ISA Hosts Annual Networking Event and Awards General Contractor of the Year
The Construction Networking Event of the Year: Hagerman Construction and Force Construction are Big Winners at ISA General Contractor of the Year Awards
Hagerman Construction and Force Construction were the key award winners at the recent Indiana Subcontractors Association’s (ISA) General Contractor of the Year Awards, with Hagerman capturing the title among those general contractors with annual volumes over $100 million and Force winning among those under that threshold.
The other big winners were ISA and the construction industry itself as well over 1,000 industry professionals attended the “Construction Networking Event of the Year, ” a day-long program hosted by ISA that is capped off by the crowning of winners of these and other prestigious awards.
Luncheon Program Features Rocket Scientist
The day started with lunch that featured Adam Steltzner, a NASA rocket scientist who was involved with the Mars Rover Program. In introducing Steltzner, Scott Bullerdick, Vice President at Ben Hur Construction, who chaired ISA’s Special Events Committee, expounded on Steltzner’s impressive background.
“From aspiring rock star to history-making Ph.D. rocket scientist, Adam Steltzner is recognized as one of NASA’s leading – and most unique – innovators.
“For nearly a decade, Adam led and inspired the breakthrough team that invented the ingenious ‘sky crane’ landing system that so spectacularly landed the Mars rover Curiosity on the Martian surface in 2012. Next, Adam will lead NASA’s Mars 2020 Project that will gather core samples of Mars for scientific discovery.
“The author of “The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership and High Stakes Innovation,” Adam is here to bring to life unique strategies and perspectives on collaborative leadership, breaking through the seemingly impossible, and harnessing the power of curiosity to spark innovation.”
By all accounts, Steltzner’s remarks rose to the level of his impressive credentials.
Tradeshow and Networking Event
Following lunch, the tradeshow portion of the program featured 103 booths along with periodic Networking Pavilions, where leading owners, general contractors, design professionals, and others met individually with attendees and discussed topics such as upcoming building plans and introductions of new products and services. These forums were supported and in part organized by the Indiana Construction Roundtable (ICR), an organization whose core membership are owner members.
David Peterson, ISA’s President and ERMCO’s Senior Vice President for Business Development and Marketing, commented on the tradeshow, saying, “Working in business development myself, I know a lot of people in this industry, but the best thing about today’s event is that there are always new people to meet, new opportunities to learn about, and new connections to make. We’ve challenged our team at ERMCO to make as many new connections today as possible.
“The work that is taking place in our industry right now is abundant, which means there are a lot of opportunities for you to grow and become better connected amid the vast number of opportunities that exist today.”
Peterson noted the direction of the ISA but also asked all members to participate in shaping the association.
“You will notice in today’s programs and on signage throughout the event, information about the strategic direction of the ISA. Our board is focused on providing the best experience to our members by concentrating on our core values – connection, innovation and dialogue.”
Ryan Fireprotection was the luncheon sponsor. Mark Riffey, Executive Vice President at Ryan Fireprotection, has developed a well-earned reputation for his annual remarks that are always insightful and tinged with some good-natured humor.
Riffey also commented on the amount of opportunities facing contractors this year, saying to the lunch crowd, “I am looking at the folks who will be transforming the skyline of Indianapolis over the next 15 to 20 years.
“The amount of work planned for Indianapolis and the surrounding community alone is staggering. The Bottleworks, 16 Tech, Waterside and Infosys projects represent billions of construction dollars. Throw in the City Justice Center, new St. Vincent, St. Francis and Methodist there’s another $2 billion and just last week we learned about a new 39 story high rise at the Pan Am Plaza site.
“These are true signs that our best days are ahead. The time to make those connections for the future is now.”
Hagerman was the winner of the General Contractor of the Year in the category of companies that enjoy annual volumes topping $100 million a year. While The Hagerman Group has been a leader in the construction industry in Indiana for over 100 years, this was the first year they won this particular award. This year, the company also won the Excellence in Ethics Award.
Jeff Hagerman, Chairman of The Hagerman Group, commented about the many facets involved in winning the prestigious award.
“Obviously receiving those two awards was an incredible honor and it speaks volumes as to what we are doing and perhaps more importantly, how we are doing it. It is a genuine honor to be recognized as GC of the Year, but the Ethics Award is paramount to us because that basically is proof that we are doing things the right way, which aligns with our core values.
“I think the ISA program provides incredible feedback from our subcontracting community, essentially telling GCS and CMS that they enjoy working and partnering together.
“About 75 percent of what we do is engaged with the subcontracting community so it is important that we get this feedback cause if the subcontractors are not successful on our projects, then we are not going to be successful, either. Feedback is beneficial regardless of what you are doing.”
Hagerman also praised his staff for their large role in having won the awards.
“The receipt of these two awards has everything to do with how they do business every day and how they represent Hagerman. I can assure you that they use our core values every day as their decision-making barometer when they are out there making the difficult decisions in real time on our projects and within our offices. I really cannot thank them enough since these awards are not easy to come by and it truly takes an entire village to win them.”
In the category of firms who do under $100 million in annual volume, Force Construction again returned to the winner’s podium. The company has now won the award a record-breaking four times in the last 10 years.
The Subcontractors’ Choice Award is given to the general contractor who scores the highest among ISA members on the projects they submitted for ratings. This year’s winner was Pepper Construction.
"Every trade partner on our jobsites plays an important role in Pepper Construction's success,” said Mike McCann, President of Indiana Pepper. "The ISA Subcontractors Choice Award is great recognition of our efforts to foster positive, collaborative relationships. Our commitment to finding new ways to improve how we work together will continue as we strive to be an industry leader that brings the ultimate experience to our clients and partners."
The Project of the Year Award for a project under $10 million in construction was presented to Force Construction for their Diversity Vuteq project.
The Project of the Year Award for a project over $10 million was won by Meyer Najem Construction for the CEDIA World Headquarters.
Meyer Najem’s Executive Vice President, Jeremy Dixon, said of the award, "To be the general contractor for CEDIA's Global Headquarters was truly an honor. The facility is an absolute showcase and represents the very best in technology. More importantly though, we appreciate the relationships developed throughout the project and had a wonderful experience working with the CEDIA team."