Koalas are Coming to the Kansas City Zoo!

The Koalas Are Coming

Straub Construction is currently renovating an existing building at the Kansas City Zoo which will be turned into the new Koala Exhibit.

This project consists of re-cladding the existing CMU block structure with natural stone, cedar siding, and EIFS. New specialty anti-reflective glass windows will be installed to allow visitors of the Exhibit to have a clear view of the Koalas in two areas within the building. The two holding area walls will have a floor-to-ceiling forestry graphic which will give the audience a life-like feel of the Koalas natural habitat. The exterior yard connected with the newly renovated building will have a netted sunning area for the Koalas.

The renovation will be complete by the end of April of this year. Chris Davis, with PGAV, is the architect. Ernie Straub IV is the Project Manager and Brandon Wilson is the Superintendent.

We’re very excited to be a part of bringing the Koala Exhibit to the Kansas City Zoo!

To learn more go to kansascityzoo.org/ZooNews.

March Madness Bracketology Time!!

Post written by Greg Hellbusch

March Madness 2016About a week and a half ago, the entire office received the inevitable email from our Fantasy Football and March Madness Bracketology liaison, Mr. Jon Alvarado.

Jon is pretty much on point when “Tourney Time” is upon us and WE LOVE IT!

Along with March Madness comes rooting for your favorite team or alma mater. Unfortunately, Jon’s household doesn’t get to enjoy this time of year because they are rooting for more than one team. It’s serious business. Jon’s team is Nebraska. Jon’s wife Kate roots for KU. (Good Luck Kate!)

The entire construction industry, including our office, has an “Office Divided” situation.

Jon is a part of this during football season, but probably our biggest in-office rivalry is between Ernie Jr. (aka Chief) who went to KU and Ernie III and the other K-State fans.

Some of the great memories include when KU has a big win over K-State (this has happened a few times), and somehow Chief gets a huge KU flag hanging high in our lobby rafters before everyone arrives the next business day. You can imagine the look Ernie III, Parker, and all the other K-Stater’s had on their faces when they got to our office those mornings.

Many of those wins came with Chief using our phone system intercom to harass the K-State alum’s by broadcasting to the entire office, “Is it on…? (Chief being technology challenged) Roooccckkk Chhhhaaaallllccckkk Jaaayyyhhhaaawwwwkkkk.  KKKKKUUUUU!” Hilarious.

To sum it up, we hope you’re enjoying the tournament with all the bracket upsets and rivalries.  They happen several times a year, but are even more special in March. Good luck KU, Iowa State and Oklahoma being that you are the only alums still in the “Madness!”

Pull!!! – First Annual Shadow Buddies Shootout at Saddle and Sirloin on April 28th

Straub Construction is always looking to give back to the community. What better way to do this than helping kids, and getting to shoot guns in the process!

Thursday, April 28th is National Super Hero Day

From 11:00am to 5:00pm, Straub Construction will be the title sponsor for the 1st Annual Shadow Buddies Shootout at Saddle and Sirloin.

For more details and to register, please download the Shadow Buddies Shootout flyer.

Besides stepping up as the title sponsor, Straub has also committed 20 employee volunteers. Our volunteers will help with everything from event registration, cooking, score keeping, cart driving, and more.

The Shadow Buddies Foundation

Shootout for the KidsThe Shadow Buddies Foundation is a not-for-profit set-up by the executive director, Marty Postlethwait of Olathe, 21 years ago.

Marty was visiting the hospital, with her son Miles, who was born with multiple congenital birth defects when the buddy idea began.

During one of his many hospital visits, when he was six, Miles told his mom he longed for a buddy who was just like him.  Marty enlisted a seamstress friend to create a “Buddy” for him.  Soon after that came the Shadow Buddies Foundation.

Today there are 28 different types of Shadow Buddy dolls and the foundation ships Buddies to all 50 states and 17 different countries.  There have been almost one million Buddies sent out so far.

