Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Tucker Elliott makes a trip to Washington DC

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

The White House

Tucker Elliott just got back from a trip to Washington DC where he met with representatives of several federal agencies. Tucker remains impressed with the level of knowledge and dedication of those that he’s been dealing with, who often travel to fairly dangerous places on our behalf.

You may be surprised to know that one of these agencies, which is providing the loan on our client’s Baghdad hotel project, has generated profits from its loans that have helped lower the federal budget deficit every year for the last 34 years!

While he was in Washington DC, Tucker also had the opportunity to meet with the Commercial Attaché in the Iraqi Embassy to discuss additional opportunities for projects in Iraq.  The meeting proved to be very interesting.

Joe Morris Finishes the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon!

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Joe finishes the race.

Joe Morris successfully completed the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon on Sunday, May 20, 2012.  He and 14,663 other runners finished the 26.2 mile race in 79 degree heat, during a “red flag” heat warning.  Although Marathon officials urged runners to slow down due to the heat, Joe still finished his first ever marathon in a very respectable time.

Joe’s Race Statistics:

Finish Time:             4:19:16

Overall Place:           1017/14,664

Gender Place:          733/6389

Division Place:         51/391

Pace:                          0:09:53

Congratulations, Joe!  Well done!

VN Services’ Annual Company Renewal

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Left to right: Tucker Elliott, Bob Vail, Sharon Scott, Diana Chalmers, Richard Leach and Joe Morris

On April 5 & 6 we held our annual two day renewal at Welshfield Inn in Burton, Ohio.  The renewal is an important tool in our internal management process, where we apply our expertise in analyzing construction projects to our own company, by reviewing the previous year’s successes and its bloopers.

Historically, we have learned that the renewal is very valuable  because we take the time to go off-site, and honestly look at where we’ve been and how we got there.  Then we use those insights to set reasonable goals for the upcoming year.

After a day and half of  brain-storming, we leave the site and go spend the second afternoon “playing”.

This year we celebrated Tucker Elliott’s birthday with a delicious lunch at The Great Lakes Brew Pub in Cleveland, followed by a quick tour of Cleveland’s Historic West Side Market, which is just down the street from the restaurant.  The West Side Market has more than 100 ethnic vendor booths offering a wide variety of foods ranging from exotic pastas to goat’s heads.

Once done at The West Side Market, we finished  our afternoon with a visit to The Greater Cleveland Aquarium, which opened on January 21 in the West Bank of the Flats.  The aquarium was an interesting mix of the architecture of the old FirstEnergy Powerhouse and the new aquatic exhibits.  Fun was had by children of all ages… including us!

Welcome Back Joe Morris!

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Welcome back decorations and "varmints" provided by his co-workers.

We want to welcome back our colleague, Joe Morris, who has spent the past year doing the CPM scheduling for one of our clients at the Detroit Heavy Oil Upgrade Project (DHOUP) for the Marathon Petroleum Company.  He better be careful…. you never know what kind of varmints may have moved into his space while he was off exploring new job sites.

Tucker Elliott attends 2011 Dispute Resolution Board Foundation (DRBF) Annual Conference

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Port of Seattle and Mount Rainier

Tucker  just returned from the 2011 annual conference for the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation (DRBF) in Seattle, Washington. Attendees came from a variety of countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Turkey. 

Dispute resolution boards (sometimes called dispute review boards or just DRBs) provide large projects with a means for resolving disputes during the life of the project rather than waiting until the end of the project, when problems are more pronounced and the parties’ positions are more entrenched.

Research shows that the success rates for resolving disputes and avoiding litigation in this way are phenomenal compared to more traditional methods.  In essence, using a DRB provides significant reduction in cost and schedule overruns and in many cases helps a project come in under budget and ahead of schedule. DRBs are similar to having a standing arbitration panel, except that they are much cheaper and more timely, because they are used during the project instead of after the project is completed.

If you would like to know more about DRB’s, please feel free to call or email Tucker. He is trained by the DRBF in this process, and can assist you if you believe that you are in need of a dispute review board member.