ISA Subcontractor of the Year Awards
Kettelhut and Messer Share Top Honors
Launching into their 50thyear as an association, the Indiana Subcontractors Association (ISA) gave top honors to two companies that are among the most frequent winners of their top awards.
“General Contractor of the Year” awards went to Kettelhut Construction and Messer.
In addition to taking top honors, Messer also won “Project of the Year,” in the category of projects that cost under $10 million.
Other awards went to Force Construction (Subcontractors Choice), Turner
Construction (Ethics) and Pepper Construction (Project of the Year over $10 million).
Brad Deno and Alex Gonzalez are both Executive Vice Presidents of Kettelhut and are transitioning towards purchasing the firm from Steve Habben, who currently serves as the company’s President.
In the last eleven years, the firm has won the Subcontractors Choice Award four times, and Project of the Year twice. This is the second time during that time that they won the GC of the Year Award.
Asked about this remarkable achievement, Deno first expressed gratitude to ISA, its members and the subcontracting industry as a whole.
In addition, he said, “I think it continues a legacy of how we have operated as a company in the past and how we certainly intend to function in the future. These awards reflect a tone and a standard as to how we interact with our partner subcontractors.
“Alex and I will not only honor that legacy but we also believe that it is simply the right way to do business in this industry. Our subcontractors are and will be full partners with us, each of us jointly responsible for delivering projects that fully please our owners while providing a fair and equitable return for all of the contractors involved. We like to set clear objectives and operate well-scheduled and coordinated projects.”
Asked about the immediate future, Deno said that opportunities are plentiful for qualified subcontractors.
“We are currently involved with multiple school corporations using various delivery methods that will last over the course of the next few years as well as many projects with private owners.
We encourage not only our current partners but also those that may be potentially interested in partnering with us in the future to contact us so we can discuss our mutual business goals toward fostering business opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Messer also has an impressive record among subcontractors. Throughout the course of the last decade, they were honored with the Ethics Award three times and the Project of the Year three times. This also marks the second time since then that they have taken home the General Contractor of the Year trophy.
Steven Bestard, who oversees the Indianapolis Region for Messer, attributed part of their success through the years with working with owners and subcontractors that share similar values with Messer.
“We partner with likeminded subcontractors and likeminded owners that are focused not only on having great projects but also on helping to make our industry as a whole better,” he said.
“There are a great many examples of doing so but seeing that safety standards and practices improve as well as adopting innovative approaches such as integrated project delivery and LEED are good examples.
From our perspective we are always going to put safety at the top of the priority chain. We appreciate this subcontracting community because they have the same priority.
If we can be very safe on our projects and control schedules and quality then the cost of the projects as well as their profitability for all involved will follow. Our subcontractors get that and reap the many benefits of embracing these values.”
Bestard would compare central Indiana’s subcontractors favorably to anywhere else in the nation. “We work in a lot of other cities,” he said, “and there is no question but that the quality of people and the quality and sophistication of the firms is as good as any place and we are genuinely thrilled to be a part of it.”
Messer also won project of the year award in the category of projects that came in at less that $10 million for their IU Health West Emergency Department and CT Scan Renovation project.
Carl M. Dinnin, Senior Project Executive with Messer, cited their close relationship with the owner’s personnel as a major reason for the success – on many levels – of the project.
“The biggest factor is that it was an eight-stage renovation and we were working amongst and with their emergency operations every day,” he said. “We were able to integrate with their department and keep them safe and us safe.
Emergency departments are very busy places with a lot of critical work being done and they can absolutely never shut down. We were working to increase their examination space so we had to take over a large portion of their existing space. So the two staffs met frequently so we could plan together to achieve these necessary goals. There were many discussions about how we can each do what needed to be done on any given day.”
In addition to handling such a close-quarters project successfully, Dinnin noted that even though they were working on a very tight schedule, they were able to keep it within the budget, hit their scheduling goals and execute it in a safe manner.
ISA’s President, Randy Adams of R. Adams Roofing, again provided professional-level emcee service. Noting that ISA’s values are connection, dialogue and innovation, he said that the day’s events that included the Construction Networking Event of the Year attended by over 1,200 were examples of meeting those values.
“I watched all day long during our luncheon with Bobby Knight and Bob Hammel, to the Networking Pavilions and to the tradeshow floor as dialogue took place and new connections were made among ISA members. The Construction Networking Event of the Year has truly become the place to be to form lasting connections between some of the best and brightest in the Indiana construction industry.”
Adams also spoke of Darrell Gossett, the first president of what many call “the new ISA.” “As many of you are aware today we were without the presence of one of our past presidents and biggest advocates. Darrell Gossett, former Chairman of ERMCO and ISA Past President, left us too soon on December 15th.
Darrell meant a lot of great things to many people. And, as many of you know he meant a great deal to the success of ISA.”
Adams also regrettably acknowledged the passing of Jack Spohn of Spohn Associates noting that he “was heavily involved in different industry associations and friends to many in this room.”