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Home / 2021 Newsmakers of the Year / For Derksen, life-long construction career started with trades program

For Derksen, life-long construction career started with trades program

Project Executive of the Year
Andy Derksen – Miron Construction

Andy Derksen – Miron Construction

If it weren’t for his high school’s building-trades program, Andy Derksen might never have considered construction as a career.

The Waupun-area native, now a project executive at Miron Construction, had no one in his immediate family to look to for an example of how the trades could provide satisfying, life-long employment. So his experiences at school were decisive.

“I wish a lot more schools had that opportunity,” Derksen said. “Your junior year, you had a lot of classwork. Then your senior year, we went out and built a home. That was a pretty big thing back then. People were on a waiting list for 10 years to get their home built by that program.”

By the time Derksen was in college, at UW-Stout, he found himself pursuing a construction-management degree while working for a local homebuilder. Miron came calling in 2003.

In the years since, Derksen has worked on everything from school buildings for the Lake Mills and Jefferson districts and the Orthopedic & Sports Institute of the Fox Valley, in Appleton, to various projects at St. Norbert College, in De Pere, to Oshkosh Corp.’s new global headquarters. Although Derksen has mostly stayed in and near the Fox Valley, he did spend five years in Madison helping Miron establish its office there.

Tim Kippenhan, Miron vice president and chief operating officer, said much of Derksen’s success comes down to the obvious care and concern he has for those he works with.

“Whether you are the owner, architect, subcontractors-suppliers – or his own Miron team members – you just know after talking and working with him that he values the relationships he personally has developed with you,” Kippenhan said.

Those priorities extend beyond the company itself. Outside work, Derksen said his favorite way to spend time is with his wife and four children.

“What I’ve really enjoyed the most is coaching them in different sports,” he said. “That’s what I’m most passionate about.”

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