Summertime and the Living’s Easy

June 2016

It’s officially here – summer; sweet, sweet summer. The long, warm days combine with sunny disposition to create a season that can’t fully be explained but just has to be experienced.

There’s something else the summer brings -especially here in Michigan- and that’s construction. We are all very aware of the road construction projects which just happen to coincide with our otherwise cheer-filled season. Summer trips near and far can quickly come to a literal halt due to this busy time of pavement improvements. And while roadways are not in our construction portfolio, we sure are busy this summer working on projects of our own.

Fortunately, you won’t find any of our projects slowing things to a halt. Our skilled leaders are masters at planning, taking care of all the coordination and scheduling that keep projects moving forward.

Let Bren-Mar keep things rolling on your next project, handling all the hard work, so that you can enjoy that carefree experience of summertime, anytime of the year.

150 Years in the Making

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Remembering Together

First recognized in the South in 1866, Memorial Day was a simple and somber occasion with an intended purpose: to honor the dead and take care of a little housekeeping at the local cemetery.

Two years later and post-civil war, Union veterans in the North began celebrating their own holiday, Decoration Day. It was another simple occasion to decorate graves of the war dead with flowers.

To prevent confusion -and perhaps because they were still a little bitter- the South clarified that they had no intentions of sharing their holiday by renaming it Confederate Memorial Day. It took almost another 15 years until the two holidays shared the common “Memorial Day” title and a whopping 85 years more before it was made official.

This year marks a full 150 years since the first Memorial Day was recognized. And while it has certainly grown from a simple holiday, amidst the parades and celebrations, graves of our war dead still deserve to be honored and decorated.

As you celebrate this Memorial Day…remember.

Brent Williams
and the Bren-Mar Team

A Call to Action

ReminderFingerSketch1What’s the only date that’s also a command? Stumped? It’s March fourth; or march forth. That’s about the extent of our trivia here at Bren-Mar Construction. And truth be told it’s a trivia from way back in high school. Isn’t it funny the little things that you remember?

Here at Bren-Mar, we hope one of the things you would remember about us is our ability to go above and beyond for our clients. We care and we’ll do just about anything for you. We’ve even tracked down Red Wings jersey’s to ship internationally for foreign fans north of the border. When we say our relationships are a driving force that set Bren-Mar apart we mean it.

 

Bren-Mar Mission Statement:

Picture2Bren-Mar Construction consistently delivers commercial and industrial projects with unsurpassed service and quality. We work with clients, subcontractors and suppliers passionately and continually to develop and maintain long-term relationships built on honesty, trust and timeliness. Our refusal to accept anything less than exceptional in both our projects and our relationships is the driving force that sets Bren-Mar apart.

 

If you haven’t worked with us before, we encourage you to read some of our Testimonials. When you’re ready to get started -or march forth- on your project, we encourage you to reach out to us. We’d love to work with you, or work with you again!

Love Across Southeast Michigan

Spanning beyond our little hometown of Fenton, Bren-Mar Construction is busy spreading our passion for building all across southeast Michigan. From Birch Run to the north to downtown Detroit to the south, we are teaming with clients all across the region to bring their projects to life.

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Here’s just a few of the places we’re currently working:

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The projects may vary in their size, scope and complexity but there’s one thing that’s common and that’s our love for building. Let us know how Bren-Mar can bring a little of our heart to your project.

 

Celebrating Max

As the year comes to a close we often find ourselves celebrating – the successes of the previous year, our plans and goals for the coming year, and Max Williams’ birthday.

Brent & Max

Reflecting on the success of the past, we are honored to have Max as a part of the Bren-Mar team. Coming from a human resources background, Max joined Bren-Mar full-time over 3 ½ years ago. Of course, you could say as the boss’ son he’s really been a part of the team and learning about the business his whole life. This lifelong learning combined with on the job training has proven successful in generating an incredibly skilled and competent project manager. And certainly one of the hardest working members of the Bren-Mar team.

As we look forward to the coming year, we celebrate the plans and goals we have for the company and for Max. As Max continues his on the job training from our fearless leader, we look forward to him taking on more of the ownership roles. Before too long, Bren-Mar will enter its second generation as a family owned and operated business. The energy that Max brings to the team is unparalleled. He is driven and a hard worker who truly cares about all his coworkers, clients and subcontractors. In fact, you will often find him coordinating impromptu ‘happy hour’ gatherings on Friday afternoons with as many people as he can round up.

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Of course it’s not all work, Max still finds time to play; enjoying traveling with his wife Kristen and their two young sons. They often visit family in the Grand Rapids and Northern Michigan areas, as well as a tropical beach from time to time.

And while there’s no telling what the future holds beyond Bren-Mar’s second generation, we have seen both boys around the office on occasion…perhaps the next generation of Bren-Mar is already here.

If so, we’ll certainly be celebrating!

The New Kid on The Block: Matt Vanden Toorn

Matt Vanden Toorn is the newest member of the Bren-Mar team. Hailing from the west side of the state around Grand Rapids, he graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Supply Chain Management and spent his first years out of college working in public sector consulting in Washington DC.

