Who's behind that Vikings stadium crane? A woman

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 11, 2014 - 9:02 PM


Alissa Schneider is the woman behind the crane. The big one.

Her company, Danny’s Construction, specializes in large complex steel-erection projects. Now it will be raising the roof on the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

Unlike her two brothers, Schneider said she inherited her father’s construction gene and eventually took over his company.

Danny’s is operating the Demag CC6800 crawler, one of the largest in North America. The 400-foot-tall crane is now up and running on the stadium site, and it will be in place and operating for 15 months. It’s being leased through Belgium-based Sarens Group.

The participation of Schneider’s Shakopee-based company helps the $1 billion stadium project fulfill a requirement for women-owned businesses on the job.

Danny’s comes with high-profile experience.

The firm is installing the handrails at the new San Francisco Giants’ stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., and working on the renovation of Block E for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx practice facility. The company installed structural steel at Target Field and at Soldier Field in Chicago. Other current projects include the State Fairgrounds and the Surly Brewery.

Schneider said she first spoke with her father about taking over his company when she was 15. She earned a college degree in business and is a CPA. She operates Danny’s with business partner Chris Rust. Her semiretired dad still works in sales.

But she wasn’t a seasoned steel veteran when she fell into the business. Schneider said she was familiar with a “torch and grinder,” but had no field work experience.

“The secret to my career is to surround myself with many very smart and hardworking people who know more than I do,” she said.

Schneider is comfortable with the pace of long-term projects; she runs marathons in her spare time.

“I’m slow as molasses, but they always give me a medal anyway,” she said.


Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747 Twitter: @rochelleolson

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