This year looked a little different for JP Cullen’s company-wide Annual Meeting. In order to follow CDC guidelines, our company hosted its first virtual annual meeting. Each employee joined a Microsoft Teams meeting to tune in to a few speakers for this year’s presentation.
The Best People
As we rolled out our new mission statement this year of “identifying, hiring, training, and retaining the best people to serve our customers”, the focus was on the people that make up JP Cullen. Each person and department being a piece of our company’s puzzle.
In between company announcements and updates, some of JP Cullen’s long tenured employees spoke on their experience at JP Cullen and provided some inspiration during these uncertain times.
Tom Pertzborn, Senior Project Manager in our Healthcare Division spoke on his experience. He has been with JP Cullen for 24 years starting as an intern in 1996.
“Many things have changed since I started with JP Cullen. Fax Machines were the modern technology, my first cell phone looked like I was calling in an air strike, and JP Cullen was not even half the size we are today. My first job project number that I worked on was 4477. Just this month I pulled job number 5870. That is nearly 1,400 projects JP Cullen has completed over the last 24 years.
I started with a group of six interns which was the largest amount of interns JP Cullen had hired prior to that time. They were taking a big risk at that time hiring that many interns.
Within the next four years, JP Cullen hired some of our other great leaders including Chad Schakelman, Shannon Metoxen, Tim Bizjak, and Jeremy Shecterle. All these people have helped JP Cullen grow and make it who we are today. One of the great accomplishments of this group was establishing the Young Leaders group to help grow and develop our company talent. It was a good idea that was formed while enjoying a beer at the Oakcrest Tavern.
During my time with JP Cullen, I have been lucky enough to work with three generations of Cullens. When I started, J.P. was still heavily involved with the operations of JP Cullen and always had an interest of what was happening on projects and the equipment being used. Mark, David and Richard have helped guide my carrier through JP Cullen and I have already had the opportunity to work with Generation 5, whether it is Jeannie in the healthcare division or Sean as the superintendent on the RTX project. Mark was always there to remind me that it is a yes or no question. I also had the opportunity to work with Jeannie even before she worked for JP Cullen helping mentor her on her CPM Scheduling homework while she was in college. Now I look forward to working with Generation 5 with the next chapter of JP Cullen Leadership.”
We also celebrated those that graduated from JP Cullen’s Cullen College. This year, we offered 52 courses and had 18 total graduates. Below are the names of the graduates:
- Beth Rhodes, Associates Support Staff Degree
- Wendy Haun, Bachelor Support Staff-Safety
- Tyler Christman, Bachelors Project Manager
- Justin Lundstrom, Bachelor’s Project Manager
- James Winter, Bachelor’s Project Manager
- Adam Mastalir, Bachelor’s Estimating
- Dillion Kieffer, Bachelor’s Estimating
- Matthew Steplyk, Bachelor’s Superintendent
- Jeremy Sawle, Bachelor’s Superintendent
- Isaac Brotzman, Bachelor’s Superintendent
- Mike Frey, Bachelor’s Superintendent
- Scott Stephenson, Bachelor’s Superintendent
- Alex Trollop, Bachelor’s Superintendent
- Curt Meier, Associates Foreman
- Joe Baney, Associates Foreman
- Jason Gray, Associates Foreman
- Shawn Blaser, Associates Foreman
- Jason Labinksi, Associates Foreman
- Devin Wilson, Associates Foreman
Each year, we announce the Employee of the Year Awards. These employees were nominated by other individuals in the firm. We asked each of them individually what the award meant to them.
Safety Leader – Jerry Woznicki
“Since the #1 item in construction is safety, I take it very seriously. Winning an award on something that you work hard at every day is very rewarding, but it takes the whole team to accomplish this.”
Support Champion – Katie Bell
“I feel so fortunate to be able to come to work each day at a company I am proud to work for and do what I love to do. The Support Group is made up of the most hardworking people I have ever had the pleasure of working with and to be recognized as Support Person Champion this year from within that amazing group of people means the world.”
Marketing Champion – Dillion Kieffer
“I was caught by complete surprise when my name was announced at the annual company meeting. Being recognized for my ideas and accomplishments means a lot to me and makes going to work every day that much more enjoyable.”
Strategic Plan Champion – Jeff Spiegelhoff
“As a field focused organization, it can sometimes be difficult to feel like we are making an impact in the back office. Therefore, it was truly an honor and quite humbling to receive this award. It was completely unexpected!”
Process Improvement Champion – Dennis Polheber
“Achieving this award means a lot to me but also goes out to the crew and the management team. The crew had so much buy-in and took responsibility for the work and the service they were providing. The management team supported our needs to make a successful project. It shows that JP Cullen, as a whole, is willing to listen and try different procedures and values the input from the field.”
Estimator Champion – Mike Johnson
“The past fiscal year for the Janesville estimating department was very challenging. I got choked up emotionally when I heard my name as the Estimator Champion. I really appreciate the award; it’s a physical reminder of how much I grew thru the adversity of the past year and that hard work is rewarded. Thank you to those on the committee that gave me the recognition.”
Mentor Champion – Randy Kisley
“Receiving the Mentor Champion award made me reflect on my career in construction. This award is a reminder for me of how little I would have been able to accomplish by myself without the support of my coworkers. I am very fortunate to have had several different people mentor me throughout my career. It’s important to me that I pass these skills and lessons down to other employees so that they become more productive quickly and feel like they are part of the team. I am grateful for this award and it meant a lot to me to be nominated by coworkers.”
Interested in learning more about our people and why they enjoy working at JP Cullen? Check out our Meet the Crew posts here!