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Waste remover

Photo submitted by M.A. Mortenson Co.

Photo submitted by M.A. Mortenson Co.

By MaryBeth Matzek

It’s not like Rick Senk needed another job.

As a senior superintendent with M.A. Mortenson Co., Senk keeps the flow of communication going at all times, coordinating construction workers, supervisors and clients to make sure projects keep moving in the right direction.

So when he was asked to adhere to a goal of recycling 90 percent of site waste during construction of the Aurora Medical Center and medical office building in Grafton, the request could easily have been lost in the shuffle.

But Senk believes it is an important part of a site superintendent’s job to keep a handle on waste, said Tim Jones, a Mortensen construction executive. Senk’s dedication to the project’s focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship helped make it a success, Jones said.

“Rick has a real passion for his work,” he said. “He believes in doing the right thing, and it’s a central part of his core values. It really shines through on the work site.”

Senk ensured waste levels were kept low during construction of the new 89-bed hospital, attached medical office building and orthopedic clinic in Grafton, said Robert Bearlund, a senior project executive with Hammes Co. LLC, the project’s developer.

“Rick understands how important recycling is to us and the overall project and makes sure it’s getting done,” Bearlund said. “He’s definitely someone you can rely on.”

Senk is a tenacious taskmaster, Bearlund said, and makes sure what needs to get done is accomplished.

“Rick’s a good, strong leader,” Bearlund said. “People respect him because he walks the talk and has a real vision for how to get things done. He’s also fun to be around and well-respected in the industry for doing what needs to be done.”

Large medical facilities are nothing new to Senk, who also worked as the senior superintendent for the Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer Center in Wauwatosa, Jones said. No matter the project, he said, Senk keeps on top of all aspects of construction.

“Site coordination is not an easy job,” Jones said. “There are a lot of people involved. There’s a lot of communication involved.”

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