A Chat with our Owners: On Success and Personal InfluencesJanuary 3, 2018
Over a collective 65 years at Miron Construction, co-owners David G. Voss, Jr. and Tim Kippenhan have been a part of so many exciting projects and are honored to have built strong, enduring relationships along the way. As Miron enters its 100th year in business, it’s the perfect time to reflect back on those who have influenced them and what motivates them to succeed.
Who has had the biggest impact on you and why?
DV: There have been many people who have impacted me throughout my career, but three in particular come to mind. The first is my dad. He imparted a lot of what he learned in his life and in business, and his words of wisdom have stuck with me. He often said, “To those who have been given much, much is expected.” I have really taken that to heart and embrace the philosophy of giving back and helping others.
Tim’s dad, Greg Kippenhan, has also influenced me in my career. He’s one of the most likable, down-to-earth guys I’ve ever met. When he asks someone a question, he’s genuinely interested in the response and truly cares about people. His personality and the way he treats people has rubbed off on me.
Last, but certainly not least, my wife Jane has had a big impact on me. She keeps me grounded and reminds me about my roots and where I came from. If I veer to the left or right, she steers me back in and keeps me on track.
TK: My dad has had the biggest impact on me in several ways. I learned about construction in my earlier years throughout middle school and high school as we visited project sites on weekend visits. Later on, I learned about project management and eventually corporate activities. Most importantly, my dad taught me how to analyze a difficult situation and provide a logical, fair assessment that leads to a solution each party believes is a thoughtful and respectful compromise.
In addition, I understand how blessed and fortunate our family has been, as well as the need to be charitable, both in time and financial support, to causes and organizations that make our community a truly special place.
What is one skill or piece of knowledge that you would like to pass on?
TK: Drawing on the lessons I learned from my dad as well as throughout my years in business, I have developed some valuable skills (such as those mentioned above) and would hope that I could pass them along to someone else.
DV: If I left here today, the one thing that I hope would continue within the company is the lighthearted, fun culture. We have a special personality at Miron, within Estimating especially, which I like to think I had a hand in creating. It’s important to have fun with the people you work with every day, and enjoy spending time with team members. It makes the day go by quickly. What I think sets Miron apart is that our people truly care about one another. Whether we’re celebrating a win or going through a tough situation, we do it together.
What would you like to learn? How do you hope to continue to grow?
DV: I absolutely want to continue to grow and learn something every day. There are things that I know I don’t know and probably won’t learn, but it’s important to keep growing so I’m not going backwards. The industry is changing so fast and everything is technology-based; as long as I recognize and understand my role within that, I’m happy.
What I want to focus on is learning about people, figuring out how to do things better and more efficiently, and becoming a better mentor to others.
TK: Every time we build for a client, I learn about their particular industry and strive to gain more insight into what makes that company/entity successful. I also want to continue to grow my ability to be comfortable when speaking in front of large groups and exhibit the same passion and energy that I see in others.
What motivates you? What gets you up in the morning?
TK: I’m motivated to “be the best” in many ways. From providing the highest level of service to our clients to creating a workplace that shows employees appreciation and provides growth opportunities, I’m driven by the desire to deliver an unparalleled experience. As a company, we continually strive to be one of the best corporate partners to support the great places in which we live. At the end of the day, my hope is that whatever job/function each Miron employee performs, someone is able to say, “That person is the best at (insert skill here).”
DV: Up until about 10 years ago, I would have said that I was motivated by winning and getting that next job. Now, I am driven by my responsibility to every Miron employee and his/her family. I wake up every day knowing that I have 1,400 mouths to feed, and I do everything I can to make sure that they are taken care of, and that we continue to garner work to keep people busy and ensure each family unit is thriving.
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