President’s Message

As we all know Oftedal Construction Inc, Projects are SPREAD OUT !! This newsletter is designed to let Oftedal employees see a bit of what is going on at the projects they do not have the opportunity to visit each year. We are very proud of the people and projects shown in the newsletter. The articles highlight Oftedal employees living up to our M ission and Core Values.

Please note the emphasis on Safety!

Also the information about the ESOP, 401K, and William T. and James E. Oftedal Scholarships are very important. If you have any questions just ask! I am very happy to announce the Oftedal Board of Directors has authorized a cash contribution of $752,025.00 to our ESOP in September 2015. This cash is used to purchase stock of Oftedal Construction, Inc. This stock will be allocated to eligible ESOP plan participants during 2016. We all should celebrate our successes Of 2015 and look forward to a good year in 2016. Way to go Team Oftedal!

Thank you. Jeff M cDonald, President

Jeff M cDonald


Our Mission Statement

We Shape the Future

By delivering high quality heavy and civil construction projects safely. By changing and improving landscapes in the communities in which we live and work. By providing exceptional opportunities for our employee owners.

Our Core Values

  • Adaptability: Confidently accepts challenging or unfamiliar endeavors.
  • Communicating: Interacts professionally with others.
  • Developing Others: Willingly mentors others to improve their individual and company performance.
  • Individual Courage: Self Assured, consistently doing the right thing.
  • Initiating Action: Exercises proactive initiative.
  • Inspiring Change: Encourages and motivates positive change within the company.
  • Managing Conflict: Resolving disagreements while avoiding personal issues and attacks.

Crisis In The Field Todd Aho’s Story

On June 12, 2015, 14 year employee owner Todd Aho suffered a cardiac arrest while working at the OSHOTO project. During the cardiac arrest, or at some point during or thereafter the cardiac arrest, Todd experienced several debilitating strokes. These two serious medical emergencies resulted in Todd being unable to work, and set the stage for a long road to physical and mental recovery. Todd’s absence is a significant loss to the company. For 14 years Todd proficiently operated scraper, blade and dozer . M ost recently Todd had begun setting grade using Topcon GPS. The most notable loss, however, was Todd’s good attitude, dependability and strong work ethic which attended him on each job. Presently, Todd resides in Wolf

Point, M T at the Faith Lutheran Home Hospital and N ursing Home. H is overall condition is good. He can easily engage in conversation, feed himself and perform other life functions without aid. He undergoes daily speech therapy to improve and hopefully restore short term memory and cognitive skills. He also undergoes daily physical therapy designed to strengthen his muscles and body to the point he can walk out the facility on his own and return home to Glasgow, M T. M ichelle and family visit Todd throughout the week. On Saturdays the family meets in Wolf Point for family dinner. On August 24, 2015 Todd stood for the first time since the cardiac arrest! Todd would love to hear from you all, feel free to call or write him and check in on his progress.

Aho Family Benefit Raffle

Recognizing the Aho’s financial needs as a result of Todd’s cardiac arrest, the company organized a raffle to raise funds to help Todd and his family off set medical costs and help pay bills. Oftedal purchased a Smith & Wesson Semi Automatic 223 Cal. M &P rifle. Company foreman Chip Benson graciously donated a pig. The two raffle items raised $7,300. 00. M ike Schriner’s crew at the Worland-M anderson project donated all scrap pipe proceeds, $1,004.00, to the Aho family. On August 4, 2015 Oftedal presented Todd and M ichelle Aho with $8,300.00 in cash to help with their mounting medical expenses. On the same morning Todd drew the raffle winners, which was broadcast live to the entire company through GoToM eeting video conferencing. Billy Smith (heavy equipment mechanic) won the rifle and Lynn Ruf (Job Cost & Equipment Administrator) won the pig. A GoFund Me site is still up and running for those still wishing to donate.

Todd Aho's

Oftedal employees showed enormous generosity and concern by raising so much money during the 30 day benefit raffle for Todd.

The greatest example of generosity and concern, however, came on the day of Todd’s cardiac arrest when several employees, led by Oftedal superintendent Bret Hough, gave Todd the gift of life. Bret orchestrated a miracle when he, Heather Ferris, and Elgin DeHoff performed CPR on Todd for nearly an hour until medical professionals arrived on site. Bret and Elgin performed chest compressions while Heather provided Todd’s air. Second year intern, John Cahill, played an significant role by contacting 911 Emergency! and maintaining contact with first responders until they arrived at the remote job location north of M oorcroft, WY. This courageous trio never gave up on Todd!

Professionals at all medical facilities where Todd received care consistently marveled at Bret’s, Heather’s and Elgin’s heroic and unrelenting efforts to keep Todd alive. We at Oftedal Construction, Inc. also stand amazed at the dedication and devotion to a fellow employee shown by Bret, Heather, Elgin and John.

