Employee eNewsletter, Spring 2016
Spring into Spring with
Kroeschell’s Quarterly 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!
Click on the section below to quickly navigate to your desired content.
- Editorial: Listen to each other
- Spotlight on Rich
- Upcoming Events
- Around the Office
- Past Events
- Seasonal Report
- Take a Break
Editorial: Interview with Rich Pruchniak
By Margie Musary
Listen to Each Other.
This was the principal theme in my recent sit-down with Rich Pruchniak, the President of Kroeschell Engineering and a Kroeschell employee of more than 50 years. It was an honor to have the chance to interview Rich and learn what he thinks about Kroeschell’s current landscape, his goals for 2016 and his aspirations for the future. Throughout the interview, it was prevalent that “listening to each other” has shaped the way Kroeschell does business.
When I asked Rich what he thinks has attributed to Kroeschell’s success so far, he stated, “Since 1965, we’ve always been the high-quality contractor. We’ve been engineering or installing equipment in the best way possible and completing the job — no matter what — at no additional cost to the customer.” It is clear Rich is proud to be working for a company that has stood behind its values for more than 50 years and continues to put the customer first.
Rich’s personal work ethic plays a huge role in the continued success of Kroeschell. He says he likes to be involved with the teams, listen to everyone’s thoughts and come up with the best solution for the customer. He feels it is incredibly important to listen because there are many different and very good ideas that surface and it makes it much easier to develop a great solution with a wealth of ideas. Rich explained that he learned to do this in the field and continues to work this way. He says, “I’ve been doing it this for so long that I can see that the teams around me have put my work ethic into practice, and I’m very proud to see that.”
Not only does seeing his work ethic in action keep Rich motivated, but remaining successful does too. He says, “Our successes spark motivation. When we get comments from customers on the excellent job we do, it keeps me motivated. I’m proud of our successes and it keeps me wanting more.” It’s evident that listening to each other makes us successful and that success motivates us to continue doing what we do. It’s a never ending circle that drives Kroeschell forward.
Speaking of moving forward, I asked Rich what his goals are for Kroeschell in 2016, and he revealed that controlled growth is an important priority. “The worst thing we can do is take on so much work that we can’t handle it and potentially fail. We really have to look hard at the work coming our way, and if we get the feeling the job isn’t right for us, we should stay out because the gut is usually right. It’s one of the hardest jobs I have, deciding what NOT to go after.”
With goals come challenges, and in Rich’s opinion, the biggest challenge we face this year is the competition. “We have to continue to keep employees inspired by making sure everyone knows about our successes and trust that those successes motivate us to continue to develop innovative ideas. Those ideas will keep us ahead of the competition.”
What else are we doing to stay ahead of the competition? Rich says, “We are listening to our customers, especially in the design-build sector. We are coming up with great solutions and giving the customer a price upfront that covers everything. We stick to our price because that is who we are, and we have a significant amount of repeat customers because of this approach.”
When it comes to the future, Rich talks about taking the right kind of risks. “Every day we take risks because that’s the nature of this business. We need to figure out which risks are going to lead to continued growth and success. We are currently trying to expand into new markets, but doing so cautiously. Rocky Mountain is one of those markets we haven’t focused on before, so we are taking a risk there. By hiring the right people, and listening to them, we have the ability to be successful, and I think we will be.”
Moving forward, Rich sees continued success with growth from all divisions. “As we continue to fine tune our skills, learn from previous projects and listen to each other’s ideas, we will see success and be able to repeat it from project to project.”
Rich also sees us expanding our services in the next 10 years. “I think we are going to get stronger in our core businesses and that will give us the ability to take on different challenges and expand our services. If we can do that, we will be on track to provide more services that are better than the competition.”
For Rich, it’s getting harder and harder for him to think about retiring. In the last 10 years, business has really shot up and the positive reinforcement from customers and the great team around him keeps him motivated to do more. He is proud of everyone at Kroeschell and thinks if we continue to listen to each other, there is room for many great things ahead.
