Issue 1 2022 S O U T H E A S T MICHIGAN CONTRACTORS Me r i t S hop New s f r om t h e Sou t h e a s t e r n M i c h i g a n Ch a p t e r o f A s s o c i a t ed Bu i l de r s a nd Con t r a c t o r s Pro Leasing Services Makes it Personal SEMCAHosts 2021 CraftChampionship ABC’s Golden Christmas Wrapped up 2021 and Kicked-Off 50th Anniversary Celebration
Contents ABC SEMI STAFF PRESIDENT/CEO Keith Ledbetter email@example.com COO Mickey Mortimer firstname.lastname@example.org VP OF EDUCATION Deanna Morley email@example.com DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION Grace Bonventre firstname.lastname@example.org COMPTROLLER Dave Staudt email@example.com DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP John Manor firstname.lastname@example.org DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION Marissa Downs email@example.com EDUCATION SERVICES AND EVENTS COORDINATOR Kaylee Cohen firstname.lastname@example.org OPERATIONS MANAGER Michelle Wood email@example.com COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Kelly Forrester firstname.lastname@example.org 2022 BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHAIRMAN Chris Scott, Paul C Scott & Sons Plumbing, Inc. TREASURER Bridget Kewin, O’Donnell Electric LLC SECRETARY Debbie Starke, LaFemina Trucking CHAPTER ATTORNEY Frank Mamat, Barnes and Thornburg DIRECTORS Mark Angellotti, Expert Heating & Cooling Jim Boland, VTC Insurance Group LLC Thomas Campbell, Campbell Industrial Contractors, Inc. Robert Clancy, Robert Clancy Contracting, Inc. Frank DiPonio, DiPonio Contracting, Inc. Eric Flessland, Butzel Long Chris Holsbeke, Holsbeke Construction, Inc. Drew Maltese, D.J. Maltese Construction Corporation Matt McConnell, Architectural Hardware and Supply Perry Merlo, Merlo Construction Company, Inc. Ryan Philbeck, Patriot Group Dave Pytlowany, AIS Construction Equipment Corporation STATE BOARD MEMBERS Luke Beach, Independence Commercial Construction Robert Clancy, Robert Clancy Contracting, Inc. Perry Merlo, Merlo Construction Company, Inc. Jim Struble, RCI Electric NATIONAL BOARD MEMBERS Robert Clancy, Robert Clancy Contracting, Inc. Frank DiPonio, DiPonio Contracting, Inc. Drew Maltese, D.J. Maltese Construction Corp. CET BOARD OF TRUSTEES CHAIRMAN Tad Martin, Professional Thermal Systems, Inc. TREASURER Jim Struble, RCI Electric MEMBERS Jacqueline Kaltz, Kaltz Coulombe, PLLC Paige Levy, Douglas Electric Co. 06 08 02 President’s Letter 04 ABC SEMI Marks 50 Years as a Chapter 06 ABC’s Golden Christmas Wrapped up 2021 and Kicked-Off 50th Anniversary Celebration 08 2021 Shows Growth in Construction and Chapter 12 SEMCA Hosts 2021 Craft Championship 15 Welcome Our New TeamMembers 16 Pro Leasing Services Makes it Personal Contact Information ABC SEMI Office (248) 298-3600 31800 Sherman Avenue Madison Heights, MI 48071 SEMCA Office (248) 298-3600 31800 Sherman Avenue Madison Heights, MI 48071 12 Advertising & Design Sales Representative Ronnie Jacko (503) 445-2234 email@example.com LLM PUBLICATIONS (503) 445-2220 | (800) 647-1511 www.llmpubs.com
2 Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. ABC Members, Happy New Year! What a great year 2022 will be. The Southeastern Michigan Chapter of ABC celebrates our 50th year in 2022. That’s 50 years of promoting the Merit Shop philosophy. What does that mean? It means workers and company owners earn money based on work performance, not seniority, age, race, or preferred demographic status. It means promoting free enterprise and competition instead of political favoritism. Over 50 years, the Southeastern Michigan Chapter of ABC has fought hard for these principles. We’ve done this through political advocacy. We’ve also done it through litigation. Even when you’re focused on your business, we’re working to ensure a fair and even playing field for everyone. In Michigan, we’ve led some remarkable successes. Workers are no longer forced to join labor unions that don’t support their values because ABC successfully pushed for Right to Work. ABC rooted out Project Labor Agreements—contracts where the government forced companies to join unions or pay into their fringe benefit funds in order to be awarded government contracts. ABC led the elimination of Prevailing Wage—an effort to artificially raise labor costs for some construction companies in order for union contractors to remain competitive. And, ABC fought to Unlock Michigan when government leaders forced the shutdown of Michigan’s economy. While we will spend 2022 celebrating these successes and recognizing many of the leaders who played a role, we will also continue to evolve in areas of importance to contractors. We will continue towards our goal of 1,000 apprentices in our skilled trades school to create a pipeline of talent for the industry. We will be providing professional development programming to help develop your next generation of company leaders. We will connect you with like-minded construction companies to help you find new business partners. And we will continue to fight against “quality bidder” ordinances and other laws that give preferential treatment to companies that don’t look like you. Cheers to the New Year! This is what 50 looks like! Sincerely, Keith Ledbetter | President and CEO ABC Southeastern Michigan Chapter KEITH LEDBETTER ABC SEMI President President’s Letter
