Here at Nunn, we want to honor those who served our nation by spotlighting them this Veterans Day, starting with those we work alongside with every day. The sacrifices of these strong and courageous individuals have earned our respect and we recognize their efforts to protect our nation and freedom. On Veteran’s Day when we as a nation pause to reflect on the meaning of their service, we wanted to highlight a few of the Nunn employees who answered the call to serve.
Answering the Call
In our recognition of those who currently serve in the Armed Forces, we highlight Veterans like Larisa Jensen. For the past two years, she has served in the Air Force Reserves as Command Support. Before this, she acted as a Load Master in the Wyoming National Guard. While concurrently serving our nation, Larisa works in our Accounts Payable Department where she brings joy, humor and patience to a role that can be impersonal or overlooked. Coming from a family of Veterans, her heritage of service includes her husband, Joe Ringenoldus who works for Nunn as a Carpenter Foreman, her maternal grandfather, and adoptive father. When reflecting on her military service, Larisa has remarked how it “teaches you how to be a leader.” She asserts that this learned leadership has been an invaluable skill that has benefited her life and career. We are grateful to our Veterans, like Larisa, who make the commitment to serve today and every day.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year over 5,000 Veterans were currently employed in the construction industry. We at Nunn value the skills, discipline, and unique perspective Veterans bring to our industry. Consequently, over our 40 years of business, we’ve sought to hire Veterans to leverage their skills while seeking to create what Kellee Briggs describes as “a very military focused culture”. Joining Nunn after 5 years in the US Army, Kellee is a Preconstruction Manager who harnesses her wealth of knowledge to find savings for clients in the preconstruction phase of projects. Kellee has remarked that her time in the Army shares some similarities with her current role at Nunn. Such similarities include having “standard operating procedures”, employing “very disciplined” people, and both having a culture of people who know how critical it is to take care of their fellow employees.
Kellee is not the only Veteran at Nunn who has remarked on other employees taking care of their Veteran coworkers. Joe Ringenoldus shared that he experienced this camaraderie last year when a fellow employee made breakfast for him and the others on his jobsite. Joe served in Active-Duty in the US Army as a Combat Engineer. Leaving after 20 years of service, he joined the Nunn team in 2020 as a Carpenter Apprentice, working with Nunn for his final three months in the Army. Having served multiple deployments, Joe reflected on what Veterans Day means to him. For Joe, this is a day to honor and remember those he personally served with, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.
Building in a Strong Military Community
Nunn is grateful to build in Colorado Springs which has a strong military community, that hosts multiple military bases serving different branches, most notably the US Air Force, US Army, and US Space Force. Building for this military community has allowed us to provide Veterans and their families with updated spaces to work, learn and connect. For example, we had the privilege to do several renovation projects for Air Academy High School, which educates children of military families and is located on the US Air Force Academy Base. Our relationship with the Air Academy High School is something that we wish to continually grow, and we are honored to provide these upgrades to the facilities that the staff and students use daily. Go Kadets!
Opportunities after Service
At Nunn we understand that the transition from military service to civilian workforce can be challenging for some. For this reason, we are glad that non-profits, such as the Home Builder Institute (HBI), have programs that assist Veterans or their spouses to provide them with in-demand training for the skilled trades. Justin Harrod, an Assistant Superintendent at Nunn (pictured in the above image at Widefield Parks & Recreation’s jobsite during construction) is one such graduate of HBI. Justin’s wife served in the military, and he became the first Veteran’s spouse to graduate from the course. Justin jokes that he went from not being able to read a tape measure to graduating the course and winning a national award from HBI! In addition to aiding Justin in his success, Joe Ringenoldus also graduated from HBI’s course. While Joe had some previous experience in construction, the course built upon the knowledge and skills he already had and prepared him for career path in commercial construction. At Nunn we are grateful for non-profits like HBI who help Veterans find their next career path after military service, grow their skills, and how their training programs help support our industry with highly-skilled graduates at a time when labor shortages are still a mounting concern.
This Veterans Day, we at Nunn honor all those who served our nation and thank them for their sacrifice and dedication. We also thank our Veteran employees for their perspective, teamwork, and care. Today is our day to honor you!