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Employee eNewsletter, Fall 2016

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Turn Over a New Leaf With
Kroeschell’s 3rd Quarter Employee eNewsletter

Welcome to the next installment of our quarterly employee e-newsletter, your source for all things happening in and around Kroeschell. From important information coming out of the executive meetings to photos from recent events, we have it all for you right here!

Newsletter Content

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Editorial: Q&A With Dave Duvall, President of Facility Services

By Margie Musary

Dave Duvall, President of Facility Services, is a busy man that can be found in New Jersey one day and LA the next. So, when he stops into the Arlington Heights office, it’s not only a treat (he’s known to arrive bearing snacks for all), but an honor to get some of his time. Last month, I was able to catch him for a quick interview about Facility Services and where he sees things going with the division. Here’s what we talked about.

  1. What is Facility Services working on at the moment?

We started government operations and maintenance contracting about 11-12 years ago. We are on our fourth government contract vehicle with the Air Force. With each vehicle, we’ve been able to capture more business because each time we’ve learned more about how the Air Force operates and what it takes for us to be successful. The last contract vehicle we completed included five (5) Air Force bases. On this current contract vehicle, we have won ten (10) bases out of the 27 bases for bid with six (6) companies bidding on the work. That’s a pretty good win record!

Our plan is to continue Kroeschell’s relationship with the Air Force and work on the current IDIQ contract with these sites for the next four (4) years.

We also have work with NARA, the National Archives and Records Administration and the GSA, General Services Administration. We operate and maintain three (3) presidential libraries through NARA, and one (1) courthouse in Madison, WI through the GSA.

Additionally, we are partnering with 8(a) companies to capture set aside work. One such partner is Dawson. Dawson operates an EPA lab in Duluth, Minnesota and we work for them as a sub-contractor. We are looking to grow our work with them.

  1. What do you attribute Kroeschell Facility Services success to so far?

I have a great team. We’ve been working together for many years. Scott Cosgrove, the VP of Facility Services, and I have been working together since 1991. We have both been in the Facilities Maintenance game our entire careers and our work styles complement each other.

  1. What is your personal work ethic, and how does this affect the company culture?

I personally think I have a strong work ethic. I have been told that “no one is harder on me than I am on myself.” I take this job seriously, I take the work that the crew does very seriously, and I facilitate our field employees so they can be successful. My work ethic mirrors the work ethic of our leadership, and I believe our employees work harder knowing that leadership is working right alongside them.

  1. Share your secrets to what keeps you motivated.

I think the challenge of the job keeps me motivated. Government contracting is very complex, and navigating through the various regulations and performance standards that impact our work can be challenging, but it’s rewarding when we continually receive favorable customer evaluations of our performance. Also, it’s terrific when our past performance helps us win when bidding new opportunities. When you do win, it’s exciting for the entire team and worth every bit of their effort.

  1. What are your goals for Facility Services in 2016/2017? How do you plan to achieve these goals?

Our main goal is to continue to do a great job with our current customer base and then second to that is to expand our customer base. I have been tasked with assessing opportunities that are available through government entities, evaluating them and then bidding on those that we determine are a good fit for us.

We also plan to find other companies that have a niche that is outside of our own and partner with them. We are currently working with companies that have the contacts, experience and are good at what they do. They partner with us because we bring something different to the table, something that we are very good at, and it complements what they are doing. We want to continue to cultivate those relationships and try to establish new ones.

  1. What is Facility Services doing to stay ahead of the competition?

There are a few things we are doing to stay ahead. First, we have our key personnel go through a process to get credentialed. Those individuals become Certified Facility Managers (CFMs), Project Management Professionals (PMPs), Certified Healthcare Facility Managers (CHFMs), etc.

Second, Kroeschell has a robust safety and training program. I believe our safety program is superior to anyone else’s in the industry. When we begin operating a new site, we have a safety team member come out and complete a safety assessment as well as train the staff. The feedback that I get from the government is that our safety program is the first time they have had a contractor come onboard, take the safety training seriously and complete it at a much higher level than what they have seen in the past.

