ProCore – Construction People Doing Software vs. Software People Doing Construction [VIDEO]

In 2013, when we were starting to explore software options for project management, we spent a lot of time discussing and evaluating our processes. Like many mid-sized construction firms, we had used a number of different spreadsheets and tables to track our daily activities.  The goal of using web-based, project management software was to put all of our processes and accountability under one umbrella, with the ability to access it from anywhere as long as we had an internet connection.

ProCore – We Just Knew

ProCore Video - Parker YoungIt’s kind of like when you’re buying a house… and you’re lucky enough to walk in and just know it’s the one. That’s the same experience we had with ProCore. We believe in their product and use it differently than many of our competitors that also use ProCore.

This past fall, ProCore came to Kansas City to do a promotional video on how we use their product. It not only promotes ProCore but also Straub Construction and our embracing of technology best practices. In an industry that’s struggling to find quality individuals, we feel our relationship with ProCore is allowing us to attract and keep the best and the brightest.

Check out the two minute video and let us know what you think!


Employee Spotlight: Angela Tunnell, Payroll Administrator and Compliance Coordinator

Angela TunnellAngela Tunnell has been with Straub for 11 years and currently serves in our accounting department.

Originally from Wichita, KS, she has known since junior high school that she wanted to work with numbers. She majored in accounting at Emporia State University.

Angela’s been married to Doug for 22 years. They have 3 children… Jonathan just started an electrical apprenticeship with Heritage Electric, Madison is a Senior at Olathe Northwest, heading to K-State next year and Jackson is a 4th grader at Cedar Creek Elementary.

When asked what she likes best about being a part of the Straub team Angela said; “I really enjoy my job as Payroll Administrator/ Compliance Coordinator. Everyone feels like family and I love helping them take full advantage of Straub’s great benefits.”

In her spare time, you might find Angela traveling with her family, watching kid’s activities or binge watching shows on Netflix. Her kids even got her hooked on Pokémon GO! Angela’s favorite movies are Top Gun, for the awesome soundtrack, and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, because it just makes her smile.

Angela brings a positive, can-do attitude to her work and is always willing to help someone.  It’s great to have Angela on our team.

Straub Squared – Special Projects Team Continues to Grow

Guest Author: Elliott Heitman

Straub Squared LogoIn May of 2016, Straub created a new division to handle specialty projects. Straub Squared, or S2, has been able to service a wide range of clientele and markets, from office tenant improvements to medical practices.

Initially, the team was a one-man show but has quickly grown to a five-person operation. Like any business, the people producing make all the difference, and S2 is no different. Our team is what makes us successful. We feel it’s important to create an environment that not only our employees want to be a part of but our clients as well.

Elliott Heitman

Elliott Heitman

The first time I met Ernie Straub, he mentioned that we need to “Make construction fun, again.” Well, I listened to Mr. Straub, and we strive to do just that with every project.

Construction can be a grind, but we try to bring a unique approach, look at things a little differently, and not take ourselves too seriously. And our clients noticing this has been key to our success. We’ve been lucky to work with great clients as well which also makes a big impact. We recently completed a renovation of the BPU office in Kansas City, Kansas and are excited to be working with UMKC renovating their School of Medicine.

Straub Squared - Project Pic Straub Squared - Project Pic

If Tables Could Talk

If Tables Could TalkIt was 1983. Susan and I weren’t married a year yet and had just bought our first house in Olathe. Most of what filled our rooms in that rental home in Bethany, Missouri were hand-me-down furniture and items we’d found at garage sales. But we had decided to invest in our first new piece of furniture–a table for our breakfast room. We knew we wanted real wood. So we headed to The Unvarnished Truth.

I can remember it like it was yesterday, walking through the aisles of tables and chairs, Susan and I testing chairs and dreaming about our future together.

As someone in the construction business, I have an appreciation for the high-quality finishes that craftsman carpenters have, so when we saw the solid oak table with a sturdy frame and built-in extendable leaves, we were sold.

I should mention, this table didn’t just have one or two leaves. It had four. When fully extended, this table would seat twelve people comfortably. As a young couple, we had hopes for a big family. It may not have been practical at the time, but buying that table was a leap of faith.

A Table Full of Memories

If Tables Could TalkIf tables could talk, this one would have plenty to say. It has quite a few dents and dings from hungry children banging on its top. It’s seen its fair share of Straub birthday parties and welcomed numerous guests to our home. It’s held more dishes, anniversary flowers, and homework projects than I can count.

For a while, it even held the petrified remains of green beans. Years after the fact, we discovered that the kids had been stuffing their unwanted vegetables in napkins, discreetly hiding them in the shelves under the table while Susan and I weren’t looking.

Three homes and thirty-four years later, that table remains the unspoken centerpiece of our home; the point of gathering in both the ordinary daily routine and the moments of grand celebration.

Dinner at Dad’s

If Tables Could TalkThat breakfast room table took on a new role in our home a few years back. It all started when I had some health complications. An avid golfer at the time, my doctor suggested I get a new hobby. So I turned to cooking. I’ve spent the last few years cultivating my skills in the kitchen.

My masterpieces are in the area of comfort food. I don’t want to brag, but my pulled pork, smoked to perfection atop mashed potatoes, gravy and a crispy sourdough bread will put any Kansas City BBQ joint to shame. And don’t get me started on my Reuben sandwich!

So every Sunday, around 6:30, family and friends gather around that old oak table. All four leaves are needed as dishes are piled on. Without fail, every seat is filled, with kids and grandkids, old friends visiting, and new neighbors invited spur of the moment. I’m usually the last guy to sit down, running around the kitchen, finishing the side dishes and grabbing the butter.

When I take my place at the head of the table, I’m filled with gratitude to be surrounded by all of the best things in life–good people, good food, and good conversation. The grandkids run in and out as the adults linger around the table, swapping stories and helping themselves to seconds and thirds.

The Gift of Hospitality

For me, it’s not about making perfect dishes. It’s not about impressing others with our perfect house. This gathering has become about normal, everyday hospitality. It’s a help-yourself kind of comfortability. It’s about really listening to each other and drawing near as a family and with our friends.

When Susan and I bought that table all those years back, we had no way of knowing what was to come. Our family has been blessed to grow from the two of us to 14 with Grandbaby numbers 3 and 4 on the way. The table has to be covered by a tablecloth these days, the scratches gouges and watermarks, all carry such great memories and we are so looking forward to many more to come!