Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Clash of the Titans

The following is a recap (from 2010) of a DBIA Midwest presentation at the Engineers Club on Lindell in St. Louis.  



Clash of the Titans.
August 18, 2010
By Wesley A. Morgan

Having worked for both Bob Clark (Clayco) and Fred Kummer (HBE) as corporate communicagtions director and Vice President of Marketing, respectively, I could not resist the opportunity to see a breakfast panel presentation that included those two giants of the industry along with another guy from Burns & McDonnell (of whom I was not familiar). The event was to be presented by the DBIA-Mid America chapter at the Engineer’s Club on Lindell.

The Design Build Institute of America, Mid America chapter is ramping up its presence in St. Louis. It’s no secret that the fully integrated approach to architecture, engineering and construction has deep roots in this region with a dozen top contractors and an army of others calling this part of the world home.

Fred Kummer was in unusually good form and quite gracious. Sure he had a few clumbsy sentences and his microphone wasn’t working all too well for him, but the room of maybe 150 people didn’t seem to mind. Bob Clark flanked the Burns & McDonnell panelist stage left and FSK flanked him to the right. Bob is always witty and charming and today was no different. The rivals have had exchanges from time to time involving business and personnel, but the format of a “Legends of the Industry” panel brought out the best in all three panelists. Naturally I was focused on Fred and Bob.    

There was agreement that Design-Build was a good project delivery method for any project. Fred stressed his focus on adding value. “There are people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing,” Fred pointed out adding, “HBE sometimes has a tremendous amount invested in a project up front. We think that is as it should be.” Bob Clark suggested that some owner partnership should include both having investment up front. He also stressed that while he admires Fred Kummer’s business model, his is completely different. (Clayco’s offering includes site selection, real estate expertise and a span of business units. Clayco selects projects carefully from hundreds of opportunities his firm hears of in the course of business each day. HBE has moved away from the hotel business, financial facilities and medical office buildings to be more narrowly focused on Hospital campuses, not the more broad term Healthcare. )

Bob talked about a big project, a plant in Midland, MI for manufacturing batteries for DOW. Fred talked about a $300 Million dollar Kaiser Permanente project that involved a difficult location in Los Angeles and the challenges of working with OSHPD regulators in California.

Fred brought up his early beginnings with a donut shop and a car wash. Bob talked about scary water leak in a project locally that in the end stressed the quality of the building’s design. (Fortunately, he added, the engineering and design of this project contained the problem with minimal damage.) 

Both Fred and Bob got their share of laughs but neither at the other’s expense. Only gentle jabs and polite references to their differences. The Burns & McDonnell guy was kind enough to provide perspective and was actually a great bridge between Bob and Fred. 
The hour and a half flew by and remarkably the great men shared the venue pretty evenly. David Miller of HERA did a commendable job as moderator and the DBIA-Mid America chapter will have a tough time topping this one.

# # #

Wesley A. Morgan is founder and Principal of Morgan Studio/East, a firm designed to help companies with planning and execution of effective marketing communications. He is author of Plan. Design. Execute. which is available at www.morganstudioeast.com For More Information Contact: Wesley A. Morgan, 2 Glenmaro Lane, Town & Country, MO 63131 (314) 692-7982 Cell (314) 488-9430, e-mail morganwes@aol.com

Partial list of those in attendance (some spelling issues here, for sure): Harold Allen (RIMKUS), Bob Clark, Kirk Wardan, Fred Jaekle, Mitch Miller, Gary Meier, Bryant Conant, Tom Lombardo, Paul Barrath, Pat Moriarty (Clayco Concrete Strategies), Jerry Petry, Rick Schaefer, Fisk (Alberici), Ron Unterienner, Scott Zola, Dave Miller…A clash of my worlds to see so many HBE and Clayuco alums.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

HBE Spring Break #3



Chapter 36 – part 5 of 5 (Florida Spring Break ’08)

Belly Dancing at the Bed and Breakfast outside Sioux City, Iowa The truth is stranger than fiction. In the van, coming back from dinner one night, Koester, George, Frank and I tried not to listen in on Brad as he was consoling his wife who was with a girlfriend, her sister and another girl on a trip that included belly dancing lessons. They found a place advertised as a bed and breakfast outside Sioux City, Iowa. We couldn’t help eavesdropping. “Linda, it’s probably just squirrels. They are probably as frightened of you as you are of them. They won’t come in the house….Well why don’t you call the guy you rented the place from?….How much did you pay for this place anyway?...Well, if you are really worried….Is there a motel nearby? …” The four women were mortified to be in a rented cabin, at night, in the middle of Iowa and hearing scraping below the floorboards of the house. Brad was doing his best to calm his wife. But finally caved to the pressure of the moment. “Dr. Morgan wants to know if you all have had your rabies shots.” “You asshole, CLICK” The helplessness of the situation, the Dr. Morgan joke and the efforts to keep the snickers under control exploded at that point. By the time Linda called back, the girls were laughing too. “We are gonna set a trap with bon bons…it’s all we have…We scared them away with our finger cymbals…they’re heading for the hills ….” Needless to say the girls survived the night and we were back on the golf course by morning.

