MBEX Has the Scoop

Check out our latest updates & findings below.

Have news to share? We’d love to hear it! Send your company hires, news, events and press releases to ah@mbex.org.

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Member News

Newest MBEX Members (June + July)

posted on 08.12.2022

Who joined the Minnesota Builders Exchange throughout the months of June and July? Keep reading to find out, and then join us in extending a warm welcome to the newest members our construction community!

These companies joined the Exchange in the months of June and July 2022:


Olson & Son's Electric Inc - An electrical contractor located in Monticello, Minn. since 1959, OSE offers services that include electrical contracting, commercial, industrial, residential, electrical apparatus service center/motor repair, retail store, and preventative maintenance.

Skogen Mechanical - Located in Mankato, Minn., Skogen Mechanical was established in 2011. They offer services in a wide variety of industries including educational, medical, industrial, manufacturing, retail, residential and commercial facilities.

Gardner Builders - A general contractor that started up in 2010 and is located in Minneapolis, Minn., Gardner Builders is a hospitality company in the commercial construction business focused on delivering projects – both simple and complex – in a way that gives customers complete confidence.

Hilti - Founded in 1941 as a small family start-up, Hilti has an office located in Roseville, Minn is a part of the company's North American team that includes about 4,000 highly-trained team members. They carry expertise in product and software development, sales, engineering, finance, marketing, logistics and other support roles.

BC Electric Service LLC - Located in Mankato, Minn., BC Electric Services offers electrical work for both the commercial and residential construction realms that includes electrical troubleshooting, parking lot lighting, pole lighting, LED retrofitting, voice/data network cabling and systems, and more. They also offer services in the agricultural sector as well as home audio and theater servicing to take your home entertainment experience to the next level.

910 Specialties - Established in 2013, 910 Specialties offers services in wood ceilings, acoustical walls, impact protection, flooring materials, windows, FRP, and other specialty materials. They are located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Country Joe Homes dba Youngfield Homes - A general contractor focused on new construction located in Lakeville, Minn., Country Joe Homes endeavor to build creatively and beautifully designed homes that are more comfortable, more functional and full of light. They're also expanding into commercial work.

Affintech - A leading national technology systems integrator, Affinitech builds world-class technology solutions that excite and engage, while making people safer and more productive, and businesses more successful. They are located in Chanhassen, Minn., offering professional services in digital signage, audtio/visual solutions and commercial security systems.

Central Mechanical Insulation - Located in Avon, Minn., Central Mechanical Insulation offers mechanical insulating contracting services. They are a newer company as they have established themselves this year (2022). 

Renascent - A demolition contractor in Indianapolis, IN, Renascent specializes in the demolition and repurposing of old structures. With roots thirty years deep, Renascent plays their part in the renewal of urban, campus, health care, industrial, and public works projects, repurposing land and buildings to meet the technological, cultural, and social demands of the 21st century.

Parker Contracting LLC - Another newer construction company started in 2022, Parker Contracting specializes in earthwork and site utilities and they are located in Minneapolis, Minn.



Interested in the Minnesota Builders Exchange and what our Online Plan Room can offer? We have two levels of membership: Basic and Premium

- Basic Access includes: access to bidders lists and bid results, tracking ability of projects via email, ability to follow prebid projects, receiving of nightly email updates, filtering of projects using CSI/Division, and the ability to order blueprints for pickup or delivery.
- Premium Access includes all the features of Basic Access, plus the ability to view, print, and save project plans, specs, and addenda.

Choose the level of access that fits your companies needs best. While we do not offer a free trial before becoming a member, you can preview our Online Plan Room on our YouTube channel. Watch the available videos to get an idea of our plan room's capabilites and functions. Give us a call if you have questions: (612) 381-2620.


If This is Your Current Password, It’s Time to Update

posted on 08.05.2022

We have a serious question for you: is your current password “123456” (give or take a number or two)?

If you answered yes, you’re going to want to change it…and fast. It doesn’t matter if it’s the CEO of a company or a contractor; the most popular password remains to be “123456”.



