River City Six: Laura Schulz
McGill Restoration Inc. (mcgillrestoration.com) has been in business since 1985, and is a recognized industry leader in the rehabilitation and preservation of concrete and masonry structures throughout the U.S. Laura Schulz is a Project Manager/Estimator at McGill Restoration.
How did you get started in the business?
I have been working with concrete since I was a little girl. My father was a high school math teacher who worked construction in the summers, which included flat work, basement walls, stone work, and masonry. As the youngest of four girls, he knew that I would need something constructive to do in the summer to prevent my sisters from killing me. A lot of the knowledge that I have about concrete and construction comes from the time I spent working with him. After graduating from the UNO, I took a position as an administrative assistant at CCS Group, LLC, a concrete silo repair company. I was promoted to Safety Director after noticing a need to implement safety policies and procedures. Due to the massive turnover rate at this company, I was able to learn the business through safety and translate into project management and sales, working my way up to VP of Operations. I joined the McGill Restoration team in May of 2017.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
The decision to expand my knowledge of concrete restoration beyond silo restoration by accepting a job offer from McGill. It is easy to stay where you are comfortable, in a position of authority, and well known. It can be difficult to try something new. However, I enjoy a challenge and look forward to working with a company that is well respected.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Besides being promoted within a company from entry-level to management leadership in 2 years, it was working with an engineer and supplier to develop a new repair method utilizing carbon fiber rebar to fix a silo without using traditional shotcrete methods. This process allowed me to work outside the box and create a custom repair procedure for newer silos with deficient reinforcement. The collaboration of all of our interests and specialties into one project was truly inspiring.
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband, Justin, and I have a 9-year-old son, Levi. We also have two mini schnauzers.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I love to be active! My son and I play frisbee, basketball, go to the gym, basically anything that keeps us active! We aren’t the type of family that sits around.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I used to work for a funeral home when I was in high school.
What are you the most proud of?
I am proud of the fact that hard work and the willingness to do anything to get to where I needed to be has gotten me to exactly where I am today. Being motivated and hardworking is rare trait in people my age in today’s world. It’s nice to know the American dream is still possible if you work hard for what you want to achieve.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I’d say it came from my dad. He always told me if you work really hard and you are good to people then good things will happen for you.