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On June 6th, Shiel Sexton hosted its third annual Business Diversity in Construction Open House at its headquarters.  Subcontractors and clients were invited to the networking event in an effort to build stronger relationships and foster opportunities on current and prospective projects with Shiel Sexton.

Mike Dilts, Shiel Sexton Chairman/CEO, conveyed the primary goal of the event with visitors, “The whole idea is to connect with one another and get faces with names, so we can continue to grow our businesses. We need you to continue our growth.  We have to do this together and watch out for each other.”

The City of Indianapolis Director of Minority and Women Business, Camille Blunt, spoke to the group and offered her thoughts on the importance of diversity and community development in the industry.

“My goal as Director is to make sure that I’m not only connecting our certified businesses to city opportunities but also private opportunities. I am constantly looking for ways to connect our certified venders across the state.” 

Each year attendance has grown with this year logging as the largest turnout yet.  It was a great success and testament to the value that the community places towards diversity and the importance of small businesses. Shiel Sexton would like to thank everyone who participated in the event!

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The 2019 Shiel Sexton interns kicked off the summer with a baseball game at Victory Field. As a warm welcome, our interns have fun opportunities planned throughout the summer to socialize with each other and meet many employees throughout the company. Most are on jobsites all over the state and do not get to see each other often after orientation, so the outings give them an opportunity to learn more about each other. Shiel Sexton employees representing all departments were present to join in on the comradery.

A company picnic with a buffet of burgers, hotdogs, and sides started off the night. From there, the Shiel Sexton crew headed to the lawn to enjoy the game.

A handful of interns introduced themselves and gave insight on what they hope to learn this summer:

Name: Cierra Vondohlen
School: Indiana State University
Major: Construction Management
Excited to learn about: I am really looking forward to learning about the whole construction process from start to finish. I am also excited to learn more about the general construction industry.
Why did you choose SSC: I heard about SSC through my classmates and based off of their positive experiences, I knew I would learn a lot through this internship.
Project Department/ Assignment: Interiors

Name: Brendan Cox
School: Indiana State University
Major: Construction Management
Excited to learn about: I am excited to learn about horizontal construction. I’ve had little experience in this area and am excited to learn about all aspects of the construction business.
Why did you choose SSC: I learned about SSC through a career fair at Indiana State and got a good feel for the company.
Project Department/ Assignment: This summer I am a Finance intern, but last summer I was in the Interiors department at SSC

Name: Madeline Steel
School: Purdue University
Major: Civil Engineering
Excited to learn about: I am excited to learn as much as possible about the construction industry.
Why did you choose SSC: I heard about SSC through different construction projects and also heard that they have a good culture.
Project Department/ Assignment: I am on site doing parking garage construction this summer at The Ardmore in downtown Indianapolis.

Name: Isaac Liang
School: Purdue University
Major: Construction Management
Excited to learn about: The process that goes into the concrete division from planning to execution.
Why did you choose SSC: I chose SSC because they are a large commercial company that had a good reputation.
Project Department/ Assignment: KAR Global Headquarters in Carmel, IN

Name: Ross Harmeyer
School: Purdue University
Major: Construction Management
Why did you choose SSC: I wanted to stay close to Indy and also wanted to gain experience in commercial construction, so I did some research about SSC and it seemed like the perfect fit.
Project Department: Concrete; working at Indiana Masonic Home in Franklin, IN, and Ball State North Residence Neighborhood in Muncie, IN

Name: Sam Dunbar
School: Purdue University
Major: Construction Management
Excited to learn about: I want to experience what general laborers do so that when I have more of leadership role I can understand their job and what they go through on a daily basis to help lead them.
Why did you choose SSC: I have an uncle that works at JW Marriot who told me about SSC after I asked him what construction companies would be good to get experience in commercial construction. I also like a lot of projects SCC has done.
Project Department: Concrete; working at Indiana Masonic Home in Franklin, IN

Name: Molly Jeffers
School: Butler University
Major: Advertising and Public Relations
Excited to learn about: Absorb as much information as possible about the construction industry and help out the Business Development team where needed.
Why did you choose SSC: As a student at Butler, I noticed all the projects going on around campus with Shiel Sexton. The company has a great reputation in the area and the culture of the office seemed to be the perfect fit for me.
Project department: Business Development/ Marketing

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Shiel Sexton recently partnered with White Lodging Services, a long-time client, to complete the Grand Park SpringHill Suites by Marriott. Shiel Sexton and White Lodging have worked on a multitude of hotels across Indiana, Colorado, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Grand Park SpringHill Suites opened its doors to the public at the beginning of May. Located conveniently close to the Grand Park Sports Complex and the Monon Trail, guests can enjoy quick access to many attractions in the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, and Broad Ripple. With 150 new hotel rooms added to the City of Westfield,  the city satisfied a much-needed lodging shortage and granted more exposure for the growing city.