According to a recent study conducted by NordPass, a business password management company, of all the industries out there, construction is the worst at keeping hard-to-crack passwords.

Inside this study, NordPass included a list of passwords complied in partnership with independent researchers specializing in research of cybersecurity and was conducted to study password habits of high-level executives. The study also looked at how vulnerable most businesses are despite years of warnings to create more sophisticated passwords.

Regardless of the potential fallout of a data breach, most workers insist on setting passwords that are simple word and number sequences. The following are the most popular business passwords:

- 123456
- Password
- 12345
- 123456789
- qwerty

Interestingly, this study also found that top-level executives are more likely to use names or mythical creates as an inspiration when creating passwords. A few of the most popular are “dragon,” “monkey,” and the name “Tiffany”.



When using a common password such as “12345” and “password,” it significantly increases the risk of cyberattacks at both the person and company level.

An IBM report reveals in 2021, the average global cost of a data breach reached $4.24 million, which is 10% more compared to 2020. The attacks that happen due to compromised credentials cost even more, at $4.37 million and account for 20% of breaches.

The industries with the most data breaches, in order according to the study, were construction, technology, finance, healthcare, hospitality, media, and marketing.



Avoid data breaches by following these simple steps to improve password security:

1.) Use a password manager. Password managers allow users to store all the passwords in end-to-end encrypted digital storage locked with a single keyword for the most convenience. Most password managers have additional features to check passwords’ strength and automatically generate unique ones. For organization, they can come in handy when sharing passwords with employees or managing their access.

2.) Introduce cybersecurity training. Since simple human mistakes remain the leading cause of data breaches, it’s worth investing in cybersecurity training sessions for employees. Starting from the basics might be a good idea given your team will most likely have different technology backgrounds and levels of experience.

3.) Enable multi-factor authentication. Known as MFA, it serves as an extra layer of security. It’s an authentication method that uses two or more mechanism to validate the user’s identity --- there can be separate apps, security keys, devices, or biometric data (such as facial recognition or fingerprints).


Want to read NordPass’s full study? Find it here.


So, What Is BIM?

posted on 07.20.2022

When it comes to BIM, even the acronym causes misunderstandings. It is certainly not a new term, yet the confusion surrounding it could be one of the major barriers to its implementation.

The volume of misconceptions surrounding BIM sadly doesn’t end at its name. As BIM is increasingly becoming part of daily lives for those in the built environment, it’s time to bust the most common myths and allow organizations to confidently move forward with their digitalization journeys.

What does BIM mean?
Is it building information modeling? Is it better information management? Well, BIM is indeed an acronym for building information modeling.

This term has been used for many years and was originally and primarily focused on 3D models and the associated data. Having said that, over the years, it has matured to describe the wider information management process across the lifecycle of a built asset.

Depending on what part of the industry professionals are from, BIM can mean different things, so you can see why there’s some confusion. Regardless of the ‘why,’ there is clearly a greater need to simplify the terminology and to give BIM the commonly understood description - one that will not only reflect the broader industry transformation and today’s digital landscape, but one that can spark instant understanding and confidence among all professionals in the built environment.

So with that, BIM could be considered as better information management, and associated with managing information in a smarter way.

Digital Assets for Project Management 
For years, many organizations in the built environment have imagined BIM as a 3D model that helps create a more visual representation of the project at hand. Certainly, the old acronym of building information modeling did not help to shift the common thinking that BIM is just a model. 3D manifestations are only part of a much wider process that at its heart fosters more collaborative working, seamless information sharing and easier access to data, to ultimately produce a wide variety of digital datasets and meet tight project deadlines.

Is BIM just software? 
BIM software does not exist. However, there are different tools on the market that can enable professionals to generate and share information more effectively. It is often the case that organizations need a range of software solutions to help them deliver different parts of the project.

The specific software will therefore depend on the specific needs and project goals, and it is up to the individual organizations to choose solutions that will help them improve efficiencies, reduce risk and improve collaboration. While the software is an important element of achieving better information management practices, BIM in itself is much bigger than just an online tool.

