Top-Shelf Contractors

Top-Shelf Contractors

At the Construction Advancement Foundation’s (CAF) recent awards banquet, leading contractors from all over the region gathered together to celebrate the most outstanding achievements from the local construction industry over the past year. Dozens of firms were in attendance, forming a roster of more than 600 of the industry’s top professionals, owners, master builders, supervisors, and more. All together, the projects and companies that received accolades form a unique picture of NWI’s growth overall and the vitality of its building trades.

“Construction in one form or another is involved with almost every economic development opportunity our region experiences. It’s a major engine driving our economy forward,” said Dewey Pearman, Executive Director of the CAF.

“Every day, the people in NWI’s union construction industry deliver on their promise to produce quality project outcomes. We’re proud to celebrate their achievements with these well-deserved awards, but perhaps the biggest rewards come from seeing the actual use of their efforts. Our builders are establishing schools where future generations will grow, hospitals where miracles will take place, roads that will carry people home – the infrastructure that supports us all. They deserve our appreciation.”

The event was hosted via partnership with the Northwest Indiana Business RoundTable’s (NWIBRT) annual safety awards banquet. The combined ceremonies represent the leading awards event with regard to the region’s industrial, commercial, and public works projects.

Tonn and Blank

Thatcher Foundations

Hasse Construction















The Winners

Five companies earned Contractor of the Year awards in categories based on their respective areas of expertise. These awards represent a culmination of a number of factors that the CAF evaluates including safety, excellence in partnering and teamwork, quality project management, innovation and uniqueness in construction techniques, consideration for the environment, community support, craftsmanship, supervisory training, and education.

This year’s Contractors of the Year winners and their highlighted projects include:

  • The Ross Group, Inc. took home the Industrial Contactor of the Year award for its performance on the multi-phased Monosol manufacturing facility project, the new operations and maintenance building for the upcoming Cline Ave. bridge, and for repairs and renovations made to the NLMK Melt Shop in Portage.
  • Thatcher Foundations, Inc. was awarded the Specialty Contactor of the Year award for foundation work the company performed on several projects, including repairs made 30 feet underwater at the Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor, support structures for a new tank at Grace Industries, and pier installations for a new foundation at BP Whiting Refinery.
  • Superior Construction Co., Inc. received the Highway Contactor of the Year award for its work on several new pieces of roadway infrastructure, including a new interchange in Indianapolis at I-465 and I-65, and a new bridge over the CSX Railroad on Avon Ave. in Avon. Both projects, despite being in high-traffic sites, were completed without injuries.
  • Gariup Construction Co., Inc. earned the Commercial Contactor of the Year award for its work on the new Indiana University Northwest Arts & Science building in Gary, the Washington Park Greenhouse restoration project in Michigan City, the City of Hammond’s new Fire Station #8 building, and for improvements the company made to the East Chicago Marina Harborwalk.
  • DLZ earned the Professional & Engineering Services Contactor of the Year award for its efforts in completing precision upgrades at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor, construction of the Pipefitters 597 Training and Wellness Center, preliminary engineering work for the NICTD West Lake Corridor project, and on a new pipeline junction for NIPSCO.

The Excellence in Professional Development award, which honors companies that take a proactive role in improving the quality of their workforce through professional development training across all levels of their organization, was earned by Larson-Danielson Construction Company.

Four companies earned Project of the Year awards at this year’s banquet for their efforts among several different projects. The winners and their projects are as follows:

  • The Ross Group, Inc. earned the Industrial-Capital Project of the Year award for the second phase of its efforts on the large Monosol facility project in Portage, IN. Phase 2 of construction saw the facility more than double in size and additional phases of growth are planned. Monosol is a global manufacturer and its facility is a major economic opportunity for Indiana.
  • Hasse Construction Company, Inc. was one of two companies that earned Commercial Project of the Year awards. Hasse was the lead contractor on the new Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) campus, which involved the establishment of a new subdivision including roads, utilities, a 13,000-square-foot administrative office, a 60,000-square-foot training building, and more. (See our Main Buzz article in this issue for more detail about the project)
  • Tonn & Blank Construction was the second of two companies that earned Commercial Project of the Year awards. Tonn & Blank was contracted by the Duneland Boys & Girls Club to build a “dream club” for the organization in Chesterton. Roughly 8,500 square feet of the club’s existing space was renovated and 16,800 square feet was added, all without disrupting the club’s programming. As a result of the numerous new amenities, daily attendance has more than doubled.
  • Superior Construction Company, Inc. earned the Public Works Project of the Year award for its work on the I-465 and I-65 junction in Indianapolis. 120,000 vehicles pass through that junction every day, and Superior was tasked with keeping everyone safe while demolishing eight existing bridge structures and replacing them with six new superstructures and roadways. The project was completed with no recordable or lost time injuries.

When all of the region’s top builders were together at the annual Construction Awards Banquet, they had a rare opportunity to compare details about each other’s projects and share best practices with one another. This kind of open discussion, even if it takes place between two competing companies, is one of the characteristics about the NWI construction industry that enable it to keep growing and exceeding national performance metrics. The annual banquet provides a great way to benchmark that growth and track the momentum of the region’s building trades, which remain nothing short of robust.


2018 CAF Construction Award Winners

Contractor of the Year

  • Commercial Contractor of the Year:
    • Gariup Construction Co., Inc.
  • Industrial Contractor of the Year:
    • The Ross Group, Inc.
  • Specialty Contractor of the Year:
    • Thatcher Foundations, Inc.
  • Professional & Engineering Services Contractor of the Year:
    • DLZ
  • Highway Contractor of the Year:
    • Superior Construction Co., Inc.

Project of the Year

  • Industrial-Capital Project of the Year:
    • The Ross Group, Inc.
  • Commercial Project of the Year:
    • Hasse Construction Company, Inc.
    • Tonn & Blank Construction
  • Public Works Project of the Year:
    • Superior Construction Company, Inc.

Excellence in Professional Development

  • Larson-Danielson Construction Company


Caption for photo: The Ross Group earned two awards from the CAF this year, including Industrial Contractor of the Year and Industrial/Capital Project of the Year. Pictured are (l to r) Susan Drew, Ross Pangere, and presenter Joe Coar.

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