Get to Know: New Manufacturing Engineer Yanko Maldonado

Yanko

Please join all of us in giving a warm welcome to Yanko Maldonado, who was recently hired as the Manufacturing Engineer for Gage Brothers. He will lead the design, installation, and improvement of production systems requiring the integration of people, equipment, and materials for Gage Brothers precast products.

Yanko hails from Veracruz, a Mexican port city on the Gulf of Mexico coast. He is also trilingual (English, Spanish and German).

Welcome to Gage Brothers, Yanko!

Q. Where did you grow up? Tell us about your hometown.

A. I grew up in Veracruz in the South of Mexico.  It is on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and is very green and pretty, but also very hot for most of the year.

Q. How did you get into this line of work?

A. I went to school for Mechatronics Engineering, which was a new field of study at the time that I started college that had a lot of crossover with other engineering fields.  I also became very interested in lean manufacturing processes and energy efficiencies and got my masters in Energy Management.

Q. What attracted you to the manufacturing engineering position with Gage Brothers?

A. The opportunity to implement engineering tools, lean principles and continuous improvement to help different departments to improve processes, by making things simpler and faster.

Q. What are you looking forward to the most with your new job at Gage Brothers?

A. Getting to know everyone and start using my skills and knowledge to help all the different departments!

Q. What is your dream vacation spot?

A. Barcelona

Q. What was your favorite subject in school?

A.  I think it was close between Computer Science, and physics

Q. What are your hobbies?

A. Practicing guitar, playing soccer and video games, and spending time with my 9-month-old son, Santiago.

Big LebowskiQ. What is your favorite movie?

A. The Big Lebowski

Q. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?

A. Unagi Eel Sushi

eel sushi


Q. En qué lugar creciste? Platicanos de ahí.

A. Yo crecí en Veracruz en el Sur de México cerca del Golfo de México, Es un lugar muy bonito tiene es una zona de jungla con mucha vegetación pero También es muy húmedo y caluroso.

Q. Cómo decidiste entrar en esta profesión?

A. Yo estudié ingeniero en Mecatrónica, que era una Carrera nueva que juntaba diferentes ingenierías como mecánica y electrónica, durante mis studio me intereso saber mas sobre procesos esbelto o “lean” y en evitar desperdicios y decidí estudiar hacer una maestria en Administracion de Energia.

Q. Que te Intereso en la posición de ingeniero de Manufactura en Gage Brothers?

A. La oportunidad de emplear diferentes herramientas e ingeniería, proceso esbelto y mejora continua para poder ayudar a mejorar los procesos en los diferentes departamentos haciéndolos más fáciles y rápidos.

Q. Qué es lo que más te emociona en tu nuevo trabajo en Gage Brothers?

A. Conocer a todos los empleados y empezar a usar mis habilidades y conocimientos para ayudarlos.

Q. Cual es tu lugar ideal para vacacionar?

A. Barcelona.

Q. Cuál fue tu materia favorita en la escuela?

A. Yo creo que era un empate entre Computación y Física.

Q. Cuáles son tus pasatiempos?

A. Tocar la guitarra eléctrica, jugar y ver football, jugar videojuegos y pasar tiempo con mi hijo de 9 meses.

Q. Cuál es tu película favorita?

A. The Big Lebowski

Q. Qué es lo mas raro que has comido?

A. Sushi de anguila

 

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Gage Brothers Celebrates #WIC2018

2018 WIC Week Logo WhiteWomen in Construction Week is part of the broader Women’s History Month celebration in March. The week, started by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is an opportunity to highlight the growing role of women in the construction industry.

“NAWIC’s core purpose is ‘enhancing the success of women in the construction industry’ and what better way to continue this purpose, but to dedicate our WIC Week, not only to our members, but to all women working in and for the construction industry and to recognize the contributions women make to the success of projects in all facets of the industry,” said NAWIC President Riki F. Lovejoy, CBT, CIT.

Women represent 47% of the total U.S. workforce and are playing an increasingly significant role in the world of construction. Yet according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and OSHA, only 9% of total construction employees are women.

Given this fact, it’s inspiring to come across women who are thriving in such a traditionally male-dominated industry.

In honor of Women in Construction Week, Gage Brothers wants to highlight some exceptional women who help to make Gage Brothers a stronger and more competitive company. Read on to explore Marlene Fiedler’s experiences in construction/manufacturing and to find out her advice for others looking to take a similar path.

