After nearly fifty years in the industry and more than twenty with APG, Ron Mueller is retiring. Ron began his electrical career decades ago. He started in the trade as an apprentice in 1973 and earned his journeyman license four years later. After working as a state-licensed electrician in the field for years, Ron's many talents were recognized and he was moved into management. While working locally throughout Florida utilizing his state license, Ron accepted an opportunity to work as a Construction Manager in Mississippi. Soon after moving there in 1996, he became the VP of Operations for a local electrical contractor. In 1998, Ron moved back to Tampa and joined APG as a project manager. He didn't waste any time in making a name for himself or the APG team! His wealth of experience and knowledge instantly made him an asset. Ron holds a State of Florida Certified Electrical Contractor license and has served in nearly every facet of the industry.
As a senior project manager, Ron was adept at handling a project from start to finish. He has worked on some of our largest and most complicated jobs and has always achieved exceptional results. Some of the major projects he’s completed include St. Joseph's Hospital North, Tampa General Hospital, Brandon Regional Hospital, Florida Hospital, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Morton Plant Hospital, USF Visual & Performing Arts Center, Boca Ciega High School, Gulf Trace Elementary School, Pinellas County Jail, and Hernando County Emergency Operations Center. He’s been around a long time and does great work! His attention to detail and proactive approach have earned him numerous awards and accolades.
In October 2000, soon after coming to APG, Ron was presented with an "All-Star Award" from The Diaz/Fritz Group, Inc. for his exceptional effort on the Northbay Heart & Vascular project. In January 2007, we were pleased to select Ron as Employee of the Month to recognize his professionalism, determination, and reliability.
Ron has been a wonderful person to work with, and he’s quick to share his abundance of electrical knowledge with our younger generation of apprentices and project managers. Senior Project Manager Anthony Ciquera described his experience as a young apprentice being brought into the office: “Ron was extremely busy but he always took the time to make sure I understood the task and helped me along the way... I have gained a ton of knowledge from Ron over the years and I knew I could always turn to him when I had a question. We will all miss Ron a great deal, but the knowledge he has left with the younger project managers is invaluable.” Our Vice President of Construction Bill Lavelle added: "They say: ‘You can't teach an old dog new tricks.’ Well, Ron is a perfect example that no matter how long your career has been, if you work hard and are committed to excellence, you can master new challenges. You can't replace someone like Ron. They don't make them like him anymore."
Ron has left memorable moments in the lives of everyone who had the privilege of working with him, and he’ll be greatly missed here at APG. Project Manager Matt Mendrala had this to say: "I have always been impressed with Ronny's skill as a PM. Our personalities complemented each other so well that I can never remember an angry word passed between us. We were each other's support during hard times, and comic relief at the right time when we needed to de-stress. He was 'Maverick,' and I was 'Goose.' I'm happy for him as he goes into retirement and looking forward to staying in touch with him as my good friend. Happy trails, Ronny Boy!"
We owe you a huge debt of gratitude, Ron, for your 22 years of hard work and dedication. Your APG family wishes you a long and happy retirement!
To my APG family,
It has been many years since I’ve used Pipeline to convey a message to all of you. However, as 2020 draws to a close, I can’t think of a better time to reach out and remind you of what an amazing team we belong to. There are many reasons that we’ll never forget this year—civil unrest, hurricanes, political firsts, and, of course, COVID-19. I’m pleased to report that the year is almost over and that we made it, together! This simply wouldn’t have been possible without your hard work and dedication. I am truly proud of the astounding work we’ve done. So, what did we accomplish?
Some of the noteworthy healthcare projects completed by APG in 2020 include St. Joseph’s Hospital North Vertical Expansion, St. Joseph’s Hospital South ED and Patient Tower Expansion, AdventHealth Celebration Patient Tower and CEP, various projects at Morton Plant Hospital and Tampa General Hospital, and the Village on the Isle Skilled Nursing Facility. Beyond healthcare, other major projects include Amazon Regional Air Gateway at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, United Airways Hangar at Tampa International Airport, Toronto Blue Jays Player Development Complex, Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement, P&J Office Complex, Ringling College of Art & Design, the Ruth Eckerd Hall Experience, HCA Rocky Point Remodel, and Tech Data. We completed projects at ION Media, Moorings of Maximo, the Tampa Convention Center, Stratford Court, Raytheon, Catalent, Bardmoor Outpatient, South County Jail, Encompass Health—Sarasota, International Plaza Mall, Raymond James Financial…the list goes on and on!
