We Built That

Diane Kilmer (Office)-
I’ve worked for Manatts for over 30 years and have never regretted it! Their commitment to family and community is undeniably one of their best qualities. They have always advocated family comes first and demonstrate it by treating their employees like family. Raising three boys and working fulltime can be stressful, but is much easier when your employer has beliefs like Manatts. They went above and beyond when my son was terminally ill and my family will be forever grateful. Brooklyn has facilities that most towns our size only dream about and much of it is due to the generosity of Manatts. They continually strive to make the communities they serve a better place to live. Working in Human Resources, I deal with employees every day and love it. There are no better people around! I’m proud to say that I’m part of the Manatt “family”.

Steve Illingworth (Newton Asphalt)-
In 2004, the Newton Commercial Asphalt crew took part in a project that was a little unique. The project consisted of 14.65 miles at 15 different locations throughout Jasper County. These were all subdivisions and roadways that were maintained by the County. The County had maintenance issues they wanted to fix on a more permanent basis, so the county engineer and I hashed this project over for awhile before it was put on paper. It ended up that we reclaimed the roads by milling up the existing surface and adding fly ash to stabilize them. This mixture was used as the road base. We used approximately 30,000 tons of asphalt to resurface the road in two lifts and shaped it to a 22 foot top. The project went very well and was all done by Manatts’ crews. I wish I had a couple of these every year!

Robert McGrady (Ames Asphalt)-
In the summer of 2011, we did an overhaul on Northwood Drive in Ames.  The project was pretty invasive as it was a complete removal of asphalt, curb and gutter, patching, and sub grade prep. While working on Northwood Drive, we frequently had home owners come out and tell the crew that we were doing a great job. They found the process of completely rebuilding a road interesting and often sat in their lawn chairs to watch the heavy equipment and crew at work. They complimented the crew on their hard work, long hours and friendliness.  It was a good feeling to know that the hard work of our crews at Manatts is noticed and appreciated by the homeowners and citizens in Ames.

Tim Peterson (Ames Asphalt)-
I have been with Manatts since 1982.  It has been interesting to watch the company grow over the years.  Manatts has always been more than generous with their employee benefits. As the times change and new or improved benefits become available, Manatts is always right with the curve, ready to improve our benefits.  I have had several different responsibilities over the years and no matter what division or department I am a part of, Manatts always provides me with the resources to get the job done.  That is one reason I have been with the company for so long, I know I can count on them to provide me with what I need.

Denny Gallagher (Brooklyn Ready Mix)-
I have worked for Manatts for almost 40 yrs and don’t regret a bit of it. I have worn many hats and accomplished lots of things here, but no job or project stands out as much as  the feeling of satisfaction I have just being a part of this great organization.  Looking back, I am humbled by the faith and trust Manatts has had in me to get things done the right way and letting me do them without a lot of oversight. Anything I have ever done here, I have set off knowing Manatts was firmly behind me and knew I would perform by doing what was right. That feeling has always pushed me to do better, not wanting to let anyone down.   As I look around, I see this mentality everywhere here and I think it originates in the family atmosphere that is cultivated at Manatts. We naturally strive to be a productive, responsible part of our personal family and Manatts has been very successful because they adhere to this principal in their business. I see it every day that the feelings I have are constantly being cultivated in others and it bodes well for the future of Manatts. In today’s world it seems the “nice guys finish last” philosophy gains more traction. Congratulations to Manatts for 65 years of going against that grain and I am honored to have been a part of a lot of it.

Jose Castro (Brooklyn PCC Paving) -
I joined Manatts, Inc. in July of 1999. I started as a string-line laborer on a grading crew, we worked on the I-35 project in Story County all summer long. It was a rough first year as I was not prepared for the long hours involved in a large scale paving operation. I continued to work under the same supervisor for the next 8 years, learning a lot about fine grading for mainline paving and various other tasks related to road construction. Over my years of service I have been involved in many small and large projects alike. Some of the projects include: the downtown Brooklyn project, The Iowa Speedway, Cedar Rapids Airport, I-235 in Des Moines, I-35 in Osceola and most recently Highway 30 in Ames and I-680 in Council Bluffs. I am currently taking classes at Marshalltown Community College during the winter layoff season in pursuit of an Associate of Arts degree in Business, I am glad to have this opportunity and to have the support of the Manatt organization. During the construction season I work closely on day to day operations with Kevin Hogan, Rick Hudson and all of our great managers on the PCC division. I am a proud employee of Manatts, Inc. and look forward to many more years of service.