MarleneName: Marlene Fiedler
Job Title: Grounds & Facilities Foreman 

Q: How long have you been in the manufacturing industry?

A: 13 years

Q: Why did you choose a non-traditional career field?

A: I had cooked in a restaurant for 30 years and I wanted something different. So glad I did…I love my job!

Q: Have you ever faced any barriers in what is a male-dominated industry?

A: No

Q: What challenges do you see other women in construction facing?

A: Being able to compete side-by-side with the men doing the same job on a daily basis.

Q: What is the most satisfying part of your job?

A: The people I work with and the company I work for! Also, I get to work all over the plant and do different things!

Q: What motivates you to keep working so hard at Gage Brothers?

A: The day to day challenges!

Q: What advice do you have for women who want to work in the construction or manufacturing industry?

A: If your new to the construction industry like I was, don’t be afraid to ask questions and be willing to learn. Try hard, don’t give up and you can prevail!

Gage Brothers Celebrates #WIC2018

2018 WIC Week Logo WhiteWomen in Construction Week is part of the broader Women’s History Month celebration in March. The week, started by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is an opportunity to highlight the growing role of women in the construction industry.

“NAWIC’s core purpose is ‘enhancing the success of women in the construction industry’ and what better way to continue this purpose, but to dedicate our WIC Week, not only to our members, but to all women working in and for the construction industry and to recognize the contributions women make to the success of projects in all facets of the industry,” said NAWIC President Riki F. Lovejoy, CBT, CIT.

Women represent 47% of the total U.S. workforce and are playing an increasingly significant role in the world of construction. Yet according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and OSHA, only 9% of total construction employees are women.

Given this fact, it’s inspiring to come across women who are thriving in such a traditionally male-dominated industry.

In honor of Women in Construction Week, Gage Brothers wants to highlight some exceptional women who help to make Gage Brothers a stronger and more competitive company. Read on to explore Ann Hill’s experiences in construction/manufacturing and to find out her advice for others looking to take a similar path.

Cassie_1Name: Cassie Nicolai
Job Title: Human Resources & Safety Manager

Q: How long have you been in the manufacturing industry?

A: Eight years

Q: Why did you choose a non-traditional career field?

A: When I was close to graduating with my business degree I started looking for an internship that would let me get my foot in the door with a company. I knew I wanted to work for a company that did “something cool.” My 23 year-old self had no idea what that meant, but as soon as I took a tour of Gage Brothers during my interview, I knew this was where I belonged. Since then I have fallen in love with the manufacturing industry.

Q: Have you ever faced any barriers in what is a male-dominated industry?

A: There have been times when I felt someone did not value my opinion because I am a woman in the manufacturing and construction industry. Usually it was someone from outside of Gage Brothers who had not met me before, and I quickly find a way to work with (or around) them.

Q: What challenges do you see other women in construction facing?

A: Stereotypes definitely exist still about women who work in construction. Most of them negative which I won’t go into detail here. Progressive companies realize that manufacturing and construction have become high-tech industries that need all types of people with a variety of skills and knowledge. Those companies who are stuck in the past will be left behind eventually.

Q: What is the most satisfying part of your job?

A: As an HR and Safety professional, my greatest joy is seeing others succeed—especially when that person may have doubted their ability to do so. I enjoy trying to find the right tools and support that a person needs to thrive.

Q: What motivates you to keep working so hard at Gage Brothers?

A: I have had countless opportunities to learn and grow since starting at Gage Brothers. That definitely motivates me to return the favor by giving them my all.

Q: What advice do you have for women who want to work in the construction or manufacturing industry?

A: I would like to steal Ann Hill’s advice from yesterday because she said it perfectly! Women have a lot of expectations placed on them in society. Just do what interests you and what you’re good at. Be yourself. Also, sometimes women can be our own worst enemies. Let’s support and lift each other up.

 

Gage Brothers Celebrates #WIC2018

2018 WIC Week Logo WhiteWomen In Construction Week is part of the broader Women’s History Month celebration in March. The week, started by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is an opportunity to highlight the growing role of women in the construction industry.

“NAWIC’s core purpose is ‘enhancing the success of women in the construction industry’ and what better way to continue this purpose, but to dedicate our WIC Week, not only to our members, but to all women working in and for the construction industry and to recognize the contributions women make to the success of projects in all facets of the industry,” said NAWIC President Riki F. Lovejoy, CBT, CIT.

