Our Company Culture Matters

Company Culture MattersWhen I started at Straub Construction Company over 19 years ago, it didn’t take long for me to see there was something different about this company.

Many times when you hear about a company’s “culture” it’s in reference to one particular area, how the employees of that company get along with each other.  Our folks at Straub Construction overachieve in this way.

We have all of the “standard” events like the company picnic, 4 o’clock Fridays, Christmas Parties, cookouts, etc.  I think something that stands out is how great the attendance is!  It’s rare to have more than a handful miss our events. Spouses and kids look forward to these times together.   This is just a reflection on how much our folks enjoy spending time with each other.  Needless to say, that working in this environment has had such positive carryover to all our personal and family lives.

Company Culture MattersIn addition, I also believe that a company’s culture is more than that.  It also includes the interaction with each other, but goes to the vendors, clients, service professionals all the way to the UPS guy or the lawn care workers.  I think that’s where we are unique.  So many times we hear stories of bullying, intimidation, and rudeness from our vendors working for other companies.  We work hard to be different!

How many companies know their Fed X or delivery service professionals by name and know about their families?  How many companies go out of their way to welcome some of their vendors to company gatherings and functions?  I can’t tell you the number of times strangers will say (unsolicited) how friendly it feels coming to our office.

Our folks live by the golden rule:  Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

While these are simple words, they are powerful when implemented.  They are the foundation that makes Straub Construction’s culture one of a kind!

Project Focus – Piper Lofts, A Cool Space in the Crossroads District

Piper Lofts DaytimeRemember back in the 90’s when the lofts at 5th and Delaware were all the rage – almost the only rage when it came to lofts and downtown Kansas City.  As long as the space had “exposed brick” then you knew it was a loft. Today, lofts have transcended to new heights.  Mixed use, co-working spaces, sustainable design – the public now views lofts as a license to stretch their design legs and create unique spaces that showcase their individuality.

Piper Lofts is a great example of this, located at 20th & Wyandotte in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District.  Originally built in 1917, the HD Lee Building served as the LEE Jeans factory for nearly  60 years and manufactured one-piece overalls for the military during World War I.  The building has since evolved into a sought after address for people that want to work and live in the heart of downtown Kansas City.

Piper Lofts NighttimeWe’ve turned 10,000 square feet of the first floor into Law Offices for SLS Law Firm.  It’s a mixture of industrial such as tall open concrete ceilings, exposed duct and sealed concrete floors, all the things that loft space is known for yet warm rich finishes with custom dark oak cabinets, doors and rich warm colors hand selected by our client.  It embodies their spirit and culture that’s the beauty of the evolution of design and construction today – the new life that is unveiled with each client’s vision of what fits them.

We are currently making preparations to finish out the last 15,000 square feet of the second floor for another client. This will complete the build out of the two floors of commercial space in the building.

Open space and a blank canvas is sometimes all you need to get those creative juices flowing.  Well, that and a breathtaking view of the city from a cool rooftop in the Crossroads doesn’t hurt either.

So keep dreaming and evolving Kansas City and never fear – Straub Construction will still be here to build it.

Employee Spotlight – Jeff Walters

Jeff Walters, Superintendent

Hometown: Cassoday, Kansas

Jeff Walters in a Straub TruckOur employee spotlight lands on Jeff Walters, a 21 year veteran of Straub Construction.  In fact, Straub Construction was Jeff’s first job right out of college – starting with the company as a part time employee in the Summer of 1994 and was soon promoted to a full time employee just six months later and the rest as they say is history.  Jeff currently serves as a Superintendent.

Visit the Straub corporate office and you know it’s “Wildcat” country.  Jeff fits right in, having graduated from K-State University in 1995 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Science and Management.

When asked what he likes best about Straub Construction, Jeff simply replied, “Family…they are family oriented and I like that.”  With 2 and 3/4 kids (as he jokingly stated, he and his wife have a new baby due in May of this year), Jeff’s love of family is central to everything he does.

What he loves about his trade: Jeff says the best part of construction is experiencing something being created.  “I like that something is happening – different things happen every day [in construction].”  It only makes sense that Jeff’s dream job would be building furniture and in his favorite hobby is woodworking and of course the kids because family is truly at the center of it all for Jeff.


Straub Construction Competing in 2015 Kansas City Corporate Challenge

Kansas City Corporate ChallengePost Author: Parker Young

Honesty, Integrity, Work Ethic, Respect and Accountability.  All of these words can be applied to the field, track, pool, course or any other venue of competition. We at Straub Construction are very excited to participate in our very first Kansas City Corporate Challenge.

It has been a fun last few weeks as we’ve been reliving some of our glory day stories. From “big fish stories” to state championship games! When this idea to compete in the KCCC was first discussed, with the help of a couple of glasses of liquid courage, we weren’t sure how it would be received by the rest of our team. However, the team is having fun just preparing for the formal competition.

I believe that when KC Corporate Challenge was formed years ago, the goals were team building and promoting a healthy lifestyle. I can tell you that even though an event hasn’t occurred yet, we are seeing those goals met!

The core values I mentioned aren’t just applied to our projects… our folks live them out every day! So when you think about it, it just makes sense that we would apply them in preparation to compete in these various sporting events. Many of the same challenges we face every day on projects, we face in competition.

Straub Construction Corporate Challenge T-ShirtLike so many things in life, you can choose to make things frustrating, or make them fun. I think it’s becoming clear that we like to make things fun! If you go out and be who you are, most of the time things seem to work out and you have fun doing it.

Many of the teams competing in Corporate Challenge have T-Shirts made up for the events.  We wanted to share our T-Shirt design with you, so check it out!

Just like life and construction, athletics will bring some bumps and bruises. Preparing for long runs or short sprints will test our will. But the fact we are doing these things for each other has reinforced our core values. Regardless of the results of the competition, we’ve already won by being reminded of who we are, and seeing the crossover from construction to athletic competition!