Newsmakers of the Year


Who were the outstanding members of Wisconsin’s building industry in the past year?

Now’s the time to recognize our industry’s greats:

The Daily Reporter will honor this year’s Newsmakers of the Year and at a dinner awards event on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.


This year’s honorees:

Architect of the Year – Falamak Nourzad, Continuum Architects + Planners
Architectural Firm of the Year – Bray Architects
Builder of the Year – J.P. Cullen
Business Developer of the Year – Christin Mlsna, J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
Charitable Organization of the Year – Scherrer Construction – Scherrer Cares Buddy Bench Program
Construction Management of the Year – Catalyst Construction
Director of the Year – Ryan O’Toole, Hunzinger Construction
Educator of the Year – Joe Schwengels, J.P. Cullen & Sons
Educator of the Year – Dan Sperberg, Wisconsin Operating Engineers Training Center
Engineer of the Year – Caramy Reisenauer, Faith Technologies
Estimator of the Year – Carl Wickman, J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
Estimator of the Year – Scott Simpson, Mortenson Construction
Green Builder of the Year – Phil Vetterkind, Sustainable Building Solutions
Humanitarian of the Year – Pat Nate, Miron Construction
Innovator of the Year – Justin Effinger, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Innovator of the Year – Mike Jansen, Faith Technologies
Lifetime Achievement – Larry Witzling, GRAEF
Minority-Owned Business of the Year – Greenfire Management Services
Project Manager of the Year – Gary Berkley, Tri-North Builders
Project Manager of the Year – Angie Helfert, Mortenson Construction
Project Manager of the Year – Tom Pagel, C.G. Schmidt, Inc.
Public Official of the Year – Robin Vos, Wisconsin State Assembly
Public Official of the Year – Kevin Shafer, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
Rising Young Professional of the Year – Reese Mersberger, J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
Rising Young Professional of the Year – Tess Massaroni, Mortenson Construction
Service Provider of the Year – DeMark’s Building, Maintenance Solutions
Team Leader of the Year – Ryan Thomas, Madisen Maher Architects
Unsung Hero of the Year – Jen Bauer, Miron Construction
Unsung Hero of the Year – Cheryl Anderson, Scherrer Construction
Veteran Owned Business of the Year – US Vet General Contracting
Woman in Construction of the Year – Jeannie Cullen, J.P. Cullen & Sons
Women Owned Business of the Year – COR Improvements


Questions? Call 414-225-1803 or email jbyington@dailyreporter.com.









The Daily Reporter honored its 2016 Newsmakers of the Year on Wednesday at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Nearly 325 construction industry professionals were in attendance to honor 29 Newsmakers.

Staff photos by Kevin Harnack

Meet this year’s Class of 2016:

architectZimmerman connects with clients to find ideal design

Architect of the Year – Zimmerman Architectural Studios

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Builder of the Year - Mortenson Construction

Mortenson takes pride in past while looking to future

Builder of the Year – Mortenson Construction

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educatorGriffith helps industry meet residency requirements

Educator of the Year – Tracey Griffith, WRTP/BIG Step

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 Gutierrez’ work shaves $600M from Zoo Interchange

Engineer of the Year – Bob Gutierrez, WisDOT

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engineering-firmEmployee-owned Excel Engineering aptly named

Engineering Firm of the Year – Excel Engineering

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estimatorWilz starts on ceilings, hits ground running as an estimator

Estimator of the Year – Steve Wilz, Miron Construction

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executiveDillis leads with trust, encouragement

Executive of the Year – Mike Dillis, J.H. Findorff

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executive-2Sorge learned ways of the trade in ‘old school’

Executive of the Year – Mike Sorge, Mortenson Construction

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humanitarianZZ doesn’t snore when it comes to community service

Humanitarian of the Year – James “ZZ” Zradicka, J.H. Findorff

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innovatorMcGowan battling labor shortage one click at a time

Innovator of the Year – Terry McGowan, Wisconsin Operating Engineers

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interior-designerPlunkett Raysich Architects uses design to reflect client’s story

Interior Designer of the Year – PRA Interior Designers

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minority-owned-companyChoice Construction builds itself a home in Milwaukee

Minority-Owned Company of the Year – Brian Mitchell, Choice Construction Companies

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project-managerFor Boettcher, fun makes for a job well-done

Project Manager of the Year – Scott Boettcher, Catalyst Construction

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project-manager-2Lincoln Logs build Labucki’s career path

