May 19, 2020

US builds which are no longer standing

Michigan State University
College Hall
Chee Kung Tong Society Hall
Catherine Rowell
3 min
US builds which are no longer standing

When construction workers aim to construct a new building, all teams in collaboration will have the goal to ensure that the building is not only safe, but will be long-standing and provide continual benefits to the communities in which the building is situated.

There have been many buildings throughout America which have been demolished or destroyed as a result of human action or due to adverse weather conditions. However, with news of the Millennium Tower in San Francisco, which has been reported to have sunk 16inches since its construction in 2009, developers, engineers and construction teams are arguing at who is to blame for this current state of affairs, in which homeowners are now becoming increasingly concerned for their safety.

Now nicknamed the ‘leaning tower of San Francisco’ with a six inch lean at the top of the 58 storey build, developers are blaming another working company, Transbay Joint Powers Authority who are constructing a rail terminal nearby.

We take a look at several other US builds which are no longer standing or have been reconstructed as a result of human action or disaster.

Walnut Street Bridge, Pennsylvania

Originally opening in 1890 after being constructed by Phoenix Bridge Company, the Walnut Street Bridge crossed the Susquehanna river, but has since been rebuilt after its collapse in 1996 and is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

The result of the North American blizzard the same year, in addition to heavy rainfall causing rivers to rise saw the bridge incurring fatal damage due to the destruction of several western spans. The collapse of the bridge has been heavily documented, with parts of the bridge can be seen travelling down the river in various clips, where it was shown hitting Market Street Bridge further down.

The iron bridge has since been restored with reinforcements, along with overwhelming support from the local community and is one of the area’s most iconic builds.

Chee Kung Tong Society Hall, Hawaii

Although officials cannot pinpoint an exact date of the Chee Kung Tong Society Hall’s construction, it has been stated that the build was completed in either 1897 or 1905 respectively. However, the wooden building collapsed in the late in the late 1990s as a result of neglect, with only its foundations and concrete remains enduring.

Originally built to for workers who were subject to work on sugarcane plantations, the building was implemented to provide support, spiritual and political guidance, in addition to providing immigrant workers to socialise and feel part of a community.

Transformed into a dormitory in the 1920s and used up to the 1960s, the two storey building remains on the National Register of Historic Places.

Michigan State University, College Hall

Built in 1856 and designed by John C. Holmes, the College Hall building, then part of the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan comprised of three storeys, housing a variety of educational facilities, from classrooms and laboratories, to the library and various offices.

However, Michigan State government officials selected the lowest construction bid, leading to a low quality build, in addition to a number of faults within the its construction, such as soft pine flooring, leaking roofs and doors which would not open properly, if at all.

Although the build was considered by students and officials to be the campus’ Student Union Building, the hall was not able to withstand renovation work upon workers exposing further shoddy construction workers, such as unsteady foundations and soft bricks. The building collapsed shortly after, where a nearby band played the national anthem, causing the outer walls to collapse.

To commemorate the building, the Beaumont Tower has since been constructed in its place, and College Hall is placed on the seal of Michigan State University.

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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