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Fall 2018 ASAM Newsletter

Click here to download a PDF version of the newsletter.


Pioneer Construction Wins Coveted MCOY Award

Congratulations to Pioneer Construction, 2018-2019 MCOY Award winner! Their drive for excellence and consistent trade contractor teaming contributed to this honor. 

We would also like to congratulate the first runner up: Dan Vos Construction; and the second runner up: Elzinga & Volkers, as well as all nominees. 

The ASAM MCOY Award is West Michigan’s premier industry standard of recognition. Over the last nine years, this award and surrounding activities have provided constructive feedback to construction management firms regarding the 10 key ratings, and have challenged us to build upon its success. 

Each of the top eight nominees stand out as leaders in our industry and share common goals for success. The MCOY event is more than winning the coveted award; it’s about sustaining and strengthening our industry through the cultivation of building trust and collaborative relationships. 

Companies nominated for the MCOY Award consistently possess and practice a philosophy of relational and rational collaboration. Relational-based cultures produce open communication and clarify commitments, while rational collaboration is evidenced by achievable and proactive team planning. The winner of the MCOY Award represents a cohesive team of leaders who consistently live the relational and rational approach to projects. 

The theme of constantly working to a higher standard, despite setbacks and challenges, was consistent during the evening and one noted by our keynote speaker, Navy Corpsman Redmond Ramos. Ramos deployed to Afghanistan as a combat replacement for 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Navy Corpsman. While in Afghanistan, Ramos was rushing to assist an injured Marine when he stepped on an IED, losing his left leg. Since then, he has gone on to compete and win medals in the Warrior Games, Invictus Games and Endeavor Games. He also participated in “The Amazing Race” and “The Triumph Games” hosted by CBS. 

Next year will be our 10-year anniversary; please join us in the celebration on October 17, 2019. You don’t want to miss it!  

Steven Coates, Welch Tile & Marble
Chairman, MCOY Committee; Vice President, ASAM


Noting Three Major Accomplishments for 2018

With Thanksgiving, Christmas and a West Michigan winter bearing down on us, I wanted to take a moment to highlight three major accomplishments ASAM has achieved so far this year as we move on to another year of ASAM success. 

  1. Creating a Safety Committee 

First, the General Contractors challenged us to step up our safety. We took on that challenge by creating a Safety Committee with the purpose of providing information, guidance, and access to training resources to ensure that our trade contractors were up-to-speed on best practices. To move our action plan forward, we signed an alliance agreement with MIOSHA (Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Administration), formalizing a mutual commitment to workplace safety and health. We are pleased to report that we have already held three onsite training events with MIOSHA. Planning for our fourth event is already in the works—on Dec. 13; details will be available soon. 

  1. CWDA Workforce Training 

The second accomplishment achieved this year has to do with workforce training. It’s no secret that we’re all experiencing manpower shortages. Many of our companies are seeing growth cycles of 10 to 30% and planning for more in the coming years. The Construction Workforce Development Alliance, with the support of ASAM, is aiding in this need by training young individuals to join our ranks through the Jump Start Program, and marketing construction as a life career of choice. At this year’s March CWDA Rally fundraiser, commercial and residential construction professionals (and even attorneys!) competed in outrageously fun construction-themed games. We’re proud to announce that we raised over $25,000, which provided 18 Jump Start Scholarships. ASAM and CWDA are playing pivotal roles in both short-term and long-term strategies in moving our construction industry forward. 

  1. Finalists for National ASA Award 

Last, but not least, because of you, I’m pleased to announce that this year we were a finalist for the National ASA “Chapter of the Year” Award. Our association is thriving because of our active ASAM membership and your involvement—a big “thank you” to anyone who led a group, presented, volunteered, gave feedback, or attended any of our events.  

In closing, congratulations to Pioneer Construction, who was voted by our ASAM members as the 2018-2019 Michigan Contractor of the Year; to Dan Vos Construction, voted first runner up; and to the second runner up, Elzinga & Volkers. While there is only one MCOY award, all eight of the 2018-2019 nominees should take pride in the fact that their trade con-tractors recognized them as having outstanding character and leadership—who celebrate collaboration and foster an environment where it thrives. This is at the heart of ASAM. 

Here’s to a great 2019! 
Tony Vermaas, Sobie Company
ASAM President

ASAM Welcomes Our Newest Member: Sunbelt Rentals, Inc.

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Sunbelt Rentals equips their customers for success. Their vision is built on providing uncommon responsiveness no matter where, no matter what. Supporting their customers with solutions that bring value to any project. From the small projects to the industrial giants. For the planned or for the unplanned. Sunbelt Rentals is one of the largest equipment rental companies in North America with more that than 725 locations. As they grow, their expertise, product range, and specialty solutions grow, too. They are paving the way to serving their customers’ many needs. To check out their full list of services, visit their website at www.sunbeltrentals.com.

A Unified Voice that Raises the Bar for Safety

Created in 2017, the ASAM Safety Committee is a unified voice that raises the bar for safety among all trade contractors and the jobsites we work on. Last fall, ASAM formalized a mutual commitment to workplace safety and health by signing an alliance agreement with the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) to: 

  • Benefit ASAM members with information, guidance and access to training resources to help develop effective safety programs. 
  • Protect the health and safety of workers, particularly smaller contractors. 

Since its inception, the alliance has provided three safety training walkthroughs at working jobsites. The September safety training walkthrough jobsite was hosted by Elzinga & Volkers. There were more than 30 members in attendance in addition to those already on the jobsite! 

“Each of the walkthroughs were great learning experiences, not just for ASAM members but for the general contractors as well,” said Brian Gall, ASAM Safety Committee Chair. “With each walkthrough we have more and more attendees join. We expect the next safety training on December 13 to be just as informative and successful.” 

Moving forward, the Safety Committee is also planning quarterly meetings for all safety officers from our member companies. The meetings will include a general discussion on the safety needs of our members, observations and training, as well as provide an opportunity for attendees to brainstorm ideas on how to effectively work together to meet our safety goals. The first meeting was held on October 24 with over 30 in attendance.

To learn more about the ASAM Safety Committee, MIOSHA alliance or upcoming quarterly meetings, email Brian Gall at briantgall0@gmail.com or visit asamichigan.net


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A 2018-2019 ASAM Program Schedule - Please Join Us!

Check out the new program schedule for the 2018-2019 fiscal year! Monthly ASAM meetings empower our members with information about current developments, issues and practices. In addition to networking opportunities, these meetings cover topics from the latest local news to the emerging national trends. Monthly meetings are typically held on the second Wednesday of the month. Any employee of a member company is eligible to register and, in some cases, bring guests. Visit our website for the most up-to-date list of events and registration information: www.asamichigan.net. We hope you can join us! 

  • November 7 – General Membership Meeting with Mike Novakowski 
  • December 12 – Construction Advancement Forum with Pioneer Construction 
  • January 9 – General Membership Meeting: MIOSHA Update and address 
  • February 13 – General Membership Meeting: Economic Update 
  • March 13 – Business Practice Interchange 
  • April 10 – Construction Advancement Forum with The Christman Company 
  • May 8 – General Membership Meeting: CM/GC Panel Discussion 
  • June 12 – General Membership Meeting


CWDA Rally 2019

The CWDA Rally has raised more than $70,000 in the last four years to inspire and attract the next generation of construction professionals. We need your help again this year! 

  • Sponsorships and team registrations are now available. 
  • Please visit the CWDA website at webuildmi.com/rally to sign up today! 

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