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2023 Keeley Construction Award Winners!

At Keeley Construction, we are proud of every single member of our Keeley family for the amazing work each of our team members does every day. As 2023 comes to an end, we are proud to recognize our Keeley’ns who have gone above and beyond this year. Keep reading to learn more about our incredible 2023 Keeley Construction Award Winners!

Constructor of the Year | Andy Cottle

Under Andy’s leadership the Heavy Industries group had ZERO recordable injuries since starting at Keeley Construction! The Heavy Industries Group has grown from $13M to $70M in their second year with impressive margins. Through Andy’s leadership, the Heavy Industries Quality program was ASME qualified and had one of the best pipelines Keeley has ever seen! Andy’s leadership of the Heavy Industries group has led to incredible success already - and is only beginning!

Larry Keeley Award | Gary Quaethem

Gary truly lives out our core values of PRIDE each and every day. Despite facing health challenges, Gary’s commitment to Keeley has fueled his determination - always focused on how he can get back onsite as soon as possible. His resilience over his tenure with Keeley has not only showcased his personal strength but also exemplified the values embedded in Keeley’s culture. Gary’s dedication is not only reflected in his commitment to his projects but also emphasized by how he enhances our Keeley culture day in and day out. The Larry Keeley Award is designed to recognize individuals who embody what it means to be a Keeley'n and Gary is a shining example of that!

KeeleySafe Group of the Year | Industrial Manufacturing

2023 was an outstanding year for our Industrial Manufacturing team, who made an incredible comeback from a challenging 2022. In 2023, this group made a strategic and intentional effort to focus on our Safety culture. With new processes and campaigns implemented, such as the ‘Plan | Prepare | Be Aware' initiative, the Manufacturing team was able to send all team members home safely every single day in 2023. We applaud every leader and Keeley’n who made a conscious effort to Safety which has resulted in ZERO recordables.

Power of One Project of the Year | Industrial Client Substation - Chesterfield, MO

This project was a powerful collaboration between the Industrial Manufacturing and Civil Infrastructure groups for a longtime Industrial partner. The proactive safety culture on this project resulted in ZERO injuries. Keeley tradespeople self-performed nearly all aspects of this project outside of electrical, allowing the total Keeley Team to work very collaboratively in order overcome major redesign & delivery innovative solutions for the customer. This project was a great example of the POWER OF ONE in action!

Civil Awards

Civil Energy Person of the Year | Mike Jenkins

Mike is the textbook example of our Keeley Culture - Amazing Family Man, Patient Teacher, Great Friend, Incredible Mentor, Helpful, Giving and Kind… The list goes on and on! The team knows that when Mike is assigned to a project, the team is going home safe, our customer's expectations are going to be exceeded, and the project will be financially successful. Mike is picked for our hardest projects and always shows up with the same smile on his face and can-do attitude.

Civil Energy Project of the Year | Calvary BESS - Monon, IN

The Keeley Civil Energy team joined a trusted partner on this project with a challenging schedule to work with. The teams utilized agile practices to increase efficiency and optimize quality control by minimizing delays and improve workflow efficiency in the construction process. This project had committed leadership and team members to drive success. Pile driving time was increased 10x from the estimate to production through preplanning. The team brokered a negotiated savings on material procurement and held weekly cost discussions and daily Production Discussions. They maintained a strong customer attitude throughout the project and achieved ZERO safety incidents with the industry's best craftspeople and field leadership.

Civil Texas Person of the Year | Esequiel Mendoza

Esequiel was a HUGE part of why 2023 was a resounding success for the Texas team. The group took on a huge load of work exceeding their goals by more than 30 percent. The true key to this success was people and attracting enough qualified craft labor to man our projects. Our Texas Region manpower ballooned from 60-80 people to more than 180 people at one time. Esequiel was instrumental in finding, attracting, motivating, and retaining these craftspeople to put our work in place. On top of manpower, Esequiel played a large role allowing Keeley Texas to estimate work successfully. Esequiel spent countless hours in the field looking at projects to bid, analyzing projects in process, and helping the teams evaluate and plan new projects to start. Esequiel’s drive to go above and beyond and be 1-2 steps ahead of the field operations truly sets him apart.

