John Kuerbis has been a Cost Consultant with MBC Group since January 2020 and has a vibrant history leading up to his current position. In addition to running an Independent Adjusting Company in Fort McMurray for 18 years, he has performed international catastrophe work in Florida, Australia, and New Zealand. Reminiscing on his experiences in Florida during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, he recalls what was like a post-apocalyptic scene, where driving into the city there was debris and garbage piled up to 30 feet high in the ditches. John considers it a privilege to be able to contribute to these catastrophic losses and work with people who had this massive tragedy happen. For him it is a surreal experience, being in a place away from home and helping these people put their lives back together while feeling the impact of these losses.
John believes that no matter where in the world, people are people, and continuing to meet people is one of his favorite aspects of the job. A big part of handling people is managing communication between all parties involved in a file. Ensuring everyone involved is on the same page and remains in the loop is a crucial part of moving a file along efficiently and reducing the friction that can occur when multiple parties are involved. His experience as an adjuster makes him a huge asset, being able to speak the language our clients speak when articulating what we do and the motivation behind it to eliminate any uncertainty and maintain trust.
John’s philosophy and his advice to anyone is to never stop learning. No matter what you do or your position in this world, there are always transferrable skills. Many people will stay in a job they don’t like because they don’t think they are capable of doing anything else. But if you are open to constructive criticism, if you can objectively look back on the things you have done and make every effort to refine your skills, you will continue to grow as an individual. Even at 55, John strives to keep learning and growing, avoiding being set in his ways. He is proud to say that even as an expert, he has found ways to improve his report compositions and approach to file reviews. Contributing to a big loss in a positive manner and being able to assist in smoothing the progression of a claim is an essential part of what we do at MBC Group.
His passionate and adventurous spirit extends beyond John’s professional life. As a father of 4, and grandfather of 2, he strives to maintain a good work-life balance, spending time with his family, as well as convening with the mountains. John has been extreme snowmobiling for 30 years, and still finds it exhilarating. For him it is amazing and humbling to see a part of the world at the top of some of these mountains, and to know less than 100,000 people have seen that view. And then going down the mountain at speeds of up to 100 miles an hour without being able to touch the brake. As John puts it, there on the hill, as well as in life, you have to trust in yourself and your abilities.
Kristjan Kristjansson began as an Appraiser with MBC Group in the Spring of 2018 and in just two years has stepped up to the position of Appraisal Manager for all of Alberta. Out of high school and for the ten years following, he began his career as a technician, going straight up the ladder to become a foreman and eventually moving to project management. Kristjan’s job performance is impressive, and his eagerness to constantly expand his knowledge and base of expertise is what makes him stand out in MBC Group’s management team.
For Kristjan, the success of a manager is determined through the success of the team. The appraisal team has doubled this year, and the most rewarding part is seeing that his team is properly trained, coming full circle to where those employees are now doing the training themselves. His team’s growth is what inspires him, and the domino effect of watching people come up to the plate and knock it out of the park with their job performance.
Kristjan would like to see people who are willing to learn and take on a challenge, join MBC Group’s team. It takes open-minded individuals who are willing to grow and adapt to have the kind of creative capacity that makes MBC Group stand out. The industries that MBC Group provides services for are always changing and every project is different, but the team is always willing to take on a challenge and approach each project with an open mind. They utilize their years of experience in related fields to come to a creative and comprehensive solution.
It is just this kind of team approach that leads to the success of MBC Group. Take the floods in Fort Mac earlier this year; Kristjan could not have been more impressed with the exceptional teamwork that took place. The team went in full force, all lines of business on the ground on day one and performed at their best, working together for a common goal, and combining their own opinions and expertise for the best outcome. Kristjan cannot wait to see catastrophe response flourish even more at MBC Group.
Kristjan looks forward to the growth opportunity not only for himself, but also the team he manages. His passion for raising the bar of what can be accomplished and never believing that anyone can ever know it all, is the kind of passion that is driving not only MBC Group’s consultants but also the innovation of the MBC Group on a wider scale. When Kristjan isn’t raising the bar at work, he raises the bar quite literally over his head. His passion for Competitive Olympic Weightlifting is a metaphor of the problems we all face day to day and lets him tackle them in a concrete way. The more weight he can lift (or carry on his shoulders), the greater he can be in life as well as the workplace. Great form, Kristjan!
