Buechel Team Talent Announcements

I’d like to announce a couple of changes we are implementing.

April Dowland (pictured below) has accepted the newly created position of Vice President of Human Resources and Operations. April has been employed with Buechel Stone since July of 2013 and has a proven record of accomplished results in both strategy implementation and accountability to the company. April’s passion for business matrix and being results driven to win along with her ability to relate with people make her a natural fit for this position.

April has a business administration degree in Human Resources from UW-Milwaukee, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Lakeland University. In this position she will oversee human resources and the strategy of our manufacturing and operations. Going forward all production supervisors will report up to April.

Tonya Dibielius (pictured below) has been promoted to Corporate Controller. Tonya has been employed with Buechel Stone since July of 2007 and has shown great talent in accounting and attention to details to help keep Buechel Stone fiscally responsible and maintain profitability.

Tonya has a business administration degree from Lakeland College in Accounting and a degree from Ripon College in Business Administration. In this position she will oversee all accounting activities.

Loren Churness (pictured below) has been promoted to Senior Accountant. Loren has been employed with Buechel Stone since August of 2015 and has shown a great work ethic and ability to take on more work with greater responsibility.

 

Loren has a business administration degree from UW-Eau Claire in Accounting. In this position he will be more involved with financial trends and also assist with our cost reviews and calculations.

Jason Zahringer (pictured below) has accepted the newly created position of Continuous Improvement Leader. Jason has been with Buechel Stone since 1993 and has worked in all aspects of the company.

 

Jason has a degree from UW-Madison in Science. Under this role he will be responsible for implementing production and cost-savings improvements that include targeted improvements in safety, MSHA fines, and lean tools for process enhancements. A driving focus of this position is to lower our costs to allow us to increase our wages for employees. This is a key focus for our continued success and to help recruit and retain employees.

There are several more exciting changes in the works. It is an exciting time to be at Buechel Stone and I can’t wait to share more details with you in the near-future.

Mike Buechel
COO, Owner
Buechel Stone Corp.

The Next Chapter: Tim Buechel Retires

Before heading out of town for a few months to kick off his retirement, Tim Buechel sent an email to everyone in the company expressing his confidence in us as a “great group that will continue to surround [the future leadership team] with thoughts, ideas, and support.” And he went on [in a tone of heartfelt gratitude] emphasizing that he could not “say thank you enough.”

I had the privilege of sitting down with Tim, Scott, Mike, and Ma (Alyce) Buechel to chat about Tim’s retirement and the “next chapter” for Buechel Stone Corp. (and it’s documented in the video feature below).

Before and after Tim’s retirement announcement, the Buechels told a few animated stories (you may have already found a few of these treasures in the outtakes) and admitted to making some mistakes along the way – despite using their best judgement. But most importantly, they learned from those mistakes, and continue to learn. And that’s how Tim is approaching retirement. Richard Ben Sapir said it best, “Any fool can ride the chariots of victory. It takes judgement to get off at the right time.”

Tim is excited for the future of Buechel Stone and looking forward to seeing the leadership team start the “next chapter” as he limits his activity with the company to a more flexible as-needed basis. Best wishes from the Buechel team to Tim for a fun and fulfilling retirement!!

Enjoy the formal PRESS RELEASE (below).

CHILTON, Wis.—Tim Buechel, president and owner of Buechel Stone Corp. in Chilton and Fond du Lac, retired Monday, Dec. 19. He formally announced his retirement at the company’s holiday party on Dec. 8.

Tim has been affiliated with Buechel Stone his entire life. His parents, Francis and Alyce Buechel, founded the company in 1964 after converting their 125-acre farm into a quarry. In 1977, 22-year-old Tim and his brothers bought the business from their parents.

Throughout Tim’s tenure, Buechel Stone has grown from a company of five to the nearly 150 people it employs today. The company has become a respected leader in the natural stone industry, nationally and internationally, with an expansive dealer network and sales team.

“[Buechel Stone is] a business that has grown because of respecting our employees, customers and vendors; I do not see that strategy changing in the future of this company,” said Buechel. “We have always said that we would never ask our employees to do something that we haven’t done ourselves.”

Scott Buechel, Tim’s brother, will succeed him as president of the company. Scott currently serves as Executive Vice President. In retirement, after taking a few months off, Tim plans to remain active with the company, helping out as needed.

Tim’s ownership will be passed on to his son Mike Buechel, who currently serves as Vice President of Operations and Marketing. With this change, Mike will become Chief Operating Officer of the company.