Women represent 47% of the total U.S. workforce and are playing an increasingly significant role in the world of construction. Yet accoding to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and OSHA, only 9% of total construction employees are women.

Given this fact, it’s inspiring to come across women who are thriving in such a traditionally male-dominated industry.

In honor of Women in Construction Week, Gage Brothers wants to highlight some exceptional women who help to make Gage Brothers a stronger and more competitive company. Read on to explore Ann Hill’s experiences in construction/manufacturing and to find out her advice for others looking to take a similar path.

Ann HillName: Ann Hill
Job Title: Project Estimator 

Q: How long have you been in the construction/manufacturing industry?

A:  20 years in manufacturing and construction.

Q: Why did you choose a non-traditional career field?

A:  I took a summer job working for the Nebraska Department of Roads right after high school. I was shock to learn how much I enjoyed it!  My father and brothers worked in construction, but before that summer I never saw construction as an option for me.

Q: Have you ever faced any barriers in what is a male-dominated industry?

A:  Not really. My overall experience has been very positive. I have never felt being a female is a setback especially at Gage Brothers. There have been a few times where I thought I wasn’t taken seriously and felt that it was because I am a woman, but it fueled me to want to work harder.

Q: What challenges do you see other women in construction facing?

A:  I think biggest challenge for women joining the construction industry is exposure. Construction needs to be presented to all of our youth as a viable career opportunity. There are many great reasons to be involved in construction and manufacturing for women and men alike.  It can be so much more than just a job.

Q: What is the most satisfying part of your job?

A: Collaborating. I love when a team works together to find solutions and better practices. I also like seeing the final product and knowing I helped make it happen.

Q: What motivates you to keep working so hard at Gage Brothers?

A:  I believe in the company and the people who work here. I want to see us all succeed. I really enjoy what I do.

Q: What advice do you have for women who want to work in the construction or manufacturing industry?

A:  The industry needs you. Work hard and be yourself. It’s our individuality that gives us strength. Be involved and ask questions. Never stop learning.

 

 

Gage Brothers Celebrates #WIC2018

2018 WIC Week Logo WhiteWomen In Construction Week is part of the broader Women’s History Month celebration in March. The week, started by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is an opportunity to highlight the growing role of women in the construction industry.

“NAWIC’s core purpose is ‘enhancing the success of women in the construction industry’ and what better way to continue this purpose, but to dedicate our WIC Week, not only to our members, but to all women working in and for the construction industry and to recognize the contributions women make to the success of projects in all facets of the industry,” said NAWIC President Riki F. Lovejoy, CBT, CIT.

Women represent 47% of the total U.S. workforce and are playing an increasingly significant role in the world of construction. Yet according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and OSHA, only 9% of total construction employees are women.

Given this fact, it’s inspiring to come across women who are thriving in such a traditionally male-dominated industry.

In honor of Women in Construction Week, Gage Brothers wants to highlight some exceptional women who help to make Gage Brothers a stronger and more competitive company. Read on to explore Tara Bailey’s experiences in construction and to find out her advice for others looking to take a similar path.

Tara Bailey
Job Title: Purchasing Manager 

Tara Bailey_2Q: How long have you been in the manufacturing industry?

A:  I grew up with my family owning a manufacturing company so I have been around it my entire life. I have been working in the manufacturing industry now for more than 14 years. I can’t imagine working in any other industry.

Q: Why did you choose a non-traditional career field?

A:  I found something that I enjoy doing and that is challenging. My great grandma passed away before I was born but I have always admired her. Back in the 1930’s and until she passed she owned and ran the family business with my great grandfather.  She was a very involved business owner. She didn’t just answer phones she actually was involved with the running the business. She was breaking barriers back then and I have always looked up to her for that.  My grandmother has always been the same way so I grew up around strong women working in non-traditional career fields at the time.

Q: Have you ever faced any barriers in what is a male-dominated industry?

A:  There have been times that I feel I wasn’t taken seriously due to the fact I am a woman. I have had times in the past where I have told someone how to solve an issue they were having and they told me my solution was incorrect.  They then proceeded to asked someone who was male. The male gave them the exact same answer and it was correct. I’ve also been told I couldn’t do something because I am a woman but I have the attitude of watch me and I will prove you wrong. I’ve always turned being told I can’t into motivation.