What are the Benefits of BIM? 
It is another common misconception that implementing information management practices is too costly and simply not worth the money.

While there is undoubtedly some upfront cost associated with changing traditional and legacy working processes, these should – and will – be countered by the long-term efficiencies and benefits that an organization gains.

These upfront costs can include software and extra training, but both do not have to be expensive. There are many tools out there that are free or at low cost to start the digitalization journey, as well as various readily available resources and guidance online that can help with smoother, cross-team implementation.

When starting, re-starting or moving onto the next step of BIM implementation, organizations should always keep the efficiency gains at the forefront, as there is a clear and direct correlation between efficiencies and the bottom line. Easier project information sharing equals met deadlines, no time-wasting, better communication, less risk, and subsequently greater trust among clients to deliver future projects.

Improving the Future of the Built Environment 
With the most common myths now debunked and greater clarity provided over what BIM means, both private and public sector built environment businesses can more confidently embark on their digitalization journey and succeed in their BIM implementation. While it’s only natural to hesitate to make a change, better information management has the power to greatly improve processes and productivity for all stakeholders involved in a project.


This article originally appeared within CONEXPO CON/AG 365 Newsletter on May 27, 2022 and was written by Nigel Davies.


Full MBEX Calendar Ahead

posted on 07.13.2022

We’re halfway through summer; how did that happen so quickly?!

As hot summer days continue, we're looking ahead to a slew of MBEX events that offer networking opportunities with fellow members and professional across the industry, entertaining ways to spend a day, and connection with the organization.

After a successful Twin Cities Golf Tournament in June (check out the recap here), we’re keeping the momentum going with a packed events calendar over the next couple of months. Here’s what’s coming up, and we sure hope you can make it:


July 20, 2022
Set sail on Lake Superior aboard the retired Coast Guard Cutter, Sundew. Enjoy an evening cruise around the Duluth-Superior harbor, dinner, and drinks while aboard connecting with members and experiencing the lake shore in a brand-new way. Registration is now open at www.mbex.org/sundew.


July 22, 2022
Join us in wishing Tom, our Executive Director, a fond farewell as he closes out his time with the Minnesota Builders Exchange and heads into full-time retirement. Send a note and well wishes by emailing tg@mbex.org. Our next Executive Director, David Siegel, officially started on July 5, 2022. Read the full press release here.


August 18, 2022
Aim, pull, and shoot in support of raising funds for the MBEX Scholarship Fund at Game Unlimited. Enjoy an afternoon of clay shooting with members and other construction pros, and afterward, sit down to a steak dinner with all the fixings. Awards will be handed out for team achievements as well as door prizes and raffle winners will be drawn. Register at www.mbex.org/clays.


August 24, 2022
We FORE-see a great event on the greens of the Ridgeview Country Club! Gather your foursome, tee up more than a few golf balls, and enjoy a beautiful day out on the course with fellow members, MBEX board and staff, and make connections throughout the industry. Register now at www.mbex.org/golf-north.


We look forward to seeing many members are these noted events! Have questions? Please email Tom at tg@mbex.org or Don (for either the Sundew or Golf Tournament North) at don@mbex.org.

Don't miss an event; download our 2022 Events Calendar.

Member News

MBEX Announces New Executive Director

posted on 07.07.2022

The Minnesota Builders Exchange (MBEX) Board of Directors has named David Siegel as the new executive director of MBEX. Siegel will begin his duties on July 5, 2022. Current MBEX executive director, Tom Getzke, has announced his retirement set for July 22, 2022.

“We are delighted to have someone with David’s management, nonprofit expertise, and construction industry experience as our new executive director,” said Randy LaFaive, president of MBEX. “Under David’s leadership, MBEX will continue to be a regional leader in the digital construction plan distribution service market,” he added.

Siegel brings over 28 years of experience in the residential construction, hospitality, education, and media industries, serving as executive director of Housing First Minnesota (former Builders Association of the Twin Cities) from 2010 to 2022, and executive director of Hospitality Minnesota from 2003 to 2010. He is the immediate past chairman of Associations North, the trade association for association executives. He has earned a CAE designation (Certified Association Executive) from the American Society of Association Executives and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota.

