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KBI, Holiday Inn Titusville

KBI Sunshine State

Not every Sunshine State Safety Recognition Award recipient is headquartered in the Sunshine State. Kuebler Builders, Inc. (KBI), a general contractor, construction management and design-build contracting firm, is based in McDonald, Tennessee, just outside of Chattanooga, and has a satellite office in Lake Mary, Florida. In November, the company earned its first USF SafetyFlorida Sunshine State award for a five-story, 124-room Holiday Inn it is building in Titusville.

KBI makes it a practice to call in OSHA consultation services regardless of location. "We request consultation programs at all of our sites to have another set of eyes come in to critique where we're at."

This is not the first Florida project for the company either. KBI has built retail complexes and other commercial properties in Tampa, Pensacola, West Palm Beach, Lake City and Jacksonville. The Titusville project, scheduled for completion in March 2010, has two full-time employees on-site as well as several subcontractor firms, including plumbing, site work, electrical and drywall. Corporate Safety Director Ray Michelena says the Sunshine State award is "a good recognition for our guys out in the field." As a thank you, KBI hosted a pizza lunch for trade members who worked on the project. "We stress team effort. We like to share this award with everybody because they're a part of this."

Michelena adds that the award provides a level of friendly competition to the company, too. With a project underway in Tampa, company eyes are now on the other side of the state to see how they perform safety-wise. "It's like, 'Okay, Tampa. Titusville won this award; now let's see what you can do.' This is a good motivator."

In today's economy and environment, where budget cuts are the norm, KBI remains committed to its safety standards. "Our management believes in the safety program and knows it works. Safety hasn't been pushed off the table. This award is a good reinforcement of what we do. Safety is successful when it becomes a way of life."