Construction began in March 2018 with a strict schedule to be followed. The project wrapped up earlier than expected allowing guests to start booking as soon as they could.

The 150-suite hotel was designed with luxury and comfort in mind. Bigger than the average hotel room, each suite offers the comforts of home, including a desk area, sofa, high-speed internet, and a large flatscreen TV with premium channels. The hotel provides a full breakfast buffet every morning with foods ranging from fruit to an oatmeal bar to waffles. The Oak Bar restaurant is located inside the hotel that features Italian cuisine and an upscale bar lounge. For guests who want to explore Westfield, shopping centers and 13 other restaurant options are located less than five miles away from Grand Park SpringHill Suites. Additional hotel amenities include an indoor pool and a spacious fitness center.

Shiel Sexton looks forward to the continuation of projects with White Lodging in the future. 

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Thirty years ago, Shiel Sexton completed the iconic Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center in Noblesville, IN. Though the amphitheater has changed names a handful of times, many first-generation fans still affectionately call the center by its original name, Deer Creek Music Center. The initial construction consisted of seating for 6,500, lawn seating for 12,000, parking for 7,000 cars, six separate buildings for concessions, ticket sales and storage, several unique VIP shelters, and six restrooms. Today, the venue has capacity for more than 24,000 guests!

The construction schedule set was for less than a year. Tirelessly working through the fall and winter months, the team provided the finished product at the start of the 1989 summer. Opening day took place on May 20, 1989. The gathering crowd anxiously waited to see the new amphitheater where many locals would come to spend their summers. As seats filled up to welcome headliner Sandi Patty, the construction team feverishly finished one last power wash by the back gate to ensure everything was perfect for the night.

Shiel Sexton’s Dave Burchard was the project manager for the construction’s entirety. From his first steps onto the field, until his last, he focused on bringing the music venue to life.

“The majority of the site was a huge soybean field. Bill Burnett (project superintendent) and I walked through the field to approximately locate the stage. Seven retention ponds were created, and the dirt from those helped create the seating mounds.”

Dave recalls the unforgettable obstacles the team faced while the amphitheater took shape during the construction progression,

 “The roof trusses were a huge logistical challenge. We had to deliver them in sections and lay them down across the seating bowl to weld them together. Two cranes hoisted the trusses up and bolted on top of the 40-foot concrete columns. The process was meticulous, but they fit together perfectly.” 

The facility remains the largest outdoor venue in Indiana and is in the top five amphitheaters for attendance in the world. As we celebrate this anniversary, we remember the early projects that molded Shiel Sexton into the company it is now. 

Deer Creek Fun Facts – by the Numbers!
  • 50+ subcontractors on the job
  • 33 foot-tall seating mound covered in three acres of bluegrass sod
  • Four hundred tons of steel used
  • 3,000 gallons of paint used
  • 8,640 flowers planted
  • 1.75 acres under the pavilion roof
  • 750,000 cubic yards of soil transformed from agricultural to cultural use
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The Coalition for Construction Safety (CCS), a central Indiana non-profit organization created to improve construction safety, has been a vocal advocate for the construction industry for more than 25 years. CCS has remained steadfast in their mission, which articulates their dedication “to the elimination of construction and facilities maintenance jobsite injuries and illnesses with the ultimate objective of returning construction and maintenance workers home to their families, friends, and communities free from harm.”

Annually, CCS opens submissions to gift an array of awards for projects, craftsmen, and safety excellence at an evening ceremony. Each CCS organizational category (General Contractor, Trade Partner, Owner/Facilities Maintenance) competed for the Crystal Eagle – Excellence in Safety award and there is only one winner overall. A panel of volunteer judges reviewed all entries, including submission questions and safety statistics. The judges unanimously selected Shiel Sexton as this year’s winner. The Crystal Eagle is noted as “the highest honor that CSS can bestow on a company.” Shiel Sexton has won this coveted distinction only in 2003 and 1996 previously.

