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Pioneer Construction team (L-R): Drew Hutchinson, Dan Zaagman, Brandon Rhodes (kneeling), Krista Walenga, Ross Geurink, Scott Veine, and Paul Bergsma. Pioneer Construction team (L-R): Drew Hutchinson, Dan Zaagman, Brandon Rhodes (kneeling), Krista Walenga, Ross Geurink, Scott Veine, and Paul Bergsma. COURTESY PHOTO

The 9th Annual MCOY Awards stressed perseverance and growth

BY MiBiz Marketing Staff Friday, September 21, 2018 10:27am

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Growing in the face of adversity and challenges was a key takeaway message during this year’s 9th Annual Michigan Contractor of the Year (MCOY) Awards, hosted by the American Subcontractors Association of Michigan.

This year’s event, held at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, featured eight nominees from the state’s construction industry. The MCOY Awards recognizes best-in-class general contractors and construction managers that have established a track record of professionalism and collaboration within the subcontracting community.

Following an evening of networking, inspiration, and celebration, attendees watched as three nominees were recognized for their work. This year, Pioneer Construction was voted on by the members of ASAM  as the winner of the Michigan Contractor of the Year Award.

Download the official program of the MCOY Awards here.

The event marks the first time Grand Rapids-based Pioneer Construction has walked away with the award, leading to a chorus of cheers and celebration from its employees when the announcement was made.

“Everything is an opportunity,” said Scott Veine, vice president of Pioneer Construction, during the awards ceremony. “I’ve had the privilege to work with Pioneer for the last 21 years and my life has been as a project manager dealing with ‘opportunities.’ I get calls everyday from clients and subcontractors, and all of them have an ‘opportunity.’  I don’t get to hear a lot of the good news. But, the good news is that everyday everyone in this room does thousands of good things. Those ‘opportunities’ become opportunities, whether you’re a tradesman or a project manager or a business owner. You capitalize on those opportunities and you make us look successful... Thank you for this honor. We wanted this. And to all of the other nominees, thank you for being great competitors.”

Pioneer Construction employs approximately 200 workers and offers a variety of general contracting, design/build and construction management services across the state.

Dan Vos Construction Company Inc. came away with the first runner-up award, while Elzinga & Volkers was recognized as the second runner-up.

Contractors and construction managers are nominated for the award by their subcontractor peers. The nominees are then voted on by the ASAM members on a number of categories including safety, bid ethics and practices, communication, quality workmanship and other key industry standards.

“The MCOY Awards are not a popularity contest,” said Tony Vermaas, president of American Subcontractors Association of Michigan, during the event. “There’s no amount of shine, sparkle, lunch or dinners, or fluffy marketing campaigns. No promises, just deliverables. This is an award about work.”

Following the event, Veine of Pioneer Construction, spoke briefly about his company’s journey to earning the coveted MCOY award.

“We’ve been a nominee for nine years,’ he said. “We go up against the toughest competition, which is very stiff. Every year we try to accelerate ourselves to get us to that position of the winner from the year before, and this year we did it.”

That sentiment of constantly working to a higher standard, despite setbacks and challenges posed by Veine was a consistent theme during the evening and one echoed by the event’s keynote speaker, Redmond Ramos.

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Navy Corpsman Redmond Ramos, keynote speaker at the ninth annual Michigan Contractor of the Year (MCOY) Awards. COURTESY PHOTO

Ramos, a Navy Corpsman assigned to the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Marines in Afghanistan, was seriously wounded after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED) while rushing to help defend a fallen Marine. The injury ultimately resulted in the loss of Ramos’ leg. Since then, Ramos has went 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.

During his keynote address, Ramos spoke vividly about the mindset he embraced following his injury.  He stressed the importance of making the best out of a situation, no matter how challenging, and using those challenges — and setbacks — as opportunities for growth, both professionally and personally.

“The biggest lesson that we’ve all learned in this room is that obstacles are opportunities,” Ramos said during his address. “Every single time we are faced with an obstacle we are presented with an opportunity to succeed and grow. It might be hard to find. It’s going to be hard to find. But, I guarantee you, every single time we are faced with an obstacles we are presented with an opportunity to succeed and grow.”

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