Case Studies

MIRA Image Construction: A Leader in Safer Construction

  • Written by: MIRA Image Construction: A Leader in Safer Construction
  • Produced by: MIRA Image Construction: A Leader in Safer Construction
  • Estimated reading time: 5 mins

Every company likes to claim that safety comes first, but sometimes the number of on-the-job accidents each year reveals that’s not always the case. However, an informed philosophy has assured safety is truly established as an utmost priority at MIRA Image Construction in Honolulu, Hawaii. Under the leadership of Michael Gangloff, MIRA’s owner and founder, the heavy commercial construction company has only lost a total of $1,400 due to accidents in the 10 years that the company has been in business.

The company’s unbelievable safety record is due to the result of unfortunate accidents, one of which Gangloff barely survived while working for another construction company. He explains:

“I’ve been in the industry since I graduated from school in 1991. Working for other companies, I had my fair share of accidents. Due to lacking safety policies and constant overbearing pressure, I faced two of my worst accidents. The first accident occurred while working on a Sam’s Club project, in which I fell three stories and shattered my wrist. Afraid of losing my job, I was forced to continue working for a full week before the pain forced me into the hospital. The worst accident, by far, occurred while working on a 42-inch Waterline project. I was buried alive in a 30-foot trench due to improper shoring and poor jobsite safety protocol. This accident left me in a wheelchair with a grueling, six-month recovery. That’s when I decided the only way I could make a difference in safety would be by becoming the owner! So, I got out of my wheelchair and got my contractor’s license.

“I started MIRA Image Construction when I was fully recovered, and since day one safety and quality are my two biggest priorities,” continues Gangloff, who started the firm with one pick-up truck, $20 in a checking account, a zero-tolerance rule when it comes to unsafe acts, and a dedication to excellence.

Building a Reputation on Confidence, Integrity, Quality & Pride

“When I first started, I had no money, no lines of credit, nothing. I had my name in the handyman section of the paper and I would do small $10,000 to $20,000 residential projects,” recalls Gangloff. “I wasn’t making any money, however, because all of my clients were honest hard-working people and once I would get to know them and realize that they couldn’t really afford the project; but they had to have it done, I would constantly lower my fees. “

“I decided to switch over to commercial and municipal projects, because funds are set side and it is a more stable source of income,” continues Gangloff. “Since then, we’ve been a huge success. Today, the company employs roughly 35 personnel and expects to gross around $16 million in sales this year. I’m fully expecting that we’ll almost double sales to $30 million next year, using the same indirect personnel that we currently employ.”
Gangloff further states, “One key to our success is utilizing an HR company, ProService Hawaii, which allows MIRA to focus on the work at hand and not on all the laborious HR paper work, taxes and payroll.”

Gangloff and his team at MIRA currently focus primarily on heavy commercial jobs on the big island of Hawai’i and Oahu, striving to meet the needs of all customers on-time and on budget. The company provides services including asphalt paving, fencing, septic systems, grading, structures, concrete, masonry and utilities.

Gangloff also expects to expand into Kauai and Maui to provide the best possible service with the most effective methods of construction. “In order to effectively work on the other islands, you need more infrastructures, and we’re working on getting that into place,” reveals Gangloff. The company recently completed the complete renovation of a county building, the Aupuni Center, on the big island, and is currently working on an Oahu municipal sewer rehabilitation project. MIRA has had teams working around the clock, 24 hours a day, to keep thousands of homes connected to the sewer lines during reconstruction.

Giving Back to the Community

Gangloff hasn’t forgotten the community that has made his firm a success over the years. MIRA recently completed a full remodel of the weight room at Gangloff’s alma mater. “I had gone back to the school on a visit and I noticed that the weight room was exactly as the same as it was when I went to school, and the weights that I had used had been there at least 15 years before me, so it’s been a good 30 to 35 years,” Gangloff was quoted as saying.

Gangloff decided to do something about updating the facilities, and the high school football coach, who played on the same football team at Farrington High School when both men attended the school, was shocked to find out that he wasn’t just getting a donation of a piece of equipment or free weights. Gangloff spent over $200,000 of his own money to construct two new weight rooms with equipment and weights. Gangloff even ensured that the school’s logo had been stenciled onto the new equipment.

Additionally, MIRA – which is an acronym of Gangloff’s first and middle name and those of his children, Ikaika, Andrew and Amy – is just one of four companies that Gangloff currently operates. An accident also led to the creation of another of those four. “I founded ‘Gabby’s Save A Life Foundation’ an IRS 501.c.3 non-profit, after my three-year-old, Gabriella, almost drowned to death in our home pool two years ago. I was able to successfully revive her with CPR, and luckily it appears she doesn’t have any long-term after-effects. Since then, I discovered that drowning is the number one cause of death for children under the age of four in the United States, and roughly one Hawaiian child a week dies from drowning. ‘Gabby’s Save A Life Foundation’ provides families CPR training, swimming lessons and water safety awareness training,” says Gangloff.

It’s unfortunate that Michael Gangloff had to go through some near-death experiences before he could help reinforce the importance of safety and training. But he has taken those experiences and, through MIRA Image Construction, helped to build better job site conduct and community infrastructure in Hawaii.

Published on: March 9, 2013

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