The honorees are:
Mark S. Wrighton, chancellor, Washington University. While not a developer, few over the last decade have had a larger impact on the St. Louis construction industry. Wrighton will be honored with the PRIDE Industry Impact Award for expanding Washington University’s legacy of excellence that in the 13 years of his tenure has led to the commissioning of 30 new buildings. He has also encouraged significant minority participation in building projects. Further, Wrighton has advanced the university’s tradition of educating architects, engineers and construction managers through improvements to the Sam Fox Arts School of Design and Visual Arts, the John M. Olin School of Business and the soon-to-expand school of engineering.
Robert P. Elsperman, P.E., chairman, Tarlton Corp. A fixture in the St. Louis construction industry for more than 55 years, Elsperman brought a construction entrepreneurs’ perspective to the PRIDE board when he served as management co-chair from 1998 to 2003. Elsperman, who continues to attend PRIDE board meetings, has been affiliated with the organization for nearly 30 years. Elsperman will be receiving the Al Fleischer Management Award named for the late Alfred J. Fleischer, who helped co-found PRIDE and was its first management co-chair.
Rick Schaefer, director of department planning and capital projects, Malinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine. As PRIDE owner co-chair from 2004 to 2007, Schaefer fostered greater two-way communications between union construction industry stakeholders and the buyers of their services. Prior to being named co-chair, Schaefer served on a number of committees to help advance construction industry proficiency in the region. Schaefer will be honored with the Joe Rinke Owner Award. The award is named for Joseph W. Rinke, PRIDE’s first owner co-chair.
William Bernard, president emeritus, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers. A native St. Louisan, Bernard rose from the rank of apprentice in Asbestos Workers Local 1 in 1950 to become a national and international ambassador for the tenets of PRIDE. He led the historic negotiations that unified the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, which set a national and international precedent on cooperation between unions. Bernard will be honored with the Dick Mantia Labor Award. The award is named for Dick Mantia, who co-founded PRIDE and remains board member emeritus of the organization.
“These are stalwarts of our industry,” said Jim LaMantia, executive director of PRIDE. “Each has embraced and furthered the principles of cooperation to build a better future for the St. Louis area and its union construction industry.”
The award recipients will be honored at luncheon at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand & Suites Hotel in downtown St. Louis.
PRIDE, founded in 1972, is an acronym for Productivity and Responsibility Increase Development & Employment. For more than 35 years, PRIDE has worked to maintain harmony and build cooperation among St. Louis area AFL-CIO construction craft workers, contractors, construction buyers, architects, engineers and suppliers.