In the Loop: March 2024

Message from Adam

We are pdm first

While I watched the end of an NFL playoff game on a cold January Sunday, I thought about the concept of a team victory. You see one group of players excited about the win and the other team, including their stars despondent with the loss. No matter how well a star may have performed for the losing team, they can’t match the joy of the entire team of players on the victorious team. It is really no different at PDM. Our team success is always more significant and more gratifying than any individual or departmental success.

Our first core value listed is “Relationship Building” and teamwork is at the core of that. At PDM you are a part of one or more small teams that form the big team called PDM. It is good to be proud of your crew, department, or plant but when we are successful (which is often), it is because a lot of PDM employees from every area of the company work together as a team to complete a project.

When you think about all the steps that need to be taken for PDM to sell, design, produce, ship, and erect a structure, it is pretty amazing. Nobody at PDM can do it on their own and it is very gratifying to me to see all the pieces come together when we complete another successful project.

I was talking with one employee who has worked in multiple companies during their career. They commented that teamwork at PDM was better than any place they had ever worked. It was great to hear that, and I certainly hope and believe that it is true. When one person or department needs help, I expect and have seen others step up to provide that help. That is what makes a team, and I am very proud of how PDM lives up to our Relationship Building value.

So, be proud of the work you do individually and what your department does; but recognize that you are part of a bigger team.

Your efforts to make Team PDM successful are greatly appreciated!

– Adam



As Adam discussed in our last newsletter, we experience a sometimes-up-and-down nature with our production, and we have experienced that recently. I believe we have handled those ups and downs very well, and a big part of that success is our employees’ ability and willingness to be flexible on what they do on a day-to-day basis.

When PDM began in 2012 with 37 employees, being a “jack of all trades” was a necessity for a lot of our employees As we have grown, there is more room for people who specialize in one thing or another, and that is a good thing. But it is still a tremendous asset for an employee to be willing and able to do various types of work.

Whether it is an employee moving from metals to precast or someone moving from precast sales to metals estimating, these moves allow us to fulfill our customers’ requirements and provide valuable new knowledge and skills for the employees involved.

Recent and upcoming examples include:

  • The relocation of hollowcore production to Carlisle will result in Carlisle’s Quality Control department supporting hollowcore, glass and metals, versus only metals in the past.
  • Our Engineering department helping out Quality Control.
  • Our Field, Precast, Steel and Glass constantly supporting each other.

Employees, especially those who are new and have limited experiences or skill sets, can still offer a lot with the right mindset and the willingness to do anything SAFELY. Never perform a task if you do not feel safe or have not been trained.

I take a lot of pride in telling the marketplace and our partners that we do not lay off and that we are committed to supporting our employees and their families. We understand and feel every decision we make when it comes to the hours our employees do or don’t work. Employees being flexible helps us meet the challenge of keeping everyone busy.

So, I encourage each of you to take the opportunity when it comes to learn new skills and take on new challenges. I also want to thank all of you who have done that, it makes PDM a stronger company.

Remember, we are PDM first, departments second.

– Luke

Department Spotlight


When the normal work-day ends, the activity at Carlisle keeps going. Here is a look at the activities that occur on our second and third shifts.

A new venture for PDM which started late 2023. We are now able to inspect, wash and maintain PDM’s fleet of 100+ trailers. This comes at a great benefit to Employee Owners as we can perform the work internally as opposed to paying a third party. Washing will help enable longer life spans of trailers by removing road debris and salt. Fellow Employee Owner Vince Olmstead started with PDM as a fabricator and has taken on the role of Trailer Maintenance Tech. His past experiences with building and maintaining trailers has proven very valuable in his role.

On a weekly basis, PDM Steel fabricates anywhere from 100 – 250+ tons of structural and miscellaneous steel. Off shift fabrication has proven to be a vital part of our success by enabling us to utilize our shop space overnight. This added capacity allows us to react quickly to the needs of our clients, occasionally performing work the night before it is required on site. Benji Zargarian stepped into the role of Third Shift Right Hand in the fall of 2023. He is responsible for communicating the daily labor plan to the shift, conducting QC inspections, training employees, and facilitating the achievement of nightly production goals.

