Case Studies Region: Midwest

Weyen Burnam – StorageMart

So what do you do when rain ruins a day in the sun on South Padre Island in Texas? Start a chain of self-storage facilities. That’s how StorageMart was founded by Gordon Burnam, recalls his grandson, Weyen Burnam. While exploring the island with his family, Gordon struck up a conversation with the owner of a […]

Aaron Hammer – Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital & Clinics

Hillsboro, Wisconsin, a community with a population of 1,400, holds many memories for Aaron Hammer. He grew up in what’s sometimes called the Czech capital of the state, a small, rural area wedged snuggly between rivers and woodland in the beautiful hill country of southwestern Wisconsin. And now, Hammer’s working there, doing his best to […]

Achour Odicho – Verano Holdings

When Achour Odicho took a break from college to intern at an architecture firm, his plans didn’t go as he’d imagined. The internship bored him, and he left when he saw an ad seeking a freelance designer for a cannabis company. He spent the next two years working remotely on license applications. From there, Odicho […]

Carleton Knotts – Intalere

The pandemic notwithstanding, it always helps to walk the premises and meet the decision-makers. Carleton Knotts did just that this past December at a small rural hospital undergoing renovations in the Texas Panhandle. Director of energy, construction and facility management for the group purchasing organization Intalere, Knotts was in the Lone Star State to advise […]

William Colby – Lincoln Property Company

He’s the kind who’d rather repair than replace. There’s always something worth keeping in an old building, William Colby is wont to say. Not only does it save his employer and property owners money, it may also be easier to maintain than some new gadget that can’t be readily installed in a legacy system. Nowadays, […]

Jennifer Van Horn – Toledo Zoo

Hard to believe, but 13,000 years ago, Ohio’s landscape was dotted with mastodons, giant sloths and prehistoric lions moseying around what is now the shores of Lake Erie. Toledo residents can now glimpse into that rare window of the world through Toledo Zoo’s ProMedica Museum of Natural History, says Jennifer Van Horn, the Toledo Zoo’s […]

Warren Byrd – KAR Global

Picture this: You’ve spent the last 10 years selling cars for one of the world’s largest automotive marketplaces. Now that you’ve learned the ropes, you’re ready to try your hand in the biz. Starting with your very own used car dealership. Where do you get your cars? What are your options? You might visit a […]

Mike Emerson – Elmhurst University

Patience isn’t a virtue to Mike Emerson. At least not while carrying out his duties as executive director of facilities management at Elmhurst University, a private liberal arts school in suburban Chicago and affiliate of the United Church of Christ. “We only have our students for four years,” the otherwise congenial Emerson emphasizes during a […]

Josh Schaffer – City of Saint Charles School District

On one hand, 2020 was about keeping up with day-to-day developments; on the other, planning for an uncertain future. Director of Facilities Josh Schaffer and his crew at the City of St. Charles School District in Missouri started planning for the worst—then hustled to make the best out of a tough situation. “About the time […]

Bruce Meyer – Rush Copley Medical Center

Most six-year-olds spend their days playing with toys or watching Paw Patrol, Odd Squad or SpongeBob SquarePants. It was different for Bruce Meyer. As a young child growing up in rural Illinois, Meyer would sit at a small table with paper, a pencil and a ruler, drawing his family’s house. He’d re-imagine the floorplan so […]

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