Home » Features » 2020 Annual Convention

2020 Annual Convention

AGC OF AMERICA DOUBLES DOWN IN VEGAS

BY JEANIE J. CLAPP
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, CONSTRUCTOR MAGAZINE

While the Vegas of today is not the same vibrant city it was in March due to COVID-19, AGC of America still brought its A game to the more than 1,800 attendees at its 2020 Annual Convention by delivering a dynamic program filled with education sessions, motivating keynote speakers and networking sessions (elbow taps and fist bumps replaced handshakes) — all to celebrate its members, their accomplishments and the construction industry.

Attendees, sponsors and exhibitors spent their days in the luxurious Bellagio Hotel, moving from inspiring keynote sessions to impressive award ceremonies, while also reserving some time to head over to the Las Vegas Convention Center for CONEXPO-CON/AGG, which had more than 130,000 attendees.

While all were unaware of how their personal and professional lives were to dramatically change post-convention, any unease that may have been brewing was mitigated by the ever-impressive camaraderie that comes with being part of the AGC family,  the professionalism delivered by the staff, and returning emcee Mark Walberg’s fine command of wit and humor.

Every year, the association honors its members’ outstanding accomplishments during several award ceremonies. The Vegas event was no different. At its third annual Diversity & Inclusion Awards on Tuesday, March 10, sponsored by Willis Towers Watson, the association bestowed six excellence awards. Smith Flooring Inc., based in Chester, Pennsylvania, was named the 2019 Diverse Business of the Year award winner. In addition, the following organizations were award recipients: Austin Commercial (grand award), Hensel Phelps (large contractor), Central Builders (small contractor), United Rentals (service or supply firm) and the AGC of Missouri (chapter award).

“Diversity and inclusion is about much more than hiring different people,” says Dirk Elsperman, AGC’s outgoing president. “It is about creating a new mindset and a new culture within your firms.”

For more information about the Diversity & Inclusion awards, please visit https://www.agc.org/diversityawards.

Also on Tuesday, AGC bestowed 11 merit awards and 22 Construction Risk Partners Build America Awards to projects that have excelled in state-of-the-art achievement, excellence in project management, innovation and superior client service. Spillways Emergency Recovery, by Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., was deemed the most impressive construction project of 2019 and named the Construction Risk Partners Build America Grand Award winner. For detailed information on this award-winning project, please see pages 30-33.

AGC of America and Willis Towers Watson honored 57 construction firms at the Construction Safety Excellence Awards (CSEA) luncheon — an event where camaraderie wins over competition and people over projects. Keeping the spotlight on construction workers coming home safely every night is of utmost importance, and that’s what the CSEA program does. Seventeen firms received third-place honors, 20 were named second-place winners and 20  went home first-place winners. From the last group, the “best of the best” or grand award winner was selected. Congratulations go out to the 2020 recipient, Faith Technologies of Menasha, Wisconsin. For detailed information on Faith’s award-winning safety program, please see pages 37-39.

Concluding the awards programs was the AGC in the Community Awards at the Closing General Session. The Iowa State University AGC student chapter was named AGC in the Community Award Chapter Winner by the charitable arm of AGC of America, AGC Charities, Inc., for its fall break service trip. Read more about the other winners here: https://www.agc.org/sites/default/files/Files/Communications/2020_AGC_COMMUNITY_BROCHURE.pdf. There’s no denying much has happened in the world since AGC’s convention in Vegas. But what hasn’t changed is the association’s commitment to its members and the industry. In fact, it has doubled down on its efforts, working tirelessly to provide solutions to industry professionals in light of COVID-19, advocate on their behalf and help prepare them for the future.

NEW IN VEGAS

  • ConstructorCast: Interviews with industry experts were broadcast on-site in the ConstructorCast booth. You can find and listen to those conversations here.
  • Culture of Care: AGC’s new Culture of Care initiative will educate members about creating welcoming and enduring places to work for all people; a separate women-in-the-workforce program will evaluate workplace processes and policies that may serve as barriers and find ways to address them.
  • AGC and Autodesk Grant Program: Autodesk and AGC of America awarded grants to 21 construction firms to provide more than 300 fall protection safety harnesses designed for women. The grants are designed to address one of the most significant safety hazards for construction craft professionals and recruit more women into high-paying construction careers.