The Kraus-Anderson family of companies is fortunate to be associated with award-winning work for its clients. Each year, amid these recognized achievements in design, construction, quality, safety, sustainability, development, risk management and more, one of the most rewarding acknowledgements are those that come from our subcontractor partners.

Recently the Minnesota Subcontractors Association (MSA) awarded two Kraus-Anderson Construction employees T.O.P.S. Honors for their teamwork approach. KACC Vice President Douglas Jaeger is winner of the 2017 MSA T.O.P.S. award for project manager; and Chris Ryan is winner of the 2017 award for construction superintendent.

This is the second T.O.P.S. Project Manager of the Year award for Douglas Jaeger, who leads KA’s Special Projects team.  “When you hear, people person, that’s Doug,” said KA General Superintendent Rick Lund. “He’s fair, he’s very organized- he has to be, as his focus is working on smaller jobs and TI work. And he’s fun to work with.”

“Chris is one of our newer superintendents and he’s rapidly rising,” continued Lund. “He interviews really well, he’s a good communicator. He’s a fair guy and well organized, he works to give each of our subcontractors the opportunity to get in and get their work done on a fair schedule. He’s good with all our programs- safety, mockups. While he’s only worked a few jobs since being with KA, we’ve already gotten our first client callback, saying we want Chris back!”

The awards are determined by the vote of MSA membership, who take into consideration best practices regarding contract terms and conditions, bidding practices, project safety and security, reasonable schedules, competent project managers, timely payment and other criteria.

We asked this year’s winners, and others, to provide more insight.

Q: Why is this award meaningful to you?

DOUGLAS JAEGER, VICE PRESIDENT, PROJECT MANAGER: My subs know that I’ve got their back, I’m going to take care of them, make sure they get paid on time. And I don’t micromanage them, I empower them to do their jobs.

PROJECT SUPERINTENDENT ROB STICHA (MSA T.O.P.S. Award 2013): I believe superintendents greatly benefit when working with rather than against. While working on scheduling or scope, I always ask for input on certain areas as to not bury someone while doing a particular task. The project in my view is a team effort. I want us all to be successful!!!

DENNIS DIESSNER, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, COO, KRAUS-ANDERSON INSURANCE:  The subcontractor community is very important to Kraus-Anderson Insurance- they are our clients! Every day, we’re working to help manage their unique set of risks both on and off the job site. By supporting their financial stability, and the health and safety of their workers, we can make an important contribution to Kraus-Anderson’s long-standing commitment to the subcontractor community. We are very proud and appreciative of Doug and Chris’s efforts and the MSA’s recognition of those efforts.

Q: What advice would you give others in your position wishing to build strong relationships with subcontractors?

CHRIS RYAN, PROJECT SUPERINTENDENT: Building good relationships, it pays you back. They more you can do for your subs, the more they’ll do for you.

JAMES ERICSON, PROJECT MANAGER (MSA T.O.P.S. Award 2012): In my case it is not about being only nice to the subcontractors but mostly being fair. We try to give the subcontractors all the tools to be successful, process all the information needed early and address any issues immediately when they come up and in that way it can be a Win WIN situation. We require a lot from our subcontractors and they need much from us so if there is a breakdown we both lose. If all goes right then we both think it has been a NICE project.