A day in the life of a Miron project manager: Laurie Donker
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a member of the Miron team? Below is some insight into what makes our team members tick.
Laurie Donker | Appleton, Wisconsin
What is a typical day at Miron Construction like for you?
Aside from visiting job sites, a typical day is reading and responding to the 50+ emails that I receive every day. I spend several hours on the phone, and cover what feels like three miles back and forth to the printer/copier in the workstation.
What is the best part of your day?
The best part of my day is running home at lunch to let my dog outside and seeing how happy and excited she is to see me. It always makes me feel good except for when I notice she chewed something up. Then I’m not so amused.
What is the most challenging part of your day?
I wouldn’t say there is a challenging part of the day, but Mondays usually feel like the most challenging day of the week.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you started your career in project management?
As a project manager, you can never turn your phone, iPad, or laptop off. It’s always on and your phone rings regardless of if you are on vacation or not. The phone is always connected to your hip.
What projects are you most proud of? Why?
That would be Bel Brands in Brookings, South Dakota. This was my first project as a new internally promoted project manager and I was working onsite while we were building the cheese plant. It was a great experience for me as a new PM to see a plant get built on a greenfield site. It definitely helped me in the learning process. It is a beautiful facility and all of us who worked on that project are very proud of it.
On average, how many job sites do you visit per day?
Previously, most of my job sites were an hour or more away so I would visit just that job in one day. Now that I have several job sites in the surrounding area of Neenah, I sometimes will hit two job sites in one day, but I prefer to keep it to one job site a day. That way I’m not rushed and have more time to walk the site with my superintendent and check in with the owners of the projects if they are onsite.
What is something you would say the general public does not know about the construction industry?
General contractors are more than just builders. I think the general public is more knowledgeable about the hard bid industry and not so much the design-build or negotiated industry. There are times that we get started on project with a very basic drawing similar to a drawing on a napkin. We then work with the owner and architect to further expand the owner’s vision. We take the time to find out what the owner’s expectations, budget, concerns, and overall vision are and then build off of that. It’s not just getting a plan from the architect and going to work. It’s a lot more detailed than that.
How do you spend your free time?
I own a house on 40 wooded acres up in Armstrong Creek, Wisconsin. I try to spend most of my weekends up north as it’s so peaceful and beautiful there. If I stay in Appleton, I am usually at the dog park exercising my dog, working at home, or spending time with friends and family.
Favre, Rodgers or other?
Tough question. I was always a huge Favre fan until he went to play for the Vikings. I supported him when he went to play for the Jets, but when he then moved to the Vikings I felt a bit of betrayal. All is forgiven now. I was a little leery of Aaron Rodgers at first, but he has completely won me over. I’m a fan of both!
What is one thing you cannot live without?
Milk. I have a serious addiction to dairy products, especially milk.
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