With the 50th anniversary celebration in full swing, members who were there for the early years of formation visited the ABC Southeastern Michigan office to reconnect and share stories about the beginning moments.
ABC COO Mickey Mortimer was the enthusiastic leader behind forming the committee to recognize the ones who laid the foundation.
“In construction, your building is only as good as your foundation,” Mortimer said. “The same goes for this chapter. These guys faced trials and tribulations, and risked so much starting this chapter in the 70s.”
Some of those trials included the picket lines at every job site and office.
“There were so many pickets even when I joined ABC in 1985,” said Frank Mamat, the ABC chapter attorney. “That was 13 years after the chapter formed, I couldn’t imagine what it looked like in ’72.”
Committee members reflected further on the political climate when they began forming and Pat Acciavatti recalled his heavy equipment being targeted. He told the others how the gas tanks were filled with sugar and the machines were ruined, but that just determined the group to keep pushing forward as a chapter and build a lasting legacy.
The start of this committee was thought of out of inspiration of the 50th anniversary, but Mortimer sees it sticking around beyond 2022.
“The short-term goal here is to remember and honor the vital members that created our chapter,” Mortimer continued. “Our long-term goal is to have a committee that allows retired members or former board members to remain connected to the chapter and the connections they built here.”
The Legacy Committee will bridge the gap between the past and the future. Mortimer noted that we can’t move forward without knowing where we’ve been.
“It’s important to know the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that the founding members went through so we as a chapter appreciate our purpose, mission, and values more,” Mortimer said.
ABC will continue to host gatherings for the Legacy Committee and learn more about their journey over the past 50 years.