HBE Spring Break #2


Chapter 36 – part 3 of 5 Back at the frat house.(Florida Spring Break ’08)
Bob Koester and his wife Laura were good enough to purchase a vacation home in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown. The pad is newly furnished and ready for the expatriates to crash between rounds. Such a deal. Frank and Jack started this golf getaway tradition with a trip to Lou Cipolla’s place in West Palm Beach, Florida ten years ago (Trains Planes and Automobiles). Now the posse includes me. (Back for year two.) “A beautiful picture.” says Frank. “I think I will take a picture of that wet towel hangin’ on the lampshade and send it to Laura” (Bob’s wife). “And maybe she’d like to see this sink full of dishes too (mostly glasses)” he adds. Frank is teasing of course. What can you expect with a house full of unsupervised guys – even if they are all adults ranging from 50 to post retirement age? Linda might enjoy the tin foil ash tray overflowing with cigar ashes and butts too. Not to mention the sight of sleeping accommodations of the nightly snore fest from Thursday through Sunday. Frank and Wayne share a room and both have breathing apparatus that make the room sound like an iron lung. Bob is sharing the master bedroom with George. Brad and I are in the guest room. Charlie has the couch and Mitch brought his own air mattress for the living room floor.

Chapter 36 – part 4 or 5 Ow Ow Ow (Florida Spring Break ’08)
It can happen to anyone. Bob slammed Mitch’s fingers in the door of the rented mini-van. “Ow Ow Ow.” Mitch can’t articulate what’s happened to him and it takes Bob a full three seconds to open the door so he can shake off the pain and shock of the mishap. It happened before he had a chance to hit a single golf ball off his new Taylormade knock-off clubs he purchased on e-Bay. Mitch was flexing his fingers and practicing his interlocking grip on an imaginary golf club all night hoping he’d be in playing shape by morning.

“Ow Ow Ow” brought fits of laughter everytime. It was a good device to bridge the gaps between laughs. Mitch is Frank’s favorite foil. “We went to the pool and Mitch was like Steve Wonder over here….with his head rocking back and fourth with the earphones…and playing air piano…He looked like a special child….and everyone at the pool moved away thinking he was retarded…” the routine turns into a fictional scenario set on the plane ride back home. “What’s a matter with Mitch? …somebody shoved an iPod up his ass…” This and other jabs. Frank hit Mitch a little below the belt too. Mitch would have totting Together Marketing Communications Based on Lifelong Learning (So Far) in West Palm Beach, Florida ten years ago (Trains Planes and Automobiles). Now the posse includes me. (Back for year two.) “A beautiful picture.” says Frank. “I think I will take a picture of that wet towel hangin’ on the lampshade and send it to Laura” (Bob’s wife). “And maybe she’d like to see this sink full of dishes too (mostly glasses)” he adds. Frank is teasing of course. What can you expect with a house full of unsupervised guys – even if they are all adults ranging from 50 to post retirement age? Linda might enjoy the tin foil ash tray overflowing with cigar ashes and butts too. Not to mention the sight of sleeping accommodations of the nightly snore fest from Thursday through Sunday. Frank and Wayne share a room and both have breathing apparatus that make the room sound like an iron lung. Bob is sharing the master bedroom with George. Brad and I are in the guest room. Charlie has the couch and Mitch brought his own air mattress for the living room floor. get another Coor’s Light to give him enough time to think of a comeback. But Frank would only make it more personal before the comedy was suspended for the evening. 

HBE Spring Break #1


Chapter 36 part 1 of 5 Florida Spring Break 2008

HBE expatriates gone wild. 
Jack Kennedy (host),  Wayne Zimmerman, Mary Ann Kennedy, George Ryll, Frank Cipolla, Mitch Miller, Wes Morgan, Charlie Lee, Brad Heinze, Bob Koester, 

Provisions A ten-year tradition has some cadence to it. Bob is graciously opening his house to the gang but his hospitality doesn’t end there. He’s the advance man. Arriving early, he does the grocery shopping for the crew. Just important stuff. A giant bottle of Crown Royal for Charlie. (Ed likes Crown too, but he’s out on doctor’s orders this year). Vodka for George. Captain Morgan Coconut Bay Rum for Frankie, Beer, oreo cookies, potato chips, and donuts for breakfast and coffee. Soap didn’t occur to anyone – so that became a separate mission.