“I strongly feel that MBEX is healthy and poised for growth,” said Siegel. “I am anxious to collaborate with a talented staff, a dedicated Board, and highly-motivated volunteers working together to meet the needs of the 1,375 MBEX members,” he added.


Download Press Release

For questions, please contact Ashlee Hartwig, MBEX Communications + Membership Manager, at ah@mbex.org or (612) 381-2631.


Construction Safety Week: Continue Learning

posted on 05.05.2022

The construction industry is filled with people of all ages, backgrounds, cultures and experiences. How do we unite as one connected, supported, and safe industry? Sharing lessons learned on new innovations to a common issue or streamlining a task to make it safe and more efficient will allow us to continually learn and improve our overall safety.


Take time to plan an interactive demonstration aimed at improving the common knowledge of how to perform specific tasks safely. Seek out experienced crew members to help lead these discussions and demonstrations. Invite outside speakers to share insights and presentations and encourage participation from all in attendance. Make it interactive, educational, and fun. Here are a few examples to help you plan your demonstration day.


A Safety Helmet Demonstration: Many companies are implementing the use of helmets rather than hard hats. Why might this be a good idea? Lead a discussion on the history of the hard hat, current head injury statistics, and why much of the industry is moving toward better head protection.

Emergency Action Planning: Do your team members know that to do in the case of an emergency, such as a fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, or some other type? Now is a good time to review your plan. Host discussions on potential emergencies that could arise and what protocols to follow. Maybe even run a mock drill a day or so after the demonstration.

Traffic Safety: Working in the public right-of-way can be extremely dangerous. As the weather warms up and road construction projects ramp up, it’s a great time to review the fundamentals of traffic safety. Set up a demonstration of traffic control and have experienced crew members or outside presenters lead the discussion.

Workplace Fatigue Awareness, Mental Health, and Nutrition: Invite outside speakers, such as nutritionists, wellness coaches, or personal trainers to come in and speak to the team. Focus on the realities of the work which can include long hours, long commutes, shift work, and much more. What practical things can one do to improve mental and physical health? If you offer an Employee Assistance Program, be sure to let your team know all the benefits offered.

Line of Fire Awareness: Take a deep look at past injuries or near misses experienced by members of your team or past incidents. Review the most likely line-of-fire injury potential on your site and how you’re handling it. Host discussions with project managers, team leaders or those workers with the most experience. Encourage your crews to search out other line-of-fire potential and reward them for their discoveries.

More ideas and examples for hosting your own demonstration day can be found at www.constructionsafetyweek.com.




1.) The History of the Hard Hat. Hard hats have come a long way since their origins on the battle fields of WWI. Back in those days, the number of construction workers getting killed on the job was a lot higher, owing largely to lax safety regulations and very basic standards of personal protective equipment. 
2.) 7 Safety Tips for Road Construction Work Zones. While there is a growing need for more road construction projects, states are starting to feel the pinch due to tighter budgets and a shrinking workforce. Even in the face of these variables, construction crews continue to take on high-risk projects on public roadways.
3.) Healthy Foods for Manual Laborers and Contractors. Poor diets and bad nutrition can have a detrimental effect on manual laborers and contractors: affecting their morale, safety, productivity and long-term health, according to a report by the  International Labor Organization, which examined the effects of poor nutrition on workers. 
4.) Don't Ignore Line of Fire Safety: Here's What You Need to Know. Did you know failure to have proper line of fire safety training could result in serious injuries? Line of fire hazards are one of the most deadly hazards in the construction and manufacturing industries — and are second only to slip and fall accidents.
5.) Is Your Construction Site Prepared for a Disaster? Natural and man-made disasters can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere. Because clear thinking is difficult when a crisis is occurring, creating emergency action plans in advance is the best way to ensure that the proper steps are taken when the “what if?” becomes “it’s happening!”

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