Stevens Industries Associates Graduate from SIU Edwardsville Construction Leadership Institute

April 25, 2016
By Amanda Emmerich, Marketing Coordinator

Stevens Industries, Inc. congratulates team members J.R. Elder, Mike Schultz and John Apke, recent graduates from the Construction Leadership Institute (CLI) at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville. CLI is a nine week Executive Education program for those in the architecture, engineering and construction fields. Courses were constructed by the School of Business and the School of Engineering’s Department of Construction. Course attendees included general contractors, construction management teams, and representatives from the manufacturing sector.

Class themes included strategic thinking, leadership styles and attributes, communication and presentation skills, risk, insurance and bonding, construction financial management, project proposal preparation and lean building principles. Participants found the group project challenging and interesting. Team members collaborated on a project plan then prepared formal, written proposals and finally presented it as a group to the entire class and prospective customers.

Mike Schultz commented, “Our collaborative projects were the most thought-provoking. Hearing from different companies and classmates with a variety of skills gave me insight that I’ll use in my work as a project manager. The CLI coursed expanded my knowledge and gave me resources and skills to understand many kinds of project management.”

John Apke, who will be serving on the CLI Advisory board as an Alumni Representative, agreed that the team presentation was a positive learning experience. “We used several techniques we learned from class and put them to practical use during our presentation,” Apke commented. “The most important device I learned was evaluation of my personal strengths and weaknesses, and how to use that information to recruit new team members with skill sets to supplement my own. In our strategic planning session we learned about ‘Communicating a Shared Vision.’ I used this with my team and members responded with improved moral and engagement because they better understood our goals and direction.”

Beyond the curriculum, the class had additional benefits, explained J.R. Elder, Stevens Vice President of Casework Services. “Connecting with other attendees was as great experience. Our shared construction backgrounds offered a lot of discussion topics. During breaks we had time to share ideas and stories, which was especially useful among our general contractor peers. It was an opportunity to improve our knowledge of our customer and their needs. The CLI course helped us grow in our abilities to speak in public, interact with teams and to learn more about ourselves. The class provided a lot of useful, practical skill enhancement.”

For more information about Stevens Industries, Inc., visit or contact Stevens Industries spokeswoman, Amanda Emmerich, at 217-857-7100. Stevens Industries, Inc. is 100-percent employee owned by its 450 associates.