Thirty years ago, Kim Unruh found herself in need of a job after her employer relocated from Dayton, Ohio to another state. She was interviewing at a temp agency when her interviewer took a call from a client. That client was Miller Valentine Construction. “It was a case of being in the right place at the right time,” Kim recalled.
Kim started as a temporary administrative assistant at Miller Valentine but was soon hired full-time. She soon realized that the company culture was a good fit.
“It was apparent that treating people fairly was prioritized,” she said. “It was also clear that the company’s founders believed in treating people like family, helping them out when they were down and moving them ahead when they were ready.”
Initially, Kim supported the sales team and the Operations Manager. But early on, she noted how highly the project managers spoke about their teams and wanted to be part of that. She took construction management courses until “life got in the way.” However, when a Project Assistant (PA) role opened in Miller Valentine’s Cincinnati office, Kim was quick to apply.
It’s a role she still holds 20 years later. As a PA, Kim is responsible for gathering and entering project information into the system, processing subcontracts and change orders, updating subcontractor compliance, setting up purchase orders for suppliers on the job, processing monthly subcontractor and supplier invoices, and preparing client billings.
With only two PAs in the Cincinnati office, Kim is responsible for roughly half of all projects that are signed by the Cincinnati team. Some of her current projects include the Total Quality Logistics expansion, The Union, and Saica.
“Every project has unique requirements, but it’s a lot of fun,” said Kim. “If you have to do the same thing every day, it gets monotonous.”
In addition to her PA responsibilities, Kim co-manages the Cincinnati office. She is also active with Adopt A Class, an initiative of the MV Volunteers program. This year, she is part of a group working with fourth graders in Middletown, Ohio.
“I love Adopt A Class. It’s fun, and it’s a great way to give back to the community in a way that lines up with our values and, hopefully, encourages students to see the possibilities open to them in our field,” said Kim.
In the 30 years since joining the company, Kim witnessed much change as Miller Valentine grew. The culture has modified itself along the way, but the fundamentals still hold true.
“Work hard and play hard. Learn from your mistakes. Help each other out. Be passionate about your work and always be safe,” Kim said. “If you work hard and people know they can trust you, you’ll have opportunities to grow.”
She has stayed with the company so long because she shares those values.
“I work hard, I do what it takes to get the job done, and I care about the people I work with,” Kim said. “I’m really grateful to Miller Valentine. I was an unknown factor back when I started, but I have been provided with so many opportunities to grow and take on new responsibilities.”