Bret Hough

Oftedal Superintendent

John Cahill


Heather Ferris

Equipment Operator/Truck Driver

Elgin DeHoff

Transport Driver



The Casper shop is making our strategic plan to “develop a consistent, accountable and proactive safety culture” a serious priority! Thanks to the Casper Shop, Oftedal is enrolled in the Employer Voluntary Technical Assistance Program (EVTAP). The EVTAP program is administered by Wyoming Workers’ Safety (W WS) Consultation Division. Enrollment in EVTAP has helped create a unified and accountable safety culture in the Casper shop. As an added bonus, our Workers’ Compensation premiums can decrease up to 10% annually! Oftedal’s Safety Director, Payton Zeirolf, began the EVTAP application process in 2014. Working with Payton, Shop Foreman, Aaron Elrod has done an excellent job leading his team of mechanics and laborers in implementing the necessary changes in practices, procedures and attitudes that have improved moral and work conditions in the Casper Shop. The crew has embraced the importance of consistently wearing PPE, conducting thorough risk assessments, and vigilant housekeeping practices have eliminated slips, trips, falls, fire hazards and other work place hazards. Every morning before work begins the crew performs a 5-7 minute stretching routine. Commenting on the morning routine one shop employee stated he feels so much better by days end, thanks to the new morning routine! After two years of EVTAP participation the company becomes qualified for the Safety Achievement Health Recognition Program (SHARP). SHARP is a federal OSHA program. By achieving SHARP status, companies place themselves in an elite group of businesses that maintain exemplary injury and illness prevention programs. SHARP companies are exempt from OSHA inspections for up to three years. An additional benefit of SHARP enrollment, is we attract the attention of private industry companies looking for employers who make safety a priority, to perform their construction projects.


On Ocotober 6, 2015 as part of their contractor pre-qualification criteria, Peabody M ine performed an onsite inspection of our Casper Shop. Their purpose was to witness first hand Oftedal’s safety culture beyond the mine site. Peabody representative Bob M eigs was so impressed with working conditions, housekeeping, attitudes and overall operations at the shop he indicated he would return to Peabody shops and implement certain practices observed during the Oftedal inspection. Talk about making an impression and leading by example! This single positive impression could be the difference in securing future work with Peabody or similar companies. A huge thank you to all Casper Shop employee owners and future employee owners for representing us so well! Well done!!


Aaron and our shop crew channeled their inner firefighters on September 16, 2015 when they tackled a hay fire on private property bordering the Casper shop & office facilities. Using a 10,000 gallon water wagon & water truck to saturate the flames with over thirty thousand gallons of water. Oftedal assisted N atrona County Fire District personnel in extinguishing the blaze. An Oftedal 980 loader was also used for mop-up operations. Excellent company representation and example of our M ission Statement, once again Casper shop!


Weather couldn’t have been better when Oftedal and WYDOT joined forces on June 11, 2015 to feed approximately 275 people in Ten Sleep, WY. The picnic was demonstration of Oftedal’s and WYDOT’s appreciation to local residents and businesses in the Ten Sleep area for their patience and cooperation during the Worland-Ten Sleep highway and main street reconstruction project.

At project completion Ten Sleep had a wider, pot hole free, main street complete with curb & gutters, sidewalks and storm drain system. WYDOT Public Relations Specialist, Cody Beers, emceed the fun event. Cody recognized the efforts of Ten Sleep businesses, local groups, officials, leaders and Oftedal Construction for working well together to make the project a success.

The picnic included music from a local Ten Sleep cowboy, good food and lots of socializing. The menu was familiar; pork ribs, hamburgers, potato salad, Lynn’s beans, chips, grapes, watermelon, pop and water. A local bakery provided chocolate and white sheet cakes for dessert. All food, beverages and supplies were purchased from local Ten Sleep businesses. Picnic costs were split by Oftedal and WYDOT. Picnic success was largely due to the organizing and coordinating efforts of Oftedal employee’s Kacey Short, field office clerk, and superintendent Pat Kelton.

Billy Smith

Billy Smith savoring the BBQ ribs!

Pat Kelton

Oftedal Superintendent, Pat Kelton with his wife Laurie and fam ily.

Cody Beers

WYDOT 's Cody Beers (right) & Ten Sleep Cowboy Musician


“When do I get in?” You must be at least age 21, worked for Oftedal for one (1) year and earn at least 1,000 hours in a Plan Year (Jan 1 – Dec 31). You are automatically enrolled next entry date (Jan 1 or July 1)

Valuation “What’s my stock worth?” An annual valuation of the company determines what your ESOP shares are worth. Oftedal’s valuation company is Chartwell Capital Solutions based in Minneapolis, MN. Chartwell reviews audited financials and performs an in depth valuation of the company as a going concern. Chartwell reviews such items as management structure, equipment and property, market valuations, future workload, budget projections, debt load, etc before determining a fair market stock value. The ESOP Trustee’s have sole responsibility for setting the stock value each year.