Civil Texas Project of the Year | Grupo Ortiz 7V Solar Project - Flatonia, TX

This project was a great success for our Texas Region team and highlights how a project can deliver an exceptional client experience. Our relationship with the customer started as a small fence job with additional miscellaneous change orders being given to Keeley as we excelled. When large delivery problems occurred with the clients’ existing subcontractors, Keeley was asked if we could help install more than 338,000 solar panels in a very short period of time. Our team put a plan of action together and leveraged our strong relationship to win the work. Client changes required Keeley to accelerate the work to achieve an early startup and the team was able to respond quickly. Our manpower quickly ballooned from 80 to 180 Keeley’n craftspeople on site. Our production ranged from 2-3k panels per day to greater than 9k panels per day. The team easily helped our client succeed with early delivery of the project.

Civil Infrastructure Person of the Year | Jason Forney

Jason brings the team-player attitude to work everyday. He has had some challenging clients and projects throughout his career at Keeley, however his can-do attitude and company-minded mentality has resulted in multiple repeat customers and projects. Most recently, Jason’s field office has been located at two of facilities in Northern Illinois. Jason has been on the road away from home for the better part of this past year and will be into 2024. He understood the need to have a trusted Keeley’n lead our first project with this partner, ensuring we delivered the highest quality & safety standards. That standard was recently recognized by our partner, directly noting that Jason’s leadership and team's performance is one of the key reasons they are wanting to continue their partnership with Keeley on all future work.

Civil Infrastructure Project of the Year | Trusted Partner - St. Peters, MO

This project is globally significant as the facility was an expansion for the manufacturing of the 300mm silicon-on-insulator wafer which is a critical component of computer chips used in industries ranging from telecommunications to automotive and aerospace. General Contractor McGough took the project on with a very tight schedule due to the product demand and McGough solicited Keeley Civil Infrastructure to partner on the project. The Keeley Team played a pivotal role in keeping the project moving forward despite multiple challenges ranging from design to subcontractor performance. The team was able to deliver a high-quality product and service to McGough while maintaining the schedule and staying within budget. The team completed 120,000 SF of concrete pours on multiple elevated decks and slab on grade in 1.5 months with no quality issues and with ZERO safety incidents.

Civil Support Person of the Year | Jill Lauer

We celebrate Jill's exceptional dedication, unwavering reliability, compassion, and commitment to helping others. Her compassionate nature shines through in every interaction, making her a pillar of strength for those seeking guidance. Her quickness to act in critical situations showcases her ability to overcome challenges with grace and efficiency while getting the best care for our team members. Jill's impact extends far beyond her official duties, as she genuinely cares for and has a positive impact on all who she supports.

Paving Awards

Paving Central Person of the Year | Paul Chesney

Paul puts an incredible emphasis on Safety and Quality. He stepped into a new role this year leading our STL teams and has done amazing work. Paul always keeps a great attitude when it comes to challenging situations, and we can always count on his positivity.

Paving Central Project of the Year | Walmart - Bentonville, AR

The Paving Central team self-performed two large capital projects near the Walmart home office in Bentonville, AR. The project was completed safely and on time with the highest quality standards. The STL Paving team and West Plains concrete team executed the project exceeding expectations.

Paving West Person of the Year | Tom Welby

Tom has excelled in his new role this year of Lead Account Manager. His great attitude and willingness to always help the team is incredible. Tom has a high level of customer service focus and consistently runs toward the challenge to put our customer first, always willing to learn and grow.

Paving West Project of the Year | Target - Ft. Collins, CO

This challenging project was big win for the Paving West team as they maintained a customer relationship and kept the store in operation throughout the entire project. Plant and equipment break downs caused the team to change plans multiple times throughout and the team maintained great communication to present a quality end product to our partners.

Paving South Person of the Year | Bill Berry

Bill has been instrumental in building and developing a new market in Florida. His mentorship by Mike Stankewitz and assisting with his workload as he transitions into a new role has been hugely impactful. Bill has developed and attracted new team members from his network that have been great assets to the team. He truly has an all-around great attitude and is an absolute team player.

Paving South Project of the Year | Walmart - Blackwell, OK

The Paving South team was assisted by the Paving West team on this project! The teams completed the project safely with high quality and exceeded a tight schedule - delivering the project two weeks ahead of schedule. This project helped with customer development in a new market (Oklahoma) and was a true Power of One effort within the Paving Group.

Paving Support Person of the Year | Matt Russell

Matt has a great attitude when it comes to supporting the growing paving group. He is a workhorse - always there any time he is needed. Matt is forward-thinking and always looking for a more efficient way to help. He’s the go-to team member for Salesforce and has been instrumental in in developing and enhancing processes.

