Blacks Run Trash Pick Up

Harman is proud of Wayne Witmer and his sons for their service work with the Tenth Legion 4-H Club in the Blacks Run Cleanup day on Saturday. Volunteers, in total, picked up 2 tons worth of litter. More can be read about this service effort here in the DNR article (https://goo.gl/IWK2wA).

Veteran Nancy Bowers Shares Her Thoughts

Harman employee and Veteran, Nancy Bowers, shares her thoughts on Veterans Day.

Team Spotlight – Wayne Witmer

Here at Harman we are privileged to have such a great team of people working for our clients. Once a month we highlight one of our team members so that you can get to know them a little bit better.

Wayne Witmer

This month the spotlight falls on Wayne Witmer – President and COO –    Wayne Witmer has been with Harman Construction for the past 26 years.  He provides day to day support and leadership to the overall teams at Harman Construction as well providing needed resource so that each team has what they need to be effective for each and every client Harman serves.

What have been some of your favorite projects with Harman? Why?

One of my favorites would have to be the various projects for Eastern Mennonite University.  They are an excellent organization to work with from start to finish, which makes for a wonderful and solid partnership through each project we work on together.  Of particular interest for me was the building and completion of the University Commons.

Another project that I really enjoyed was the RMH Cancer Center and Medical Office Building in Harrisonburg.  Not only  was it a large project with an an aggressive schedule, but being able to work and support an organization that is doing so many great things in and for our community has been wonderful.

What have you come to appreciate and value about working with the team at Harman?

Each team member brings strengths to the table.  Those strengths help to balance out the team as a whole.  Here at Harman our people are a wonderful mix of visionaries, dreamers and detailed oriented personalities.  Mixing all those strengths really helps our teams bring the very best to the table for our clients day in and day out.  They are an outstanding group of folks that value team over personal goals and it shows in how well our teams work together here at Harman.

What other life experience have you had that helps you in your job today?

I come from a large family where we had to learn to work together and have a mutual give and take in our relationships, both in day to day life as well as in the family business that has spanned the last 75 years.  My dad is a wonderful role model, teaching us how to treat others, how to be strong in our faith and how to run a strong business together.

Outside your Harman work, what other things do you enjoy in your down-time?

I love being involved in my kids activities and in various roles and connections with my church family.  I also enjoy travel, golf, music, history and Cleveland sports teams.

To read Wayne Witmer’s full bio or to contact him – Click Here

Team Spotlight – Mary Ann Blizzard

Here at Harman we are privileged to have such a great team of people working for our clients. Once a month we highlight one of our team members so that you can get to know them a little bit better.

Mary Ann Blizzard

This month the spotlight falls on Mary Ann Blizzard – Accounting/Project Cordinator.   Mary Ann has been with Harman Construction for the past 16 years. She originally started working 2 days a week in the accounting department then went full time in the Construction department and is now in the Accounting department as Accounting/Project Coordinator.

What is your role at Harman?

I am the Accounting/Project Coordinator, working specifically with the Harman accounting department and our project managers. My responsibilities include, processing invoices, reconciling subcontracts with committed cost, and coordinating payments to Subcontractors in conjunction with Owner payments. When needed, I also fill-in for our Staff Accountant doing Accounts Payable, our Accounting Coordinator doing  Payroll, and our Project Coordinator doing billing & contracts.

What has been one of your favorite projects with Harman? Why?

While I am not on the job specifically, I do enjoy seeing the completed projects in and around our hometown.  I particularly like the Dairy Queen Harman constructed.  It has a wonderful retro and old time feel to it.  As I drive around town, I take pride in the projects Harman has constructed and completed, knowing that I had a hand in that process.

What have you come to appreciate and value about working with the team at Harman?

I have great co-workers and just an amazing team of people to work with at Harman.  I also love that this job allows me to work and meet so many new people, from sub-contractors, vendors and clients.

What other life experience have you had that helps you in your job today?

Before I came to Harman I worked in a supervisory role.  I believe that role helped me hone my skills in working with a team and learning to pay close attention to detail.

Outside your Harman work, what other things do you enjoy in your down-time?

I enjoy spending time with my family & love watching my Grandchildren’s sporting events which keep me busy year-round. I also enjoy scrapbooking, camping, volleyball, corn hole, croquet, car shows and  traveling. My favorite place to visit & vacation is Hawaii.

To read Mary Ann’s full bio or to contact her – Click Here

Team Member Spotlight – Seth Lind

Here at Harman we are privileged to have such a great team of people working for our clients. Once a month we will be highlighting one of our team members so that you can get to know them a little bit better.

Seth Lind Harman Construction

This month the spotlight falls on Seth Lind – Senior Project Manager at Harman Construction.

What is your role at Harman?

My role as a Senior Project Manager is to organize, schedule and control fieldwork in order to get projects completed within time and cost limitations. I manage change orders, budgets, payment requests, progress schedules and submittals. I am also the primary contact person between the general contractor and the owner and its representatives.