During his time in DC, he worked with the United States Air Force coordinating new construction projects at various bases throughout the country. The exposure to construction projects with the Air Force, combined with a family history in the building trades, propelled his career in a new direction and led him to connect with Bren-Mar Construction.

After four years in the nation’s capital, Matt packed his belongings and headed west. Okay, not that far west; he landed in Royal Oak, Michigan and began work with Bren-Mar. Happy to be back to his home state – and close to his alma mater for football and tailgating – Matt has been enjoying the change, and challenge, that comes with any big move and career change. He has been continuing his education with a concerted focus on construction, in both on-the-job and formal instruction.

What’s in store for Matt’s future? Likely more time spent with his two brothers, Peter and Ben, now that they are closer again, geographically. Surrounded by Great Lakes and countless inland lakes, Matt also plans on picking up some new water-sport hobbies like kiteboarding and winter surfing. And as far as his future with Bren-Mar, we have no doubts he will continue to learn and develop into another exceptional member of the Team.

Welcome to Bren-Mar, we’re glad you’re here!

Often Imitated, Never Duplicated: Jay Thompson

A part of the Bren-Mar Team from the beginning, though we’re careful not to call him the “oldest” of the Bren-Mar Team, Jay Thompson celebrates his birthday this month on October 25. And we’d like to take this opportunity to recognize and honor him.

A loyal part of the Bren-Mar Team for over 26 years, Jay has truly been with us through the best of times and the worst of times, all the while bringing along his unwavering consistency and uniquely Jay-charm. We reached out to some other members of the Bren-Mar Team to see what they thought Jay brings to the team:

  • Jay is the Bren-Mar team’s ultimate fix-it guy!  And he brings Yummy Cupcakes! (Devon Carroll)
  • Jay brings unfathomable music trivia knowledge. And Yummy Cupcakes for the office gals. (Erica Benn)
  • Jay brings a plethora of valuable assets to the Bren-Mar team. He can tackle just about any task that may surface on a construction site and is able to complete it in exemplary fashion. However, his most valuable asset to the team, by a long shot, is his never ending repertoire of one-liners. (Matt Vanden Toorn)
  • Jay Thompson brings to the Bren-Mar team a quick witted sense of humor and a lot of cigarette smoke. (Wally Campbell)
  • Personally – Jaybird is one of the best people I know. Business – When Jay does a task or project no matter how small or big he makes it last for the long term! (Max Williams)
  • Jaybird the finisher: We put him with the customers at the end of the project to be their go-to guy for all their needs. He does everything and anything they request; from picking up an employee to hanging pictures to burying an Owners family pet they lost. When Jaybird has a task to complete it may appear he is going slow… but when he is done the job is 110% complete and rarely is there ever a call back. Thanks Jaybird! (Brent Williams)

 

Smoking Jay w Border

While we all know and love Jay here at Bren-Mar, many others know and love him outside the Bren-Mar Team. Jay enjoys spending time with his granddaughters, daughter and son-in-law who live near Grand Rapids. He also enjoys spending time with many friends here in Fenton, cheering Michigan sports teams through all seasons from the comforts of what has been described as quite the epic ‘man-cave’. And if you’re ever fortunate enough to receive an invite for a meal, you’d be wise to take him up on it. While many bachelors may get a bad rap for their (lack of) cooking skills, Jay has mastered meals well beyond the basics.

 

 

One of Jay’s hobbies is a skill often utilized while on-the-job as well; Jay is an incredibly talented carpenter and has been known to make the impossible possible for Bren-Mar Construction and our clients as well as friends, family and neighbors. From A-frame chalkboard signs to custom serving trays, Jay masters any project with precision and an eye for detail that is unmatched.

 

And Jay is certainly unmatched – from his dedication and commitment to the Bren-Mar Team, to his generosity to his granddaughters, to those drool-worthy meals, we are honored to have him as a coworker and a friend.

Happy Birthday, Jay! Thanks for being a part of the Bren-Mar Team!

Go Green, Go White, Go Jennifer Williams!

It’s no secret that the Bren-Mar team’s lineup isn’t loaded with English majors. In fact, if you’ve communicated with us via email or text you’ve likely learned this the hard way. While we excel at building, when it comes to our grammar we look to Mrs. Bren-Mar Construction – Jen-Mar – for help. In her years of marriage to Brent, Jennifer Williams has become a master at deciphering his Go Sparty!writings – which is no easy feat. In addition to being on our sideline for proof reading (things like this blog, email campaigns, marketing and our completely redesigned website), Jen plays full-time 4th grade teacher at Torrey Hill Intermediate in our hometown of Fenton. While a champion of Bren-Mar Construction, Jen’s true passion is Michigan State University sports. To call her a “fan” would be quite understated; in fact, her love for all things MSU is so potent she even converted her hubby, a one-time U of M supporter! So while Brent and Jen enjoy cheering for their Spartans from tailgates, bleachers, stadiums and arenas across the country, our cheers go out to you, Jennifer! Thanks for all you do behind the scenes in support of Bren-Mar Construction. And of course, go Spartans!