Because of the size and weight the members produce, access to the overhead crane is vital to the efficiency of the PDM Steel operation. With the reduced number of employees and activities during the off shift, the cranes are more readily available which allows for significantly increased throughput in the paint booth. This is another area that enables us to quickly react to the needs of our clients to perform work the night before delivery date on the following shift. Without the efforts of the third shift crew in paint we would not be as successful as we are today. The painted product then needs to be staged or loaded to ship to site, often ideally loaded directly onto trailers after painting. Third shift loading ensures the ability to deliver product to our customers on the given timelines.

The beamline is the heartbeat of Steel production, it runs nearly 24 hours a day thanks to our maintenance team and operators that understand the workings of the machine and are at-the-ready to troubleshoot. Joe Cordaro has been operating the beamline since Steel third shift was established and is able to flex into several departments as production needs change.


When the normal work-day ends, the activity at Granger keeps going. Here is a look at the activities that occur on our second and third shifts.

The precast plant established a second shift loading and yarding crew in 2022 in response to increased shipping and yarding demands. Prior to the second shift crew, the burden fell solely on the first shift who routinely worked 12+ hour days where the groundmen were easily logging 15 – 20 miles per day! The second shift helps maintain the work/life balance of our day crew while maximizing our existing equipment capabilities and run times. Under the direction of Steve Cole, the second shift yarding crew has contributed greatly to the success of the overall plant operations.

The third shift at precast has been in place continuously since September of 2022. The initial concept was to have the crew perform general housekeeping duties as well as break cylinders and cut down the beds. This enabled us to dismantle our “stripping crew”, no longer needing them to report to work at 5:00a.m. which often resulted in extremely long days for those team members.

Since then, the crew has evolved to include a multitude of other tasks. Some of these tasks include processing hollowcore, delivering consumables and cast in materials to the production beds, releasing and cleaning rails, processing prestressing strand, among other tasks. Keeping the production crews at the beds by having everything staged for the day was our goal and we have finally realized that goal. Ultimately, the third shift has enabled us to have streamlined, more efficient (and shorter!) production days.

To maximize our CNC machine capacity, the third shift has a full-time operator who keeps the machine running each night. Without this added capacity, we would be unable to process all of our insulation needs on the CNC machine and would be forced to process some beds “the old fashioned way” which was a laborious, dirty, and stinky process that nobody misses!

Under Dustin Millard’s leadership and Troy Powell’s execution, the third shift team has developed into an integral part of our continued growth and success of PDM Precast.

project profile


PDM is in the process of building an additional Carlisle Production Building. The new facility will be the home to two 400′ long hollowcore beds and have the capacity for the relocation of prestressed beams and precast columns in the future. Inside the building will be a concrete batch plant and two 20-ton overhead cranes used for concrete delivery and to move the finished products.

Some fun facts follow:

  • The new building is 50′ x 540′
  • Constructed using 88 – 10″ insulated precast wall panels and;
  • 45 – 24″ double tees for the roof and;
  • Has an interior structural steel beam/column lateral frame.


PDM was awarded its largest job in PDM Steel history with the Sub-Zero Manufacturing Facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Some fun facts follow:

  • Scope: Steel and Erection
  • Tonnage: 3,405 (6,810,000 pounds)
  • Hours: 4,000 fabrication hours
  • Delivery Started: 1st week of December 2023
  • Fabrication Duration: November – February
  • Moment Framed Warehouse

Support Your Community

As we kick off 2024, the committee is excited to start receiving requests! Each year the committee is given a budget that is divided into three categories; Company, Corporate, and Employee. If you are interested in having PDM support or match a donation, please fill out a request form found on the L Drive or reach out to a committee member. We look forward to growing the long list of charities PDM supports.

