25-year Construction Industry veteran Kurt Steinmann recently joined Holland Construction Services as Project Executive, bringing a diverse portfolio of multi-family project management experience from across the country to the team. We sat down with Kurt to get to know him better and understand what he brings to the team.
Holland: Kurt, welcome aboard! Tell us about your career and journey to join Holland Construction Services.
Kurt: I've known Mike Marchal for 15 years through the industry circles and hadn't considered coming to work for Holland until I found out that the St. Louis office was opening, and that piqued my interest. I had always liked and respected Mike and Holland, so with the St. Louis office opening and the success that Holland has had in multi-family, it was the right fit at the right time. With my background, it was an opportunity to help grow a market sector that Holland was already thriving in and wanted to expand.
Holland: What was your professional experience before joining Holland?
Kurt: Well, it's been almost 25 years now, and I have always worked for construction-related companies, either for a general contractor or a developer. I have worked for a local general contractor, national developer, and a national general contractor giving me a broad base of experience that has been primarily focused on multi-family and senior living projects.
Holland: That's an impressive resume. Will you be working on multi-family projects here as well?
Yes, I'll work with Rob, Doug, and the team on various multi-family projects. Whether it is apartments, senior living, hospitality, or student living, our business unit is focused on these types of projects, and that's what I've been working on for the last 15 years, so I look forward to helping us expand that portfolio of business.
Holland: What are some big differences between senior living projects and other multi-family developments?
Kurt: Senior living is operator-driven and can provide health services, depending on the facility's level of care. It's essential to have a thorough understanding of varying state regulations, licensure requirements, and the state department of health permitting process and timing. It's also necessary to understand specific building systems like HVAC, life safety, access control, and fire alarm requirements appropriate for certain care levels.
Holland: As you look back on some of your favorite or most challenging projects from your career, what stands out?
Kurt: I worked on a very challenging student housing project on a large Florida campus. Student housing in and of itself is a tough product just because of their schedule requirements. The students needed to move in by August no matter what, and we encountered several challenges during this project, including Covid, supply chain, and labor issues. It was a complicated project because every day was a new challenge, but we delivered on time, and the students moved in on schedule.
I also worked on two interesting historic buildings in Southern California. We had to seismically retrofit and bring up to code two hi-rise buildings that were built in the 1920s. One was converted into luxury apartments and the other was converted into a boutique hotel. Both overlooking the ocean.
I also enjoy the challenges that go with an urban infill type of project where logistically, you don't have a lot of room, zero-lot-line typically, a tower crane is involved, and proper sequencing is the key. Every site has its own challenges, and I like doing all of them. They're all fun.
Holland: What do you like to do in your free time?
Kurt: I coach my son's baseball team. I have coached both of my boys' teams, but my older son is now in high school. I'm in my 10th season of coaching my younger son's team. I started with them when they were five, and now they're going into their 14U season. This is my last hurrah coaching youth baseball, and I'm looking forward to a fun season.
Holland: That's great. Is there anything you've learned in your years of coaching youth baseball that you've carried over to your professional life?
Kurt: My experience in coaching baseball has a lot of crosses over into my professional life. Being in the industry now for 25 years, the best thing I can be is a "coach" to younger project managers. Being able to help mentor, train, and guide the professional development of project management teams is essential and coaching taught me a lot of those life skills. I've always thought the best way to understand something, whether baseball or building construction, is to teach it.
Holland: Spring Training is right around the corner. Good luck with this upcoming season!