Our third annual Hard Hat Hero competition has officially come to a close. In search of construction professionals who make meaningful impacts on their communities, we found three Hard Hat Heroes who’s work isn’t defined by a single day, but by a lifetime of showing up.
These Hard Hat Heroes are nominated by their peers and voted on throughout the course of a few months. Through this process, we landed on three outstanding individuals working in the construction industry.
Our first place winner is Wes Bowlin, a Project Manager at Rabren General. Bowlin is best known in his community for donating the majority of his personal time to students who would benefit from learning valuable construction skills.
When asked what inspired him to pursue a career in the construction industry, Bowlin answered,
“My dad. He can do anything (or at least he will make you think he can). More than your average jack-of-all-trades. There were always new things to learn, better ways to build it, and different ways to tackle the job. It fascinated me. My dad is also the reason I love to serve. No matter how out-of-the-way it might be, he never turns down the opportunity to help someone in need.”
As our top finalist, Bowlin will receive a $5,000 charity donation to the Auburn High School Construction Program and will also attend a NASCAR race where he’ll see his name and the name of his charity of choice printed on our car.
Coming in second place is Jennifer Rhoads, Sr. Project Manager at Balfour Beatty. Rhoads has dedicated her life to helping others; she created an organization Arizona Angels for Children, which supports children who are victims of abuse and was previously named the "Most Successful Fundraiser" by Balfour Beatty.
When we told Rhoads the news about her placing as a finalist, we also asked about her perspective on being a woman in the construction industry and how it impacts her work.
“I believe my perspective provides numerous benefits to the construction team. I am compassionate and caring and with these attributes I tend to find myself managing the owners and their expectations.
“Being in the construction industry since I was a little girl and learning from my father has impacted my work ethic beyond measure. I learned the value of working hard and then transitioning into working smarter not harder. I believe all the opportunities afforded to me have been earned with great determination, respect, and due diligence throughout my many positions held.”
Lastly, our third-place winner is Chris Jamieson, a Quality Control Manager at Lee Kennedy Construction. Going above and beyond to develop one of the most effective programs in the New England area, Jamieson is passionate when it comes to the process of maintaining quality.
When we asked Jamieson what inspires his high-energy on the jobsite, he said,
“What keeps me motivated are the Lee Kennedy Construction employee reactions to the program. At first it was a tough sell, now three years into it, they see the benefit of all the steps. With the help of Procore, we are able to hold each employee accountable who is associated with a project.”
At the end of the day, all three finalists are true Hard Hat Heroes in our eyes. Construction impacts each and every person and we believe that it's important to pause and recognize those people who build our world. We can’t wait to host all three finalists at Groundbreak, see you there tomorrow!