The Support Your Community Committee is proud to have supported the following charities in 2023:


  • Variety
  • ACE Mentor
  • American Heart Association
  • Kingdom Living
  • Shoes that Fit

GOLD DONATION LEVEL ($2,500-$4,999)

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters – Bowl for Kids
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Dorothy’s House
  • Myers Family Foundation
  • Habitat for Humanity


  • YMCA-Y Camp
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Guns & Hoses – Easterseals
  • DMPS Foundation – One Run Des Moines
  • Chip in for Charity
  • Food Bank of Iowa
  • Carlisle Dollar for Scholars
  • Children’s Cancer Connection
  • BMC Foundation
  • Cover My 6 Iowa
  • Chrysalis Foundation
  • B.Well Foundation
  • Sober Soldierz
  • The Alano Society
  • Single Parent Provision

2023 in review

2023 was another good year for PDM, even if we weren’t quite as busy as in 2022. The production at our Carlisle and Granger facilities were the second highest in PDM history and PDM added the Glass and Glazing business to our customer offering. Related to facilities, the additions of a second production building at Granger in late 2022 and two additions at Carlisle in 2023 and 2024 set us up for additional growth. So, 2023 was a good year for results but likely even a better year for setting PDM up for future success.


"100% Employee owned" Sticker

These employees began earning shares under our ESOP plan on January 1, 2024. Congratulations To All!

  • Kyle Bettis
  • Chris Dellaca
  • Greg Gearhart
  • Toby Gramlich
  • Mic Lacey
  • Samuel Martin
  • Brexton Miller
  • Zach Miller
  • Andrew Nahn
  • Isaac Navarro Torres
  • Trevor Osterman
  • Brandon Parker
  • Trevar Seibert
  • Colten Vogel
  • A’Lee Wheatley
  • Kyle Willis

2023 holiday party


Troy Powell

Position: Third Shift Foreman
Year started at PDM: 2015

Q. What do you want to tell us about yourself?

A. I love to cook. My specialty is spaghetti, but I have countless recipes that I enjoy preparing. One of my favorite things about cooking is bringing my creations to the plant to share with my coworkers.

Q. What is something about you that surprises people?

A. Despite being outgoing when I am at the plant, I am truly a homebody who enjoys quiet time with my family more than anything.

Q. What do you do for fun outside of work? 

A. I am an avid deer hunter, which provides much of the meat for the aforementioned recipes!

I most enjoy spending time with my family.

Q. Favorite Food?

A. Tacos, anything BBQ.

Q. What are you most proud of?

A. My wonderful wife and awesome kids!

Q. What would you like to do in the future? 

A. I want to continue to grow with PDM and achieve the goals I have set for myself.


Jake Miksell

Position: Project Engineer
Year started at PDM: 2013

Q. What do you want to tell us about yourself? 

A. I’ve been married to my wife Kelsey for almost 9 years now and we have two little ones, Blake (4) and Fisher (2), that keep us busy in the best way possible.

Q. What is something about you that surprises people?

A. Nothing too crazy, but a lot of people are kind of surprised when they find out I’m a townie from where we currently live in Ankeny. I’m all of 3 minutes down the road from the house I grew up in and where my mom still lives.

Q. What do you do for fun outside of work? 

A. I really enjoy spending time planning and executing a project outside of the work office as well. Anything from a small appliance fix at home or finishing our basement space to the random maintenance project at church. When the weather is nice, you’ll find our whole family outside doing some kind of activity whether its playing in the yard or going on bike rides to explore new parks.

Q. Favorite Food? 

A. I never pass up a good steak.

Q. What are you most proud of? 

A. My family. It is without a doubt the hardest yet most rewarding job I’ve had to be a dad to our two kiddos and I get to do it with my best friend right beside me helping me make sense of the craziness along the way. It’s a pretty fun ride.

Q. What would you like to do in the future? 

A. I would love to be able to do a little more exploring of the National Parks. Its going to be a little bit of time before I’m brave enough to take the kids on the longer tent camping expeditions, but I think it would be a fun way to experience a lot of the country and share it with the kids.

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