Mike Loven, founder of one of the largest construction companies in Northern Arizona, has recently received one of the most valued safety awards in the Southwest.
Loven Contracting was recognized by the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Award, a very high safety standard earned through the Arizona Industrial Commission and OSHA. “This is very significant for us,” said Loven, who started the contracting company in 1984. “The VPP standard is very hard to obtain and takes a lot of effort, especially for a company our size.”
The achievement did not come easy, but the benefits are enormous. “We wanted to go above and beyond the minimum requirements for safety,” said Loven. “The outcome is safety for our workers, an efficient and organized job site, cleanliness and our workers’ compensation costs are lower, which, ultimately, is beneficial to our clients.”
The blueprint for Loven’s success and longevity, he says, starts with the company’s commitment to following core values: safety, customer satisfaction, people, ethics and quality. “We don’t have to meet the higher standards, the minimum is what’s required, but we want to go above and beyond. In the end, the job goes faster and people know that you care about them.”
Loven’s company covers a broad range of construction projects, including health care facilities, restaurants, auto dealerships and the preservation of historic buildings. Recently, Loven Contracting has been re-roofing the Bright Angel Cabins at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, and restoring the Buckey O’Neil Cabin, the oldest building in the Grand Canyon Village. To ensure preservation compliance, Loven works closely with the National Park Service and concessionaires.
“Just between our superintendent, Audey Eckel, and project manager, Brett Woods, we have more than 70 years’ experience working at the Grand Canyon,” said Loven.
“I’ve touched just about every structure at the Grand Canyon,” said Eckel, who has worked on Hopi House, Bright Angel Lodge and other buildings. “I’ve spent most of my career working there.”
Woods has been working for Loven Contracting for four years. “I love working for Loven Contracting; Mike is a fantastic employer. He’s put together a great crew and he’s passionate about his work. It’s no surprise that he’s won this prestigious award.”
Woods, who previously worked for his father’s construction company, has worked at various projects at the Grand Canyon since 1989, including at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon.
Currently, Loven Contracting is working on projects at Little America Hotel Flagstaff, the Mercedes-Benz of Flagstaff dealership and the Women and Infants unit at Flagstaff Medical Center.
“Mike does an outstanding job; he takes a very personalized and hands-on approach,” said Little American General Manager Fred Reese. “He’s been working with us since 2010 and every year gets better.”
“For a company our size, this safety rating is very hard to achieve,” Loven Contracting Director of Marketing Carla McCord said. “We have company-wide safety meetings every Monday morning and surprise internal inspections with our on-staff safety coordinator. We’ve created a culture of safety among our staff members.”
Loven says his goal is to pass along his company to the next generation. “We have incredible people here at Loven. I’m really proud to see the company grow as it has and for each staff member to bring the same pride in quality, service and ethics to their work that the company was founded on”.
Loven Contracting is based in Flagstaff with a presence in Cottonwood and Yuma. FBN
By Veronica Tierney