Michigan Construction Hall of Fame Inducts Four Industry Professionals

pictureBIG RAPIDS - The Michigan Construction Hall of Fame will have four new construction industry professionals inducted during an Oct. 16 banquet and ceremony in Ferris State University’s Granger Center for Construction and HVACR.

This year’s inductees are Joseph Dunigan of Jackson, James Klett of Dowagiac, the late John Rakolta Sr. of Bloomfield Hills and Roy Rewold of Rochester.

Dunigan, of Dunigan Bros., Inc. in Jackson, began his career in the construction industry after serving in World War II. The company he began with his brothers has been a leader in underground construction since 1945. Over the years, Dunigan has been instrumental in many industry-related initiatives. He helped form the Association of Underground Contractors, a group that represents underground contractors and presents a strong, unified voice to local and state governments, as well as union officials, to achieve a more favorable position in the job bidding process. He served as president of the AUC in 1982 and 1983. He was also very involved in the development of the Miss Dig program, preventing utility damages and reducing insurance costs, while protecting his employees and homeowners. Dunigan Bros. received special recognition in November of 1982 for placing the two-millionth call to the Miss Dig system.

A longtime, strong advocate for construction education, Klett, president and CEO of Klett Construction in Hartford, has directed his company since the 1970s to focus exclusively on asphalt construction. Today, Klett Construction mines its own aggregate for Marshall Mix designs from pits within easy trucking range of its offices. Klett holds a bachelor’s in business and an M.B.A. in business administration from Western Michigan University, and he received an honorary doctoral degree from Ferris State University in 2006. He has held various leadership positions within the industry, including vice president of the Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan in 2005, president of the Michigan Road Builders Association in 2000, and member of the national board of directors for Hot Mix Asphalt Industry through the National Asphalt Pavement Association from 1994-2002. Most recently, Klett was appointed by Gov. Granholm to represent the Asphalt Paving Association on the Transportation Citizens Advisory Committee.

Rakolta, a child of Romanian immigrants, joined Walbridge Aldinger Company in 1945 after serving in World War II. He worked his way through college at night, and in 1953 he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Detroit. By 1970, Rakolta was the sole owner, chairman and CEO of the company. Among Walbridge’s many accomplishments are the DaimlerChrysler Technology Center in Auburn Hills, the Nissan Research and Development Center, the One Detroit Center Tower, the Rouge Street Hot Strip Mill and the Compuware Headquarters building in downtown Detroit. He was the recipient of many honors, active in numerous industry and civic organizations and served as a trustee of New Detroit. He was also very active in the Romanian-American community in Detroit, including building several Romanian churches in the Detroit area.

A 1946 graduate of Rochester High School, Rewold transformed his father’s small company into a multimillion dollar corporation. Frank Rewold and Son, Inc., located in Rochester, Mich., is a full-service commercial contracting firm specializing in construction management and is celebrating its 90th year of business this year. From laborer to principal stockholder, the second-generation owner has upheld the high ethical and construction standards formed by his father on what is now the campus of Oakland University in Rochester. His legacy lives on in his local community including Meadowbrook Hall, Oakland Hills Country Club, Rochester Hills Public Library, the historic Knitting Mill building and the Royal Park Hotel.

The hall’s previous inductees include first-year inductees the late Thomas E. Dailey of Southfield, John Marshall Harlan of Southfield and the late Albert A. White of Lansing; second-year inductees Alton L. Granger of Lansing, the late Herman Gundlach of Houghton, Robert R. Jones of Bloomfield Hills and O.L. “Ozzie” Pfaffmann of Rochester; third-year inductees the late Harry L. “Bud” Conrad Jr. of Lansing, and William A. Hendrick of Saginaw; and fourth-year inductees the late Leon P. Clark of Lansing, Benjamin C. Maibach III of Southfield, the late Ralph J. Stephenson of Mt. Pleasant, the late Sheldon G. Hayes of Southfield and the late Sheldon W. Hayes, formerly of Bloomfield Hills and later of DeLand, Fla.; and fifth-year inductees John T. Adamo Sr. of Sterling Heights, the late H. Fred Campbell of West Bloomfield, Lee Kitson of Big Rapids, and Robert A. Martin of Grosse Pointe Woods.

Michigan Construction Hall of Fame inductees are selected by a committee of professionals representing the Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America, Construction Association of Michigan, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, Michigan Association of Home Builders and Ferris State University Construction Technology and Management department. Selection criteria include achievement in technical, managerial and leadership areas, state or national prominence as a result of industry or community activities, and service to the profession and community.

The Michigan Construction Hall of Fame serves as a permanent place for members of the construction industry to recognize and appreciate the endeavors of leaders of the Michigan construction industry. Off-campus visitors can access the Michigan Construction Hall of Fame at www.ferris.edu/mchof. Inductees and their stories are featured on this Web site.

This event is open to the public through sponsorship. Further information is available by calling Karen Lerew with Ferris State University’s College of Technology at (231) 591-2895.


11 September, 2008