The foundation has teamed up with the Kansas City Chiefs, KC Royals Charities, Sporting KC Victory Project, Garmin, Straub Construction, and many more.   They also have partnerships with many “Buddy Stars”.  Travis Kelce, Tony Gonzalez, Matt Cassel, and Dom Dwyer to name a few. How cool would it be to have Travis Kelce deliver a Super Hero Buddy in a Super Hero cape while you’re in the hospital?

Who knows, maybe one of these stars will be at the Shootout as well!?!?

Please contact Greg Hellbusch at ghellbusch@straubconstruction.com or 913-451-8828 to register for a Shadow Buddies Shoot-out team.  There are only 16 teams and they are filling fast!

Employee Spotlight – Maribeth Fischbach

Maribeth FischbachAs the Accounts Payable Lead, Maribeth Fischbach has had the distinct honor of paying the bills for Straub Construction since 2002. Her job requires some diplomacy because she is the “lady that pulls the purse strings.”

When we asked what her favorite thing about being a part of the Straub Team is, she said, “it just feels like family.  I can always count on the people that I work with to be there for me through really rough times and good times.”

Family is important to Maribeth.

“I’m the youngest of six with five older brothers. My husband, Bruce and I met in kindergarten and began dating just before my senior year in high school and we’ve been together ever since. It will be 32 years this year!  We have two children and two grandchildren.”

A global perspective.

Maribeth has had the pleasure to travel the world and meet a lot of different folks. That explains her natural ability to connect to others.  She is originally from Wisconsin, and truly enjoys the memories her travels have brought her.

“During our stay in Germany, my parents came over to visit and we were able to see 7 countries in a week and go to Octoberfest. My Dad served in WWII so we were able to drive around and visit some of the places where he was in the war.  Seeing his past was pretty special.  Plus, I’m lucky enough to be able to sometimes join my husband when he travels for work and we love going to St Augustine’s in Florida just to relax and soak up the history there.  Recently, we went to Sonoma Valley for our anniversary which was a very relaxing trip.”

Connection to others starts with Maribeth’s commitment to serving others.

“I’m very active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  I was the Treasurer for the Department of Kansas Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary for 4 years, President for 3 years and I’ve held positions in District and State.  Currently, I’m Flag Bearer for State Auxiliary.  My husband was State Commander for the VFW in Kansas last year and now he’s on the committee for the Governor for Veteran Affairs.  I often attend the meetings to support him and other veterans and their families.”

Learn more about Maribeth and how she supports local veterans in this interview conducted by the VFW.

We’re proud to have Maribeth on our team!

Beach Bash!

Recently, my wife and I were invited to be a part a week long 50th birthday celebration of a good friend of hers. You see, the birthday girl had just finished one of the toughest years of her life. She was diagnosed with a rapidly growing form of breast cancer in early 2015. She spent her 49th year with a double mastectomy, and multiple rounds of chemo and radiation.

She made it through the year with her faith, grace, humility and humor! Her husband wanted to kick off 2016 and his wife’s 50th birthday with a bang. So we all headed off to Florida for a little fun in the sun.

The week was a good reminder of many things.

Beach Bash - YogaFirst, how silly and fun we can all be when we allow ourselves to be! Nothing like a bunch of 45+ year olds going off to summer camp acting like 18 year olds complete with games, campfires, smores and even ghost stories!

Second, go out try and experience new things. 20 of us tried yoga on the beach! And yes, the men tried it too. As you might expect, there were only 5 ladies who did it a second time, but we were all glad to try it.

Beach Bash - DolphinsAnother take away, is just to enjoy your surroundings no matter where you are. The fish, the ocean, and the dolphins were highlights this trip, but it could be the flowers, the forest, mountains or wildlife anywhere!

My biggest takeaway is how people with a common bond, who might not know each other, can come together in a short time and become good friends. This group of people came from various backgrounds, locations and phases of life to celebrate the birthday girl. Many met for the first time at the beach bash, and just like kids at summer camp, formed fun and lasting relationships and memories.

So thank you to all of the beach bash party goers and especially the birthday girl for helping me regain a little perspective!