What has been one of your favorite projects with Harman? Why?

I am very proud of the finished product at EMU Suter Science Center. Harman has a long history with Eastern Mennonite University and they are an excellent owner to work for. They get as much use out of their facilities as possible before they renovate, so the building was more than ready for a facelift when we started work.  It was exciting to see the contrast between the previous condition of the facility and outdated technology, and then to see the difference after the renovation was finished.  It was such a stark contrast and it is hard not to be proud of how it turned out.

What have you come to appreciate and value about working with the team at Harman?

I am very proud of our project management team. Gary McBride is an excellent Operations Director who understands how to manage projects and how to work through difficulties project managers and superintendents face on a daily basis. We have an solid group of managers that bring a variety of different skill sets to our jobs. We are constantly sharing ideas and solving problems within our projects by using the experiences we have each faced in the past.

Outside your Harman work, what other things do you enjoy in your down-time?

My wife, Theresa, and I have two daughters who are 7 and 4. As any parent knows, their activities keep us pretty busy. I love the time I am able to spend with them.  My favorite way to unwind is by getting out on my motorcycle. I also like to golf, hunt and fish.

What other life experience have you had that helps you in your job today?

I think my experience working in the field makes me a more valuable project manager. I have done everything from general labor, to carpentry, to being a field manager. Beyond the valuable construction knowledge I gained through that experience, it also helps me to relate to the experiences of our field personnel.

To read Seth’s full bio or to contact him – Click Here

Team Member Spotlight – John Bazan

Here at Harman we are privileged to have such a great team of people working for our clients. Once a month we will be highlighting one of our team members so that you can get to know them a little bit better.

This month the spotlight falls on John Bazan – Safety Director at Harman Construction.  

John Bazan - Safety Director

John Bazan – Safety Director

How long have you been with Harman and what role do you serve?

I have been with Harman Construction for the last ten years and serve as the Safety Director.  My role is to make sure our men and sub-contractors are staying safe on all of our job sites.  I also manage a safety team that consists of our job superintendents.  They help me make sure we are staying safe and abiding by current OSHA rules and regulations.   

What have you come to appreciate/value about working on the team at Harman? 

I really appreciate how well the guys on the field work together.  They understand what it takes to get the job done and they really come together as a team.  Having team players who are open to one another’s ideas and to the ebb and flow of the job is important. They really mesh together well and it makes a huge difference on each job.

What other life experience have you had that helps you in your job today?

I think the missions trip I took to Haiti, leading a team and working with many different people helps me in my day to day work.  When you spend time working with people in a mission setting, you learn about teamwork and meshing together to complete a common task or goal.  I also think I’m a rather personable person and they say I can talk to anyone.  That comes in handy when working with our clients and Harman team members.

Why do you think potential clients should consider working with Harman? 

We work hard to give the best quality product and job to each of our customers.  The end result matters and it’s important that we arrive at the completion of a project safely for our staff and clients.

Outside of Harman, what other things do you enjoy in your down-time.

I love to spend time with my wife.  We enjoy camping together and I love to ride my motorcycle.  We also love spending time with our boys when they come into town.

To read John’s full bio or to contact him – Click Here.

Team Member Spotlight – Zack Fletchall

Here at Harman we are privileged to have such a great team of people working for our clients. Once a month we will be highlighting one of our team members so that you can get to know them a little bit better.

Zach Fletchall

This month the spotlight falls on our LEED AP, Project Executive – Zack Fletchall

Zack joined Harman in 2011 bringing his love and knowledge of building construction to our team.  After winning a Lego building contest at age four, it’s no surprise Zack grew up to complete a degree in building construction from Virginia Tech.  Active in the industry, Zack currently sits on the executive committee for the AGCVA Valley District and has previously served the USGBC’s SWVA chapter as both vice chair and chair.

Here are a couple questions we asked Zack about his own experience at Harman and what he believes makes Harman a great place to work and a great company to do business with:

What has been one of your favorite projects with Harman? Why?

One of my favorite projects has been Generations Park in Bridgewater.  As both an ice hockey fan and player, it’s exciting to be getting an ice surface here in the Valley.  It is also exciting what it will bring to the area community.

I also really enjoyed watching the project for Dick’s Sporting Goods in Harrisonburg take shape.  It was a fast paced project and really neat to see come together so quickly.

What have you come to appreciate/value about working on team at Harman?

There are several things I appreciate about working here – The people, Haman’s strong corporate values and the level of expertise are what continue to make it an enjoyable and rewarding place to work.

Outside your Harman work, what other things do you enjoy in your down-time.

Enjoying time my family, especially outdoors.  This summer we spent a lot of time at the pool, the park, bike riding and visits to the zoo.

What other life experience have you had that helps you in your job today?

Over the past 15 years I have worked on wide variety of projects with many different clients.  I would say that there are aspects from each of those experiences that are used on a daily basis.

To read Zack’s full bio or to contact him – Click Here.

