UNIBusiness - University of Norhtern Iowa College of Business

How Two Real Estate Alums Made an Extreme Difference

UNI-Alums-Participate-in-Hubbell-Extreme-Build-Inline2.jpg

It‘s not unusual for UNI graduates to be out in the world, making a difference. But it‘s somewhat unusual for two of them, employed by the same company, to be working on a major construction project together in Des Moines as volunteers.

Tim Portzen (Real Estate '12) and Eric Bohnenkamp (Real Estate '13) both work for Hubbell Realty in Des Moines. Both are project managers; Portzen in commercial development and Bohnenkamp in land development. Their paths cross now and then during the workweek but they got involved in a project together last summer as part of a major community initiative taken on by Hubbell.

In August and September, Hubbell led an effort to complete an 11-day "Extreme Build" of the Ronald McDonald House near Iowa Methodist Medical Center in downtown Des Moines. The new house features a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system; larger kitchen, dining and laundry facilities; a theater, game room and outdoor play area; and a garden. The secured building also has a covered entry and private check-in area for families. Additional parking, storage and office space help make the organization‘s daily work more efficient.

The total project cost came in at $3 million. Hubbell, along with subcontractors and vendors, donated the majority of labor and materials for the build. 

"We were mostly on the back end," Bohnenkamp says, "volunteering on-site during the 11-day build."

Hubbell has been completing "Extreme Build" projects every three or four years since 2006.

In 2009, they did nine homes for nine families in nine days in partnership with Anawim. In 2013, it was Cabins for Campers at Easter Seals‘ Camp Sunnyside. This year, Ronald McDonald.
 
The 24-hour around-the clock project took 1,200 volunteers; all Hubbell employees and their families and friends were invited to help.

Portzen filled several duties on several shifts during the build. "We were support to the shinglers, hammer swingers and crane drivers. I tried to do a bit of everything. Check-in was one of my jobs. We had 1,200 volunteers and hundreds of trades workers. Check-in was kind of necessary," he says. "I also came in to do some cleanup, picking up trash, and worked in the food tent. Hubbell provided meals to all the workers plus an overnight snack."  

Bohnenkamp‘s role was similar. "I was down there four different times, passing out food and drinks, sweeping up, running a skid loader. I also helped build a retaining wall."

Portzen and Bohnenkamp knew each other at UNI but not until later, when both were doing internships on the commercial real estate team at Aegon in Cedar Rapids. "We realized we had friends in common, and the rest is history," Portzen says. The two now work closely together in their roles at Hubbell.

Both men credit their UNI education with their career success as well as their community spirit. "Being a real estate major is fairly rare," Portzen says, "and to get into real estate with that major speaks volumes for the program. It gets you in tune with a network, which is pretty tight knit in the Des Moines area. I can completely thank UNI for my ability to get an internship, which translated into getting my first job." Portzen says he runs into UNI real estate grads often in Des Moines; many are employed at Hubbell, but others are at other agencies and a few are on the real estate advisory board. "It was kind of cool to see the people you networked with in college and spend time with them in Des Moines for Ronald McDonald House," he says.

Portzen says his experience at UNI also allowed him to get comfortable with networking, which has helped him both in his personal life and in his career. 

The UNI experience also prepared Portzen for volunteering. "I was involved in stuff at school," Portzen says. "There were plenty of options to donate your time and talent, and that translates to wanting to continue."

Bohnenkamp says that while he was a student, he observed that the university invested in the community as well as its students. "It showed me that you can be invested in more than one thing. You can invest in your community and make it a better place to live." He said he enjoys hearing stories of how Ronald McDonald House affects families and provides them a home at a difficult time in their lives.


Hubbell Extreme Build Fast Facts

Demo Day: Aug. 9, 2017
Build Date: Sept. 11-22, 2017
House reopened on Nov. 20. Sixteen families moved in on Nov. 21, in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
New House Facts: More than 17,000 square feet, more than 30 parking spots, 18 bedrooms and more than 18 bathrooms (two family suites able to hold six family members), dual mirrored state-of-the-art kitchens, fireplace, $20,000 playground donated by Variety — The Children‘s Charity, game room, theater room, board room, and office facilities.

Trade Partner Info:
Hubbell worked with more than 100 trade partners on the project; anywhere from 50 to 200 tradesmen were on the job site at any given time.
 

