29th Annual PALM & TRICON Award Winners


 Tri-County Construction Labor-Management Council (TRICON) and Peoria Area Labor Management (PALM) recognized several Peoria area construction professionals and community members during their 29th Annual Awards Dinner, held Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria.

This year's "Build a Better Community Award" was presented by Dan Silverthorn to lifelong Peoria resident and recently retired United Way labor liaison, Connie "C.J." Higgins.  A strong believer in giving back to her community, C.J. "simply does the things that simply need to be done for the greater good".  She is viewed as one of the humble worker bees that continually gives of herself, while many enjoy the fruits of her labor.

Dennis Higdon, owner and operator of Mid-Illinois Companies, Corp., received PALM's "2016 Excellence in Labor-Management Cooperation Award."  This award is presented to an individual, labor-management team or organization that exemplifies cooperative labor-management relations and practices in Central Illinois.  The recipient is chosen for additional qualities, including collaborative spirit, community service, and respect for others.  This year's award was presented by PALM co-chairs, Ron Cox of ATU Local #416 and Mark Kawolsky of Central Illinois Chapter of NECA.

Marty Helfers, recently retired Executive Director of West Central Illinois Building & Construction Trade Council, as well as, former PALM and TRICON board member, was named as the "2016 Construction Person of the Year."  This annual award recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to the union construction industry, especially by improving labor-management relationships.  The 2015 Construction Person of the Year, Bob Lawless of the Steamfitters Local #353, prsented this year's award to his fellow steamfitter.

Superior craftsmanship is the signature of union construction.  It represents expert skills, ongoing training, good work ethic, teamwork, and commitment to quality.  TRICON celebrates some of Central Illinois' finest union workers with it's "Craftsmanship Award."  Dana Oaks of GPCSA and Matt Bender of Carpenters Local #237 presented the following recipients with their award:

Brett Yemm, River City Construction, LLC and Carpenters Local #237
Christopher Dean, AMP Electric and IBEW Local #34
Clay Campbell, P.J. Hoerr, Inc. and Carpenters Local #237
Tim Gashaw, Otto Baum Company and Carpenters Local #237
Dan Dillow, Summit Masonry & Stoneworks and BAC Local #6
Jordan Sondag, Mid-Illinois Companies, Corp. and Carpenters Local #237

TRICON promotes safety within the union construction industry by recognizing workers each year who go above and beyond in their commitment to providing a safe working environment.  Brian Bothast, Peoria OSHA office, and Deb Johnigk presented the following individuals with TRICON's "Safety Award":

Less Tiller, P.J. Hoerr, Inc. and Carpenters Local #237
Josh Rodriguez, P.J. Hoerr, Inc. and Carpenters Local #237
Matt Byrd, Otto Baum Company, Inc. and BAC Local #6
Danny Wilson, River City Construction, LLC and Laborers Local #165
Kipp Lacy, River City Construction, LLC and Laborers Local #165
Rodney Carr, Mid-Illinois Companies, Corp. and Painters Local #157

Looking back, we recognize that our successes are an accumulation of the efforts of many.  This year, we gave a special tribute recognition with a "Certificate of Achievement" to Gerald Meehan.  Since 2000, Jerry has spent his time as a Commissioner for Federal Mediation & Conciliation Services developing and advocating the art, science and practice of conflict resolution.  As Jerry leaves us for retirement, we want to thank him for promoting the development of sound and stable labor-management relationships in Central Illinois.

Executive Director Kevin Carter was again our keynote speaker.  He took us back in time, reminiscent of where we came from, the road we have traveled and looking towards the future.  He urged everyone to continue to work together, because no one succeeds alone.  Remember, our success and the betterment of our community requires the expertise and guidance of everyone.

Thank you all for your continual support of PALM and TRICON.  And a special thank you to Nancy Crain-Brown of GPCSA and Gayla Walker of WCIBCTC for their help at the registration table, as well as, Chris Stevens of The Labor Paper for capturing the moments of the evening on film.

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