Jerry Carlson (Metro Ready Mix) -
I’ve really liked working for Manatts over the years.  One reason I have really enjoyed the job is because of the complexity of some jobs.  One job in particular that is very memorable to me for this reason was the Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Johnston project.   Pioneer has made major additions to their operations the last 2 years.   We started placing concrete June 3, 2011  with Absolute Concrete who subcontracted the flat work from Graham Construction, the general contractor on this project. Absolute placed approximately 8,000 cubic yards to date, along with the Metro paving crew, who  placed approximately 1,600 cubic yards in five paving placements.   Absolute’s  placement consisted of  3 parking lots, over a dozen greenhouses, a building to raise insects, a bicycle/pedestrian  trail and a maintenance building.  The insectionary and the maintenance building each had a floor of approximately 850 cubic yards apiece, plus a second floor mezzanine in both.  Most of the insectionary was a specialty mix with a water proofing agent added along with vapor barriers under the concrete to help mitigate any moisture wicking and maintain a constant humidity and controlled environment for insects.   All interior floor mixes used deleterious free imported sand.  A constant eye was kept on the sand stockpiles to make sure we had enough inventory for the each placement.  All imported sand came from Wendling Quarries, a two plus hour road trip from Des Moines. This was a great project for us to supply with concrete, with the job site being only 2 miles from the Johnston plant. Pioneer has plans to add 400 additional new positions to their workforce.  To accommodate the extra traffic the street in front of Pioneer will be widened to a four lane street with a bicycle/pedestrian trail on both sides and a new bridge. The bridge was also a project of ours. Safety is a huge concern with Pioneer and Graham Construction, just as it always is with Manatts.  A safety class/meeting was held with Graham Construction prior to any work and all work was under constant video surveillance, no major issues were reported.   A radar unit was brought in to let individuals know their speed while driving through the complex.  Pioneer has signs posted at the entrance of the complex with speed limits and prohibiting cell phone use while driving. This was a great project being so close to the plant and commencing during a year when business and the economy were down.

Lawayne Luers (Metro Ready Mix) -
The experience I would like to share is from the NW Commercial project in Altoona, Iowa. The featured landmark on this project is the well known, Bass Pro Shops. Manatts had the opportunity to change the landscape throughout the Des Moines Metro area in Iowa. The project quantities are as followed:

1. 40,545 SY. of 9″ PCC
2. 500 SY. of 9″ stamped colored PCC.
3. 6500 SY. of 4″ PCC sidewalk.
4. 630 SF. of detectable warnings.

The project started in the summer heat of June 2009 and finished in the brisk fall 2009. Manatts worked hand in hand to meet deadlines with other contractors. However, due to the rain we were always on the heels of our excavation contractor. We wanted the grading done so we could keep trimming and paving. Manatts finished on time and ended up with a high quality paving project.
Today, the Bass Pro Shop is a well known landmark in Iowa. The metro division of Manatts has put another notch in their belt with the completion of the NW Commercial project in Altoona, Iowa.

NW Commercial won an award from the Iowa Concrete Paving Assoc. The award was given for 30,000 sy. for municipal streets and intersections.

I am honored to apart of the Manatts’ management team.  My positive role in this project is that I am a “fine grade foreman.”  My responsibilities to take care of the trimming and sub-grade preparation for the Manatts’ Metro paving crew.  Manatts stays on the leading edge of technology in the concrete world.  I truly enjoy working for Manatts because they give me the support and equipment to be apart of a company that produces top quality concrete paving projects.