Aggressive Schedule, Quality Construction & Competitive Pricing… How to Get All 3! (Part 3)

Harman-Construction-Day-1-1116 w logoThere is an old saying in our industry that you can deliver a construction project with one or two of the following qualities but not all three:

  • Aggressive schedule
  • Quality construction
  • Competitive pricing

At Harman Construction we think it is possible to do all three but not without careful planning and a project that is set up for success right from the start.  In this blog post I will address the 3rd quality on the list – competitive pricing.

We are fortunate that most of our clients are repeat customers or referrals from previous customers.  The common theme is that they want quality and they want a contractor they trust to do the project right.  However, Competitive pricing is a must for any project.  In some cases our customers need to be in budget for corporate or board approval.  In others cases it is simply to get the best value for the dollar.  In any case our job at Harman is ensuring that the numbers are right.

I believe the following points are key to making sure competitive pricing is delivered.

  • Finding the right subcontractors.  It takes a little extra time and effort to make sure the right team is in place but we work very hard to make sure we find and develop subs that are right sized to fit our customers needs.
  • Delivering good clear well written bid documents or clarifications.  When the bid package is sloppy or unclear then less bids will be received and higher contingencies will be included.
  • Adequate time is given for bid completion.  Time is needed to check for errors and inconsistencies.  It is also critical because if not enough time is given for the bid process then less bids will be received.  Less bids can likely mean higher overall numbers from subs.
  • The GC (General Contractor) needs to treat subs and suppliers fairly and pay them well.  We learned long ago that treating our sub team members with respect will help us in the long run.  If we are consistently difficult to work with and don’t pay our bills promptly, then we will not get the best pricing from our team members.
  • Efficient scheduling and operational strategic thinking.  General conditions can be very expensive.  We work hard to make sure that our operations team can provide input on how to layer a schedule to reduce time.  Also sequencing strategies that could reduce equipment or safety costs are very important.

At the end of the day it all comes down to planning well for success and finding the right team members to help us carry out the plan.  Companies that don’t plan, or uncover details, end up throwing extra cushion in their pricing for fear of missing something.

So, it is possible to have all three –  quality, schedule and pricing – But it doesn’t happen by accident.  It starts with picking the right team and taking the time to build a plan that works for success.

This business can be a lot of fun when team members are pulling in the same direction and the clients’ goals are met.   We look forward to helping many more of our customers as we ”Deliver all three” now and into the future.

Wayne Witmer

President & COO

Team Member Spotlight – Jim Ellinger

Here at Harman we are privileged to have such a great team of people working for our clients. Once a month we will be highlighting one of our team members so that you can get to know them a little bit better.

Jim Ellinger

This month the spotlight falls on our Design-Build Manager – Jim Ellinger

Jim joined Harman in 1988.  His past experience working for a civil engineer and a pre-cast factory gave him the groundwork and tools for working with Harman as a design-build manger.

Here are a couple questions we asked Jim about his own experience at Harman and what he believes makes Harman a great place to work and a great company to do business with:

What has been one of your favorite projects with Harman? Why?
  • I have been with Harman for 27 years so it’s a little hard to pinpoint just one project.  However, a couple of key projects stick out in my mind: Rockingham Eye Associates (My very first project), Valley Pediatrics in Verona, the churches we have worked with over the years and the industrial project with Merck.  Every one of these projects have had something unique about them and it has been exciting to work with the clients and see their dreams become reality through our work.
What have you come to appreciate/value about working on team at Harman? 
  • I appreciate the effort that each team member puts into each project that we do.  As a design-build team we work hard to listen to our clients and really become the client.  When we understand at that level, it makes bringing a project together successful.  While we may work as individual teams – from sales, to design-build, to estimating, to the crews on the ground – working together we can accomplish the goals of our clients.
  • I also appreciate the strong work ethic our teams display and the Christian atmosphere here at Harman.  No matter how stressful the job may get we know we can rely on our team members to support us and even pray with us if we have that need.
Outside your Harman work, what other things do you enjoy in your down-time.
  • My wife and I love to camp.  We love to take the weekend, load up our two rescue dogs and head out.  We spend time walking and just sharing life together.  Other than camping, anyone that knows me knows that I love to bowl.  I’ve been bowling for 46 years, been all over the US for tournaments – sometimes on a team but also as an individual competitor on the Amateur Bowling Circuit.  My dad introduced me to the game at 16 and I’ve been bowling ever since.  I have one friend who has been bowling with me for 40 years, same day, same time every week.  I love to bowl.
What other life experience have you had that helps you in your job today?
  • Before I came to Harman I went to work for a Civil Engineer.  It was my first job out of college.  I didn’t know anything about civil engineering, but over the course of my 10 years there I learned a wealth of knowledge that has contributed to my success at Harman as a design-build manager.  I also spent 1 1/2 years working at a pre-cast factory in Waynesboro prior to Harman.  Both jobs helped to build my skills, especially in reading site plans, which is a critical part of my job today.

To read Jim’s full bio or to contact him – Click Here.