Jennifer Briggs | Brinkman Construction | Board of Directors

Jennifer Briggs Joins Brinkman Construction's Board of Directors

Executive leadership consultant Jennifer Briggs has joined the board of directors for Brinkman Construction, a 100% employee-owned commercial general contracting company.

She brings with her two decades of experience in human resources, serves as Chair on the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade’s (COEDIT) Employee Ownership Commission and is an Executive Fellow at Rutgers University Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing. Previously, Briggs worked as Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development for New Belgium Brewing for more than 12 years. During her time there, she was a key leader in driving a culture of ownership, learning and innovation across the organization.

“Jennifer’s expertise in operations, organizational development and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) makes her an outstanding addition to our board,” says Jim Ciesla, President and CEO of Brinkman Construction. “We were drawn not only to her experience, but also to her passion for promoting community and financial wellbeing as companies scale. Her direction will have a huge impact on furthering our focus on creating a positive employee experience as well as the big picture strategic planning.”

Construction companies are the fastest-growing employee-owned industry in the United States, with 15% already holding ESOPs. In its sixth year of employee ownership, Brinkman Construction looks to Briggs’s expertise to further raise employee and client satisfaction, while expanding the ESOP.

Jane Everhart

Jane Everhart Named Finalist in Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business Awards

Jane Everhart has been named a finalist in the Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business Awards in the real estate category. From nearly 300 nominations, thirty-six finalists and one Lifetime Achievement Award winner were selected in 12 industry categories. Winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony on August 21 at Hilton Denver City Center.

For nearly three decades, Jane has served as a top tier leader for entrepreneurial, fast-growing companies. Whether it be as CFO for a luxury winter sports retailer, the owner of a furniture and interior design franchise business or as the Global Director of Finance for OtterBox, Jane has combined her financial expertise with her entrepreneurial spirit to succeed in her career.

As the current CFO for two entrepreneurial companies, Brinkman and Brinkman Construction, Jane works in a full-time real estate finance capacity. She pairs her progressive approach to finance and strategic growth with an analytical and information-driven awareness of the real estate landscape and factors affecting it. In addition to her primary finance-driven role, Jane is also a Partner and Chief Operations Officer of Brinkman and a member of the Board of Directors for Brinkman Construction

Since joining Brinkman and Brinkman Construction, she has been instrumental in restructuring the company’s business model to incorporate progressive finance processes, minimize industry risk, strengthen the organizational environment, and enrich their position as an employer of choice in Colorado. During her tenure, the companies have celebrated significant increases in both revenue and headcount.

Beyond her impact on company performance, Jane has also been instrumental in developing a robust community impact program. She led efforts to launch a paid Volunteer Time Off initiative for all employees, helped lead the vision for Brinkman to become a Certified B Corporation and is the executive sponsor of BrinkmanGives, the joint community impact program of Brinkman and Brinkman Construction.

Jane holds a bachelor’s degree in Business with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of Colorado. She is a Certified Public Accountant, a graduate of the Women’s Vision Leadership Institute, and is a strategic operating plan facilitator from the Paterson Center. She has served as an officer on the OtterCares Board of Directors since 2013 and has served on the Bridges to Prosperity Finance Committee since 2018.

Jane was named a 2017 Women to Watch Leader by the Colorado Society and the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts. This award highlights women in the accounting profession who have advanced to the highest levels and have shown significant effort in mentoring others.

construction workers

Using Employee Ownership to Attract and Retain Top Talent

From the President & CEO of Brinkman Construction, Jim Ciesla

Brinkman Construction rebranded last year and a large part of that process was identifying our company DNA. What makes us us. We interviewed our clients to see how we’re perceived externally, and the feedback was interesting, but not all that surprising. We heard over and over what we already knew - that our people are what differentiate us from our competitors in the construction industry.

We’re not unique in knowing that people are our greatest asset, but the qualities that make them our most valued resource are telling.  Our clients said that we bring a higher level of ownership to projects. That we are proactive and accountable, and we are customer-centric communicators. They said this ownership mentality leads to “tenacious problem-solving” and ultimately, earning their trust. Owners see that we take extreme pride in our work and connect the dots between a quality building and the success of their business.

So, how do we recruit and retain these high-caliber team members that set us apart? One factor I believe is responsible for our success is our employee ownership model. This innovative ownership structure, technically called an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), provides employees with a retirement plan that is invested in Brinkman Construction stock. Currently, there are 7,000 ESOPs nationwide and Brinkman Construction is one of only 115 in Colorado.

We adopted this structure in 2016 and beyond simply becoming 100% employee owned, we made tangible shifts toward creating an ownership culture in which all employees see the importance of their individual roles and the service they deliver to clients. Every employee owner believes in personal accountability and has a long-term vision for projects. They unfailingly do what’s right for our clients because they know successful projects translate to repeat business and positive referrals. When you’re an employee owner, there’s even more of an incentive to go above and beyond and stay at your company for the long-term. This allows us to employ highly experienced staff who consistently provide an exceptional quality of work. We as a company, and we as employee owners, all benefit under this model.

With our new brand came a new tagline: “Driven to Build.” To us, this sums up why the employee ownership model was the right choice for Brinkman Construction. It describes the characteristics that differentiate our employees in the construction industry – grit, tenacity, and most importantly, ownership.