Brenda Lopez is the Office Manager at Great Plains Drilling Inc, one of the oldest businesses in Martin City and a fixture on Oak Street since the 1970s. Lopez handles the paperwork and financial processes tied to the construction contractor’s contributions all over the Kansas City area.
“I crunch numbers and formalize documentation that makes up the paper trail behind our drilling teams in the field,” says Lopez. “It’s a complicated responsibility and I enjoy making sure it’s all done right.”
Great Plains Drilling Inc employs 17 people known for hard work and expertise that’s not easy to find. Most of the staff has over two decades of experience operating giant drilling rigs that dig deep for foundation construction beneath a huge variety of private and commercial projects. The Martin City company has helped with everything from the Kauffman Stadium expansion to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, including an endless list of downtown buildings, towers, billboards, and utility support structures.
Lopez has managed the business office for eight years after leaving a local bank where she logged long hours picking up key skills. She’s easily transitioned her background into what Great Plains needs to round out its team of specialists.
“I do whatever it takes. We all do. That’s the culture here. Most of the calculations and documentation are done by hand, so I’ve developed a thorough understanding of how everything works, down to the details. I don’t just feed numbers into software, I know what they all mean and I can help management make decisions.”
Managing the business office of a successful construction contractor is a lot for one person to take on. A day on the job ranges from fielding client phone calls and emails, to tackling invoicing, payroll, licensing, and human resources tasks. Lopez is even known to visit job sites from time to time.
“I like to see the work that’s tied to all the documentation,” says Lopez. “It gives me context and helps me understand how it all fits together. Plus, it’s great to get out of the office sometimes!”
Lopez tells us the best part of her work is the ‘family’ feeling inside Great Plains Drilling Inc. She says co-workers really stick together and she fits right in. When she’s not on the clock, most of her free time goes to her other family at home in Belton, Missouri, including two kids who always keep her busy. And how does she feel about Martin City after eight years on Oak Street?
“It’s just a great place to work. Everyone says it, and I agree — the food is a huge benefit. I love the Martin City Brewing Company Pizza and Taproom. And you can’t do better than a Jess & Jim’s Steakhouse hamburger. You could definitely say I’m a regular there. Probably two or three times a week!”
Connecting with Martin City comes naturally for Lopez. Her five year old daughter attends Eagles Gymnastics down the street, and she enjoys checking out other businesses around the neighborhood. In fact, Lopez routinely attends Martin City Community Improvement District (MCCID) Board meetings on the second Thursday of each month at 8:30 a.m. inside Jess & Jim’s to find out what’s going on.
“Those meetings really fill you in on what’s happening. Different businesses give presentations that show you how they work and how your business might benefit. And the Kansas City Missouri Police Officers assigned to Martin City let you know about crime trends and how to keep your business safe. Plus, attending the meetings gives you a chance to voice your opinions or concerns. I don’t hesitate to reach out to District Manager Vickie Woglast if I have questions.”
Thanks for getting involved, Brenda! Participation helps Martin City become all it can be. We’re fortunate to have you and Great Plains Drilling in our community. Learn more about the business >>
About Workforce Spotlights
Martin City Workforce Spotlights recognize people working in the neighborhood at local Martin City businesses. If there’s someone your company would like to showcase, please send their name, job title or role, photo (it’s okay to send more than one), and a brief explanation of why you want them showcased to [email protected]
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