What is your name? Blake Sabatke How long have you worked with Iconica? 4 months…
What is your name?
How long have you worked with Iconica?
Nearly 4 years
What do you do here?
I am an estimator within the pre-construction department. My main job is to work with our clients to get clarity on their project needs and wants and then to work with our internal architectural and engineering teams to properly budget the project cost and timeline. Ultimately, this is teeing up the project manager for success once a project gets awarded and we hand it over to construction.
What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on at Iconica?
Thus far, I believe my favorite project has been Jacknife, a new sushi restaurant which is currently being built on East Washington Ave. With this project, I enjoyed learning the ins and outs of restaurant equipment as well as the specific heating, cooling and ventilation system needs of a commercial kitchen. It was especially great being able to engage and work closely with the Jacknife owners and team members.
Another notable favorite of mine was New Perspective Senior Living in Waukesha. This project took a lot of work from our entire team as we needed to put a lot of upfront effort into composing a competitively priced project for the client. It was quite a proud moment for all of us at Iconica when we were awarded the project.
What would you say to someone considering working at Iconica?
It truly is a no-brainer – it’s such a great team environment. It is very obvious that Jim and the entire management group truly care about all the employees and hold huge family values. They understand that a happy employee outside of work creates a happy employee at work, which then allows for the best results to be produced.
Favorite snack food?
Mixed nuts – in particular, peanuts!
Currently, it is Skal in Mr. Horeb. It is the perfect location for us as my wife and I can escape for a nice meal while knowing our kids are close by. It is a great Norwegian beer hall-style restaurant.
Are you a morning or night person?
What is your favorite thing to do with your kids/family?
Boating! The ski boat is our favorite. My wife and I like to chill on the water, but my kids love all the water sports. My oldest wakeboards, my middle child loves to ski, and the youngest loves to tube. We do it all!
I would love for my family to return to BVI and stay on a catamaran. That way, we can scuba dive right from our boat! I did a similar trip with my parents years ago and loved it.
Favorite place you’ve been?
BVI, Cancun, or a cabin in northern WI or Lake of the Ozarks.
Favorite childhood memory?
When I was younger, I received a Cub’s baseball hat as a birthday gift. Then, as part of the birthday festivities, my grandfather took me to the Chicago Zoo. We were watching the camels when suddenly, my hat fell into the enclosure. Eventually, my grandfather got a zoologist to retrieve it, but from that day forward the Cubs’ hat was called the camel hat.
What led you to this role?
Most of my construction experience comes from the field. I ran my own home construction and remodeling business for 10 years. That taught me the importance of pre-planning and getting everything right on the front end. Which is what I am today – pre-construction and estimating.
How has your role changed since you started?
Over time, I’ve gained more experience and have become much more in tune with the specifics of the commercial industry. This has led me to gain more trust and confidence in the numbers as well as taking on a larger role in terms of client interactions on the pre-construction side.
If you weren’t an estimator, what would you be doing?
I fear that if I take my favorite thing to do – it may not be my favorite thing anymore. I love fishing, hunting and the outdoors, but I’d rather keep them as hobbies. So, maybe I’d go back to remodeling homes?
A favorite thing or biggest positive to come from Covid?
Without a doubt, spending real quality time with the family. We are always in full sports/activities mode with our kids and, rarely, everyone is all together. COVID caught everyone up and allowed us to slow down and take a breather.