Project Manager of the Year – Chad Labucki, Mortenson Construction

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public-officialHutton stood in eye of prevailing-wage hurricane

Public Official of the Year – Rob Hutton, State Representative

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public-official-2Amid building boom, Stamper looks out for residents

Public Official of the Year – Russell Stamper II, Milwaukee Alderman

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rising-youngBertocchi excels in ‘male-dominated’ construction industry

Rising Young Professional – Erin Bertocchi, Mortenson Construction

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rising-young-2Grandpa fuels Feuling’s lifelong love of construction

Rising Young Professional – Sara Feuling, WisDOT

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rising-young-3Koepsell handles career from the ground up

Rising Young Professional – Benjamin Koepsell, Michels Corporation

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rising-young-4New to Wisconsin, McDaniel fits right in at Tri-North

Rising Young Professional – Jared McDaniel, Tri-North Builders

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service-providerCustomer service allows Miller-Bradford to get bigger, better

Service Provider of the Year, Mike Soley, Miller-Bradford & Risberg Inc.

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subcontractorJ.F. Ahern has been doing it right for 140 years

Subcontractor of the Year – J.F. Ahern Company

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super-superBlubaugh continues service to country through construction

Super super – Justin Blubaugh, Mortenson Construction

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team-leaderOrganization, communication key to Hause’s success

Team Leader of the Year – Laura Hause, Gilbane Building Company

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unsung-heroGrimes treads lightly, but leaves her mark across Wisconsin

Unsung Hero of the Year – Jennifer Grimes, WisDOT

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unsung-hero-2From cutting grass to cutting edge, Kurth does it all

Unsung Hero of the Year – Arlyn Kurth, Ruekert & Mielke

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virtula-construction-managerBaysinger’s work turns virtual into reality

Virtual Construction Manager of the Year – Josh Baysinger, J.H. Findorff

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workforce-creatorEmploy Milwaukee connects jobseekers with industry’s needs

Workforce Creator of the Year – Employ Milwaukee

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lifetimeThayer takes Tri-North to a national stage

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient – Tom Thayer, Tri-North Builders

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Questions? Call Jenny Byington at 414-225-1803 or email jenny.byington@dailyreporter.com


The Daily Reporter and a host of sponsors honored the 2015 Newsmakers of the Year on Thursday at the Hilton in Milwaukee.

More than 300 of the construction and development industries leaders turned out to honor this year’s Newsmakers.

Meet the 2015 Newsmakers of the Year











Previous Newsmakers of the Year

Who were the outstanding members of Wisconsin’s
building industry in the past year?

Now’s the time to recognize our industry’s greats:
The Daily Reporter is accepting submissions
for its 2016 Newsmakers of the Year


Nominate a colleague today to be honored by The Daily Reporter as a Newsmaker of the Year – a person, company or organization that led Wisconsin’s construction and design industry in a positive direction in 2016.

We’re looking for leaders from across the state, from every level of construction, design and development, to be honored in an October special section of The Daily Reporter and at a dinner awards event Thursday, October 20th Nominees must be based in Wisconsin.

Nominations are due by August 19th

This year’s categories consist of but are not limited to:

•    Architect of the Year
•    Builder of the Year
•    Educator of the Year
•    Engineer of the Year
•    Estimator of the Year
•    Developer of the Year
•    Humanitarian of the Year
•    Innovator of the Year
•    Emerging Business of the Year
•    Project Manager of the Year
•    Public Official of the Year
•    Rising Young Professional of the Year
•    Road Builder of the Year
•    Service Provider of the Year
•    Subcontractor of the Year
•    Unsung Hero of the Year
•    Up and Coming Firm of the Year
•    Woman-Owned Business of the Year
•    Veteran-Owned Business of the Year
•    Minority-Owned Business of the Year

We’re also including the category this year: Unsung Hero of the Year. Know someone who regularly goes the extra mile, makes his or her workplace a better place and expects nothing for it? Nominate them for our Unsung Hero of the Year award.

If you would like to nominate a person, company or organization in a different category, please submit that suggestion along with your nomination, as award categories are subject to change.

Description of nominee must be MORE THAN 150 words! More info is better as winners are completely based off the nominations!

You can also submit a hard copy if preferred, to:

Jenny Byington

The Daily Reporter

225 E. Michigan St., Suite 300, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Questions? Call 414-225-1803 or email jenny.byington@dailyreporter.com