Q: What challenges do you see other women in construction facing?

A:  I think the biggest challenge is getting people past the idea that you have to be a male to work in construction. If you can get your own mind to think “I can do this” and “I belong here,” that is half the battle.

Q: What is the most satisfying part of your job?

A: The most satisfying part of my job is solving problems. When I can provide a solution to a problem and improve a situation or process.  I also enjoy when I am in a group and looking around to see that I am the only female. Knowing that it doesn’t matter and I am seen as an equal is satisfying.

Q: What motivates you to keep working so hard at Gage Brothers?

A:  Gage Brothers is a great company to work for. I have never felt that because I am a woman I am held back here. I find my job challenging and rewarding.

Q: What advice do you have for women who want to work in the construction or manufacturing industry?

A: It’s easy to think that because you’re a woman you can’t work in construction or manufacturing.  The truth is the industry has changed and you see more and more women working in it.  If construction and manufacturing interest you go for it.  Don’t let the fact that you are a woman stop you or the belief that you can’t be feminine and work in the industry.  You can wear steel toe shoes and a hard hat and still feel girly.

Gage Brothers wins AVA Digital Award

Platinum Site BugThe Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP) has recognized Gage Brothers with a 2018 AVA Digital Award.

The annual competition recognizes outstanding creative achievement in the design and production of digital media, and is sponsored and judged by the AMCP.

Gage Brothers received an AVA Digital Platinum Award for its overall Facebook presence. Specifically, the company was acknowledged for using the social media site to humanize the Gage Brothers brand and showcase its company culture.

More than 2,500 entries were judged by industry professionals. Entries ranged from audio and video production, to website and social media sites, to other forms of user generated digital communications.

All entries were judged on a 100-point scale. Entries scoring between 90-100 points received a Platinum Award, while those assigned 80-89 points received a Gold Award and entries with 70-79 points garnered honorable mention recognition. Gage Brothers was the only company from South Dakota to win an AVA Digital Award this year.

platinum statuetteGage Brothers’ Facebook page (facebook.com/GageBrothersConcrete) serves as the digital storytelling hub for the Sioux Falls-based company. The company uses infographics, time-lapse construction videos, photo albums and blog posts to build brand awareness, while get to know videos with employees allow Gage Brothers to create a sense of community within the business and shine the spotlight on its dedicated workforce.

Since 2015, Gage Brothers’ Facebook fan base has increased sevenfold.

“Gage Brothers is incredibly honored to have received this award,” said Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley. “We are thrilled to be recognized for the immense effort that goes into sharing our story in the digital landscape.”

About the AVA Digital Awards:
AVA Digital Awards is sponsored and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). The international organization consists of several thousand production, marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, and free-lance professionals. AMCP administers recognition programs; provides judges and rewards outstanding achievement and service to the profession. As part of its mission, AMCP fosters and supports the efforts of creative professionals who contribute their unique talents to public service and charitable organizations. production – to website development – to social media interaction – to mobile marketing.  AVA Digital Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), one of the oldest, largest, and most respected evaluators of creative work in the marketing and communication industry.

Gage Brothers Project Receives PCI Design Award

Gage Brothers has added another award to its trophy case.

Minnesota Senate BuildingThe Minnesota Senate Building has garnered Honorable Mention recognition in the Government and Public Buildings category in the 55th Annual PCI Design Awards Program.

A widely regarded industry program, the PCI Design Awards (www.pci.org) honors design excellence and construction quality in buildings and transportation structures that use precast concrete. The program demonstrates how designers continue to use precast/prestressed concrete construction to achieve sustainable, cost-effective, resilient and aesthetically versatile projects.

PCI reviews notable projects by PCI certified plants across the country when designating this award. An independent panel judges the complexity, quality and innovation of each applicant.

The three juries named a total of twenty-one winners and four honorable mention selections, including a winner for the Harry H. Edwards Industry Advancement Award, co-winners for the All-Precast Concrete Structure Award, and a winner for the Sustainable Design Award.

“These awards represent the highest achievement in our industry and it is always an honor to be recognized by our peers,” said Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley. “We are proud of our employees and congratulate the entire design-build team responsible for the Minnesota Senate Building.”

