Associate Spotlight: Kirk Kiger
“You Need a Good Team Around You”
How Kirk Kiger Turned a Job Opportunity Into a Career
When Kirk Kiger joined Miller Valentine Construction, he was just looking for a job. He was focused and diligent, and it wasn’t long before he became a lead man. Now, 25 years later, he’s a superintendent running jobs for some of Miller Valentine’s biggest customers. Ahead of his 25-year anniversary with the company, we caught up with Kirk to ask about his career, his favorite pastimes, the best advice he has received, and more.
How did you get your start in the construction industry?
When I was in high school, I started working for a local builder. From there, I worked different jobs in the construction trade, doing everything from painting to roofing. Now I’m on the commercial side.
What brought you to Miller Valentine?
I went to school with Nick Beach, who told me about an open position with Miller Valentine. Nick is Miller Valentine’s Vice President of Operation, Southeast, but at the time, he was a Project Manager. I interviewed with Dean Aldridge and Jane Brown, got the job, and went to work on my first job in Kentucky.
What was your first position with Miller Valentine?
I started out as a general laborer, but I became a lead man fairly quickly. I’ve been running jobs for 20 of my 25 years with the company. I ran a framing and drywall crew for a while, did some tenant work, and ran the yard for a bit. About 10 years ago, I returned to the field as a superintendent. I’ve worked in a lot of states, including Ohio, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.
What are you working on right now?
We are helping one of our clients retrofit a 960,000 square foot warehouse for automation in Vandalia, Ohio. We are changing rack systems to accommodate automated forklifts and installing an automated space in one of the work cells.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I like interacting with project teams, our clients, our subcontractors, and inspectors. I’m a hands-on superintendent. I like to go out in the field and watch and listen and talk. A big part of the job is identifying problems before they arise so we can fix them before they get out of hand. I like having a role in problem solving and finding a way to do it better.
What are some of the top projects that you’ve worked on?
What are some of the positive changes you have seen in the industry in the past 25 years?
Computers and technology. You don’t have a lot of paper on jobsites anymore. It used to be you’d get a throw-away camera to take photos, but now you can do it on your phone or tablet.
I’d also say training and safety. Our safety measures are above and beyond a lot of other companies. But we have always done a good job with that.
What is the best advice you ever received on the job?
Keep a positive attitude. Even if you come across something that has thrown a bone in your day, remember that tomorrow is another day. Don’t let anything beat you up. Always ask questions if you’re not sure of something.
What has kept you at Miller Valentine for 25 years?
They treat me fair. You need to have a good team around you; it makes your day and your job run a lot smoother. At Miller Valentine, you always have a good team around you.
What do you enjoy doing outside of the workday?
I like to spend time in my in-ground pool. I like to golf. Two of my sons have a landscaping company, and sometimes I help cut grass. And of course, OSU football.