Building on great opportunities

Posted on Mar 1, 2018 :: Editor , Editor’s Insights
Margaret LeBrun
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

You don’t often hear about what goes on behind the scenes when a major project is cranking toward completion. The reality is, huge obstacles often land in the path of an ambitious timeline. Sometimes the project is delayed — but that’s simply not the modus operandi for Miron Construction.

Barely a week before the Fox Cities Exhibition Center opened in January, an enormous order of wood panels for the walls of the large gathering space outside the main hall, under construction by Miron, literally landed in the middle of a highway. The Miron marketing team seemed undaunted when they described the challenge to Insight Senior Associate Editor Sean Johnson and me when we met.

Not only did the panels ship several weeks late from the vendor, but that morning the truck transporting them to Appleton was involved in a crash — and the panels, though unscathed, had to be loaded onto a different truck (we were told the driver was OK). It was quite a story, to hear them tell it.

The day before the Jan. 11 public reception for the exhibition center, Sean and I had the chance to sit down with Miron’s leaders, Dave Voss Jr. and Tim Kippenhan for this month’s cover story. The center was still in the throes of completion, and they were candid about the fact that fewer than 24 hours were left on the clock before the ribbon was to be cut. Yet, both were unfazed about whether they would be ready. (OK, maybe they were a little white in the face, but it was January.) Their team was in a full-court press to get ’er done.

Miron always does whatever it takes to get a project done on budget and on time, Voss said, and Kippenhan concurred. When we arrived at the public opening, Miron employees confided that workers were literally putting the finishing touches on the building just before the crowd streamed in. A choir sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and the guests were wowed by the new downtown Appleton landmark.

Marking 100 years this year — as well as reaching $1 billion in revenue for the first time last year — Miron has a lot to celebrate. The Fox Crossing-based construction firm has built many of the most notable major projects in Northeast Wisconsin, including the renovation and expansion of Lambeau Field, the KI Convention Center expansion and the Fox Valley Hematology & Oncology Health & Wellness Center. Recently, Oshkosh Corp. announced Miron would build its new global headquarters.

While the big buildings are awe-inspiring for communities, construction projects of any size pique the interest of economic and commercial developers. They’re keenly aware of the trickle-down effect that spurs opportunity for growth.

With this in mind, check out our special insert in this issue that highlights development projects from throughout the New North region. The section previews Insight’s annual InDevelopment event, set for 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 13 at Lambeau Field. The featured project will be the Titletown District, with a presentation by Ed Policy, chief operating officer and general counsel for the Green Bay Packers. His talk will be preceded by a few words from Packers legend Willie Buchanon.

With the robust economy (see “Reaping the benefits” on page 10), and trends such as mixed-use commercial buildings (see “Live, work, play,” page 25), a wealth of information will be shared at InDevelopment.
On behalf of the Insight team, we hope to see you there!

Margaret LeBrun

About Margaret LeBrun

Co-Publisher, Executive Editor View all posts by Margaret LeBrun →