We’re sweeping up the last of the literal and proverbial confetti following our extended 25th anniversary celebrations. (Technically, we opened our doors 27 years ago in 1996, but Covid interruptions got these festivities rolling a bit later than they otherwise would have. So our commemorations have been joyfully stretched out.)
What a delight it’s been to mark this milestone and use it as a jumping-off point for the future of VPCS. We have so much to be proud of and so much to look forward to. And we’re enormously grateful to our wonderful clients, who have entrusted us with such important work. We take the responsibility very seriously and remain keenly focused on our mission to provide quality facilities and grounds for all of California’s students.
To capture some of the key sentiments about the past, present and future of our firm, we asked four very recognizable members of our executive leadership team to weigh in with their thoughts. Read on for insights from Mark Van Pelt, Mike Van Pelt, Kelli Van Pelt Jurgenson and Eric Van Pelt.
What are you most proud of when you look back on how the firm has evolved in its first 25 years?
Mark: Mike and I have been willing to try new things over the years, which has played a major role in the firm’s success. Also, the remarkably talented people who have come to work for us have helped preserve the DNA of the firm, and that has always set us apart from our competitors. Plus, the core relationship that Mike and I have props everything up. That relationship helped carry VPCS through some tough economic times.
Mike: I think I’m most proud of the fact that we were able to start a new business from the ground up – just two brothers with an idea and a commitment – and watch it grow into a PM/CM firm that’s well known throughout the construction industry.
Kelli: I’m extremely proud of the team of incredible people we have. Everyone on our team works so hard and they are all equally committed to building fantastic relationships with our clients.
Eric: Definitely the relationships we have with our clients. Together, everyone at VPCS makes a great team and that means we make great additions to our clients’ teams.
What do you think helps VPCS stand apart from other PM/CM firms?
Mark: We’re not afraid to make strong recommendations. Our deep background and experience affords us the opportunity to guide clients through the toughest situations.
Mike: We’ve always prided ourselves on our ability to satisfy the needs of our clients and become extensions of their own teams. One notable example: making sure school operations continue seamlessly with the least amount of interruption during the construction process.
Kelli: First and foremost, our commitment to our clients sets us apart. Also, our mix of technical construction knowledge. Finally, it’s not an exaggeration to say that our highly detailed understanding of bond/school district finance is unmatched in this industry.
Eric: We bring a “whatever it takes” attitude to everything we do. Our clients understand that we will do anything (provided it’s legal, ethical and moral) to help make a project successful.
To what do you attribute the firm’s success?
Mark: Good old-fashioned hard work!
Mike: We work as a team; we make it clear to our employees that they always have the backing and support of everyone else at VPCS if a question ever arises on a project. So our clients essentially have access to the skills and talents of our full roster of professionals. When questions do come up, we take the time to weigh all the information before making critical decisions on behalf of clients.
Kelli: I think the fact that we’ve maintained a family atmosphere at the firm even as we’ve grown – and have included our clients in that family circle – has been key to our success. We also know how to have fun in an often-stressful industry.
Eric: Our success is tied directly to the quality of our staff. Our “boots on the ground” team is just really strong. They provide effective and efficient leadership so that our projects are well run.
Why and how is VPCS well-positioned to lead the industry in the next 25 years?
Mark: We’ll never waver from our policy of delivering the highest level of service to clients. Maintaining that commitment always paves the way for new clients, especially in the K-12 school realm, where people frequently move between districts.
Mike: We’ll continue to populate our employee roster with smart, talented and loyal professionals. And we’ll continue to treat them well, making sure they feel valued for all that they do to contribute to the firm’s success. Our people make us who we are.
Kelli: We are building our team for success. As we grow, we are strategic with regard to the staff and skill sets we bring on board. We also build healthy relationships with our industry partners. All of this demonstrates that we monitor the pulse of the industry, and our clients benefit from that.
May 23, 2023