Message from Bruce Bronge: Reflections – Growth, Culture and Lessons Learned
Ten years ago, I started the practice of reflecting on the prior year; compiling a list of lessons learned and then focusing on new ways to apply these lessons in the upcoming year. This year before I began my annual reflection, I looked up the definition of “reflection” and was struck by several of the synonyms:
thought, thinking, consideration, contemplation, study, deliberation, pondering, meditation, musing, rumination, cogitation, brooding, agonizing; rare cerebration
These highlighted words made me realize how fortunate and blessed we were once again in 2018. Here are a few highlights:
- K-12 Education: In 2018, ICI completed a significant renovation of West Leyden High School and broke ground on a momentous addition to East Leyden High School. At West Leyden, the new commons, student spaces, and counseling offices are redefining the education experience. The East Leyden project includes a preschool, student commons, band room and natatorium. Needless to say, this addition will enhance the Leyden education experience. Our K-12 Team also completed a new K-6 school in Burbank, Illinois. The ground-up Luther Burbank School incorporates shared learning spaces, grade pod formations and “pull spaces” for 1:1 learning. The new school is truly an image of 21st Century Learning.
- Retail: Recently, Walmart reformatted their construction vendor selection process. They reduced their number of construction partners by 77% from 190 in 2017 to just 44 in 2019. Given this staggering shift, I am even more proud of our Retail Team’s recent participation in the Walmart General Contractor Resource Optimization (GRO) program. The selection serves as proof of the firm’s steadfast commitment over the course of the past 12 years to consistent project delivery despite the rigors of working on a national basis within occupied stores.
- Restaurant: Our relationship with Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants continued with new locations in Michigan and Ohio. They are an organization with an outstanding culture and passion for their business. This relationship truly embodies the word partnership! Additionally, ICI is underway on a new upscale restaurant and bar coming to the southwest suburbs of Chicago, The Barrel Club. The new concept is due to open late spring 2019 and will offer fine dining space, private dining options, a custom bar as well as a large wrap-around patio complete with a fire pit.
- Automotive: ICI’s partnerships with The Fields, Exchange and Napleton Automotive Groups continue to thrive with construction currently underway on dealerships for each. The Chicagoland Automotive Group is ICI’s newest automotive client. In 2018 they hired ICI as construction manager for major enhancements to their Volvo of Lisle dealership.
On a firm-wide basis, ICI grew in both revenue and personnel. I consider balancing growth and upholding values to be of paramount importance. Therefore, I am proud of the great success we had in 2018 with growing our team while not just maintaining, but strengthening, our culture.
2018 Lesson Learned:
- Seek the best talent and ensure they fit your culture
- The Owner, Architect and CM relationship is essential to the project’s success
- Standardization streamlines processes and reduces mistakes
- Treat your subcontractors like partners because they are key to a successful project
As we continue our 36th year in business, the outlook for 2019 is bright, even brighter than 2018. I appreciate the confidence of our construction partners; both internal and external.
We have our largest backlog on record and a highly skilled team of dedicated employees to execute the work. We are truly blessed!
Bruce Bronge, President