Posts Tagged ‘Compass Newletter’

A Cornerstone of Consistency

Monday, December 2nd, 2019
Tim Woolworth,
Senior Vice President

The ability to be consistent is often an invaluable characteristic of a great leader. Most people would agree that being consistent is challenging. Furthermore, the ability to build consistency within an entire team is a whole different degree of difficulty. 

It first requires clear goals and expectations, followed by patience, focus, and ample accountability. However, once mastered, consistency breeds success. And, the art of consistency is exactly how Tim Woolworth, Egan Company Senior Vice President and Board Member, has built success within the InterClad (glass, glazing, and metal panels) team. After two decades, Woolworth will be retiring from Egan in January of 2020.

Leading by Example

Woolworth first joined Egan’s InterClad team in late 2003 as Vice President of Operations. In this role, he oversaw project managers, the fabrication shop, and field. Given his strong skill set and background in project management, he also ran projects simultaneously.

“When I came to Egan, one of the reasons I still ran work in my role was because I always did everything you’re supposed to do… the basics of managing a project,” Woolworth joked. “Leading by example is what I pride myself on. So, when it came down to doing what was needed, nothing was ‘one more thing’ or ‘I’m too busy’.” 

His consistent, lead-by-example approach and ability to instill accountability within his team has been the pinnacle of Woolworth’s leadership style throughout his career. Woolworth will be the first to admit that everything from the time he arrives at the office in the morning down to the fine print of closing out multi-million dollar projects is precise and intentional – and without question, hard work. 

That said, the leader’s knack for doing the details right have not only elevated his 40-year career, but elevated the InterClad team and his peers within the company. Both InterClad and Egan have more than doubled in size since the 2000s.

Keeping the Passion

Operations and growth aside, ultimately his love of the curtainwall industry has also played a huge part in the success. The opportunity to build the bigger, taller, or more architecturally masterful structures is what has kept him within the business over the years. 

“You never really build two buildings the same. Every project takes on its own personality,” explained Woolworth. “Along with that, there’s a good sense of satisfaction to be able to drive around and see the work you do. It’s classy and one of the most appealing parts of this industry.”

A few notable projects InterClad has completed during Woolworth’s tenure include U.S. Bank Stadium, the Cargill Campus, Target Corporation’s North Campus, multiple University of Minnesota buildings, and numerous new Downtown Minneapolis high-rise condominiums like 365 Nicollet, Rafter, 4Marq, and Nic on Fifth. Furthermore, InterClad’s biggest projects to date are coming over the next few years with the construction of RBC Gateway in Minneapolis and the Essentia Health campus in Duluth, both of which are on the team’s list of record backlog. 

The Future of InterClad

While Woolworth will be leaving InterClad with a historic backlog, he still believes that the best is yet to come for the strong team. “I believe getting to another level within our region is doable,” he said. “I truly hope that what we’ve established within InterClad and within Egan will continue… And, I hope it’s a better company years from now than when I left it.” 

Leading the charge for the InterClad team moving into the future is Ryan Woodruff, who joined Egan in early 2019 as Woolworth’s successor. 

Woolworth will be moving back to his native state of Iowa, where his two children and grandchildren reside. His love for details and mastery of consistency will be applied to a very different kind of project scope which includes D.I.Y. projects at his newly built lake home as well as giving back through local volunteerism. He also wants to do more recreational fishing, boating, reading, and most importantly, spending time with his family.

Rediscovering Our Roots – A Celebration of 75 Years

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

Next year marks a milestone for Egan Company – 75 years in the trades – a milestone worth celebrating and a chance to reflect on the history that makes Egan what it is today.

The story of Egan is one of grit, growth, and an unwavering passion for the trades and construction industry. Before our 12 trades, 1,200 employees, countless valued customers, and four locations, there was one man in a single room pipe shop on the Northern Minnesota Iron Range. The year was 1905 and Joseph Egan was ready to put his business dream into motion.

Fast forward to today, and you’ll find Egan headquartered in Brooklyn Park with projects throughout the Midwest and services ranging from mechanical, electrical, and building systems to millwrights, curtainwall/glazing/panel systems, engineering and design, and controls and system integration.

We’ve recently rediscovered our roots on the Iron Range, specifically with projects within the mining industry. Egan’s mechanical team and seven different trades have been busy at multiple mines with upgrades and changes frequently needed in a fully operational mining facility. The team has also been completing projects in pulp and paper plants. Additionally, other Egan teams are on the North Shore with projects in the healthcare and hospitality industries.

