Arizona’s Buesing Corp. celebrates 55 years of industry expertise and solid teamwork
Buesing Corp., a specialty civil contracting firm based in Phoenix, is ringing in the new decade by celebrating 55 years of thriving business. When it comes to describing the company’s origins and unique success story, its motto of “Simply the Best” is rather fitting.
A Business Owner’s Unique Outlook
Owner and CEO Jerry Buesing still remains active in the company he launched in 1965 at the age of 21, with just two material transport trucks and a Cat 950 loader to get his small operation off the ground. His hard work, perseverance and industry savvy have been instrumental in Buesing Corp.’s evolution into a large, award-winning, high-achieving firm. However, Jerry believes the best business approach is to hire people who are smarter, more talented and more experienced than himself—and then empower them with the support and resources necessary to excel in their job roles.
“This is one of the first things he tells new hires!” says Kevin Somerville, an 18-year veteran of the company who recently transitioned from his longtime role as Vice President of Business Development to Vice President/General Manager of Recycling. Kevin is part of an executive leadership team strategically chosen to help Jerry run day-to-day operations. Other members of this inner circle include President/COO Bryon Matesi, CFO/Vice President Ken Zinser, Vice President of Construction Bob Pettit, and Vice President of Estimating/Business Development Bill Kelton.
“I could not be more proud of my leadership team,” Jerry affirms. “Each of these individuals has championed the growth and success of Buesing Corp. over the years. As Buesing celebrates its 55th year in 2020, our leaders continue to support our employees’ strengths while also strengthening our position with our safety culture and training program. We are also focused on continuing to gain customer confidence in our industry.”
With an employee roster of approximately 240, Buesing Corp. is one of the largest contractors of its kind in the state. Despite its size, there exists a close-knit culture more akin to that of a smaller firm, where camaraderie and mutual respect support positive interpersonal relationships and employee productivity.
Jerry’s passion for his business translates to genuine care and consideration for employees, which has always been his main priority, according to Kevin. “Jerry’s always been the kind of individual who will go out of his way to shake an employee’s hand and say, ‘Good job. Thank you for what you do,’ ” he shares. “He’s always showing gratitude, and that really goes a long way with our team members. You don’t always have to spend money to run a great business—sometimes you just need to spend some kindness.”
Jerry’s unique and uplifting leadership style has not gone unnoticed by customers, competitors or the community. Most recently, he was recognized by AzBusiness Leaders magazine for being one of the most influential and innovative business leaders in Arizona in 2019, out of a pool of more than 5,000 candidates from various industries. This is the fourth time in the last 15 years that Jerry has been acknowledged by the publication.
Employee Longevity—a Key Differentiator
While the company’s longevity is impressive, the tenure of many of its employees is equally remarkable. “While many factors have supported our company’s longevity and positive reputation—diversity in the market sectors we serve, our services and our experience—the tenure of our employees is certainly one of our key differentiators,” Kevin confirms.
For instance, earlier this year the staff hosted a retirement party for an employee who had spent 31 years at Buesing Corp. Kevin tells of another worker who has served 32 years, and five others who have invested 24 years of service. The list goes on and on. Employees who join Buesing Corp. generally tend to stick around for 10, 20, 30 years or more.
Appreciation for employees is shown in a variety of ways—from competitive salaries and full medical benefits, to 401(k) plans with 2% employer matching, to spring picnics and annual Christmas parties, to employee appreciation gifts and bonuses, to safety awards.
“Employees are our most valuable assets,” Kevin emphasizes. Investing in company initiatives that build up and support these dedicated, loyal individuals is the natural choice for Buesing Corp.
“We’ve always had a company culture that is appealing to the outside world,” he adds. “It’s not just that we’re a reputable company with great resources and expertise. People hear of how we take care of our employees and how we provide opportunities for them to showcase their talents, skills and knowledge. We also strive to expand employees’ horizons by helping them reach their professional goals, whether that’s through mentorship or training or by providing experiences that bolster their work engagement.”