“As I pass along my part (ownership) of the business to my son Mike, I am not leaving the business, but instead I am allowing Mike to start a new chapter in the Buechel Stone legacy,” Buechel said.

The position changes will be effective Jan. 1, 2017. A video announcement with Tim, Scott, Mike, and Ma (Alyce) Buechel is featured near the top of our most recent blog post at: http://www.buechelstone.com/blog/2017/01/03/tim-buechel-retires/

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For more information on this article, contact:
Tracy Lisowe
Marketing Manager
920-907-5013
trlisowe@buechelstone.com

Project Showcase: Cheese Makes It Better

Author Avery Aames said, “Life is great; cheese makes it better.” I think Avery and I would get along just fine! Here’s where I’m going with this. Grande Cheese recently made our lives better when they featured a custom combination of Fond du Lac and Mill Creek Tailored Blend (with horizontal rockfacing throughout) on their gorgeous new home office and research center.

Once their modern vision of steel, glass, and stone became a beautiful reality; some of my fellow cheese-loving colleagues and I had the opportunity to attend a contractor open house. Even though we aren’t able to share all of the delicious pizzas and cheese entrées from Grande’s state-of-the-art industrial kitchen, we made this brief 90-second video to try and share some of the experience. Enjoy!

Tracy Lisowe
Marketing Manager
Buechel Stone Corp.

Buechel Building Stone – The Only Thing Different Is…

At Buechel Stone, we’re all about making dreams (and drawings) come true. Rather than going on and on about how we love what we do and what makes us different, we put together this 60-second video so you can get a behind-the-scenes look at what makes our building stone veneer products so great. If you like what you see, don’t be shy about sharing. After all, “Power is gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it.” – Unknown

Go ahead and take a minute. View. Share. Become powerful. Thanks!

Tracy Lisowe
Marketing Manager
Buechel Stone Corp.

The BEST in BIM Resources from Buechel

Massimo Vignelli said, “The life of a designer is one of fight: fight against the ugliness.” Whether you’re an architect, interior designer, engineer, mason, contractor, consultant, student, or any type of apprentice or professional talent; know that at Buechel Stone, we’ve got your back in the war for beauty.

Designer working at the desk - Technical design concept

We’re all about providing the resources needed at every phase for reaching everyone involved at all levels – regardless of the size of the project. For BIM (Building Information Modeling) and Revit users, we’ve invested in top-notch Autodesk-certified BIM resources that can be trusted to integrate seamlessly into the most sophisticated large-scale project models. And for smaller projects or quick 3D renderings, we’ve adapted our seamless textures for use in SketchUp (3D Warehouse). We’re also in the process of formatting our resources for a variety of design softwares, including Chief Architect (August 2016) and SoftPlan (early 2017).

With download access to our Sharefile Architectural Center and all of the resources we’ve made available from our manufacturer page on Autodesk Seek, you’ll instantly increase your arsenal in the battle against bad design. It’s easier than ever to find, preview, and download high-quality Buechel Stone specific BIM content and DWG files along with files not restricted to the Autodesk format (such as 3-part specifications, product test data, 3D Warehouse models for SketchUp, and more) – pretty much every file that you’ll need for your next natural stone project. Additionally, Autodesk Seek indexes, categorizes, and updates the content libraries provided with Revit Architecture and AutoCAD Architecture – so all of your favorite Buechel Building Stone and Cut Stone products are loaded and ready for active design sessions.

Engineer working at the office desk

The only way we can win the war against ugliness is with a partnership that’ll provide you (architect and design professionals) with readily-available technical tools and specification resources. Gains in speed and efficiencies will help you be competitive (with your fees) by making more room for the things that matter most – like the creative time you crave to design at your best to meet and exceed your client visions.

Designing with Buechel Stone products will help you create more beauty by doing the most of what you love. What started with BIM, became about making architects, engineers, consultants, and designers happy. Because, “Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.” – Frank Tyger 

Tracy Lisowe
Marketing Manager
Buechel Stone Corp.

Penny War Results = Priceless

This year’s Penny War got personal. And the results were priceless. Here’s why.

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Buechel Stone’s Penny War is also a wellness challenge. Points are accumulated and deducted according to steps, coins, and dollar bills. Sixteen participants formed teams that competed for one of five local causes. Things got personal when participants started nominating non-profits that would benefit kids like Braeden and Wyatt. Wyatt is my son.