Lastly, as we celebrate our 75 years, we can’t help but reflect on the solid foundation that has shaped us into the company we are today. A foundation to deliver high-quality craftsmanship and innovative solutions while upholding the promises we make to our customers.This framework has helped us grow, kept us safe, and has played a fundamental role in the tens of thousands of projects we’ve touched in our community, across Minnesota, and throughout the greater Midwest.

We’re excited for this milestone of 75 years and the opportunity to take a walk down memory lane. Join us for the journey in 2020 as we remember and celebrate the many people, projects, and partnerships that is Egan Company.

Expanded Expertise Means Growth in Rochester

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

It’s been nearly 365 days since the groundbreaking of The Berkman Apartments, a 14-story luxury apartment and mixed-use building near Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The Berkman marks Egan’s first integrated mechanical and electrical project in the Rochester community.

But, MEP isn’t the only Egan offering that has expanded in Southern Minnesota over the past year. Also added, and growing rapidly, to the list of trade offerings is technology/system integration. Although Egan (previously operated as Nietz Electric until 2017) has served the area for over 80 years, much of this work has been tied to electrical.

In 2018, as a complement to electrical services, technology began as a team of one. Today, with a team of more than a dozen, the group continues to grow with local talent.

“Much of our technology group has a long history of industry experience in Rochester,” said Jeff Young, Egan Company Vice President. “It’s been very well received by our customers, in particular, Mayo Clinic. Other general contractors and building owners have also shown interest and are excited about it.”

Overall, Egan has added 130 employees in Rochester alone since the start of 2018. Large-scale, multi-trade projects like The Berkman and Destination Medical Center’s Discovery Square have played a role in this growth.

We’re looking forward to continuing to grow these expanded areas of business. Taking on new opportunities with our existing customers, as well as adding new ones, is a challenge we’re ready for.

Jeff Young, Egan Company Vice President

Putting Trash to Good Use

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
Complete control system for a trash burner at HERC

During the annual fall shutdown, Egan Company was involved in upgrading the four burners that continually burn trash to produce energy. After 20 years without burner upgrades, Egan controls engineers, electricians, millwrights, and pipefitters were tasked with designing, programming, and installing a newer and more efficient process for the four burners.

“The most challenging aspect of this integrated project was the very tight timeline,” said Randy Kalthoff, Egan Company Project Manager. “We had four weeks to upgrade and connect all four burners so that they were fully operational and continuing to burn and produce energy.”

Fabrication of key components ensured the project was completed on time. Piping components were fabricated in Egan’s Mechanical Shop.

The four control panels, designed, fabricated, and programmed in Egan’s UL 508A Panel Shop, were installed by Egan electricians and can be remotely controlled from GRE engineers in the control room of the facility.

Next up at HERC, Egan electrical and mechanical teams will be partnering with HERC, GRE, and a number of other contractors during the upcoming spring shutdown to replace the large conveyors and the ash handling units.

Egan helped us take a system that was over engineered and more complex than we needed and create an intuitive system for everyone. It’s always great working with Egan and the multiple trades that we utilize every project.

– Eric Freitag, Maintenance Leader at HERC

Core Project Team: Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC), Great River Energy (GRE)

Services Provided: electrical and mechanical demolition and installation, control panel fabrication, field device wiring, design, engineering, and programming of electrical controls, millwright services, pipe fabrication

Refined Initiatives Stimulate Safety Rate Reduction

Friday, April 5th, 2019

To be successful in the construction industry is no different than being successful in any feat, it requires consistency. Success demands day in and day out preparation, proper tools and effective training, equipment, and conditions. When it comes to safety, this recipe for success is the same.

From our company leaders to our field leaders and all of our employees in between, we believe the key to being safe is being proactive and consistently engaging our people with safety in everything we do. At Egan Company, safety is everyone’s job. It’s everyone’s job to make sure our safety policies and procedures are being consistently executed. It’s everyone’s job to help us achieve our goal of ZERO injuries and to come home to our family and friends at the end of the work day.

Through much hard work and a refined focus, Egan achieved its Total Recordable Incident Rate goal of < 2.0 for 2018. Our incident rate for the year was 1.87 (down from 2.42 in 2017) which is substantially below the average rate for specialty trade contractors in Minnesota (4.70). This was accomplished with over 1.8 million hours worked.

“Moving the safety needle in 2018 was a great achievement for us as a company,” said Reid Romer, Egan Company Safety Director. “Our safety incident rate is a direct reflection of the time and energy we’ve invested collectively to minimize risk and protect our people. This progress comes from specific safety initiatives we committed to improving over the past few years and we are now seeing rewarding results.”