Southeast Michigan Contractors Issue 1 2022 3 EVENTS
4 Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. 50 YEAR CELEBR AT ION Associated Builders and Contractors was founded in 1950 when seven contractors gathered in Baltimore, MD to create an association based on the shared belief that construction projects should be awarded based on merit to the most qualified and responsible low bidders. The courage and dedication of those seven contractors—Charles Mullan, C.K. Wells, Jr., Philip Cloves, Ernest Shultz, Edward Colwill, Charles Knott, and Edward Dickinson—helped to quickly spread the merit shop philosophy, making ABC the fastest growing association in the United States. “Their story is not unlike the one that contractors across the nation and right here in southeast Michigan faced,” said ABC SEMI President and CEO Keith Ledbetter. That is why we have 69 chapters nationwide and three in Michigan alone. Our members were never looking for preferential treatment—just a level playing field to compete on. It is a fight that we continue to struggle with every day here at our chapter and one that our members know all too well. When these seven contractors came together in Baltimore to form ABC, their main goal was survival amidst the Building & Construction Trades Department’s efforts to limit opportunities to union-only companies. The group chartered its first four chapters in 1957 and had about 500 member companies. At the time, open shop contractors only represented about 15% of the U.S. construction workforce. Today, because of their efforts, ABC has 69 chapters with more than 22,000 members and open shop firms comprise 85.9% of the U.S. construction workforce. “ABC members stand up for their belief that projects should be awarded based on merit,” said ABC State Chairman Robert Clancy, owner of Robert Clancy Contracting. “Yet regulatory tactics and backroom political deals continue to threaten nonunion construction businesses. ABC is our ally so that no contractor has to deal with its problems alone, whether it’s recruiting and training craft professionals, improving safety performance, advancing local competition legislation, or educating other business owners that merit shop contractors are the preferred source of construction services.” On a national level and throughout the entire organization, ABC’s mission is to advance the merit shop construction philosophy and encourage open competition and a free enterprise approach that awards contracts based on merit alone. As we begin our yearlong celebration, we look forward to recognizing the efforts that our local chapter founders and members made to pave the way for our members of today. Association Celebrates Milestone Throughout 2022 Season ABC SEMI MARKS 50 YEARS AS A CHAPTER John Trimmer Charles Mullan
Southeast Michigan Contractors Issue 1 2022 5
6 Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. ABC CHR I STMAS ABC SEMI welcomed more than 100 members to its workshop in early December to celebrate the holidays. The night featured dueling pianos, food from Andiamo, several raffle items, and a 15-foot Christmas tree. “We were not able to host an in-person Christmas party last year, so this year we wanted to make sure we delivered for our members,” said Keith Ledbetter, ABC SEMI President and CEO. “The staff worked together to decorate our shop and transform it into a Christmas wonderland.” Ledbetter was also instrumental in getting the grand Christmas tree ahead of this year’s celebration during initial planning. “We have been planning our Christmas party since early summer,” said event coordinator Kaylee Cohen. “From the food, to prizes, to a unique entertainment experience, I wanted to make this event stand out and get everyone excited about the 50th anniversary celebration next year.” A favorite of the night was the raffle that helped raise funds for the Build the Future scholarship fund, which provides tuition assistance to the students at the Southeast Michigan Construction Academy. The raffle prizes included an Apple watch, a portable firepit, a 65” TV, a Blackstone grill, and a Milwaukee gift bundle that was generously