Tee Times Jack Kennedy retired to The Villages more than five years ago. He has the rules of engagement down to a science when it comes to tee-times. I’m afraid my brother’s “no show” for Saturday morning might have cost him 3 points. (The computer system at The Villages will mark you lousy if you abuse your privileges.) Still, well in advance we had a plan for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning rounds. Afternoon rounds for the golf junkies (I count myself among them) would have to made closer to intended tee times. (Wayne’s cheat sheet with phone numbers came in handy for this drill. And Charlie has the right temperament to negotiate with the seniors who typically work the pro shops at The Villages.) Arnold Palmer Legends, Cane Garden Country Club, Hacienda Hills, Baseline (the short course), Glenview Country Club, Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf Course, and Tierra del Sol. Seven rounds in four days.

Chapter 36 – part 2 of 5 Mind if I stand back here? (Florida Spring Break ’08)

Brad is starting his swing routine. He’s been around the game since childhood. In fact, he grew up on a golf course in South County, before it was fashionable to buy property adjacent to a golf course. He learned how to play with balls he was able to shag from the rough, out of bounds and skimming the bottom of a shallow water hazard behind his house. Today he hits the balls a long way and every hole is a par or birdie opportunity. “Mind if I stand back here?” asks Wayne from directly behind Brad on the tee box. “No, you’re fine.” Mumbles Brad trying not to break his concentration. “Huh?” “No, You’re fine” “Okay, ‘cause it’s easier for me to see where the ball goes from back here and…” THWACK! Brad’s ball travels with an easy draw right to left, carries the traps and comes to rest about 290 yards on the left side of the fairway. “Wow, good shot.” says Wayne. “Good Shot.” says Wes. “Way to go, Brad.” Adds Charlie. But Charlie knows this is typical of Brad and he also knows that on a good day he can give Brad a run for his money. Since Brad works for Charlie (Drury Inns), they’re playing partners. Brad, Charlie, Wayne and Wes are a foursome at the Lopez Legacy Golf Course at The Villages – Florida’s Friendliest Hometown. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Peace Love Happiness


Peace Love and Happiness
In the face of so much danger
A little bit of sadness
You could never rearrange

(Chorus)
Peace and calmness
Love a bit of tenderness
Find the Joy and rest
A little bit of Happiness

The warmth in your space
Rhythm and Blues giving  
Cocoa by the fireplace
In a family home living

                                    (Chorus)

Hot Hot Hot food for thought
Laughing and Sledding in real time
Too many Toys - all that you bought
But what we got is yours and mine

                                    (Chorus)

Give a little of what you have most
Peace Love and Happiness
The more you give the more you receive
In this simple truth - you gotta believe

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Haunted House Party

The cauldron bubbles,
The guest list doubles,
The full moon rising,
The results are surprising.

Someone screams.
Myles smiles at a Vampire Bat.
Bones rattle in the dungeon downstairs.
A black crow lands on a mummy’s head.

Luke, Charlie, John-Paul, Eli
Are pondering the the living dead.
It’s All Hallow’s eve,
and a big pumpkin pie,

A witch’s brew,
and a vampire stew.
A candy corn dish at the door.
Frankenstein monster on the dance floor.

Ghosts, goblins,
skeletons evermore.
This is the time of freight,
Scary monsters in the night.

The haunted house rattling bones,
Consolation – they are not alone.
Pumpkin light on with a switch,
Spider lands - causes a twitch.

In flew a Vampire Bat,
Freightening Diamond’s skittish black cat.
John-Paul’s mummy was there too,
As were Lily, Kass, Luke and Lou.

A bash of the season,
Without any reason.
Gobbling Goblins Ghosts.
Trip’s party is always the most.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

To an angel’s baby boy


Remember this little man:
The world may revolve around you;
But there is just so much you need to know;
Appropriate as you learn and grow.

Welcome to the world, and…
Eat, sleep and do what you do.
But for now, you simply must understand;
Mommy law is the law of the land.

You will listen. You will learn;
Boy, you know it from the start;
She cares for you every step of the way;.
She’ll goes to bat for you every single day;

Baby, toddler, tween, teen, adult…
She learned from the best before you got your start.
Look out teachers, tutors, coaches, potential bullys!
Toes to your nose --- your mom loves you so so so fully.