This year’s challenge ran from May 18th to May 27th. Pedometers for 16 participants tracked over 2.15 million steps for an average of over 13,400 steps per person each day. Pennies in each charity team’s jar counted as point adds, and other forms of money were put into competitors’ jars as deductions. When the dust settled over $840 was collected from the donation buckets, and Buechel Stone Corp. donated an additional $685 among all of the nonprofits.

Spoiler alert (if you didn’t watch the video yet): The five local nonprofits benefitting from our most recent competition are listed below, in order of the final standings:
1. Team Braeden (Road to the Presidential Inauguration/Childhood Cancer Awareness)
2. Helping PAWS Pet Rescue Inc.
3. 4 Paws for Ability in Honor of Wyatt Lisowe (Autism Service Dog Fundraiser)
4. Operation Homefront
5. Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac

All of these non-profits are very worthwhile causes, so I was touched when our competitors insisted on giving 4 Paws for Wyatt a disproportionate share of the donations. It ended up being so much more than a wellness challenge punctuated by corporate stewardship. When we were busy counting steps and watching pennies, the character of our organizational culture overshadowed last year’s Penny War rivalries. Regardless of the money, it was one of those meaningful experiences that’s always going to stick with you; because the people added the meaning to make it matter.

Thank you to everyone that contributed to this year’s Penny War fundraiser! Whether you racked up steps for wellness, added currency to a fundraising bucket, or bought or sold bake-sale goods; you opened up your hearts to help make a difference. In a world where there’s no separation between corporate culture and brand, it’s great to be the Marketing Manager at Buechel Stone. Because, “Brands that have tribe thrive!” –Bernard Kelvin Clive

Tracy Lisowe
Marketing Manager
Buechel Stone Corp.

Passion & Child-like Enthusiasm

Our Buechel Stone team is not only passionate about being the best in stone, but we seem to be a pretty ambitious bunch when it comes to, well, pretty much anything. In fact, just as I was starting to work on writing up this very blog post, I got a call from the Saw Shop and found out that today is Red Nose Day. In the picture below, one of our employees is helping fight kids’ poverty.

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Speaking of kids, Wikipedia defines a Penny War as a fundraising technique commonly used in school for kids, since they’re usually more competitive and enthusiastic than adults. I guess that explains why last year’s Penny War was such a success. We’re in the midst of our second annual Penny War Wellness challenge. You can help by checking out the charities in the video at the end of this blog, and donating to some of your faves. But you only have until tomorrow (Friday, May 27th).

I mean, why not be seriously silly and compassionately competitive for causes right here in our local communities? After all, “The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age.” – Aldous Huxley

Tracy Lisowe
Marketing Manager
Buechel Stone Corp.

Only a Humble Person Can Be Free.

I’m not going to pretend to know Tom Paul nearly as well as the Buechel Family. Before his retirement sendoff, I thought I recognized the significance of his influence. Now, after hearing the war stories around the campfire (okay it was the Fond du Lac conference room, but it might as well have been a campfire), my level of respect has gone to a whole new level.

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It’s been said that humility is the key to effective leadership and high performance. If humility is the key, then it’s no wonder how Tom’s virtue rooted Buechel Stone in the strength and modesty to help us grow from some very challenging times.

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If there was a TEAM TOM mantra, we’d probably borrow this quote by C. S. Lewis, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” And Tom showed his selflessness right up to his very last day. He even sought assurances from April Dowland (HR Manager) to NOT be recognized prior to his departure. So of course April conspired with Tom’s wife Julie to plan a surprise golf outing. I can’t say for sure, but I think Tom forgave them after the first few holes. Let’s be real. It wasn’t the first time these two ladies teed him off. (Get it?)

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I’ll probably never completely understand the significance of everything Tom Paul has done for us during his nearly ten years of service as CFO of Buechel Stone Corp., but I’m glad he stuck around long enough for me to see and understand a few of his most impactful accomplishments.

“Selflessness is humility. Humility and freedom go hand in hand. Only a humble person can be free.” – Jeff Wilson  Thank you from everyone at Buechel Stone for enriching us with your humility. Cheers to many years ahead enjoying the freedom of retirement! You will be missed.

Tracy Lisowe
Marketing Manager
Buechel Stone Corp.

Learn Now. Procrastinate Later.

Ready to learn something new? If you’re not, someone else is. Recent attendees of our in-depth Rock College 2 training not only showed up, they jumped in with both feet and embraced this business of lifelong learning.