donated by the team at Milwaukee. Additional entertainment for the night included a “Don’t Shoot Your Eye Out” dart throwing game. John Manor, the director of membership, brought the classic movie A Christmas Story to ABC, and for $5, players had three chances to pop balloons and win A Christmas Story-themed prize. All funds from the game also went to the Build the Future fund for student scholarships. “The Christmas party this year was a great way to re-engage our ABC members after last year’s party having to be virtual,” said ABC Chairman Drew Maltese, President of DJ Maltese Construction. “It was a lot of fun to connect and laugh with each other again.” The team at ABC SEMI wants to thank our friends at AIS, Robert Clancy Contracting, South Lyon Fence Co., Parmar Enterprise, Inc., O’Donnell Electric, Architectural Hardware, FCCI Insurance Group, PCI Industries, and the Summit Company for helping us make the Christmas party such a success and to get our 50th anniversary off on the right foot. ABC’s Golden Christmas Wrapped up 2021 and Kicked-Off 50th Anniversary Celebration The Gold Outshined the Silver at ABC’s Annual Christmas Party Keith Ledbetter welcomes gubernatorial candidate Kevin Rinke. John Manor gave out the raffle prizes to lucky attendees. There were awesome prizes awarded during the party. D.J. Maltese made ABC SEMI Christmas a family affair. A Christmas Story dart game was a real bullseye!
Southeast Michigan Contractors Issue 1 2022 7 Contact us today! www.llmpubs.com | 800-647-1511 Advertise to Support Your Association! • Speak to your entire association’s member base • Complimentary graphic design services • Modify an existing ad or have a new one created • Multi-publication discounts
8 Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. SAFET Y PRO AC T Michigan construction has been booming in this post-COVID economy. Positive signs are emerging in many key economic indicators—declining unemployment, increased spending, and rising consumer sentiment. This market has allowed many ABC SEMI contractors to remain busy and committed well into the fall of 2022. “The growth in commercial construction coincides with southeast Michigan’s continuing increase in population,” says outgoing ABC Chapter Chairman Drew Maltese, president of DJ Maltese Construction. “We are witnessing firsthand several indications that suggest commercial construction will continue to grow well into, if not throughout 2022. Many projects that have been sidelined for months are finally coming off the drawing boards and receiving funding. Amid an ongoing housing market boom, the commercial construction industry added 3,500 jobs in 2021, recovering more than 80% of the jobs lost over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our biggest problem is we cannot train people fast enough to keep up with this demand.” Many economic forecasters in Michigan believe there is much to be optimistic about for construction in 2022. The post-pandemic environment has introduced several new market dynamics, which present with them new opportunities. At ABC SEMI we’ve seen change in the commercial market as entire companies relocate to new geographies or are purchased by investment brokerage firms. Many retailers or services businesses are following their clients and building outposts in new markets. While demand for retail space may be shrinking, warehousing needs have escalated and as a result warehouse construction is ramping up. “We are seeing more and more chain restaurants and franchises locating in areas where housing stock has risen,” said Luke Beach, President of Independence 2021 SHOWS GROWTH IN CONSTRUCTION AND CHAPTER ABC SEMI Continues to Grow with Industry Demand
Southeast Michigan Contractors Issue 1 2022 9 ABC SEMI 2021 Commercial Construction. “Our clients are locating franchises to meet the new demand that these communities are creating, and this has spurned additional development and infrastructure projects throughout communities where new housing is in high demand. We have been busy with projects this year and expect to remain so for most of 2022.” Along with increased interest in construction across southeast Michigan, interest in membership at ABC SEMI chapter has remained constant. We had 495 participants at ABC chapter events (not including board meetings/picnic or graduation) and were able to hit our goal of 90% retention and attract 30 new members for 2021. “ABC SEMI has done a good job in consistently growing our membership—we are the only chapter to have consistent growth over the past 5 years—but we are just getting started,” said Keith Ledbetter, President/CEO of ABC SEMI. “With the information and recent research we have conducted on our current membership, we