Kraus-Anderson Silver Service Program Recognizes Longtime KA Employees
Five KA employees were inducted into the Kraus-Anderson Silver Service Program March 4 at the Minneapolis Club. The program recognizes employees who have served 25 years or more. Currently 68 employees are members, including these five inductees. Excerpts from the awards program follow.
LORI CHARLESWORTH, Office Manager, Twin Cities office, KA Companies.
“Lori has contributed to the development of internal improvements and protocols, along with many office celebrations and employee milestones. She works hard behind the scenes and puts others first. She is valued by her co-workers as a good listener and faithful friend. Lori is committed to mentoring others, and has long championed our intern programs, from Step Up to Opportunity Partners and Cristo Rey. She never asks for the spotlight herself, but is always ready to help others step into their light.” – Bruce Engelsma, Chairman, Kraus-Anderson Companies
PAUL CARLSTED, senior project manager, KA Construction.
“Paul represents the epitome of building enduring relationships. He has managed projects and cultivated repeat business in multiple markets including senior housing, healthcare, financial, parking, warehouse and manufacturing; traveled with our clients to job sites around the country; and manages one of our longest existing client relationships, with Lifespace Communities, in addition to numerous other longtime clients.
Paul does a great job of meeting our clients’ project needs and connecting with them on a personal level. Clients routinely ask for Paul to be their project manager on future projects. In addition, Paul takes the time to build community. His service work includes Hearts & Hammers, KA Has Heart activities and participation on our cultural alignment committee effort as we prepared for our move downtown. He sets a great example for all of us to follow.” – Al Gerhardt, President and COO, Kraus-Anderson Construction Company
NATALIE PRICE, Manager of Marketing Information Services, KA Construction.
“Natalie has been part of the backbone of our marketing efforts since right out of college. Her contributions to KA are many. She knows how to get things done. She is organized, loyal, a team player; a friend to many and the first person to welcome a new team member.
She has always stepped up to take on many additional duties– supporting the project teams, helping with outings and events, traveling around the country to support Cabela’s store openings; managing inventory of KA swag, and curating the KA Wall of Fame.
In recent years she’s found her calling as champion of our Cosential CRM resource, taking charge of consolidating project data from multiple offices and multiple platforms; and tailoring the resource to our needs as our knowledge center for historical project data, customer relationship history and other vital records. We value Natalie’s leadership and dedication.” – Al Gerhardt, President and COO, Kraus-Anderson Construction Company
JAY VANDER LEEST, Director of Safety, KA Construction.
“Jay initially joined KA Insurance as safety coordinator before coming over to the construction side. Everything Jay does for KA is driven by his priority of keeping our greatest assets- our people- safe. His active leadership and advocacy have helped us grow and uphold our construction safety performance as one of the best in the nation, over more than two decades of KA’s almost continuous growth and over a million worker hours annually.
Jay’s performance reflects KA’s commitment to valuing people. He has been instrumental in continuing to improve the safety culture at KACC through safety policy development, education, training, inspection and implementation. He and his team are hard-wired to do everything possible to make sure everybody goes home to their families at the end of the day.
We are grateful for your commitment and dedication, Jay.” –Al Gerhardt, President and COO, Kraus-Anderson Construction Company
TOM REUDER, Vice President, Sales, KA Insurance
“Tom joined KA as a Marketing Specialist, designing coverages for clients programs and finding the right Carrier to write the coverage. He did this well, gaining respect of Producers and our Carriers; and in 1996 moved into Direct Sales, building an impressive book of business, weighted towards construction, but also diversified into large property and senior care facilities.
In 1997 as Don Kuplic, a long term KAINS producer of large commercial accounts announced his retirement, we began a slow and thoughtful transfer of Don’s clients to Tom. Because of Tom’s solid approach that transfer was made and even today we enjoy a 99% retention rate of Don original accounts. By 2003 as Mark Kampf’s book had grown to be larger than one person could handle, Tom was promoted to Assistant Vice President Sales and he teamed up with Mark to manage some of our agencies largest and most complex clients. In 2013, with the increasing diversity of business handled by KA Insurance, we did not want our construction expertise to become diluted, so we promoted Tom to VP and put him in charge of recruiting staff and creating our first dedicated practice, the Construction unit. In 2017, Tom began to take on additional duties as Sales Manager. Tom has been my trusted advisor for many years, and as his career path reflects, he has filled many important roles as we have developed KA Insurance. Each time Tom has been called upon, he has shown the dedication it takes to succeed. ” – Dennis Diessner, Executive Vice President and COO, KA Insurance
The following employees were recognized for achieving additional Silver Service milestones:
For 35 Years:
VINCE CRUZ, KA Construction
BARRY DAHLIN, KA Construction
DENNIS DIESSNER, KA Insurance
DOUG JANDRO, KA Construction
MARGARET MEIER, KA Construction
KATHY LUNDQUIST, KA Companies
For 40 Years:
CHRIS DOKKEN, KA Construction
CHERYL GERDE, KA Construction
For 50 Years:
DAN ENGELSMA, KA Companies
“Congratulations again to tonight’s honorees, and congratulations to all our Silver Service employees,” said Bruce Engelsma.
“You have stayed with KA through countless challenges, successes, and efforts, day in, day out, giving our clients, our business partners and our co-workers the best you have to give. Your outstanding performance and positive outlook upholds our legacy of excellence and sets an example to KA’s younger and newer employees. We greatly appreciate all that you do.”View Comments