An exciting development over the past year included a marked increase in significant projects being undertaken and completed by our Engineering Group. St. Joseph’s Hospital North Vertical Expansion, St. Joseph’s Hospital South ED and Patient Tower Expansions, Physicians Regional Medical Center—Pine Ridge Open Heart Cardiac Expansion, and BayCare Wesley Chapel Hospital are all major projects engineered right here at APG. Successfully designing and building such incredibly complex facilities shows just how talented each of you are, and contractors across the state have taken notice.
All of the projects I’ve mentioned are outstanding in themselves, but what stood out more than ever this year was how well everyone at APG worked with our partners for the common good of the community. There were times when things didn’t feel quite fair, quite right, or even seem to make sense, but we got up, put our boots on in the morning, and SAFELY did our jobs. As change after change came our way, we adopted a mission statement of sorts: “We will rigidly hold to our flexibility.” We adjusted company operations again and again in an ever-changing environment, and continued to provide the quality service we’re known for with our signature can-do attitude. As Executive Vice President Chris Johnson proudly commented: “This company never missed a beat!”
Congratulations to each and every one of you on a job well done during this most stressful year. While we should reflect on the past, which taught us unforgettable lessons about flexibility and teamwork, let’s focus on what lies ahead in 2021. As we continue to provide the very best of service not only to our clients, but also to each other, I want to personally thank you for making APG an amazing place to work. Congratulations on accomplishing so much during such an eventful year. Goodbye 2020 and hello 2021!
In September of 2019, APG was awarded a $1.7 million contract by The Haskell Company for the United TPA Line Maintenance Hangar project, comprising a scope of electrical construction and fire alarm. This project involved constructing a completely new hangar for United Airlines, consisting of an office area, a hangar, and a hazmat building. Project Foreman Billy Griffith, along with Milo Klaustermeier, Vincent Mannello, and their team, got to work on September 15th.
This hangar is a truly impressive building—able to house three planes at one time and reaching a height of about 80 feet. The door alone is 80 feet high and spans across the entire 300 foot length of the building. All of the conduits are placed 15 feet below the surface and are PVC coated rigid steel. Installing these conduits was very labor-intensive and proved challenging due to the various safety regulations which are unique to a project of this type.
The hangar contains a linear heat detection system with heat-sensitive cabling located just below the building's roof. Flame detectors were mounted at 15 feet and 30 feet with a foam fire prevention system. When this system is activated, it fills the entire building with 10 feet or more of fire retardant foam.
The hazmat building is a small, open-air structure used to store all flammable materials. Due to the dangers of such highly volatile substances, everything needed to be placed a minimum of 15 feet underground. Like the hangar, it required rigid and sealed off fittings, another very labor-intensive install. This project also included a spacious break room, workshop, and conference and classroom areas.
Later, APG was awarded the technology and security portions of the project, bringing our total contract to just over $2.8 million This work included structured cabling overseen by Voice Data Project Manager Kevin Runia and Foreman Tyler Johnson, CCTV and access control supervised by Security Senior Project Manager Eric Quinones and Service Technician Ed Casey, and audio visual managed by Audio Visual Project Managers Ryan Racioppi and Christian Schaefer, General Superintendent Denzil Randolph, and Foreman Henzell Goodison.
The project was brought to substantial completion after using nearly 14,000-manpower hours over the course of a year. This was a very unique and oftentimes challenging job, but it was nothing that our team couldn't handle! We completed it both on time and under budget.
We are happy to have been chosen by Haskell and are very proud of the hard work and dedication of Senior Estimator Jonathan Henley, Senior Project Manager Brian Stine, Project Manager Josh Smith, and our entire team on site, who made this job such a success!
In March of last year, APG was awarded the AdventHealth Tampa P4 Tower Expansion project by Robins & Morton. The nearly $12 million contract covers electrical construction for a brand new, 300,000 square foot patient tower on the Tampa campus. This project is expected to be complete in September of 2021.
While we can’t say what the future will bring, we do want to let our APG family know what we’re currently experiencing. As we continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, we wanted to provide a snapshot of the hard work that our HR and COVID Tracking teams are doing. We also want to thank our employees for their good attitude and to discuss important reminders as well as where we have room for improvement.