The Minnesota Senate Building was designed by BWBR’s St. Paul office in collaboration with Pickard-Chilton. Mortenson Construction served as the construction manager. Gage Brothers produced 54,000 square-feet of architectural and stone-clad precast panels (633 total pieces) for the $90 million build.

Minnesota Senate BuildingSited northwest of Cass Gilbert’s historic 1905 State Capitol Building, the Minnesota Senate Building was designed to meet the need for an expansion of the Capitol Campus and, as a 100-year building, to serve the citizens for generations. Its design purposefully facilitates greater interaction and communication with the citizens of Minnesota and responds to Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk’s vision for “a landmark in its own right, architecturally distinctive and worthy of the twenty-first century.”

Radially arcing around the Capitol dome, the building’s massing gently curves to maximize views back to the Capitol. At four-stories with two levels of below-grade parking across the sloped site, the building is considered an extension of the Capitol with offices and support space for senators and their staff.

At ground level, a main entry provides public access and accommodates other program functions as well as parking and mechanical spaces. The first level comprises public gathering spaces and hearing rooms and opens out to a large public plaza atop underground parking.  Senate offices and ancillary spaces are located on the second and third floors.

The new senate building houses all 67 senators under one roof and supports more than 360 staffers and state employees who are also officed in the facility. The new structure also contains critical technological and other infrastructure, a broadcast studio and a 250-seat theatre style hearing room. The design provides ample daylighting into the space and the senator offices on the upper two levels all have individual views of the capitol. From the main entrance to the public forum hearing rooms, all of this radiates to the capitol and is even reflected in the plaza landscape.

Minnesota Senate BuildingThe precast concrete façade was selected to keep costs under control and to meet the schedule goals. A critical aspect of the schedule was to accommodate the 2016 legislative term while the neighboring Capitol building was closed for a major renovation. The Minnesota Senate Building opened on-budget and in plenty of time for the March 8 opening of the 2016 legislative session.

Designed to Minnesota B3 sustainability standards (a State of Minnesota equivalent of LEED), the Minnesota Senate Building achieves a 37-percent energy savings compared to the baseline code.

Along its southern exposure, its glass facade allows for the optimal use of daylight throughout the building to create an enriching, productive workplace.  In winter, the sun’s warmth is captured through the glazing.

Natural materials native to Minnesota have been incorporated throughout the building’s and plaza’s palette. In fact, ninety-four percent of the materials used in the construction of the Minnesota Senate Building were produced by Minnesota companies.

The architectural precast panels were produced with an aggregate from a Sauk Rapids manufacturer, limestone from Vetterstone and granite from Cold Spring. The glass is from Owatonna, steel in workplaces can be traced back to northern Minnesota’s taconite mines and a Faribault company made low-energy air-handling equipment. Even the font used in signs comes was designed by Mark Simonson of St. Paul, a noted font artist.

Gage Brothers will accept the award at the 2018 PCI Convention and National Bridge Conference in Denver, Colo., on February 23.

“Every award Gage Brothers receives is a testament to the dedication and teamwork of all Gage Brothers employees and their contribution to achieving our mission—to craft a quality experience for our team and our clients by providing valued solutions,” added Kelley.

Gage Brothers is no stranger to the PCI Design Awards program. Here is a list of the company’s most recently honored projects:

2014 PCI Design Award
Best Healthcare/Medical Building
Sanford Heart Hospital
Sioux Falls, S.D.

Sanford Heart Hospital

2013 PCI Design Award
Best Justice and Correctional Building
James F. Battin United States Courthouse
Billings, Mont.

_I0F8744_5_6

2011 PCI Design Award

Best Stadium/Arena
Target Field

TWINS STADIUM IMG_8553

2011 PCI Design Award

Honorable Mention: Stadiums/Arenas/Sports Facilities–Craftsmanship
TCF Bank Stadium

IMG_6731

2011 PCI Design Award

Honorable Mention
Rapid City Regional Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting Station

Rapid City Fire Station Number 8

2011 PCI Design Award
Honorable Mention
University of Minnesota Science Teaching & Student Services Building

IMG_8663

A total of 25 awards will be presented to projects from throughout North America during the 55th Annual PCI Design Awards, which includes best-in-class awards for both transportation structures and buildings. All winning projects will be showcased in the PCI Design Award Winners summary article, which is published in the PCI Journal, Ascent and Aspire magazines. Read more about all the award winners on the PCI website.