Spotlight on Rich:
- When you’re not at Kroeschell, where would we find you? If I’m not at Kroeschell I am either at my retirement home I built in Wisconsin — it sits up on a hill and looks out over farmland. I go up there on the weekends with my family — or I’m traveling to see family that are spread across the United States.
- If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? If I could travel anywhere I’d like to go to Maine and Vermont in the fall. The countryside and farmland are beautiful. I think we live in a beautiful country.
- What is one thing about you that would surprise people? I’m not sure if this will surprise people, but I’m not a flashy person. (Writer’s note: I emphasized “surprise people” and asked for another answer). New answer: I own a 1972 Pontiac Bonneville that I bought new in 1971. It’s an antique and I drive it about once a year.
- What are your hobbies? I like to tinker with tractors and other outdoor “toys”. I really enjoy working in the yard in the summer time too.
- Anything you want to learn to do? I’d like to learn to relax a little bit. Sometimes I feel I don’t know how. I’m very motivated and I have many things going through my head. I’m always involved in something, and I need to learn to relax and unwind.
- Mark your calendars. Kroeschell will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a luncheon catered by Harrington’s on Thursday, March 17th at the Arlington Heights office. All employees are welcome!
Around the Office
Employee Milestones and Achievements
Kroeschell employees are making the news. Here’s who:
- Kroeschell had two pipefitters retire in December. We wish them both a happy and healthy retirement!
- Rich Orozen, Construction Superintendent for the North Chicago area including Abbott Labs and North Chicago VA. He started in 1970 making this his 45th year with Kroeschell. His official retirement date was December 31st, and a luncheon was held in his honor on December 1st. Check out the photo here!
- Tom Maday, Construction Foreman who has been on numerous Abbott Lab projects and North Chicago VA projects. Tom started with Kroeschell in 1993, making that 22 years of service with Kroeschell.
Do you have any achievements to share with us? Please submit them to Margie at email@example.com.
- Kroeschell held a holiday luncheon at headquarters on December 15th. Many employees got together and enjoyed delicious food catered by Buona Beef. Check out some of the photos on our Facebook page.
Staying Healthy at Work!
It’s flu season. It’s bitterly cold outside. And it’s a New Year!! All great reasons to get on the healthy-train at work! Get out of your sedentary desk routine and get back on track with these seven simple steps to stay healthy at work, as provided by U.S. News.
- Start off on the right foot. The more you can get up and walk, the better. Start your day by parking as far as you can from your office building and taking stairs as much as possible.
- Prepare for a snack attack. Make sure you have healthy food available to curb periodic hunger, so you don’t reach for chips or cookies. Nuts, granola bars and fresh fruit are smart staples to have available right at your desk.
- Brown bag it. Simple packed lunches, like turkey or peanut butter and jelly on whole-grain bread, can prevent poor choices during lunch.
- Order smart. If your co-workers are going out to lunch, be the one who suggests healthy food options. Also, try to pre-determine your best options and look up menus before you eat out.
- Try some desk-ercises. The Mayo Clinic recommends taking fitness breaks for gentle stretching or mild exercises using portable equipment such as resistance bands and small hand weights. Or trade your desk chair for an exercise ball. Other suggestions include doing 15- to 30-second leg lifts underneath your desk, or holding your leg behind you to stretch it during a water break.
- Just keep moving. Get up at lunch and take a walk instead of sitting in the break room. Walk to your co-worker’s desk instead of emailing a question. Also, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day because that could end up being your only form of exercise … walking to the bathroom.
- Limit after work drinks. Happy hour is a chance to bond with your office mates, but it also encourages empty calories. Instead of having three beers, have one. (A pint of beer tacks about 200 calories onto your daily intake.)
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!
- Engineering… You’ll get a kick out of this!
- Are you thinking about catching a movie? Here are some upcoming releases you don’t want to miss:
- The Divergent Series: Allegiant hits theaters March 18th.
- The sure to be hilarious My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 premieres on March 25th.
- The epic showdown we’ve all been waiting for, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” comes out on March 25th.
- New brain game to help you take a quick break and clear your mind. I’m sure the piping guys will enjoy this one.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.