look to create a cohesive, sustainable, and ambitious marketing plan for our current and prospective members for 2022 and beyond.” In addition, ABC SEMI was honored during this year’s ABC National ONE Convention in St. Louis with the Charles A. Mullan Award for Superior Membership Growth. This award is given each year to the top performing chapter in the nation. ABC SEMI also received awards for: Outstanding Membership Retention, Membership Growth, Membership Goal Achievement, and Superior Contractor Percentage. Politics took center stage in Michigan in 2021 with executive orders and arbitrary changes made without the legislature or voters’ approval. Despite nonunion companies carrying the load when it comes to projects being done in Michigan, ABC State Chairman and ABC SEMI Board Member, Robert Clancy was disappointed to see the recent political maneuvering of Governor Gretchen Whitmer in ignoring the will of the people and reinstating Prevailing Wage in Michigan. He is fearful that this is just the beginning of what is to be expected of Government from both the State as well as Federal level in putting merit-shop companies like the ones at ABC SEMI at a disadvantage when it comes to bidding for work. “The message from the Governor is clear. Despite merit shop companies handling 80% of construction projects in Michigan, our voice, and that of the people, is to be ignored to reward her supporters,” said Clancy. “We have never asked for special treatment or set-asides to be given to our members, just the ability to compete on a fair and level playing field where our work and reputation stands for itself. Like any job being bid privately, a state level project should be awarded based on the ability to do the work and best bid, not prices inflated to line the pockets of one’s political cronies.” ABC Chapter Chairman DrewMaltese, president of DJ Maltese Construction receives ABC BeamClub Award for member recruitment. Independence Commercial Construction, Inc. continues to stay busy in southeast Michigan’s bustling construction climate. DJ Maltese Construction breaks ground on Ariel Assets, helicopter facility at Canton’s Mettetal Airport. continues on page 11 >>
10 Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. ABC SEMI 2021 Shelly and Keith Ledbetter join MauraMcKeener, and Jacqueline Kaltz-Columbe at the ABC of Michigan Conference on Mackinac Island. Superior Heating and Cooling President Pete Cervini receives ABC Silver STEP Award for exceptional safety in their workplace fromABC Director of Membership John Manor. Candidate for Governor, Tudor Dixon (second from left) attended the ABC SEMI 2021 Trap Shoot. ABC SEMI Board of Directors visit member Expert Heating and Cooling. ABC SEMI Meet the Generals offered ABCmembers an opportunity to connect with new business partners
Southeast Michigan Contractors Issue 1 2022 11 Industry demand for skilled labor continues to be at an all-time high in Michigan and with many current ABC SEMI contractor members scheduled to be busy working throughout the summer of 2022. Ledbetter is excited about the coming year and the role that ABC SEM will play in preparing our members to take full advantage of all the job referrals and opportunities to win work that will be available to them. “Long have we been satisfied with bringing in members and relying on our events, trade school, or workers compensation insurance to ensure their renewal, no longer,” said Ledbetter. “We are embarking on an ambitious member engagement initiative to create a more active ABC SEMI membership experience for both current and future contractor members. 50 years is an incredible milestone for this Association, but this is only the beginning.” Mickey Mortimer, ABC SEMI COO, receives the prestigious Mullan Award for best chapter in the region. DeWalt becomes chapter member at ABC SEMI. The Summit Company was recognized for excellent safety with the ABC Silver STEP Award. Women whoWeld class at SEMCA. Lunch and Learn event about credit card processing services through CardConnect was fun. Safety brief at Annual Trap Shoot event. Students build new Carpentry Center. >> continued from page 9