Shiel Sexton had an opportunity to celebrate the achievement last week at the Beer, Boots and Brats event, where CCS unveiled the statue and spoke about the decision process. 

“You guys were the clear-cut winners – one of the easiest decisions for the Crystal Eagle. Congratulations to all of you with your safety efforts! Our mission is to send our workers home safely every day, and you guys help us do that.” – Marcy Watson, Associate Director CCS.

In addition to this award, the Shiel Sexton office in Charlotte, NC brought home the 6th consecutive NC Department of Labor Gold Safety Award. Our projects Storm Trooper, Jedi, and Pike Nurseries Cornelius were awarded First Year Gold NC Department of Labor Safety Awards by Cherie Berry, Commissioner of Labor.

Shiel Sexton strives not only to teach safety, but also to demonstrate it through all facets of work. The Crystal Eagle is a reminder moving forward that safety will continue to be our top priority and set an “Expect More” standard to our partners, clients, and subcontractors.

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Rick Kiger brings almost 30 years of construction and manufacturing experience to the Shiel Sexton team.  As Vice President of Business Development, he works closely with the operations group leaders to pursue new clientele and ensure the company’s groups are aligned with the long-term strategic plan. Rick interfaces with clients, designers, and construction teams to bring the best value and most effective solutions to our clients.  He will be a valuable asset to Shiel Sexton as it continues its rapid growth in the Southeast.

“We are excited about the addition of Rick to the Shiel Sexton Charlotte team,” states Chuck Scholer, Vice President of Operations in Charlotte.  “Rick has the perfect background and leadership style to continue Shiel Sexton’s trajectory of growth in the commercial, higher education, interiors, and senior living markets.”

Having lived in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, Rick is an experienced general contractor that brings a unique perspective to the construction industry that is backed by years of working with clients on the design, management and manufacturing of construction components. 

Rick graduated from University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and then attended South Dakota State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics.  He is very active in Charlotte Touchdown Club, CREW – Charlotte, and the International Facility Managers Association

Rick is a self-proclaimed sports junkie, and he enjoys golfing, fishing and traveling with his wife, Polly.  They have two teenage sons born and raised in the Charlotte area. 

Rick Kiger, Vice President of Business Development
Shiel Sexton Company, Inc. | Carolinas Region
5950 Fairview Road, Suite 400, Charlotte, NC 28210
Direct: (704) 679-3947 | Cell: (704) 290-1641
rkiger@shielsexton.com | www.shielsexton.com

The Messenger | April 2019 | More from this issue

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According to Building Indiana, the US has been facing a shortage of construction-skilled laborers, and Indiana has felt the impact. The number of people prepared to work in the field has greatly diminished due to Millennials and Gen X’s gravitating towards the technology and healthcare sectors. Paired with an aging, retiring Baby Boomer generation, this labor deficit could cause a decline in the construction industry.  Now more than ever, outreach programs are essential to keep jobsites staffed in the future. 

Building Indiana confirms that Indiana was number two in the nation with the highest amount of apprenticeships with 3,342 students completing apprenticeship programs in 2017. 

Shiel Sexton is proud to support The National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the construction industry and aims to show that construction jobs can provide a stable, lucrative career. The program accommodates individuals with no experience in construction. Applicants can range from high school students age 18 and up, ex-offenders, or those looking for an industry change. Through several courses, individuals learn the construction fundamentals of hand tools, soft skills (written, verbal communication, email, text), power tools, and construction math. Students can also complete the OSHA 10 safety certification program, which is a highly marketable asset for those seeking construction employment. At the end of the program, students attend a job fair to hand out resumes and network with potential employers.

The program totals 72-80 hours including 16 hours of “lab” time for hands-on experience combined with classroom-style sessions eight hours per week. Classes are held throughout the Indianapolis region at adult education facilities and community centers. The certification is recognized nationwide, meaning the skills learned throughout the program are entirely transferable throughout the United States. 

The Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation sponsors the program free to applicants through grants federal or state or non-profits. The program takes place in central Indiana for right now, but classes will span the entire state of Indiana by next year. NCCER plans to offer the program nationwide eventually.

