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Spirit of Construction Endowment

Building a future for tomorrow's contractors


     Jack Scott, Endowment Chair


     Tony Brunsman, Executive Director


The Spirit of Construction's Four Pillars



The Spirit of Construction has been in existence since 1994. The primary initial focus was on honoring the construction industry and those involved with it. The evolution began 14 years ago when the gala chair, Kathy Daly, and the Spirit board decided that the organization should expand to bring more communication and funding to the greater community. In 2020, the SOC established an endowment fund and selected the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) to manage the fund.

The Spirit's Endowment serves as a bridge across generations, translating past success into future opportunities. It supports careers in construction. The Endowment enables Spirit to preserve the organization's best traditions while being nimble enough to seize on new opportunities.

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation holds and invests the endowed assets, providing responsible and professional fund management. Investment earnings are granted back to the SOC annually to support its mission.

The Spirit's endowment fund demonstrates that we're committed to the future, and we think our donors value that. It's about permanence and sustainable stewardship.

The Spirit of Construction would also like to recognize one family that is taking a proactive approach to Workforce Development. 

Bill Strawser, founder of Valley Interior Systems and a past Spirt Lifetime Achievement Award Winner (1999), led by example and his family is taking a page out of that book. Mrs. Margaret Strawser in the memory of her late husband donated $250,000 into the Spirit's endowment, earmarked for the Workforce Development / CCAP scholarships. 

Mrs. Margaret Strawser at the Spirit of Construction Gala (Saturday, October 23rd)

I. Workforce Development

Connecting youth to construction

Teaching kids about career possibilities

The Construction Career Advocacy Program (CCAP), a workforce development model, unites students, educators, and the construction industry. 

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CCAP is an initiative spearheaded by the Spirit of Construction Foundation in association with Allied Construction Industries to find new, innovative ways to connect young people to the construction industry through applied learning programs. 

CCAP offers two programs: MACkit and Professional Development opportunities. Math Applied in Construction, or "MACkit," connects school-based lessons to careers in the construction industry by engaging students in hands-on projects that use their lessons to develop real-world skills. Secondly, CCAP offers professional development opportunities that are designed to prepare educational institutions to partner with construction-industry employers and prepare construction-industry employers to engage with students in classroom settings. 

To date, CCAP has served 4,000 students from more than 30 Cincinnati area schools. 


II. Scholarships

Connecting students to construction


The Spirit of Construction has provided college scholarships to numerous young students who are studying towards degrees that will be geared towards the construction industry (primarily construction management and civil engineers).

The Spirit has contributed $500,000+ over the twenty years to college scholarships


SOC scholarship winners - 88% of winners are directly employed by both local and national construction and engineering companies. In addition to this, another 6% are employed in construction related organizations such as insurance, banking, and technology companies which support the construction industry.

To date, Spirit has helped 175 students with their college costs. The scholarships have gone to students studying at University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati State, and Northern Kentucky University. 

III. Outreach

Connecting the community to construction and construction to the community

Spirit of Construction has worked with local community organizations for over 20 years. Providing more than funds, Spirit provides volunteers and resources. 


The Spirit has in place an Outreach Ambassador who connects to eligible non-profit organizations. 

Spirit hosts an annual collaborative for the funded organizations to ask questions, share insights, and build a community. A community of non-profits building careers in the funded Outreach organizations serve grade schools to adults. The common denominator is these organizations are focused on construction careers and learning about construction. 

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IV. General Fund

Placing resources to best serve the Spirit and where needed


Establishment of a general operating support program is consistent with the Spirit's commitment to having in place staff to make the volunteer board experience rewarding for high level management executives. 

The board is made up of top-level construction executives and select professionals (law, accounting, and insurance). The general fund will be used to engage professional service providers as needed to free board members for development and executive duties.  

Spirit believes that healthy non-profit organizations share certain core strengths in their administrative, fundraising, and program capacities. All share a commitment to excellence in their programs and operations. When we use the term "general operating support," we mean the "working capital" non-profits need to further their mission. 


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