COVID-19 tracking is a monumental task for a company with 430 employees. Thank you to the HR, COVID Tracking, and Safety teams for the incredible work you are doing! Employee time away from work must be coded correctly and details about employee absences related to the virus must be collected in order to ensure that APG is reimbursed correctly for COVID-related paid time off. What can each employee do to make this process easier? First, if you have symptoms of the virus (fever, headache, body aches, tiredness, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, cough, chest pain or pressure), notify your jobsite supervisor IMMEDIATELY. Your supervisor will encourage you to seek a medical diagnosis from your doctor or telemedicine and will connect you with someone from the HR Team, who will guide you through the necessary steps to keep your family and coworkers healthy.
Telemedicine is a great first step if you are experiencing symptoms. Our APG health plan provides telemedicine options through Cigna, which are covered at 100% for those with COVID symptoms. If you are referred for testing, you may have to wait several days for the results. While you are waiting, follow CDC guidelines and observe quarantine procedures (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html). You may be tested and/or quarantined if you personally have symptoms or if you’ve been exposed to someone who does. Once you receive your test results, communicate them to your contact from the APG COVID team immediately so you can be cleared to return to work, or if you’re positive, so that future care plans can be discussed.
If someone on your jobsite tests positive, you may be sent home for quarantine and testing. Communicate with someone from the HR Team regarding the testing timeline or for recommendations on testing facilities. Please respond as quickly as possible to requests for information about your CV-19 absence. If you live with someone who tested positive or is exhibiting symptoms, please reach out to the HR Team so that they can advise you. They will need to collect information if you will be missing time at work to provide care. This information is necessary under IRS rules.
We appreciate the cooperation of those employees who have already experienced COVID-related absences, and many thanks to the supervisory team who is coordinating care and returns to work for those going through this process. Overall, the limited number of APG team members who have tested positive (13 as of printing) has been impressive considering the size of our company and the number of jobsites we work at every day. There have been relatively few shutdowns and we are confident that with the continued use of social distancing procedures, proper sanitation practices, and the wearing of masks, our incident rate will continue to decline.
While we’re in this unprecedented situation, it’s important to remember that we’re in it together. What you do at home has an impact on those you work with. We are seeing a trend of employees being exposed to the virus during their off hours. Please use your best judgement and follow CDC guidelines when engaging in social activities on your own time. Practice safety at home the same way you do at work. Please remember to wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently, follow proper sanitation procedures, and maintain social distancing, no matter where you are.
Please let someone know, right away, if you are not feeling well. We want you to be safe and healthy whether at work or at home, and the precautionary steps you take may help us avoid jobsite shutdowns and serious illness. Thank you to each and every employee for your continued diligence in this effort, and please keep up the good work! We will get through this as a team.
We truly appreciate our hardworking apprentices and our IEC apprenticeship instructors, who had an especially challenging last semester. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s IEC apprenticeship and graduation ceremony was held virtually. But we still wanted to recognize our hardworking and high achieving apprentices in person. On Friday, June 5th, a special lunch and short program were held in their honor at the Clearwater office. In spite of the circumstances, we still rewarded our employees for their hard work, dedication, and skill. While maintaining physical distancing and taking all necessary precautions to ensure safety, we were able to celebrate our apprentices and the effort they put forth. After a delicious lunch served outside from the APG food trailer, the apprentices were called by year to receive their bonus letters and merit certificates.
Our celebration wasn’t the only one, however. The IEC Florida West Coast Chapter Graduation ceremony was unlike any other, as the program was held virtually on YouTube and it went live on Thursday, July 16th at 7:00 pm.
The program began with a slideshow of all of the graduating apprentices, including our very own Joshua Day, Jesus Deluna, David Dueker, Michael Elverd, Tyler Harder, Ryan Hynes, Jeffrey Johnson, Stefanos Katsiopis, Dale Kimball, Jeffrey King, James Knapp, Kenneth Kubler, Carlos Largel Jr, Brian Latham, Dirk Osgood Ebanks, and Andrew Stock. It then moved to a graduation speakers segment, followed by recognition for those with four years of perfect attendance, and afterward the Instructor Awards. Congratulations to Anthony Harwood Thomas for receiving the Rising Star Award! The next part of the program highlighted the honor apprentices, which included APG apprentices David Dueker, Jeffrey King, James Knapp, and Andrew Stock. Finally, the socially-distanced Wire Off results were displayed. We were so proud to have four finalists: David Dueker, Ryan Hynes, Brian Latham, and Andrew Stock! And we were even more excited to learn that Andrew Stock was the winner! Not only that, Andrew was honored for achieving the IEC Graduate Trifecta—perfect attendance all four years, honor apprentice, and Wire Off winner.