On March 19th, Shiel Sexton presented to the next graduating class. General Superintendent Steve Jansen, Project Engineer Joe Zeltwanger, and Project Manager John Schlagenhauf were available to answer students’ questions about construction management, Shiel Sexton projects, and company culture.

John is one of four certified trainers that will teach courses for NCCER. His first class as an instructor began on April 16th and will continue every Tuesday and Thursday for ten weeks. Each class averages 20 students. 

John gives an example of why this program is important to the community,

“A young guy was interested in the program to make more money for his growing family of four. His goal was to become an electrician, but first, he needed education and trade skills. He had a strong motivation, already working two jobs to provide for his family. He completed the program, attended the job fair, and scored an interview with a big company. He was eventually hired on!”

The NCCER program opens the door to many people in need of marketable skills in a field desperate for retainable employees. No matter past decisions or lack of experience, each applicant can get a fresh start to shaping their future.


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In February, the company announced the promotion of Kevin Hunt to president.  Hunt will continue his role as chief operating officer and Mike Dilts will remain chief executive officer and chairman of the board.

Hunt, who will celebrate his 30th year with Shiel Sexton in May 2019, has held numerous positions including estimator, project manager, business development, and vice president of operations.

“The most exciting part of this move is knowing that I am surrounded by a talented, professional and committed team,” said Hunt.  “I am grateful for, and appreciate, the roughly 400 employees and co-owners of Shiel Sexton who have built Shiel Sexton into a powerful, diverse and energetic construction service provider recognized on local and national levels.”

“Kevin is an important member of our leadership team, and a significant part of our success since 1989,” said Dilts.  “Shiel Sexton has a long history of promoting people from within the ranks, and all of us look forward to working with Kevin in his new position.”

IIBTV: New Leadership for Shiel Sexton - YouTube

The SCOOP | April 2019 | More from this issue

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Northeast of downtown Indianapolis sat an old dilapidated Coca-Cola Bottling Plant from the 1930’s. For many years, it was a prestigious factory housing nearly 300 employees. In the 1960’s, the plant relocated to Speedway, Indiana as the old downtown plant was used as storage for several years. Eventually, it was bought out to a developer that has successfully constructed several unique projects in Indianapolis such as the Ironworks Hotel. As many locals saw this site as an eyesore, Hendricks Commercial Properties saw it as an opportunity for growth. 

Massachusetts Avenue “Mass Ave” has rapidly become the hot spot for new restaurants, bars, and entertainment for Indianapolis locals and visitors to the city. The Coca-Cola Plant sits North of all the action at Mass and College Avenue making it a prime location for future development. 

The Bottleworks District will be 12-acres of a busy and lively neighborhood encompassing the spirit of a new downtown community. Preservation of the old, historic buildings will be of high importance during this development and will honor the rich history of Indianapolis in a distinguishably modern way.

Shiel Sexton is part of this neighborhood revitalization on five buildings throughout the Bottleworks District. The buildings will range from office shells, parking garages, and a cinema. Construction has already started on the first phase of construction which will be finished in 2020. Shiel Sexton is excited to be included in one of the largest developments in the history of Indianapolis.  

“The partnership created between Hendricks Commercial Properties and Shiel Sexton is a testament to the hard work and “Expect More” attitude of the many teams that have delivered multiple successful projects.  Hendricks asks for team members by name when new projects are discussed. The new Bottleworks contracts are proof that our teams are delivering a great product:  Preconstruction through Turnover.  Many challenges lie ahead on this complex site.  We are ready to take them on and proud to be part of the project,” states Project Executive, Frank Duck.

You can take a tour at the old Coca-Cola Bottling Plant below! Make sure to check out the Bottleworks District website here to keep updated of what is to come.

The SCOOP | April 2019 | More from this issue

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As part of a project start up, subcontractors must decide how they will provide construction machinery onsite. While buying the equipment may seem like the obvious answer, BAM Rents General Manager Brian Dilts provides insight into how a company can benefit from renting.

BAM has a broad inventory of rentals ranging from dumpsters to earthmoving equipment. Visit the online catalog or call to 317-423-6012 to request a rental quote in minutes.

The SCOOP | April 2019 | More from this issue

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