Matt Borkholder: Mentor and Conductor
Crew Foreman of the Month nomination forms are always thoughtfully completed by the nominator, who takes care to effectively describe the foreman’s aptitude and worthiness. In their nomination of Matt Borkholder of Quality Structures, Inc., Josh Nowlin and Kevin Pietro were eloquent in their page-long comments on why Borkholder deserves the honor.
“Matt conducts the job site like a symphony orchestra,” wrote Nowlin, QSI sales and marketing manager, and Pietro, QSI branch manager. “He has a quiet, yet imposing disposition. He quickly wins praise from those he works for. “Matt is a perfectionist in all aspects of his work,” they continue. “His work commands the respect of his peers.”
Borkholder has been a crew foreman with the organization since 2009— back when the company was named Esh Quality Structures. He describes how QSI leaders’ respectful treatment motivated him to excel at work. Having learned from their management techniques, Borkholder, in turn, nurtures the growth of his own crew.
He views mentoring as a vital aspect of his role. “The thing I enjoy most about being a foreman,” Borkholder says, “is helping the crew members become all they can be. I try my best to lead by example.”
Borkholder was no stranger to the industry when he entered employment at QSI.
“I started working with my dad at age 14 doing siding, windows and other construction. When I was 18, my oldest brother and I started our own construction business,” he says.
About a year later, Borkholder accepted a position at QSI and moved from Montana to Kansas to take the job.
QSI introduced him to post-frame construction. Borkholder has observed a number of changes in the post-frame industry. “It’s amazing to see how—when I first started building barns—most were pretty small. Now we build barns that are 80 feet by 500 feet. It’s impressive how many post-frame designs are being done.”
Asked about his most challenging assignment, Borkholder replied: “It was a building for the city of Hiawatha—a rather large building with several rooms. I think the most challenging part was the weather. It was blustery and cold. We had snow—and all that good stuff!—to deal with. But we kept a good attitude through it all, and the city was very pleased with the building.”
Nowlin cites Matt’s “attention to safety” as one of his valued attributes. “When we have a high-profile project with [a need for] heightened safety awareness, the capability of Matt and his crew is never a question. He always requires that all crew members are in compliance—no matter where or what the job may be. In fact, when we have a difficult or complicated project, Matt’s crew usually gets the assignment because he can always be depended on.”
“Customer satisfaction is important to me,” Borkholder explains. “If the customer is not happy, I’m not happy. It’s very rewarding to leave a finished job and know that the customer is pleased with the building.”
Borkholder enjoys the community feeling that is part of QSI’s company culture. He says, “Most of the people at QSI are like family. They’re a blast to work with!”
The sentiment is echoed by QSI management and Matt’s peers. “At QSI, Matt is an important asset to our team. We are truly privileged to have him as an employee and friend,” says Nowlin.
Borkholder, the middle child in a family of five boys, recently got married. He speaks warmly of his “lovely wife Esther.” He finds a meaningful sense of kinship at church and likes to help people in need.
Giving and guiding are two traits that sum up this month’s winning crew foreman. Borkholder passes on to his crew essential wisdom: “If you can’t follow instruction,” he says, “you shouldn’t be giving instruction. Learn from your mistakes. Lead by example, and, in particular, make sure you have a high level of integrity.”
Bravo, Matt Borkholder! NFBA applauds you for your exceptional performance.