Each Has a Chance to Earn the Construction Industry’s Top Individual Honor

Earlier, we shared the criteria, the process and the prizes involved in becoming the ABC Craft Professional of the Year. Now, we wanted to take a deeper dive into the backgrounds and motivations of the four finalists. Each is an exemplary standard for their fellow craft professionals.

The following contender introductions, shared in no particular order, are comprised of supervisor and client feedback provided for the CPOY submission process. Tradesmen International wishes each deserving individual good luck.

Terry Buschert, Architectural Metals Inc. in Comstock Park, Michigan

Terry has been a Journeyman Sheet Metal worker for 26 years. He began his career as a union journeyman sheet
metal worker, but after seeing the merit shop philosophy, realized he could be rewarded for his high skill level beyond what the average worker was receiving. This is when he found Architectural Metals Inc. (AMI).

At AMI, Terry has developed the NCCER apprentice curriculum for Architectural Sheet Metal Workers, and is an NCCER-certified instructor for this program. Six of the eight foreman at AMI have been developed under Terry’s leadership and instruction. Terry has also developed and implemented the AMI safety program which was awarded the ABC STEP Platinum award in 2016.

Terry continues to lead AMI in productivity. He takes his job seriously and is always looking ahead to determine the most efficient way to build. Terry has the ability to see a project in its entirety and avoids issues by effectively preparing ahead of time. He is a master of mobilizing safely and is an expert at single level and multi‐level swing stage erection and operation.

Terry can quickly unite tradespeople. He is the first person to offer suggestions, safety equipment, or a helping hand. He is always willing to go out of his way to support another trade for the benefit of the project. He is also extremely passionate about limiting waste from jobsites and uses scrap metal to fund camp scholarships for children in his community. Terry is always using his physical gifts to support his church, those in need, and organizations in his community.

Terry represents the ABC Western Michigan Chapter.

Adam Ruff, Price Electric in Ely, Iowa

Adam is the type of person that everyone wants on their team. While he does all the usual stuff that you want out of a “Rock Star” employee – like highly productive, quick learner, problem solver and there when you need him – his greatest skill is his leadership ability. He listens to problems and concerns of others and works to resolve them but does not bend when he does not agree. He is stern but always fair.

Adam has been in the industry for well over 15 years. He started out as an ABC apprentice and developed into a journeyman and a foreman. As a foreman he has been involved with many projects that have received chapter/national EIC awards, including an Eagle Award for University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

Last year, Adam moved into a Field Supervisor position. His job is to take care of the employees, to make sure that they are being trained, to hold them accountable for poor performance and great performance, and to teach them processes on how to be productive by not wasting effort. He not only makes sure that they learn the trade but also about what the company stands for and why we make the policies we do.

He is a strong supporter of the Merit Shop Philosophy and has no problem letting an employee know when they are falling behind, but will also volunteer to help them in any way. He is well respected in the company and in 2015 was awarded employee of the year by his co-workers.

Adam represents ABC Iowa Chapter.

Christopher Allison, Sentry Electric in Lincoln, Nebraska

Chris graduated high school with a plan to teach. Soon, he decided a 4-year degree was not for him. He joined his father in the electrical business. 2013 found him instructing at the Cornhusker Chapter, teaching Core and Electrical 2. Chris has a true gift for educating others. He loves what he does and he loves to share his knowledge with the next generation of electrician, anyone he works with or even the ABC President, when she visits a job.

He has an amazing way of sharing his knowledge in a fashion that all can understand.  He brings it to a level that causes anyone to catch the electrical bug and want to learn more. Then he lets that knowledge explode into a stream of learning.

The feedback, from students like Quentin Sharp, really shows how Chris impacts his students. Quentin is a 4th year electrical student at ABC, and he is passionate about how Chris impacted his career growth.

Chris is also an Eagle Scout. He was the first instructor to dive in and teach merit badges for Scout Saturdays at ABC.  He takes the challenging concepts of electricity and brings them to a level that young minds can grasp. Today, a parent called to ask if the same instructor would be teaching, as other parents had recommended the class due to his excellence in instruction.

Chris represents the ABC Cornhusker Chapter.

Dan VanRee, Dan Vos Construction Company Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan

A quote from Doug Lipinski, Owner Emeritus, Merchandise Equipment:

“I first met Dan 15 years ago, when my family firm was constructing an addition to our facility. He left a lasting impression of commitment, integrity in trust. Five years later, my family business was growing again and needed another expansion. I could think of only one man for the job – Dan.

This was a time of growth for my family business and at the same time, the stakes were high; expanding our building with over $1 million of inventory, visitors coming through daily and shipping activity in progress with 15 trucks daily, were all critical for our company’s continued operation.  Dan understood our growing business and managed the project and all activity flawlessly.

As an owner, I was used to being the first one at our facility, I wanted to be there before everyone else, yet Dan was there before me, seeing to it that even the parking lot was completely plowed and safe. I gave Dan the keys to our building and trusted him more than anything. If a trade contractor was lagging, Dan would find out how to make it work for them and for me, leaving no stone unturned.

To sum up Dan for the next generation of craft professionals, is to highlight that a person who practices the right qualities daily can be a professional who can accomplish anything. Dan is a wonderful, good, Christian man of integrity and anyone can see that, yet it’s his actions that speak louder than words. His actions spoke from his belief in what he does for a living, his loyalty to his craft and his company. For Dan, it’s not about a buck and a half more, at this company or another, it’s about seeing your work and your craft for what it can be – flawless.”

Dan represents the ABC Western Michigan Chapter.

Choosing The 2017 Craft Professional of the Year

One of these deserving finalists will be named Craft Professional of the Year at Workforce Week, ABC’s annual celebration of the best in merit shop construction, recognizing the contributions of members, chapters and craft professionals to the construction industry and their dedication to excellence.

This year, ABC Workforce Week takes place February 28 through March 3 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and culminates with the final Craft Professional of the Year announcement on Friday at a Careers in Construction Awards Ceremony. Tradesmen International is honored to again be the primary sponsor and participant in the ceremony celebrating the four amazing C.P.O.Y finalists and their outstanding skills and leadership qualities.

As we approach ABC Workforce Week 2017, it’s important to remember the most important element of the construction industry is the hard-working personnel who that do more than just get the job done. Tradesmen International recognizes all of those that have contributed to building America from the foundation up while accentuating safety and instilling the highest standards in their craft.

*For more information on the eligibility requirements and nomination process, please visit: abc.org/EducationTraining/WorkforceDevelopmentAwards/CraftProfessionaloftheYear