This, in turn, fosters a positive work culture that elevates care and professionalism toward customers. “Our customers recognize and appreciate our team’s high level of professionalism, whether it pertains to customer service, billing, estimating, project management, etc. It speaks to the fact that we’re hiring the right people and training them the right way. We are very proud of how people perceive us,” Kevin says.
Diverse Capabilities and Expertise
With broad expertise in an array of market sectors and an impressive portfolio of high-profile and complex projects, Buesing Corp. has established a well-known reputation for innovation and problem-solving.
Buesing Corp.’s far-reaching capabilities have yielded countless referrals and much repeat business across multiple states. While the organization’s bread-and-butter projects consist mainly of basements and below-grade garages, the team offers a plethora of services including clearing and grubbing, mass excavation and grading, concrete and asphalt recycling, structural excavation, trucking, shoring and earth retention, foundation drilling, soil import and export, aggregates and crushing and screening. To enhance its nimbleness in meeting all variety of project needs, Buesing Corp. cross-trains many of its employees and owns a large, diversified fleet of heavy machinery and equipment.
The firm performs projects primarily in the Arizona metropolitan areas of Phoenix and Tucson, and is also licensed to work in California, Nevada, Colorado, Utah and Texas. Typically, Buesing Corp. handles projects ranging from $750,000 to $3 million, but has performed several jobs exceeding $10 million. Key market sectors include: commercial/mixed-use, residential, multifamily, health care, hospitality, heavy highway, water/wastewater, K-12 education, renewable energy, mining, recycling/waste management, municipal and governmental.
Signature projects in Arizona include the Phoenix Convention Center, the CityScape mixed-use complex in downtown Phoenix, an Arlington Valley solar power plant in Maricopa County, the award-winning Marina Heights project in Tempe (the largest office development in state history), the Apache Sky Casino in Winkelman, and the IDEA. Tempe mixed-use campus near Arizona State University. According to Kevin, these landmark developments have not only had significant impacts in their respective communities—they were also complex builds that benefited from Buesing Corp.’s innovation and project partnering on various levels of design, engineering and construction to support their overall success.
Leading by Example
Industry advocacy is another major focus for the company. Whether it’s pushing for positive legislative changes that benefit the construction community or taking part in initiatives that promote careers in the skilled trades—the management team feels such efforts are both compelling and essential to advancing the industry as a whole.
Kevin gives two examples demonstrating Buesing Corp.’s industry leadership. The first is Build Your Future Arizona, a campaign launched last October by the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is bringing together industry leaders in an effort to build up the skilled craft workforce by increasing awareness about training and career opportunities.
“The Build Your Future Arizona initiative is the third such statewide grassroots initiative in the United States. Buesing Corp. is joining many other general contractors and trade partners to increase awareness about the viable, rewarding, bountiful careers available in construction,” Kevin says, adding, “The initiative is heavily focused on the younger generations, including high school students, and also parents to convince them that the skilled trades are a worthy career option for their children.”
Jerry and others at Buesing Corp. are also involved with the Arizonans for Fair Contracting, which advocates for fair contracting practices. The grassroots organization is supported by trade associations, construction contractors and Arizona residents.
One recent focus was SB 1271, a piece of landmark legislation created to establish proportional liability in residential construction projects in an effort to end unfair, risk-shifting practices that Arizona contractors have struggled with for decades, according to a blog post on the Arizonans for Fair Contracting website. “This bill passed last year and we are appreciative of the efforts of those who championed the legislation,” Kevin comments.
Buesing Corp. would like to encourage other industry professionals and organizations to get involved in Build Your Future Arizona and Arizonans for Fair Contracting. For more details, go online to arizona.byf.org and azfaircontracting.com.
“We would love to see more of our employees involved in these types of initiatives to advance the industry,” Kevin adds. “This would provide another avenue of professional growth while also supporting the construction community in a positive way. This aligns with our corporate value of leadership, which encourages our team members to exercise leadership qualities in their daily work to provide vision and guidance so that others may grow into the leaders of tomorrow.”