And finally, Kroeschell is not just a service provider. We are an engineering company first. We have our own engineers, controls division and programmers. Any mechanic we hire has the option to pick up the phone and speak with one of our engineers– whether its electrical, mechanical, service, programmers, etc.– if they get caught in a situation they can’t handle on their own. We have expert help available at any time within the Kroeschell family. This is an added value that we provide our customers that doesn’t cost anything to them or Kroeschell. It definitely gives us an edge.

  1. What are we doing to be innovative in our industry moving forward?

The biggest thing we are doing to be innovative is bringing ideas to the table that reduce energy consumption, whether it’s electricity, natural gas or potable water. Helping a facility reduce their energy consumption can provide them a higher Energy Star rating.

  1. What will Facility Services look like in 5 years and 10 years?

In five years, I see continued growth, but at a very controlled rate. I’m currently mining government related work to steadily increase our government contracting base. In ten years, I see even more growth, but again, at a pace that allows us to control it.

Spotlight on Dave:

  1. When you’re not at Kroeschell, where would we find you?
    I would be somewhere on my motorcycle, a 2016 Indian Roadmaster. When I get on my bike, it’s like Wind Therapy. I’m fortunate to live in an area that I can ride all year around, there are hills, elevation changes and sweeping turns. I could hop on my bike and easily ride for six hours or more.
  2. What was the last book you read? Was it good?
    I read a facility management book called Sustainable Facility Practices. It was riveting.
  3. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Why?
    Even though I’ve been to all 50 states, I think a fantastic trip would be to take six months and ride my motorcycle through all 50 states.
  4. If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Why?
    I think I’d like to foresee the future because if you can foresee the future, you will know trends coming down the line and you can position yourself where you need to be.
  5. If we peaked in your refrigerator, what would we find?
    Other than the normal stuff, you’d find Shinerbock, a lot of bread and cheese because grilled cheese is a go-to staple of mine and maybe a bottle of Moscato.
  6. If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? What would you ask him/her?
    I’d have dinner with my maternal grandfather. He was a Jack of all Trades, Master of None. I used to say if he couldn’t fix it, it wasn’t broken. He was also facility manager. I was still in the Navy when I found out what he did, and I didn’t really know what facility management was at the time. I’d like to share my experiences with him and compare my stories to his.
  7. What is one thing about you that would surprise people?
    I have three grandkids.
  8. Anything you want to learn to do?
    I want to be better at managing people, better at reading people’s body language, thoughts and emotions. A big part of communication is speaking, an even bigger part is listening and the last is sensing how the person is reacting to the words that are being said.
  9. What is something unusual that has happened to you? 
    I’ve had lots of unusual things happen to me, but one defining thing that has happened was back in my Navy days. When you become Chief in the Navy you go through an educational initiation process that lasts for several weeks. I went through that process and it was a humbling, learning experience. It transitions you from being a worker bee to a manager. It was mentally draining and physically demanding, but incredibly rewarding.

^

Upcoming Events

  • Mark your calendars. Kroeschell will be holding it’s annual Oktoberfest party in October catered by Edelweiss German-American Restaurant. Look for more information as we get closer.
  • Our partner, the American Cancer Society, is hosting numerous breast cancer awareness events throughout the US this fall. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks are the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the nation, uniting communities with a shared determination to help free the world from the pain and suffering of breast cancer. Want to get involved? You can find these events in your area by visiting http://makingstrides.acsevents.org/. Below is a list of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events in the Chicagoland area. 
    • North Shore, October 2 at UL Campus in Northbrook
    • Lake County, October 15 at Hodges Park in Park Ridge
    • Northwest Suburban, October 16 at Cabelas in Hoffman Estates
    • Chicago, October 22 at Soldier Field
  • Do you have the volunteer bug? Here are some great volunteer opportunities with the American Cancer Society.

Around the Office

Employee Milestones and Achievements

  • Annette Sobus retired from the accounting department after 13 years of service. On June 30th, employees and family gathered together to celebrate with a catered luncheon from Gianni’s. View some of the photos on our Facebook! 