We know that this school year was especially difficult, but our instructors and graduates went above and beyond. That’s why we were proud to present our sixty-two apprentices with a combined total of $55,000 for their achievements in the IEC apprenticeship program. To all of our apprentices, congratulations on a job well done and thank you for your dedication to learning our trade!
In March of this year, APG was awarded the Suntrax Connected/Automated Vehicle Test Facility project by Alston Construction. At nearly $8 million, this contract includes electrical construction, fire alarm, and voice data. We are happy to have Alston Construction as a new partner and are looking forward to a long and successful working relationship.
This cutting-edge facility in Polk County, located off I-4 between Orlando and Tampa, is being developed by the Florida Department of Transportation and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise. It will be used to further the research, development, and testing of new transportation technologies in a safe and controlled manner. The 475 acre site will include a 2.25 mile long, multi-lane test track (the only high speed autonomous vehicle testing area in the southeastern US), a 200 acre infield for connected and autonomous vehicle testing, featuring several simulated transportation environments, a welcome center with offices and classrooms, workshops and warehouses, and multiple test tracks. Once this project is complete, the testing and technological developments that will come out of this facility will improve transportation safety, efficiency, and accessibility for years to come.
A project of this technological complexity gives us the opportunity to hone our skills. We are using one of our newest tools, the Trimble System, with the help of our BIM team, to provide a highly accurate layout which will save time during our electrical rough in. In order to keep all areas of this massive site connected, including 18 different buildings, 17.5 miles of voice data cable will be installed, enough to go around the autonomous vehicle test track eight times! This cable will also connect the new fire alarm system, an eight node network across nine buildings, each with a fire alarm panel reporting to two central station communicators. This system will have a global network annunciator in the guardhouse, allowing the security staff to monitor all system events from a single location.
All of us at APG were excited to earn this contract and to be a part of a project that will drive the future of transportation. We greatly appreciate having been selected by Alston Construction. We are proud of the hard work of Senior Estimator George Lambert, Project Manager Richie Hollie, Project Superintendent Mike McGuire, Project Foreman John Lenges, Life Safety Project Manager Eric Brockmeier, Voice Data Project Manager Keith Hoover, BIM Specialist Quinton Robertazzi, and the entire team on site. Keep up the great work!
In 2018, Brasfield & Gorrie awarded APG a multi-million dollar contract for the AdventHealth Celebration Tower project. While this hospital expansion was underway, it was decided that the new patient tower would be fed from an expanded CEP. After competitively bidding the job, APG was awarded the CEP upgrade and shortly afterwards yet another contract to fill the third floor of the new patient tower with operating rooms. What began as a mostly shell tower expansion evolved into a $14 million contract that encompassed electrical construction and BIM coordination services. We’re especially proud to have earned multiple contracts after work began, as this paid tribute to the outstanding service and quality we were working hard to deliver. Our team’s dedication and attention to detail paid off in a major way!
AdventHealth Celebration is expanding to meet the increasing demand for healthcare in fast-growing Osceola County. The hospital plans to eventually have 400 patient beds, and this new space will allow for the expansion of multiple programs. The patient tower will add about 172,000 square feet spread over five floors, some being built out and others left as shell space to accommodate growth. It will also include a new loading dock and receiving area, an executive administration office space, 80 patient beds, multiple cath labs, and operating rooms. These projects will provide hundreds of construction jobs, new healthcare positions, and even better services for patients—adding value to the entire community.
The CEP Generator Upgrade project adds a 4,700 square foot generator building that will hold three new 2mW generators, paralleling gear, and a 5kV system with new medium-voltage substations. This emergency power is especially critical in Florida because of our potential for severe weather and hurricanes, and all this new generator capacity will be put to good use. AdventHealth Celebration will be prepared to face any storm with the assurance that they have life-saving emergency power continuously and reliably available. Working on an existing hospital is always a challenge, but that’s especially true when modifications are being made to the power plant. Intense coordination is required to keep the hospital up and running while the new generators are integrated into the existing system, adding an additional layer of complexity to an already complex job. Our team performed more than 15 major shutdowns, each of which was precisely scheduled and arranged to minimize impact on facility operations. Our decades of experience on major healthcare projects has been critical to our success on site.
All of us at APG were excited to earn these contracts and we greatly appreciate being Brasfield & Gorrie’s contractor of choice. We’re proud of the hard work of Senior Estimator Jonathan Henley, BIM Manager Artie Hackett, Senior Project Manager Bruce Chabotte, Project Superintendents Rick Thomas and Noel Vester, and the entire team. Keep up the great work!