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Convoy of Hope HQ captures developer award

Salute to Design and Construction Awards also presents lifetime, design and industry honors

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The Convoy of Hope Global Headquarters and Training Center earned the Developer of the Year award as part of the 39th annual Salute to Design and Construction Awards Banquet held Nov. 9. The award was presented by the Springfield Contractors Association.

The SCA also presented the Design Team of the Year award to the firms behind the Nixa High School Aetos Center for the Performing Arts, and the Salute to Design and Construction Council announced two Lifetime Achievement Awards, among other honors given by industry associations.

Convoy’s $37 million, 200,000-square-foot headquarters, located at 1 Convoy Drive, brings all local personnel of the international humanitarian relief organization together on one campus for the first time in its nearly 30-year history. The headquarters is linked by a skywalk to a 230,000-square-foot distribution center. The project was funded through private donations, including a naming-level gift from Rick and Jan Britton, the owners of Digital Monitoring Products Inc.

Q & Co. LLC served as general contractor for the project, and Buxton Kubik Dodd Design Collective was architect, interior designer and mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer. Other engineers were Miller Engineering PC, structural, and Olsson Inc., civil.

The building already has proven to be beneficial to the organization, spokesperson Ethan Forhetz said in an email, as the nonprofit’s team responds to conflicts in Europe and the Middle East.

“Already, we are running into colleagues with whom, previously, we had only emailed,” he said. “Now, we’re having in-person conversations.”

Founder and CEO Hal Donaldson, in a September article in Springfield Business Journal, said, “This is going to improve our effectiveness and our efficiency big time.”

Architect Jonathan Dodd has said he was most pleased with the building’s three-story, 60-by-160-foot atrium featuring collaborative seating spaces and a large dining area.

“It was an integral part of the design, and it really was kind of the hub of the building,” he said.

Convoy of Hope was founded in 1994 and in that time has served more than 200 million people and distributed over $2 billion worth of supplies, Forhetz said. The organization ranks No. 43 on Forbes’ 2022 list of the largest American Charities, with that year’s revenue exceeding $515 million.

Design Team of the Year
The Springfield Contractors Association presented its Design Team of the Year award to the team responsible for the $15.3 million Aetos Center for the Performing Arts.

The center serves students of Nixa High School and also hosts professional touring acts in its 1,100-seat auditorium.

Dake Wells Architecture Inc. served as architect and interior designer for the project, and DeWitt & Associates Inc. was the general contractor. Engineers were Shaffer & Hines Inc, civil; Mettemeyer Engineering LLC, structural; and True Engineering Group LLC, mechanical, electrical and plumbing.

Aetos is the Greek word for eagle, Nixa High School’s mascot, and the symbol was incorporated into the design of the center, including a facade that features a feathered pattern that morphs into the word “eagle.”

The project included a 35,000-square-foot addition and a 15,000-square-foot renovation of existing space.

Lifetime Achievement Awards
The Salute Council presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to Jerry Miller, retired after 56 years, most recently with his own company, Miller-Wolfe Enterprises Inc., and Larry Stock, CEO of Queen City Roofing & Contracting Co.

For Miller, what comes around goes around, as he was on the steering committee that founded the annual Salute to Design and Construction banquet.

Miller said the banquet was a response to a climate in which design and construction professionals received little recognition.

“We felt like we were the ones that were building the city and doing all these great things, but nobody seemed to care,” he said. “We decided we’ll just toot our own horn.”

In its early inception, Salute included a week of high school visits to promote careers in the construction industry.

“Now, that particular phase has really mushroomed,” Miller said, pointing to the Build My Future event, which welcomes nearly 3,000 students each year.

Miller began his career in 1965 with DeWitt Newton Construction, which later became DeWitt & Associates Inc. At the time, he was a college student at then Southwest Missouri State University, now Missouri State University, and he worked construction on campus. His classmates may not have recognized the guy in the hard hat working on Greenwood Laboratory School, the administration building and Craig Hall.

Miller said it is a privilege to receive the award.

“I feel like I earned it, and I’m happy to have it,” he said.

Stock has been with Queen City Roofing for 44 years.

“It’s been a lengthy one,” he said of his career. “I’ve seen quite a few changes, in technology and in the city itself.”

Stock figured his most notable project is Great Southern Arena on the MSU campus, which he called a banner job, but he noted he has also done work for Evangel University, Mercy, CoxHealth and other local institutions.

He recalled his most unusual job was a temporary facility he helped to build for Mercy Hospital Joplin following a tornado that leveled the building in 2011.

“It was one of the first buildings constructed with modular units literally brought in from California and assembled,” he said. “That’s one of the more unique buildings we’ve worked on through the years.”

Stock is a graduate of the first class of Leadership Springfield, and he said he is a big believer in ongoing professional and personal development.

“I spend most of my time doing that now – coaching and leadership,” he said.

Industry honors
The American Institute of Architects named Paul Dillman with The Carpet Shoppe Inc. as Craftsman of the Year for his skill in the installation of custom stair runners.

Dillman’s award nomination says he has over 40 years of experience as an installation service adviser.

“His installations are truly a work of art,” according to his nomination.

The AIA also conferred its Superintendent of the Year award, which went to Alex Estes of DeWitt & Associates for his work on the Aetos Center for the Performing Arts – his first in the role of project superintendent, conducted over a two-year period on an active high school campus.

His nomination form calls him an up-and-comer in the southwest Missouri construction industry.

“Alex leads by example, with respect, humility and integrity,” the nomination states. “The design team was particularly impressed by his can-do attitude, desire to do it right and humble willingness to dig in and learn.”

The National Association of Women in Construction presented two Outstanding Women in Construction awards. The Rosebud Award, for someone who has been in the profession for less than 10 years, was presented to Shelby Anson, director of operations for Benton Daylight Control Systems, and the Vesta Award, for someone who has been in the industry longer than 10 years, went to Rachel York, co-owner and managing member of Donco 3 Construction LLC.

Anson’s nomination says she was mentored by her mother before she joined the industry in 2018.

“She has completed Benton’s largest contract projects in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Montana to elevate Benton as a company in both reputation and revenue,” her nomination states.

The nomination also singles out Anson for mentoring employees and advocating work-life balance, including a progressive leave policy.

York’s nomination notes she has partnered with other concrete subcontractors to discuss workforce challenges and worked with Bill Textor of Advanced Concrete Technology Inc. to build a custom apprenticeship program registered through the U.S. Department of Labor. She teaches one of the first-year classes.

York also supports workforce development efforts Build My Future and Build U to teach students about civil construction career opportunities.

In addition to these awards, 32 scholarships were presented to local students.

A news release from the Salute to Design and Construction Council notes its purpose is to promote a positive perception of the construction industry to the public.

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