inc.

Blue Sky Contractors, LLC

McMullen & Pitz Construction Company

Oscar J. Boldt Construction Co.

C.R. Meyer and Sons Company

The Boson Company, Inc.

Miron Construction Company, Inc.

Camosy Incorporated

The OCI Group

Capitol Underground, Inc.

Parisi Construction Co., Inc.

Community Living Solutions LLC

Peter Nelson & Sons, Inc.

J.P. Cullen & Sons, Inc.

Progressive Construction Services, LLC

Dane County Contracting, LLC

Quasius Construction, Inc.

Dell Construction Co., Inc.

Rasch Construction and Engineering, Inc.

Ellis Stone Construction Company, Inc.

Riley Construction Company, Inc.

Marshall Erdman & Associates

Rossi Construction Co., Inc.

Paul V. Farmer, Inc.

Ruzic Construction Co.

J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.

The Samuels Group, Inc.

Fowler and Hammer, Inc.

Scherrer Construction Company, Inc.

Ganther Construction, Inc.

The Peter Scherrer Group

Gorman & Co., Inc.

Jos. Schmitt & Sons Const. Co., Inc.

Gundlach Champion, Inc.

The Selmer Company

Hamann Construction Company

Sjostrom & Sons, Inc.

Hammersley Stone Company

C.D. Smith Construction, Inc.

Hoffman, LLC

Speedway Sand & Gravel, Inc.

Holster Construction, Inc.

Staab Construction Corporation

Homburg Contractors, Inc.

Stevens Construction Corp.

IEI General Contractors, Inc.

Kenneth F. Sullivan Co.

Ideal Builders, Inc.

TCI Architects, Engineers, Contractor, Inc.

Howard Immel Inc.

Tri-North Builders, Inc.

Klobucar Construction Company, Inc.

Urban Construction Administration, Inc.

Kraemer Brothers, LLC

Vogel Bros. Building Co.

Kraus-Anderson Construction Co.

Vonasek & Schieffer, Inc.

Lunda Construction Company

Frank O. Zeise Construction Company, Inc.

Magill Construction Company, Inc.

A&A Environmental, Inc. Acme Construction Metals, Inc. J.F. Ahern Co. Appleton Lathing Corporation Applied Ecological Services Architectural Products of Wausau, Ltd. August Winter & Sons, Inc. Austad & Son, Inc. Badger Swimpools Inc. Badgerland Metal Building Erectors, Inc. Balestrieri Environmental & Development, Inc. Bartingale Mechanical, Inc. Bassett Mechanical Bollig Lath & Plaster Co., Inc. Braun Corporation C&S Construction, Inc. Ceco Concrete Construction Central Ceiling Systems, Inc. Coppens Metal & Roofing Corner Stone Construction of Janesville, Inc. Crowley Masonry DHO Mason Contractors, Inc. Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling E&A Enterprises, Inc. Faith Technologies, Inc. Falcon Drilling & Blasting, Inc. Forward Electric, Inc. Gauthier & Sons’ Construction, Inc. General Heating & Air Conditioning Howard Grote & Sons, Inc. H&H Group Holdings, Inc. H&H Industries, Inc. Hagen Decorators, Inc. & North Central Insulation Marshall Hanes Steel Erectors, Inc. Hasheider Roofing & Siding, Ltd. Hillcraft Ltd. Hooper Corporation Hurckman Mechanical Industries, Inc. Klein-Dickert Co., Inc. Lewis Construction Inc. FJ Lincoln Madison Crushing & Excavating Co., Inc. Madison Gas & Electric Company Martell Construction, Inc. H.J. Martin & Son, Inc. Middleton Constrction Continued on next page.

Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011


Specialty Contractors (continued)

Middleton Insulation Systems, LLC Monona Masonry, Inc. Monona Plumbing & Fire Protection, Inc. Neuman Pools, Inc. North American Mechanical, Inc. Northern Electricians, Inc. Omni Glass and Paint, Inc. Ostrenga Excavating, Inc. H.J. Pertzborn Plumbing and Fire Protection Corp. Prairie Plumbing & Heating, Inc. Pro-Foamers, Inc. Quality Erectors & Sheeters, Inc. Quality Insulators, Inc. F. Radandt & Sons Inc. Robinson Brothers Environmental, Inc. Rockwell Group, Inc. Rohde Brothers, Inc. SPE, Inc. Terra Engineering & Construction Corporation Don Theobald Masonry Tri-City Refrigration, Inc. Tweet/Garot Mechanical, Inc. Van Ert Electric Co., Inc. Veit, Inc. Ver Halen, Inc. Wall-Tech, Inc. Wallcovering One WI, LLC Westphal & Co., Inc. Zander Insulation/Solutions Associate Members AON Risk Services of Wisconsin Aerotek Akerman Senterfitt Wickwire Gavin Allied Insulation Supply Allstar Financial Group American State Equipment Company, Inc. A. N. Ansay & Associates, Inc. Arch Insurance Group Axley Brynelson, LLP Badgerland Supply, Inc. Baker Tilly Benes & Krueger, S.C. Block Iron & Supply Company Blueprints, Inc. The Bruce Co. of Wisconsin Brunsell Lumber & Millwork CNA Surety Corporation Chubb Group of Insurance Companies Clifton Gunderson LLP Cobb-Strecker-Dunphy & Zimmerman, Inc. 22

