BBQ and Boozin at the Culinary Center of Kansas City

BBQ and Boozin 2015BBQ and Boozin is a pretty good combination.  It’s especially good when you add in 25 Straub team members and their significant others at a fantastic facility at the Culinary Center of Kansas City and a fun presenter Bruce Campbell.

For the second year, a large group of us converged on downtown Overland Park to learn a little, try some new things, and have a lot of fun!  If you aren’t familiar with it I would encourage you to check it out.  It’s a unique venue and you don’t have to be Bobby Flay to have a wonderful experience. You can participate as much or as little as you like, but you’re guaranteed to have some fun and try some unique dishes.

Our group enjoyed sampling some of the different adult beverages that were paired with the menu items.  In addition, we learned some helpful tricks of the trade like where to buy better cuts of meat, utensils and more.  We came away feeling that we could replicate the dishes we tried.

BBQ and Boozin 2015Bruce, our BBQ expert for the evening, did a nice job of relating to our busy lives and how a few simple steps can make grilling easy!

Of course, the best part of the evening was the fellowship and time spent with team members and their significant others.  We caught up on kids, trips, and summer activities.

As in any organization, we are focused on our day to day duties in delivering the best quality construction to our customers. So, it’s nice to “let our hair down” every once in a while and have fun with our work family!

Thanks to Bruce and the Culinary Center for a very fun evening.  I can’t wait ‘till next year!

BBQ and Boozin 2015

The Heer’s Building turns 100!

Originally opened in 1915, the Heer’s Department store was THE PLACE to shop, dine and entertain in Springfield, MO. Featuring 158,000 square feet of restaurants, shops, beauty parlors, a roof top garden, and the first wooden escalator west of the Mississippi, it was a regional draw for southwest Missouri and an anchor business on the square.

Heers Historical

Heers25,000 people toured this “Triumph of Architectural Industrial Achievement” on opening day. My 82 year old mother remembers as a child that a trip to the Heer’s Department store was quite an event!

The department store flourished until 1995 when the business closed and the building was left empty and deteriorating for twenty years. During this period, three different developers were unsuccessful in their attempts to restore this landmark.

Completed last month, Heer’s Luxury Living, LLC, led by developers Jim Nichols and Ernie Straub, has succeeded in the $15 million renovation of the iconic property. The Dalmark Group served as developer and property manager. Jarrett Cooper with Rosemann and Associates led the design team.

Today, the Heer’s Building features 80 modern loft-style apartments with stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, plank flooring with espresso cabinets, gathering spaces, a fitness center, secure underground parking, a theater and a clubhouse with a rooftop terrace. In addition to bringing back residents to this renewing part of the city, it will also provide jobs as the new home for IntrinsiQ, a healthcare software company, occupying 16,500 square feet of the first floor along with a Springfield Police substation.

It was a great honor to serve as the general contractor to preserve this 100 year old piece of history as Straub Construction has been privileged to do on many historic structures across the region. Great job Casey, Kip, Jerry and the entire Straub team!

Here is KY3’s coverage of the Heer’s grand reopening.

Heers Heers Heers

Ernie and Parker Laboring for the Team

Ernie and the foodAccording to the department of labor, Labor Day constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.  Tributes take many forms from parades to banners to picnics and festivals.  The hard working men and women who have built and developed this country have earned this recognition!  This holiday should be inclusive of all that have participated over the last 133 years.  For us it is.

At Straub Construction, we’ve taken more of the “picnic” approach to celebrate and recognize our accomplishments over the last year.

It’s our tradition that the Friday before Labor Day, Ernie and Parker prepare the fare for all of our employees to enjoy.

Thirty pounds of grilled buffalo style chicken wings are an annual staple, but Ernie has upped his game this year with eighteen slabs of ribs slow smoked to perfection!  Round it out with smoked cheesy potatoes and country style green beans and we can assure you no one went home hungry.

We end up shutting our office down at noon and partake in the festivities, complete with various tailgate games.  Everyone in the company is invited to start their holiday weekend off early.  It’s a great opportunity for us to gather as a family and celebrate.

As a company that has projects in multiple locations it’s always nice to have everyone home. The fun and fellowship lasts for a couple of hours, but the appreciation is ongoing!

Thank you to all of those who do their part to make our United States the greatest country in the world.

