BIG RAPIDS - Five construction industry professionals will be inducted into the Michigan Construction Hall of Fame during an Oct. 19 banquet and ceremony in Ferris State University's Granger Center for Construction and HVACR.
This year's hall of fame inductees receiving a Distinguished Constructor Award are Benjamin C. Maibach III of Southfield, the late Leon P. Clark of Lansing, the late Ralph J. Stephenson, P.E., of Mount Pleasant; the late Sheldon G. Hayes of Southfield and the late Sheldon W. Hayes formerly of Bloomfield Hills and later of DeLand, Fla.
Respected for his technical acumen and integrity, Maibach, known as Ben III, has risen through the ranks at the Barton Malow Co. Beginning as a laborer 42 years ago, he became president of the company in 1981 and chief executive officer in 2002. He has served as an inspiration to those around him during his tenure with Barton Malow, growing the company from a single office in Southfield to a $1.1 billion a year enterprise with nine regional offices. He also is devoted to his community, giving more than 500 hours of service a year to various charitable, civic, educational and professional organizations.
Leon P. Clark founded Clark Construction Co. in 1946. The construction company spent its early years partnering with General Motors to convert the automaker's wartime production factories back into automotive plants. Through the years, Mr. Clark established a solid reputation for his business and himself, being known as an honest businessman. It was the relationships he built with customers and subcontractors that allowed Clark Construction to become one of the leading construction firms it is today.
Known to many as "Mr. Construction," Ralph J. Stephenson, P.E., amassed a long list of achievements during his 50 plus years in the construction and engineering industries. Working at several companies before opening his own consulting practice in 1962, Stephenson worked on many projects, including Burdick Street Mall in Kalamazoo, one of the first downtown malls in North America, and Northland and Eastland shopping centers, among the first regional shopping centers in the world. He pioneered most of the techniques used in the Critical Path Method, co-authoring the book Critical Path Method. He also wrote more than 100 papers on construction management, and his last book, Project Partnering for the Design and Construction Industry, is still on bookstore shelves today.
Sheldon G. Hayes was on a first-name basis with presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, working on agreements with FDR arranging for employment of road builders across the nation following the Great Depression. A major force in the asphalt paving industry, Hayes founded the National Asphalt Paving Association with his peers. He was fully devoted to the construction industry and later in life also developed a reputation for philanthropy that almost outshined his business acumen.
Hayes' son, Sheldon W. Hayes, also was a major figure in the National Asphalt and Michigan Asphalt Paving associations. Sheldon W. became owner and president of the company his father founded, Cadillac Asphalt Co. With his father, Sheldon W. was very involved in road development, eventually getting involved in race track development. Both men served as consultants for the layering of asphalt on the 45 degree incline of the Daytona Beach Speedway. Sheldon W. also followed in his father's philanthropic endeavors, making major donations to both the Detroit and West Volusia, Fla.'s, YMCAs.
The hall's previous inductees include first-year honorees the late Thomas E. Dailey of Southfield, John Marshall Harlan of Southfield and the late Albert A. White of Lansing; second-year honorees Alton L. Granger of Lansing, the late Herman Gundlach of Houghton, Robert R. Jones of Bloomfield Hills and O.L. "Ozzie" Pfaffmann of Rochester; and third-year honorees Harry L. "Bud" Conrad Jr., formerly of Lansing; and William A. Hendrick of Saginaw.
Michigan Construction Hall of Fame Distinguished Constructor Award recipients are selected by a committee of professionals representing the Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America, Construction Association of Michigan, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, Michigan Association of Home Builders and Ferris State University Construction Technology and Management department.
Selection criteria include achievement in technical, managerial and leadership areas, state or national prominence as a result of industry or community activities, and service to the profession and community.
The Michigan Construction Hall of Fame will serve as a permanent place for members of the construction industry to recognize and appreciate the endeavors of leaders of the Michigan construction industry. Off-campus visitors can access the Michigan Construction Hall of Fame through its Web site www.ferris.edu/MCHOF. Recipients of the Distinguished Constructor Award and their stories are featured on this Web site. Tickets to the event are open to the public at $45 per seat. Further ticket and sponsorship information is available by calling Kaci Kegler, assistant director for College Advancement for FSU's College of Technology, at (231) 591-3983.