Construction Data Services Construction Resource Network Construction Risk Associates, Inc. County Materials Corporation Cygnus Business Media The Daily Reporter Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental DeWitt Ross & Stevens DirectNetworks, Inc. Discher Architectural Millwork ECS Illinois, LLC Endres Manufacturing Company Scott Engroff, LCC Enterprise Fleet Services Fabco Equipment, Inc. Farrell Equipment & Supply Company, Inc. Fond du Lac Express, Inc. The Forker Company Gallagher Construction Services Gerdau Ameristeel–Appleton Grant Thornton LLP Accountants & Business Advisors Hatch Building Supply Hausmann-Johnson Insurance Hayden Murphy Equipment/Hausmann Insurance John Heugel, Attorney at Law Ideal Crane Rental, Inc. Iron Planet Janesville Brick & Tile Janesville Sand & Gravel Company Johnson Insurance Services J.J. Keller & Associates Kelly Financial Kendell Doors & Hardware, Inc. Komisar & Spindler, S.C. Krukowski & Costello, S.C. LaForce, Inc. Lakes Brick & Block, LLC LarsonAllen Lee, Kilkelly, Paulson & Younger, S.C. Liberty Mutual Surety Lincoln Contractors Supply, Inc. Lindner & Marsack M3 Insurance Solutions, Inc. Manitowoc Cranes, Inc. MasterGraphics McCarty Law LLP McElroy Metal Inc. McFarlane Manufacturing Company, Inc. McGraw-Hill Construction Melli Law, S.C. Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

Wisconsin Constructor® / Issue 2 • 2011

Murphy & Desmond, S.C. The Murphy Group Insurance National Construction Rentals Neenah Foundry Company Nimsgern Steel Corp. North East Wisconsin Precast O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong S.C. Park Bank Penta Technologies, Inc. Quarles & Brady, LLP R&R Insurance Services, Inc. RJF Agencies, Inc. RSM McGladrey Reynolds Crane Service River Steel, Inc. J. Ryan Bonding, Inc. Safe-Con, LLC Sand Source Services, US Schenck Business Solutions Schwarz Insurance Security Insurance Slack Attack Communications Smith & Gesteland, LLP Spancrete Inc. Spider Staging LLC Stetson Building Products SVA Construction Services Temp-Air, Inc. Travelers Truck Country Vander Bloemen Group LLC Verona Safety WK Construction Co. Inc. T. Wall Properties Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, S.C. Willis of Wisconsin, Inc. Wilderness Development Wingra Stone Company—Wingra Redi-Mix, Inc. Wipfli LLP Woodworks Zurich

Interested in becoming a member? Contact Laura Cataldo at the AGC of Wisconsin office for membership information: 608-221-3821

Professional Directory / Buyer’s Guide BUILDING PRODUCTS



OVER 35 YEARS EXPERIENCE Spray Applied Urethane Foam Insulation & Fluid Applied Air Barrier Systems

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American State Equipment ...........................6 Balestrieri ................................................IBC General Heating and Air Conditioning Inc..IBC Hooper Corporation.................................IBC Hurckman Mechanical Industries, Inc.............7 Ideal Crane Rental, Inc. ............................IFC J.F. Ahern Co..............................................8

Kelly Financial, Inc. .....................................5 Liberty Mutual Surety .................................19 Lycon Inc....................................................5 Middleton Insulation Systems .....................IBC M3 Insurance & Business Solutions ...............7 Pro-Foamers, Inc. .....................................IBC Spancrete Group ........................................9

Stetson Building Products ..........................IBC Tweet/Garot Mechanical, Inc. ....................20 Vogel Bros. Building Co...............................9 Wall-tech, Inc. ............................................4 Wall-tech, Inc. ..........................................BC

2011 Wisconsin Constructor Issue #2  

Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin's official quarterly publication

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