Do you have any achievements to share with us? Please submit them to Margie at marjorie.musary@kroeshell.com.

Past Events

  • On Monday, July 25th, Kroeschell held its 6th annual charity golf outing in support of the American Cancer Society. The outing was a huge success and we would like to thank all of our sponsors, golfers and volunteers! It was an all around great day filled with golf, networking and most importantly, fundraising! Check out some of the photos on our Facebook page.
  • On Wednesday, August 10th, employees joined together to enjoy a catered Greek luncheon. 

Seasonal Report

8 Steps for Healthy Living This Fall

As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, change is in the air. That’s what makes fall a great time for renewal and fresh starts. It’s time to fine-tune your health by making one or two small changes that yield big results. Read the full article on WebMD

  • Let Beans Be a Part of Your Diet. Besides being a comfort food, beans add flavor and texture to soups, chili, and casseroles. They’re also a great salad topper. Beans are rich in protein, iron, folic acid, fiber, and potassium. So pick a bean, any bean — lima, black, garbanzo, pinto, or others — and enjoy.
  • Defuse Stress With FriendshipFall is a good time to come back together after the summer scattering of vacations and busy schedules — a great time to relax with friends. Soothe away stress by making contact in person or by phone with someone you care about, someone you haven’t talked to in a while because life got in the way. The positive emotions will make you feel good, and when joy and stress meet up, the joy wins out.
  • Be Tender to Your Teeth.  If you do one thing to improve your dental health this fall, turn over a new leaf by ditching habits that are hard on your teeth.
  • Have Fun With Fitness.  Improve your fitness this fall: Try a less-conventional workout to spruce up your regimen. Break out of your fitness rut by taking a ballroom dance class or a mind-body workout such as yoga, Pilates, or Tai chi. You’ll be energized and more likely to stick with it.
  • A Check-Up: The Eyes Have ItIf you do one thing to improve your vision, take a cue from kids, who often need back-to-school vision exams. Schedule a checkup with your eye doctor.
  • Heart Health: Know Your Numbers.  Give your heart health a boost this fall, capitalize on the seasonal sense of renewal to focus on prevention. That means scheduling an appointment with your doctor to get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked, and to see if your blood glucose levels are healthy. Knowing your numbers will help you figure out your personal risk for heart disease.
  • Warm Up With Wine. Diversify your alcohol choice with a room temperature glass of table wine. The warmer drink will take the chill off and the wine, especially red, has heart health benefits. Remember a standard size glass of wine is just 4 ounces. Pregnant women and others with health reasons who should not to drink should abstain.
  • Synchronize Your Sleep. In the morning, get outside within 5 minutes of getting up and expose yourself to bright light for 30 minutes. At night, avoid bright light within two to three hours of bedtime because it might delay your sleep onset. This will keep you alert in the morning and make you sleepy at bedtime. Manage the more demanding fall schedules by synchronizing your internal sleep-wake clock to the outside environment.

Take a Break

We are all busy but occasionally we need a diversion from our day-to-day activities and simply take a break. We created this section, well, just to help you take that much-needed break. This collection of information includes amusing, challenging, helpful, or just plain interesting things. Feel free to submit items for this section of our next issue. For now, kick back and enjoy!

  • Are you looking for some fun things to do around Chicagoland this fall?
    • The annual Downtown Palatine Street Fest takes place August 26-28. Enjoy live bands, local cuisine, family-friendly activities, and more!
    • Check out Oktoberfest Chicago, one of the most population celebrations of fall. The event takes place from September 23rd – 25th in the South Lakeview neighborhood. Get all the details here. 
    • Stop by the Christkindlmarket for a unique shopping experience, typical German food and drinks, as well as diverse holiday entertainment. The event takes place downtown Chicago at Daley Plaza from November 18th – December 24th.
  • Are you a trivia nut? If you’re up the challenge, then this game is for you.

Do you have something to share?

Do you have news to share with your co-workers? Feel free to submit completed projects, company awards, personal and professional milestones or achievements or anything else that you’d like to share with us. Just email marketing at marjorie.musary@kroeschell.com.

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