ABC National Chairman Serves as Keynote Speaker
With over 200+ guests in attendance, Tony Rader, Texas native and ABC National Chairman, got a warm merit shop welcome from the members and their families during his keynote speech at the Associated Builders and Contractors of Southeastern Michigan (ABC SEMI) Excellence in Construction (EIC) Awards.
“I am convinced that as an association we are doing right by our members when I see companies like yourselves celebrated for your outstanding work,” said Rader. “Merit shop is not only alive, but thriving right here in the Motor City. That is not by chance, but by hard work and determination to compete and succeed in a market that is not always level or fair, but with your efforts has become much closer than ever before.”
Rader went on to congratulate the graduating class from the Southeast Michigan Construction Academy (SEMCA) for their choice in a career in the trades. He encouraged them with all of the retiring tradesmen from the “Baby-boomer” generation that the market was in desperate need of people with their skills.
“I am envious of all of you graduating today,” said Rader. “Your futures are unwritten and careers just beginning. You all have a role to play in promoting the merit shop philosophy—a creed that asks nothing more than open competition and a free-enterprise approach to construction based solely on merit, regardless of labor affiliation. An honest days pay for an honest day’s work—there is no more nobler pursuit.”
The evening culminated with the presentations of the ABC Excellence in Construction Awards as ABC SEMI President and CEO, Keith Ledbetter, was on hand to recognize the ABC EIC awardees for their outstanding projects.
“I am proud to represent this association and the phenomenal men and women who make up our membership,” said Ledbetter. “Tonight, we recognize just a few of the superb companies who have completed projects this year that their colleagues deem to be excellent examples of quality, safe, and timely craftsmanship and a cut above their merit shop peers. They have dedicated themselves to completing projects on time and budget without sacrificing any safety or quality—for this we honor them tonight.”
One of the highlights of the evening was a touching tribute to the late Dave Sheffield, ABC Board Member and this year’s ABC Legacy Award winner. His wife, Janice, and family were on hand to receive the award on his behalf. ABC SEMI Board Member, Cort Niemi, Regional Sales Manager for Lighthouse group, was on hand to present the award and share some positive words on Sheffield’s commitment to ABC and the merit shop philosophy.
“Dave set the bar high not only for others, but mostly for himself,” said Niemi. “He knew it was important to lead by example and always was one of the first to volunteer to help on a committee or board, especially when it was the Associated Builders and Contractors. He believed in the mission and vision that ABC stands for and was committed to making our industry a fair, safer, and more level playing field for all contractors to compete on. This award is fitting in that Dave’s legacy embodies the merit shop philosophy in treating others fairly, honestly and with compassion, but always encouraging them to give their best in quality and commitment on the job and in their lives. I am proud to have called Dave my friend and his impact on our industry will continue to be felt for generations to come.”
This year’s EIC award winners were: Altech Doors for Sub-Contractor of the Year; The Summit Company for General Contractor of the Year; Molnar Roofing for Roofing/Carpentry of the Year; Robert Clancy Contracting, Inc. for Site Preparation of the Year.