Building Awards

Building Person of the Year | Tom Mooney

Tom has led his Financial Facilities team throughout several significant challenges including a global pandemic, unprecedented supply chain issues, and hyper-inflated market conditions. He created a culture within his team that feels like family, always works together to achieve the same end goal, produces quality projects, has generated significant loyalty within the team, and forged strong relationships with clients. Tom takes great pride in his team and is always working hard to give them opportunities and make them successful. The FinFac group is poised to have a strong year financially as they've rebounded from challenges. Tom's dedication to his team, clients, and Keeley set a great example for others to follow.

Building Project of the Year | Mars Petcare Reno & Expansion - Mattoon, IL

The Mars Petcare project is an 18,000 SF office renovation and 3,000 SF expansion of their facility in Mattoon, Illinois. This job is a multiple phase project that was set up to allow for Mars Petcare to continue plant operations, uninterrupted for 3 shifts/day, 7 days/week. The job included a full plant power shutdown that had to be done on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend as the team added new electrical services and rerouted the main power feed. The job was competitively bid for the renovation phases, but by providing excellent service, the team earned Mars’ trust and were awarded the expansion phase of the project as a negotiated job. This was also the first large scope of work where the team was able to utilize newly created self-perform crews that executed all the demolition, carpentry, and drywall scopes of work.

Building Support Person of the Year | Jonathan Cox

Jonathan is always the first one to extend a fist bump and make you smile with his infectious, happy attitude and is always willing to help. When a FinFac Planning Analyst position became vacant, Jonathan stepped in big time. The FinFac team was busy and had a backlog of work that needed to be done, including several planning studies. Jonathan filled the role on an interim basis until a new analyst could be hired. For five months, Jonathan diligently completed studies, attended client presentations, and helped the FinFac team earn new business, all while keeping up with his huge role in the marketing department and becoming a dad at home! His efforts exceeded expectations and truly exemplify our values.

Industrial Awards

Heavy Industries Person of the Year | Brian Crean

Brian oversaw the onsite construction of Project Commander for nearly a year and half. He had perfect safety and quality performance on this very challenging project which took place during a very challenging winter in Iowa. Even with the difficulties of extended travel, Brian maintained an excellent work ethic and dependability at his own personal sacrifice. He developed and led a robust safety culture onsite while helping his team exude a 'No Compromise' safety culture.

Heavy Industries Project of the Year | Project Commander - Ft. Dodge, IA

The Heavy Industries team accomplished nearly 100,000 self-perform hours on this project without a recordable or serious first aid. This resulted in the project, named "Project Commander," being awarded the Safest Project of the Year by the client - a huge accomplishment! Peak manpower on this job was about 75 Keeley'ns and an 80%+ diverse workforce. The team was mostly from out of town which greatly contributed to the economy of the local community. The project was completed ahead of schedule and with outstanding customer feedback.

Heavy Industries Support Person of the Year | Grace Kmetz

Grace played a pivotal role in onboarding 300+ Keeley’ns for the Heavy Industries group. She onboarded these team members seamlessly and with a positive attitude. The growth of Heavy Industries in 2023 could not have happened without her organized and detail-oriented approach to welcoming new Keeley’ns to the Heavy Industries team across the nation.

Manufacturing Person of the Year | James Benson

James leads all Industrial Manufacturing Preconstruction efforts. He is instrumental in Power of One collaborations with the other groups to develop winning strategies and drive additional revenue and margin for all business units. James is data-driven, hardworking, and cool & calm with constant, countless deadlines looming. He always can be counted on to have a great attitude and is an all-around amazing team member.

Manufacturing Project of the Year | Green Fertilizer Plant - St. Louis, MO

This project included the expansion of a new agricultural product line right in the heart of St. Louis’s North Broadway Industrial Corridor. The team's dedication to safety resulted in ZERO injuries – all while performing high risk work with large crane picks, hand rigging, and a highly congested environment. Most of the work on this project was performed by the Keeley Millwright team and the team continues to do 24/7 maintenance support due to their PRIDE in exceeding expectations for our partners.

Manufacturing Support Person of the Year | Kyle Nieman

Kyle drives all Industrial Manufacturing monthly project controls efforts. He has a strong work ethic and is dedicated to delivering the very best information to the team to make informed project and business decisions. Kyle overcomes difficult situations and adversity with a calm and steady approach. He is truly an amazing team member – always willing to help others!

Congratulations to all of our award winners! We would not be where we are today without you!


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