An example of one of the changes made in 2017 was within the new employee on-boarding process. This process was specifically addressed after recognizing a pattern that new employees were consistently getting injured within their first six months on the job. Egan acknowledged this, invested in changing it, and elevated it on its priority list. As a result, new employee injuries have significantly decreased.

Though we are proud of this progress in 2018, Egan has no plans of slowing down its drive to be the best-in-class when it comes to safety. Utilizing employee and peer group feedback and experiences from last year, the bar is set even higher for 2019.

“Our goal is to continue to engage with our employees and do everything we can to keep this injury reduction track trending in 2019,” said Romer. “We’ll continue to fill the information and training pipelines, as well as remain diligent with planning in both the pre-mobilization and throughout our jobs. This, along with a team approach, will continue to give us an opportunity to lead the way for safety on our projects this year and in the future.”

Highly Specialized Project Completed in Crunch Time

Friday, September 14th, 2018

High-rise buildings are the distinguishing trademark of cities around the world. And, being the 16th largest metropolitan area in the country, Minneapolis and St. Paul are no different.

As a specialty contractor, Egan has played a role in helping to build, remodel, and maintain many of these high-rise buildings that help shape the Twin Cities’ skyline. While these projects have included scopes of all sizes, this past spring brought forth a very unique high-rise venture.

Egan’s team was utilized for a highly-specialized project in downtown St. Paul, Minn. The scope included the replacement of four massive cooling towers located on the rooftop of Galtier Tower – a staggering 31 stories from the ground.

Galtier Tower is one of two high-rise towers that make up the city block called Cray Plaza. The plaza also includes two other commercial buildings. Together, the block boasts hundreds of apartments and luxury condominiums, a small preparatory school, YMCA facility, and an assortment of other retail space – all of which fully rely on these cooling towers to air condition their buildings.

Overall, the project would require the tallest crane in Minnesota, in-house design and prefabrication, and even more pre-planning and coordination to complete the job within the compressed schedule.

Navigating a Tight Schedule

The project was officially awarded to Egan by Bigos Management in late March. From the start, Egan’s team knew the new cooling towers would need to be “flown” up to the top of the building. To do the “flying”, Egan began coordinating and pre-planning with a local crane company, Vic’s Crane and Heavy Haul.

An in-depth, engineered lift (or often called “pick”) plan was created while Egan’s team began designing the piping and support systems for the towers. A structural engineer was also hired to design the steel platforms for beneath each cooling tower based on the drawings provided by Egan.

Vic’s crane, standing at 410 feet tall, was tasked to hoist these four new cooling towers onto Galtier. However, driving a monster crane into a heavily populated urban city isn’t the most practical of tasks.

In the weeks prior to setting up the crane downtown, the city of St. Paul removed a light pole, cut down a tree, and approved and coordinated road closures. Vic’s also obtained multiple permits, clearances, and police support. Once complete, the crane took 12 hours to set-up on the street.

Another unique aspect of this project was that the new piping system for the cooling towers utilized Aquatherm – a fairly new type of system that is an environmentally friendly alternative to metal. Though extremely lightweight (and vibrantly colored!), Aquatherm pipe is one of the longest-lasting and most chemically inert piping material available.

Egan’s fabrication shop prefabricated all of the Aquatherm piping system for this job. It was also specifically designed so it could fit into the 7’7” elevator and transported to the rooftop of Galtier.

The Race to the Top

Although there was two feet of snow on the ground when the project started, Minnesota’s infamously, unpredictable spring weather found itself over 85 degrees just a few weeks later. With the previous cooling towers entirely off the building, the countdown was on to get the first new cooling tower operational in order to start cooling all of the buildings within the city block.

At the top of Galtier, Egan’s team worked with a subcontractor to set up an extensive amount of scaffolding so the team of pipefitters, electricians, and controls electricians could safely access the work. All of the prefabricated Aquatherm and structural steel platforms were also set before the crane could “fly” the cooling towers to the roof.

The first weekend of May, less than six weeks after being awarded the project, Egan’s team, alongside Vic’s, successfully lifted and installed all four cooling towers onto Galtier. The compressed schedule… accomplished.

Egan installed a majority of the piping after the cooling towers were set and officially completed the project in July.

Core Project Team: Bigos Management, Vic’s Crane and Heavy Haul

Services Provided: Cooling towers replacement, pipe fabrication, pipefitting, electrical controls, electrical installation