Aujourd’hui, nous honorons et nous nous souvenons des victimes du massacre de l’École polytechnique, et de la Journée nationale de commémoration et d’action contre la violence faite aux femmes qui a été instituée à la suite de ce sombre événement de notre histoire. Cette tragédie a suscité une énergie empreinte de fierté et de l’importance de mettre en lumière les femmes en STIM partout au Canada. Nous avons saisi cette occasion pour rencontrer Laurice Eppers, l’une de nos ingénieures qui travaille dans notre bureau de Vancouver.
Laurice est originaire du nord de Chicago. Elle a obtenu un baccalauréat en architecture à Milwaukee en 1989 et a ensuite poursuivi un deuxième baccalauréat en génie civil, ainsi qu’une maîtrise en génie civil avec une spécialisation en ingénierie des structures. Entre ses études, elle a travaillé comme ingénieure à Chicago et a décidé plus tard qu’elle voulait s’installer sur la côte ouest, ce qui l’a amenée à Vancouver. Avec sa formation d’architecte, Laurice a le souci du détail et le don de visualiser les choses en trois dimensions et de traduire ces informations en documents bidimensionnels. La partie de son travail qu’elle préfère est la coordination avec les entrepreneurs et les architectes au début d’un projet ou pendant la phase de construction, ce qui lui permet de garder les dossiers à jour afin d’assurer qu’aucun élément ne soit oublié dans les documents de construction.
Lorsqu’on l’interroge sur son expérience en tant que femme dans l’industrie, Laurice répond que cela comporte des hauts et des bas et ne peut pas nier que, selon la personne à laquelle on a affaire, il se dégage une certaine hésitation à l’égard des femmes dans l’industrie en général. Malgré la hiérarchie évidente qui existe, elle se sent chanceuse d’avoir eu une expérience plutôt positive au cours de son parcours. Pour les filles ou les femmes qui se sentent intimidées, Laurice souhaite leur transmettre le message suivant: « Ne rendez pas les armes et ne laissez jamais personne vous décourager dans vos passions ou vos objectifs. »
Comme aujourd’hui est un jour non seulement de commémoration mais aussi d’action, joignez-vous à nous pour prendre le temps d’honorer le legs des victimes du 6 décembre 1989. Recherchez des organisations locales et nationales pour faire un don si vous êtes en mesure de le faire. Prenez le temps de vous renseigner pour trouver d’autres moyens de soutenir ces causes importantes ou découvrez les femmes qui ont ouvert la voie aux jeunes générations et qui préparent le terrain pour les générations à venir.
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Today we honor and remember the victims of the École Polytechnique massacre, and the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women that was established as a result. In the wake of this tragedy, there is an energy of pride and the importance of highlighting women in STEM across Canada. We took this opportunity to connect with Laurice Eppers, one of our female engineers located in our Vancouver Office.
Laurice is originally from north of Chicago. She graduated in Milwaukee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture in 1989 and later pursued a second Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, as well as a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Structural Engineering. Between her schooling she worked as an engineer in Chicago and later decided she wanted to move to the West Coast, which landed her in Vancouver. With her architectural background, Laurice is detail-oriented and has a strong eye for visualizing things three-dimensionally and translating that information to two-dimensional documents. Her favorite part of her job is coordinating with contractors and architects early on in a project or in the construction phase, helping keep things up to date so there are no loose ends in construction documents.
When asked about her experience as a woman in the industry, Laurice reflected that it can be a rollercoaster, and couldn’t deny that depending who you are dealing with, there is a certain energy of hesitation towards women in the broader industry. Despite the clear hierarchy that does exist, she feels lucky to have had a generally good experience in her time. For the girls or women out there who feel intimidated, Laurice has one message: “Stick to your guns and never let anyone deter you from your passions or goals.”
Since today is a day of not only remembrance but action, join us in taking some time to honor the legacy of the victims of December 6th, 1989. Research local and national organizations to donate if you are able. Spend some time educating yourself to find out other ways to support these important causes or learn about women who have paved the way for younger generations and are paving the way for generations to come.