Posted on 08-Jan-18


  






UNIBusiness News

How Two Real Estate Alums Made an Extreme Difference

UNI-Alums-Participate-in-Hubbell-Extreme-Build-Inline2.jpg

It‘s not unusual for UNI graduates to be out in the world, making a difference. But it‘s somewhat unusual for two of them, employed by the same company, to be working on a major construction project together in Des Moines as volunteers.

Tim Portzen (Real Estate '12) and Eric Bohnenkamp (Real Estate '13) both work for Hubbell Realty in Des Moines. Both are project managers; Portzen in commercial development and Bohnenkamp in land development. Their paths cross now and then during the workweek but they got involved in a project together last summer as part of a major community initiative taken on by Hubbell.

In August and September, Hubbell led an effort to complete an 11-day "Extreme Build" of the Ronald McDonald House near Iowa Methodist Medical Center in downtown Des Moines. The new house features a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system; larger kitchen, dining and laundry facilities; a theater, game room and outdoor play area; and a garden. The secured building also has a covered entry and private check-in area for families. Additional parking, storage and office space help make the organization‘s daily work more efficient.

The total project cost came in at $3 million. Hubbell, along with subcontractors and vendors, donated the majority of labor and materials for the build. 

"We were mostly on the back end," Bohnenkamp says, "volunteering on-site during the 11-day build."

Hubbell has been completing "Extreme Build" projects every three or four years since 2006.

In 2009, they did nine homes for nine families in nine days in partnership with Anawim. In 2013, it was Cabins for Campers at Easter Seals‘ Camp Sunnyside. This year, Ronald McDonald.
 
The 24-hour around-the clock project took 1,200 volunteers; all Hubbell employees and their families and friends were invited to help.

Portzen filled several duties on several shifts during the build. "We were support to the shinglers, hammer swingers and crane drivers. I tried to do a bit of everything. Check-in was one of my jobs. We had 1,200 volunteers and hundreds of trades workers. Check-in was kind of necessary," he says. "I also came in to do some cleanup, picking up trash, and worked in the food tent. Hubbell provided meals to all the workers plus an overnight snack."  

Bohnenkamp‘s role was similar. "I was down there four different times, passing out food and drinks, sweeping up, running a skid loader. I also helped build a retaining wall."

Portzen and Bohnenkamp knew each other at UNI but not until later, when both were doing internships on the commercial real estate team at Aegon in Cedar Rapids. "We realized we had friends in common, and the rest is history," Portzen says. The two now work closely together in their roles at Hubbell.

Both men credit their UNI education with their career success as well as their community spirit. "Being a real estate major is fairly rare," Portzen says, "and to get into real estate with that major speaks volumes for the program. It gets you in tune with a network, which is pretty tight knit in the Des Moines area. I can completely thank UNI for my ability to get an internship, which translated into getting my first job." Portzen says he runs into UNI real estate grads often in Des Moines; many are employed at Hubbell, but others are at other agencies and a few are on the real estate advisory board. "It was kind of cool to see the people you networked with in college and spend time with them in Des Moines for Ronald McDonald House," he says.

Portzen says his experience at UNI also allowed him to get comfortable with networking, which has helped him both in his personal life and in his career. 

The UNI experience also prepared Portzen for volunteering. "I was involved in stuff at school," Portzen says. "There were plenty of options to donate your time and talent, and that translates to wanting to continue."

Bohnenkamp says that while he was a student, he observed that the university invested in the community as well as its students. "It showed me that you can be invested in more than one thing. You can invest in your community and make it a better place to live." He said he enjoys hearing stories of how Ronald McDonald House affects families and provides them a home at a difficult time in their lives.


Hubbell Extreme Build Fast Facts

Demo Day: Aug. 9, 2017
Build Date: Sept. 11-22, 2017
House reopened on Nov. 20. Sixteen families moved in on Nov. 21, in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
New House Facts: More than 17,000 square feet, more than 30 parking spots, 18 bedrooms and more than 18 bathrooms (two family suites able to hold six family members), dual mirrored state-of-the-art kitchens, fireplace, $20,000 playground donated by Variety — The Children‘s Charity, game room, theater room, board room, and office facilities.

Trade Partner Info:
Hubbell worked with more than 100 trade partners on the project; anywhere from 50 to 200 tradesmen were on the job site at any given time.
 

Posted on 08-Jan-18







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