Labor Day BBQ Labor Day BBQ

Walking in Her Shoes: The 2015 Dress for Success Power Walk

You might have heard the following saying at some point: “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, and you may know their struggle.” This quote calls us to have patience and compassion for another person’s life experience.

2015 Power WalkFor the organization Connections to Success – Walk a mile in her shoes takes on new meaning as they focus on helping those living in poverty to become economically self-sufficient.

Connections To Success (CTS) is a nonprofit organization that promotes independence and economic development. The organization provides a network of services such as employment and career development, financial planning and educational services.

A unique way that they help their clients is to provide professional business clothing, right down to a pair of shoes to wear when they go on job interviews. All clothing donations are supplied through local CTS Boutiques in Kansas and Missouri.

Straub Construction donated construction services to help open the newest CTS Boutique in Kansas City, Kansas.

During the ribbon cutting, the positive impact of CTS was on full display through the smiles and pride shown by the “dressed for success” clients modeling their interview ready dresses and suits.

Supporting Connections To Success drives home that while we are all different, we can show compassion for one another and appreciate the road each of us travels.

CTS, like many nonprofit organizations Straub Construction supports, does very important work impacting hundreds of lives every year. We are happy to report that the 4th Annual Dress for Success Power Walk and Marathon this past June raised over $60,000 this year!

It’s a great feeling to live our core value to invest in our community with more than brick and mortar but with heart and compassion for those that have the greatest need.

So the next time you think about cleaning out your closet or updating your wardrobe, keep in mind how you may be able to impact someone’s journey and lighten their step with your clothing donation.

To learn more about Connections to Success and how you may support their programs please visit www.connectionstosuccess.org.

Bo Jackson Knows Character

Bo JacksonSusan and I had an unbelievable trip to Chicago right after the All Star Game to see the Royals play the White Sox and meet Bo Jackson, arguably the best athlete ever in any sport. The trip was part of a charitable auction. We were the high bidder for a trip to Chicago and a pregame field experience before the Royals-Sox baseball game. The money went to a great cause, Dayton Moore’s C You in the Major Leagues foundation.

Right from the start Bo and I shook hands and Susan extended hers but Bo was not having any of that, only a big smile from him and a warm hug was going to do. We sat and talked about family, fishing, hunting and business. The conversation was easy and it was as if we had been friends for a long time. We spent 20 minutes sitting in the Royals dugout before the game with Bo. What a class gentleman!

If you’re of a certain age, you can easily recall Bo driving tape-measure home runs over the wall at the Royals Kauffman Stadium. Or you might also recall Bo evading would-be tacklers while playing for Auburn University and the Oakland Raiders. If you’re a bit younger than that you should know Bo for what he has done after his career as a professional athlete came to a premature end after injuring his hip in 1990 while playing running back for the Raiders.

First, Bo completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Child Development at Auburn to fulfill the promise he made to his mother. Today Bo resides in Chicago with his wife and has three young adult children. He runs two charities, the Give Me A Chance Foundation and Bo Bikes Bama.

The Give Me A Chance Foundation’s mission is to inspire deserving youth to become involved in sports by providing an opportunity to train at an elite level while emphasizing a strong commitment to education. With Bo Bikes Bama, he hopes to inspire Alabamians and people across the country to lend their neighbors a helping hand. Money raised by Bo Bikes Bama goes to support the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund, specifically providing funds for the construction of community storm shelters across the state.

One more thing, Bo is also an entrepreneur. He is part-owner and director of the Burr Ridge Bank & Trust, President of Bo Jackson Enterprises and CEO of Bo Jackson Elite Sports. BO played baseball and football with incredible talent, humbleness and class. For the legend he is, Susan and I found him to be one of the most genuine and authentic persons we have met.

Mr. Jackson has been as successful in his personal life and business as he was during his career in sports.  The take-away Susan and I learned was that honesty and character do carry forward in every aspect of a person’s life. You can get up every day and choose to live your life by the Golden Rule, treat others as you want to be treated or not, it’s a simple choice. It would have been easy for Bo to just give us a quick hello and move on from our meeting (after all Susan and I are no celebrities), but that’s not what a person of character does.

To conclude, I say “Thank you Dayton Moore, the Kansas City Royals, Jeff Davenport of the Royals and especially Mr. Bo Jackson.  It was an honor to meet you. Thanks for being a great example for us to follow.