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We figured that the best way to quench the thirst for knowledge would be to make our eager students feel like they took their turn drinking from a fire hose. So we didn’t hold back. Not only did we show them some massive stones, but we also brought in our best experts on everything from sales, marketing, specifications, blueprints, shop drawings, masonry installations, and more.

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When it started to look like their brains needed a break, we went out to the shop for a crash course in stonemasonry. After a quick demo from our Laticrete rep, we let the group have at it and get their hands dirty.

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The challenge of our hands-on natural thin veneer installation was met with fierce intensity. We practically had to hide the trowels to get them to stop so the mortar could dry in time to try out some tuck pointing.

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They all did great. I’ll let their smiles of accomplishment be our testimonial. Because not only are they going home with a certificate of completion, but they all admitted to learning and doing things that they had never done before.

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Ronald E. Osborne is quoted as saying “Unless you do something beyond what you’ve already mastered, you will never grow.” You can prepare to grow too. Start with Rock College 1 before advancing through to Rock College 2. Rock College 1 classes are capped at 12 participants per training. Click the Rock College 1 Eventbrite link to reserve your seat. Because…

“You may delay, but time will not.” -Benjamin Franklin

Tracy Lisowe
Marketing Manager
Buechel Stone Corp.

Wellness Council of Wisconsin Recognizes Buechel Stone with Well Workplace Award

The Wellness Council of America, with local affiliate Wellness Council of Wisconsin, recently presented its coveted Small Business Well Workplace Award to Buechel Stone Corp. The Small Business Well Workplace Award recognizes an organization for its commitment to the health and well being of their employees.

By achieving the Well Workplace Award, Buechel Stone has made a long-lasting commitment to the health and well being of its employees. As stated by WELCOA President Ryan Picarella, “Good companies know that their employees are their most valuable asset. Great companies adopt policies that support employees’ efforts to reduce health risks and are bold about motivating them through bold strategies, programs, and tactics. Great companies know that by improving their employees’ health, they can reduce health care costs.”

The HR team, April Dowland and Nikki Buechel, acquired CEO and company support while gathering input from all participants and employees. They valued everyone’s ideas at the outset, and their conscientious planning and consideration of all feedback was a huge factor in the success of the resulting Wellness Program. Health risk assessments and employee interest surveys were used to establish a baseline. Along with weekly wellness topics and a resource library dedicated to wellness, nutritional specialists and oncologists were invited to present and discuss their areas of specialty. It raised a lot of awareness about everything from the dangers of tobacco and other toxins as well as matters of food and nutrition impacts on health.

Participants had fun with the creative activities that were devised to help get in better shape. One activity was a penny war in which teams were chosen and then they designated charities to support. Whichever team totaled the most steps won money for their charity, but the opposing teams could put non-pennies in the other teams’ containers to counteract their donations. In the end, everyone was a winner. Buechel Stone Corp. employees had fun, focused on moving around more, and the company gave donations to all the designated charities. Another activity was a “Poker Walk” in which employees received a playing card for every 10,000 steps per day. Another activity involved donating food items to the Holyland Food Pantry. Those are just a few of the fun fitness campaigns that were launched to help employees earn “wellness points” that could be used to pick prizes such as hats, shirts, and jackets. Collectively, employees lost almost 500 pounds by making healthier lifestyle choices. HR Manager April Dowland mentions higher ambitions for wellness by pointing out, “It’s exciting to achieve this first step knowing that we’re building a strong foundation for the health and well-being of our teams and their families.”

The Well Workplace Awards initiative is driven by a rigorous set of criteria outlined in WELCOA’s seven benchmarks to a result-oriented Well Workplace. Since its inception in 1991, over 1,000 organizations, ranging from educational institutions to non-profit and profit sectors have joined the list of “America’s Healthiest Companies” by receiving the Well Workplace Award. “Buechel Stone worked hard to successfully meet the rigorous standards set by the Well Workplace process. It is our pleasure to recognize them as the newest Wisconsin employer to achieve Well Workplace status” said Wellness Council of Wisconsin’s Executive Director, Jessica Raddemann.

The Wellness Council of Wisconsin was founded in 1985 by nine employer from the Wisconsin business community. With more than 6,000 member organizations located throughout North America, WELCOA is highly recognized and regarded for their innovative and result-oriented approach to worksite wellness.

Well Workplace Award Press Release-1