Contribution – A contribution is the amount of cash the Board of Directors decides to pay into the plan each year. A contribution can be in stock, cash or both. A contribution is based, in part, on annual company profits. The better the company does, the greater the annual contribution can be. Contributions are funded entirely by the company and COSTS THE EMPLOYEE NOTHING!!!!

Allocation “How much do I get?” Allocation is the process of dividing the contribution to all eligible ESOP participants. Yearly allocation is based on your gross earnings as a % of total eligible payroll for that plan year. Your % of total eligible payroll multiplied by the contribution amount equals your yearly allocation. To receive an allocation you must work 1,000 hrs during plan year and be an active ESOP participant/employee on September 30. Principal, our third-party ESOP administrator, oversees annual ESOP allocations.

Vesting “How much do I have?” Vesting means ownership of your ESOP account. Vesting is based on years of service. Employees become 100% vested after five years, 60% vested 4-5 yrs, 40% vested 3-4 yrs and 20% vested 2-3 yrs. If you leave before becoming fully vested, you’ll experience a forfeiture. To earn vesting credit you must worked at least 1,000 hours in a plan year. Forfeited amounts are reallocated to people who stay with the company.

My money – A distribution is receiving a portion of the value of your ESOP account. A distribution occurs if you retire at age 65 or leave the company for some other reason (quit, death, disability). When you turn age 65 you become eligible for your first distribution in approximately 1 year.If you quit you must wait at least 5 years, before you are eligible for your first distribution, unless you turn 65. Distributions take place over a period of five years in 20% increments of your total account value. In case of death, your beneficiary will receive the rights of any unpaid account balance. When you become eligible for a distribution, you’ll have the option to rollover your eligible ESOP cash into an approved IR S Plan (401k, IRA) or you may elect to take cash. If you are less than age 59 ½ significant taxes and penalties apply if you elect cash.

Diversification (A form of Distribution) Diversification is taking a qualified portion of your account and investing in other retirement vehicles 401k, IRA, etc. Diversification applies to participants who have been in plan for 10 years & are at least 55 years old. D iversification period lasts six years from the time participant turns 55. Participant’s have a five year window to diversify 25% of their total shares after they turn 55. Participant?s can elect to diversify 50 % of their total shares, minus the number of shares previously diversified, in the sixth year.

If you have any questions on whether you are a participant in the ESOP, or have other ESOP questions please contact Irene Pluhar or Jacie Smith in the Payroll Department or Shawn Coffin, Human Resources, for more information.


William T. & James E. Oftedal Scholarship

Since 2001, Oftedal has awarded over $50,000.00 in scholarships to company employees or their family members. A remarkable accomplishment given our company size. An equally remarkable fact; the largest contributors to the scholarship fund, as a whole, are Oftedal employees. Vendors and other business partners have and continue to make generous donations. However, employee generosity has always been the funding foundation for this worthwhile company program. All active Oftedal employee owners are eligible to apply for an William T. & James E. Oftedal Scholarship for themselves, spouses or children. With your enduring support, the William T. & James E. Oftedal Scholarship will remain financially strong and Oftedal can continue helping employees and their families achieve their education goals. Thank you! To apply for the scholarship, applications are available on the company dropbox or you can contact Lynn Ruf in the Miles City Office (Email: Phone #: (406) 233-3221)



When the company has a good year all active and eligible employee owners benefit in a number of different ways. A primary benefit during our good years is an ESOP allocation. A growing ESOP account helps Oftedal employees build and diversify their retirement plans. To help employees further diversify their retirement portfolio’s , Oftedal sponsors a 401(k) plan. The Oftedal 401(k) allows employees to save and invest a portion of their pay check before taxes are taken out. Taxes aren’t paid until the money is withdrawn from the account. With a 401(k), employees control how their money is invested. Oftedal’s 401(k) plan offers a spread of mutual funds composed of stocks, bonds, and money market investments. But where do you invest your money? How do you know what savings and investments options are right for you? Oftedal helps you answer these questions by providing professional financial planning assistance through First Interstate Bank. Oftedal employees can contact Financial Professionals Sarah Siderius in Billings, MT at (406) 255-5236 or Shawn Porter (307) 235-4201 in Casper , WY to continue or begin planning their individual retirement. Both Sarah and Shawn have assisted several Oftedal employees in setting up retirement plans. All employees are encouraged to frequently utilize this unique company benefit of personal retirement planning. It’s never to late to start planning for the future.