What’s your workout? An interview with Employee-Owner Clare Bielecki


Kitchell Employee-Owner Clare Bielecki is dedicated to achieving balance on and off the job, both literally and figuratively. Clare is a Business Manager with our Kitchell CEM team in Southern California. She is also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and achieves balance, calm, and clarity on her mat by helping others breathe and ground themselves while teaching students at Radiant Hot Yoga in Orange County.

What’s on your yoga playlist?

Lots of unknown pop/electronic music for the faster paced portions of classes, more low-key tunes for the slower parts. I try to find up and coming music on Spotify as often as I can to keep it fresh and love recommendations on new artists.

Does your diet play a role in your commitment to yoga, if so how?

Absolutely! I teach HOT yoga, which means the room is heated to 105 degrees plus 40% humidity – fuel for my body is essential. Each class can burn anywhere from 350-900 calories depending on body type and class intensity. I am responsible for guiding a class with anywhere from 20-50 students, so my energy level has to be high for 60 or 80-minute classes to motivate my students.

I eat small meals consistently throughout the day and keep it high in protein. I restore potassium and magnesium electrolytes naturally with lots of greens and bananas (my favorite food). I also drink ridiculous amounts of water throughout the day- you’ll never see me without my large Nalgene bottle at my side.

How do you stay motivated to teach or practice?

My own yoga practice is very important to me – making it to my mat daily helps to inspire my messaging so I can practice what I preach. It can be a challenge to find the time, but it is always worth it.

Reason for practicing and/or teaching yoga?

I started practicing yoga six years ago as a physical workout, and it has become a necessary element to my life to keep me sane! I began teaching two years ago with the encouragement from the owner of my studio and many others. Plus, I love the challenge of the heat in the room – this practice is not for the faint of heart!

Things you’ve learned about yourself during the journey- toward becoming a teacher or daily realizations as a practitioner?

Yoga has seriously changed my outlook and perspective on life. I am a genuinely happier person when I practice consistently, and it has provided an enormous amount of grounding to my life. The self-confidence I have gained is remarkable, and I have greatly improved my public speaking skills. Guiding a class is not easy, but I have so much fun doing it, I can’t imagine not having it as a part of my life. I could probably go on for days about how much of an impact it has had on me both personally and professionally.

First thing you do after you teach class or practice a class?

For some reason I usually crave a good crunchy apple or a coconut water to refuel my body, and of course drink tons of water.

As a self-insured company, Kitchell is dedicated to ensuring our employees maintain a healthy lifestyle. We incentivize employees to earn wellness points toward their health savings accounts (HSAs), and maintain robust benefits for employees and their dependents. For more information about Kitchell’s benefits and potential career opportunities, visit www.Kitchell.com/careers.

Construction Superintendent features Kitchell’s Mike King

Originally published in Construction Superintendent on May 24, 2017. See original article here.

Mike King, ASHE, CHC, senior project superintendent, has invested three decades of his professional life at Kitchell Contractors where he’s managed some of the Southwest’s most iconic projects, including many of Arizona’s most high-profile healthcare projects. From Tucson to Flagstaff and around Greater Phoenix, King’s footprint can be found at a patient tower for Phoenix Children’s Hospital and at an emergency department tower at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, as well as the Mercy Gilbert Medical Center. In Southern California, King managed the University of California San Diego Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla. A veteran construction industry manager, King continues to bring his leadership and teamwork philosophy to life while mentoring the next generation of construction leaders. Here are highlights of Construction Superintendent’s discussion with King.

(Q) The majority of your experience is in the medical industry. How did you get involved with that specific industry?

It comes down to having great passion for what we do and bringing leadership to these challenging projects. Medical industry projects are also very rewarding to me, personally, because at the end of the day, healthcare is all about helping others.

(Q) Of the varied projects you’ve supervised, which ones do you consider the most interesting and why?

The Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego is intriguing because of the complexity of the project. Everything at Jacobs Medical Center was custom and it was a very high-profile and extremely challenging Integrated Project Delivery environment. On the UC Jacobs project, I was onsite from inception to completion. It remains one of the most challenging and successful projects I’ve had the pleasure to oversee.

(Q) In addition to the training you’ve received on OSHA, quality improvement, safety and emergency response, are there other learning opportunities that you’ve added to your portfolio?

Leadership training has been critical to our success. The Kitchell Leaders Program challenges and guides leaders through this process and gives us the tools to share our management skills and best practices with future leaders.

(Q) What is your go-to tech tool you use to get the job done?

The construction app, PlanGrid, is a fantastic tool that our superintendents love and rely on. I also utilize Building Information Modeling integrated with P6 scheduling software.

(Q) What is the best advice you’ve received throughout your work in the industry?

The best advice I’ve gotten is to stay humble, trust your people and avoid arrogance at all costs. I stay open-minded and manage with confidence at all times.

(Q) What techniques do you use to maintain good relations and communications with everyone involved in a project, including the public, when necessary?

I’m a big believer in one-on-one interaction and human interface. I rely heavily on an open communication philosophy and stay away from relying on email communications. With face-to-face interactions, nothing is lost in translation and expectations can be successfully managed.

(Q) What’s the craziest thing you’ve experienced on the job?

When building a hospital in rural Arizona, somehow cows got into the building and marked their territory in a surgical building addition.

(Q) How has the worker shortage affected your business and what types of strategies are you employing to combat the problem?

It’s a huge issue and challenges us to be creative and find solutions to stay on schedule. We are tackling the issue by utilizing prefabrication whenever possible with interior walls and framing segments of the build. We have also found success by splitting up trade partner contracts among other innovative approaches.

(Q) In your opinion, what is the most important quality a superintendent should possess?

Strong leadership. With that comes respect, honesty, guidance, open communication and open-mindedness.

(Q) Where can we find you when you’re not donning your hardhat?

I enjoy being on a boat in Mexico fishing for marlin and other sport fish. Like any good fisherman worth his salt, we always practice catch and release so future generations can enjoy the experience as well.