12 Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. SEMCA HOSTS 2021 CRAFT CHAMPIONSHIP Associated Builders and Contractors Southeastern Michigan and Southeast Michigan Construction Academy recently hosted the 2021 Craft Championship— an impressive contest featuring nine of SEMCA’s finest electrical students. This year’s champion was third-year student Chance Krul who works for Family Heating, Cooling & Electrical and currently studies under SEMCA instructor Leonard Brantley. “Our competitors represent the top of our electrical students,” said Deanna Morley, SEMCA’s Vice President of Education. “To be considered for the competition, students had to pass a rigorous written exam. During the hands-on performance, their skills were really put to the test.” Students were given eight hours to complete a complex electrical project using the blueprints given, all while under the watchful eyes of judges and spectators. “We’re so proud of our students for their commitment to their craft, and for their willingness to put forth the tremendous time and effort required for the competition. It was a fantastic showcase of their knowledge and skills,” Morley continued. John Danic, SEMCA instructor and manager of the Craft Championship, shares a feeling of pride toward the competitors. Krul of Family Heating and Cooling Takes Top Honors continues on page 14 >> CR AF T CHAMPIONSHIP Chance Krul of Family Heating and Cooling (center) won this year’s Craft Championship.
13 SEMCA Advertise in Southeast Michigan Contractors! Advertise in the Associated Builders and Contractors of Southeastern Michigan’s quarterly magazine Southeast Michigan Contractors, and put your message in front of construction industry leaders and key decision makers throughout the region. This publication reaches every member of the Southeastern Michigan chapter and is used as a valuable informational resource, as well as a handy purchasing tool. ADVERTISING RATES STARTING AT $450!
14 Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. “There was so much talent there! Many of our students have not done a project like this before and were then doing it under the duress of judgement, time constraints, and the constant oversight of judges and management,” Danic said. “They endured the pressure and stuck it out. I feel not only proud of my own past students, but of all the participants for their ability to interpret and implement a set of plans, safely install the project, and follow all instructions—all of which are big lessons for their future endeavors.” Danic asks that our ABC SEMI community send wellwishes and encouragement to our deserving champion, Chance Krul, as he represents our chapter at the National Championship in San Antonio, TX this March. ABC SEMI/SEMCA would like to thank Milwaukee Tools, Shelving.com, and Kline Tools for generously providing prizes for competitors. Each competitor went home with a Milwaukee fuel drill. As the champion, Chance went home with a cart full of Milwaukee tools and swag, along with an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the National Championship. CR AF T CHAMPIONSHIP Everyone started with the same equipment to get the job done. This year’s contestants all received prizes for participating. >> continued from page 12
Southeast Michigan Contractors Issue 1 2022 15 ECONOMY Welcome Our New Team Members Marissa Downs is the new Director of Education for SEMCA. Prior to joining SEMCA, she was a teacher in the Waterford School District for 20 years. “I grew up in my family’s cabinet shop, where my grandparents, father, and uncles ran a successful cabinetry business and brought their beautiful creations to life,” said Downs. “From the beginning, my family taught me the immense value of the skilled trades. I have a deep respect for the work being done at SEMCA in bringing up the next generation of skilled workers, and I’m honored to be part of the team!” She is a lifetime resident of White Lake, where she lives with her husband and two children. Please reach out to Marissa via phone at (248) 298-3603 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org. ABC SEMI would like to give a warm welcome to our newest employees to join our association team. Michelle Wood is the new Operations Manager and comes with 30 years’ experience working in a non-profit trade association in masonry construction. She will be assisting the President/ CEO with working on the annual Planning Conference, Board of Directors meetings, upcoming events, servicing members, and will provide staff support for administrative functions of ABC and SEMCA. Michelle was recently married and has a son who is a senior in high school. She enjoys volunteering at her son’s school, family game nights, going to the movies, and traveling to the UP. Please reach out to Michelle via phone at (248) 965-3245 or email, email@example.com. Kelly Forrester is the Communications Manager for ABC SEMI/ SEMCA. She is a 2017 graduate of Central Michigan University with a bachelor ’s degree in integrative public relations. Before graduating, she was the communications intern at Team Elmer ’s Crane and Dozer in Traverse City—little did she know they would have her operating an excavator in her second week there, which gave her a deeper appreciation for the skilled trades. She hails from Traverse City