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The Spirit of Construction Foundation earnestly prepares for its 19th annual, black-tie event, the Celebration of Construction Gala. The black-tie event is set for Saturday, October 18 at the Duke Energy Convention Center.

Earl K. Messer, chair of Taft Law’s Construction Law Practice Group, and Celebration of Construction 2014 gala chair, promises that "This year's gala will be a delight to everyone.  The Spirit hosts one of our community's premier black tie events.  It's a welcome and well-deserved opportunity for contractors, service providers, and area business representatives to gather and celebrate the construction industry's contributions that are a large part of defining our city and our region.  True to its history, Greater Cincinnati continues to produce highly accomplished people and companies that are respected for their skill, innovation, and quality construction work here and throughout the nation. We have a lot to celebrate and four remarkable people to honor."

(From Left to Right: Bob May, Honoree Luncheon Chair; Tom Keckeis, Messer Construction; Bill Krul, Miller-Valentine Group; Rich Homan, Turner Construction; Earl Messer, Gala Chair.)

At the Spring Fling Meeting, 2014's lifetime achievement award winners, to be honored at the Celebration of Construction Gala, were announced. This year's honorees are:

Thomas Keckeis (Messer Construction) 

Thomas Keckeis’ father wanted his son to go into either of these two fields: priesthood or science. But Tom decided on engineering school in preparation for a career in construction. He graduated from University of Cincinnati with a degree in Civil Engineering and accepted a job at Messer Construction. Tom has a record of success at every level at the company, from project engineer, to project leader, all the way up to CEO. He was one of the four leaders that led the negotiations that allowed Messer employees to purchase the company from the Messer family. Tom’s community involvement includes having served on the boards of the YMCA, The Playhouse in the Park, People Working Cooperatively, and as a member of the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, and he is deeply engaged in the industry through his active role in the Construction Industry Roundtable. 

Bill Krul (Miller-Valentine Group)

Krul attended Write State University in Dayton, Ohio. He has been with Miller-Valentine Group for more than 44 years, and he is now the company’s CEO. His primary focus with the company is centered on maintaining the company’s fundamental philosophy of customer satisfaction and community involvement. His own community involvement includes being a past board member of the Dan Beard Boy Scouts of America, a member of the YPO (Young Presidents Organization) from 1981 to 1999, and chairing the Goodwill Governance Committee. He is currently an active member of WPO (World Presidents’ Organization), and CPO (Cincinnati Presidents’ Organization).

Rich Homan (Turner Construction Company)

Rich received his Bachelors of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1977. Now Executive Vice President, Homan has been with Turner Construction Company for thirty-four years. He is responsible for leading the operations and business strategy for Ohio, Kentucky, Washington D.C. Turner Mid-Atlantic offices, among others. Rich’s community involvement includes serving on the Board of the Boy Scouts of America, and being VP of their Learning for Life and Exploring programs, Board Chairman of the Drake Center Foundation, Good Samaritan Hospital College of Nursing Board, and Salvation Army Board member. He is also a member of Allied Construction Industries (ACI), and the Association of general Contractors (AGC). In 2010, Rich received recognition of his and Turner’s Community service through the Silver Beaver award from the Boy Scouts and the Star Award from the Ohio Cancer Research Associates.  

Jim Perin (honored posthumously) - Messer Construction Company

Perin grew up on Madeira, a suburb of Cincinnati. He grew up during the Great Depression and upon graduation, his father gave him the family savings of $35 for college. Instead, Perin worked for a year rebuilding railroads to save for college. After a year, he had saved enough to begin engineering school at the University of Cincinnati. He played basketball in college, and during his senior year, he was the high-scoring forward on the AAU basketball team. Shortly after graduation, he was hired as an office boy at Messer Construction. Over the next 50+ years, he achieved much with the company, bringing his intellect and energy to the company, and leading with every stride. He was named "Man of the Year" in 1971 by Allied Construction Industries. he retired as a Senior Officer at Messer. He and his wife were leaders in forming the Workshop for Retarded Citizens, now called the Easter Seals Work Resource Center.

For gala ticket and table information, contact Tony Brunsman at tbrunsman@spiritofconstruction.org or (513)382-4315. Last year's event sold out.

The principal purpose of the Spirit of Construction Foundation is to recognize, celebrate, and elevate the construction industry and its contributions to the civic, aesthetic, and economic well-being of the Greater Cincinnati region. This includes activities such as honoring eminent constructors for their achievements, and promoting and funding civic, educational, and training initiatives that benefit the construction industry.

2013 Gala Chair, Jack Albrecht,
Talks About Spirit on Business Watch


Community Involvement News

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Thanks to the generosity of the past year, Spirit of Construction Foundation expanded its number of military scholarships from three to five awards for the 2013-2014 school year. Read More >>

April 2012

Spirit of Construction Foundation provides funding for ACE Mentor Cincinnati, a program that provides architectural, engineering, and construction management mentors to high school students. Read More >>