50th Anniversary Gala

Jeff Sessions shares stories of his career with ABC members

More than 300 in attendance for ABC’s 50th anniversary celebration

A ballroom dawned with an 18 foot-long American flag could only mean one thing—ABC Southeastern Michigan is celebrating 50 years.

On a crisp fall evening in Troy, ABC members put on their best to attend the lavish event at the Detroit Marriott. Complete with a silent auction, dignified speakers, and plenty of laughs, the 50th Anniversary Gala did not disappoint as the “wow” factor of the year.

“I am in awe of how amazing it looks in this ballroom,” said Sparkle Blinds, Inc. senior manager, Tanya Strait. “I have been looking forward to coming to this for months. I love coming to ABC events to meet new people and there have already been so many people I’ve connected with, and certainly more conversations to come as the night goes on.”

There was a lot of high energy in the ballroom as the program got started. As the doors opened, guests filtered in to get settled at their tables, explore the silent auction, or take advantage of being the first in line for a celebratory drink.

At 6:30 the program began with an introduction of the 2023 ABC National Chair-elect Milton Graugnard. Graugnard traveled from Louisiana to congratulate the Southeastern Michigan chapter on 50 years and present a commemorative plaque to ABC SEMI’s staff and members.

“Wow! Fifty years is a huge accomplishment to celebrate,” Graugnard said. “Just looking out at all the people filling this room says so much about the members of this chapter. The support for each other and the chapter, the value you see in your membership, and the impact this association has on your business, is inspiring.”

The night continued with recognizing four members who have been with ABC SEMI for 40 years. Pamar Enterprises, Douglas Electric, Arrow Concrete, and Flo-Aire were all awarded eagle trophies for hitting this momentous occasion.

Other awardees for the night included Eric Davidson for his support of the Southeast Michigan Construction Academy (SEMCA) by funding the Promise Scholarship in memory of RJ Rink. Grace Bonventre, for her constant dedication to SEMCA, and the students was awarded the chapter’s Distinction Award. Perry Merlo was awarded the highest honor, the ABC SEMI Legacy Award, for his unwavering dedication as a board member for over a decade and his leadership during difficult years built the foundation for the success to come.

The night did include one surprise award. ABC Southeastern Michigan Chairwoman Chris Scott, owner of Paul C. Scott & Sons Plumbing, took the stage to recognize the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at ABC.

“We owe a great debt of gratitude to the man leading this team,” Scott said. “Keith Ledbetter had a vision of where this association could be when he came to us six years ago, and I am so proud of where we stand and what is provided for our members.”

The night concluded with special guest former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking to guests about the importance of free enterprise and working hard for what you’ve got.

“This room is filled tonight with people who understand hard work and believe in doing their very best,” Sessions said.

We want to thank everyone who joined us for our 50th Gala. The staff at ABC is truly humbled by the support from our members.

Thank you also to our sponsors: Butzel Long, Architectural Hardware & Supply, AIS Construction Equipment, AssuredPartners, Robert Clancy Contracting, HRPro, Merlo Construction, D.J. Maltese Construction Corporation, ABC Workers’ Comp, Independence Commercial Construction, Inc., Paul C. Scott & Sons Plumbing, Campbell Industrial Contractors, O’Donnell Electric, Patriot Group, ABC Insurance Trust, State Electric, KaltzCoulombe PLLC, VTC Insurance, Expert Heating & Cooling, Dinsmore & Shohl, Baker Tilly, LaFemina Trucking,
and Altech Doors.

  • Olga Kovtun breaks bread with other ABC members at Gala