and in 2019 she moved down to the metro Detroit area, shortly finding her way to ABC SEMI. Kelly believes there are many avenues to success, and it doesn’t all start with college. She currently lives in Clinton Township and enjoys exploring new areas down here. When Kelly isn’t working, she enjoys barre workouts, cooking, watching college football (Go Blue!), and binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy. If you would like to get in touch with Kelly for any ABC or SEMCA communication needs, please reach out via phone: (248) 298-3611 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please no Grey’s Anatomy spoilers —I’m extremely behind! MICHELLE WOOD Operations Manager KELLY FORRESTER Communications Manager MARISSA DOWNS Director of Education for SEMCA
16 Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. PRO LEASING Wouldn’t it be nice if you leased a vehicle and never had to take a day off work? Or leave your home? And would it be too much to ask to have you deliver it right to my door? If you said “We can do that,” you must be National Account Managers Andrew Schaecher and Mike Garrett of Pro Leasing Services, where going the extra mile is the norm. “I have been in the leasing business for 23 years,” Garrett stated. “But the level this company takes providing customer service is second to none. We all work hard to get the best price we can for a customer, but the extra effort and convenience that they provide our clients here really sets us apart from anyone else. I like that we focus on creating a relationship with our client, not just a customer, but really get to know them and better understand what their needs for their company and personal life are in order to provide the right vehicle for them.” PLS has 30-plus years of experience along with a legacy of significant firsts in automotive leasing and commercial fleet management. To add to that, PLS has over 60 years in the automotive retail industry. Using this experience and knowledge for the benefit of their clients, PLS provides custom lease programs for fleet operators in multiple industries. According to Schaecher they engage in all aspects of the vehicle lifecycle that impacts your bottom line. “We take the time to get to know our clients,” said Schaecher. “I want to get to know the people and companies we are serving and make sure that the vehicle they need will meet the demands of the business they are in. So many have remarkable success stories and have “I want to get to know the people and companies we are serving and make sure that the vehicle they need will meet the demands of the business they are in.” PRO LEASING SERVICES MAKES IT PERSONAL New Member Makes Service a Priority
Southeast Michigan Contractors Issue 1 2022 17 grown over the years, and we have been there with them. I am proud that many have become friends of ours over the years, and we are able to play some small part in that success.” PLS has had great success in acquiring that hard-to-find vehicle and even in this challenging business environment where supply chain delays have made it impossible to find service vehicles, PLS continues to deliver. They work with ABC members to determine what incentive program will be most beneficial. PLS has strong relationships with manufacturers, up-fitters, and retail automotive dealers allowing us to expedite and mitigate extra costs for all your ordered vehicles. “It is not just about making sure our clients get a good deal,” said Garrett. “It is making sure they do not have to jump through a million hoops to do it. They can spend their money wherever they want, that is why we make sure that the experience they get here at Pro Leasing is a positive one that is as convenient as possible and is considerate of their time.” Your fleet is one of your company’s biggest assets. PLS knows that these assets have a direct impact on your bottom line. We focus on all areas of management for optimal in-service use. PLS will get fair market value in two business days. This is an unmatched industry benchmark. “It’s not always the plan, but sometimes you just need a vehicle now,” said Schaecher. “We work extremely hard to make sure that we deliver in five business days or less—often directly to your place of business and even the job site. Time is money and we understand that when you have a vehicle out of commission, that is costing you money. It may not seem like much, but any extra effort we can make to ensure our customers’ needs are met is time well spent.” Give Mike (586) 295-2659 or Andrew (734) 629-7796 and their team a call at Pro Leasing Services today and experience the “ABCs” of Pro Leasing Services.
ABC SEMI Office 31800 Sherman Ave. Madison Heights, MI 48071 248-298-3600abcsemi.org