Straub Construction Employees Who’ve Served – Honoring Our Very Own

As we recently enjoyed 4th of July festivities with family and friends, good barbeque and spectacular fireworks, we must never forget the true meaning of Independence Day. It’s important to honor and celebrate those who preserve our freedoms. Our men and women in uniform.

Straub honors our very own who’ve served.  We wanted to share what they said when asked what their service means to them.

James Johnson, Estimator

United States Army – Sergeant (E-5)

James Johnson

“I proudly served as a sergeant (E-5) in the United State Army. My specialty (MOS) was a 19 Delta which was a Cavalry Scout. My team supplied battlefield commanders with intelligence on enemy troop movements, most of the time from behind enemy lines.  The biggest impact that the Army had on me was that it instilled in me a sense of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.”

 Michael Strick, Estimator

United States Marine Corps –  Sergeant (E-5)

Michael Strick

“The biggest impact serving in the military had was being able to see and experience different countries, cultures, and poverty levels.  It truly opens your eyes to see how good we have it in America, which is easy to take for granted.  I truly feel blessed to have my family, a house, and the freedoms this great country offers.”

 Lance O’Sullivan, Superintendent

United States Army – Private 1st Class (E-3)

Lance O'Sullivan

“I proudly served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield. The biggest impact serving in the military had on me was it truly helped me mature and shaped me into the person I am today.  I am grateful for the experience and proud to have served.”

Meet our Director of First Impressions – Sandra Jenkins

Employee Spotlight: SandsHave you ever walked into a room and one person just stood out of the crowd? Like a ray of sunshine, bright and happy?

Sandra, our Director of First Impressions, is our ray of sunshine.

When we told “Sands” (as we affectionately call her) that she was selected for our employee spotlight this month, she didn’t just answer the questions. She took over the piece!

That’s just her way.  She’s always willing to lend a hand. And her positive energy and the way she does life is contagious. The following was from our interview with Sands.

I recall the day that I interviewed almost 8 years ago for the “receptionist” position with Straub Construction. One of the last questions I was asked was “why do you think we should hire you?” My immediate response was “because it’s a perfect fit.” All of these years later I still feel the same way! Every day is a good day. At least for me, because I choose to make it so.

Employee Spotlight: SandsWhen you become part of the Straub family, you become an intricate part of a well oiled wheel. They care about their employees and their employees families…they consistently go the “extra mile”..no matter what it entails…you feel that you really are in an environment of appreciation.

My co-workers at Straub have always made me feel valued….we work together as a team to contribute to success equally….it is important to all of us to live up to Straub’s core values…because at the end of each day…it is a reflection of all of us as a team.

What really makes Straub stand out in a crowd of employers? You’re rewarded based on your merit – not your title – but your actual performance, every day in the office or in the field.

It’s what you bring to the table that is recognized and acknowledged.

Employee Spotlight: SandsSomething else that makes being an employee of this company a privilege – how many people can tell a story of being ill and having the owner of their company prepare and deliver food to their front door? Completely within the scope of a day’s work for Ernie Straub.

I am not a Midwest girl by birth..I was born in Canada….to a military family and have traveled all over….I am living the dream and working my dream job!”

That’s our Sands – simply one of a kind and the very best Director of First Impressions Straub could ask for!

Mario Gutierrez – How a Mountain Moved the Contractor

Talk about your silent treatment – would you be able to exist in almost total silence if it meant experiencing one of the most life changing moments you’ve ever had?

Mario Gutierrez, an Assistant Superintendent for Straub Construction, did just that when he went on a missionary trip to France.

Mario Guiterrez“I didn’t want to go, in fact, up until I boarded the plane, I almost began kicking and screaming”, Mario jokes. “But at the insistence of my wife and her deep belief in me and our faith, I knew I had to go.”

Mario says that the journey began when his wife of 21 years told him about a dream she had about him going on a trip. His family are devout Catholics and belong to All Saints Parish in Kansas City, Kansas.  In addition, they are active in the Community of the Lamb through which missionary trips are supported.

Upon reaching St. Pierre France, Mario says his hesitancy gave way to feelings of love and appreciation for others.

“I was in a place of strangers where I didn’t know anyone, and no one knew me, but they accepted me with open arms and made me feel a sense of community, love and grace.”

Mario’s mountain retreat was a 6×10 room, hosted by monks. Most of his time was spent in silence with his thoughts and prayers.

“I know I couldn’t have done this without the support of the Straub Construction family.  That sense of community that I felt up on the mountain is the same way I feel about the company.  I realized that the way the company takes care of me and treats me is the same way they treated me on the mountain in France.”

Using words like honesty, work ethic and accountability – all words that make up of Straub Construction’s Core Values – Mario says he took away from the experience a better sense of how to put these words into action and he realized it starts with him.

“Those two weeks on that mountain in almost complete silence moved me to appreciate treating people right and doing things right because we are all here by the grace and love of God.  It’s shared with family, friends and coworkers and how I do my job for our clients.  I think we complain and forget that idea, but [my time on] the mountain helped show me that again. In the busy world we live in today, with all of the distractions and interruptions, we seldom have the opportunity to reflect in silence.  This experience made me realize how important it is to take the opportunity to be silent.”

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.