2024 Minnesota Construction Summit

The 2024 Minnesota Construction Summit took place
January 17 & 18 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre!

Thanks for joining us for the industry event of the year, bringing together construction industry professionals
for two days of inspiration, education, and networking!

Presenter slides are available for select sessions by clicking session titles
under "Agenda & Sessions Descriptions."

Photos from the 2024 Minnesota Construction Summit:
2024 Minnesota Construction Summit

Agenda & Session Descriptions

2024 Minnesota Construction Summit Agenda:

2024 Summit Agenda.PNG

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

6:30-7:30 am

Registration Opens/Breakfast with Exhibitors

7:30-9:00 am


Thom Mayer, MD


Changing Culture and Creating Hope and Resiliency: Leading in Times of Crisis

As the Medical Director for the NFL Players Association, Dr. Mayer was responsible for changing the culture of concussion and emergency response in the NFL. He will share how those experiences translate to the construction industry to create hope and adaptive capacity/resiliency in the face of burnout and the crisis of suicide within the industry.

Time / Speaker(s) Breakout Session Description

9:15-10:15 am


Matthew Semerad

STP: Leadership

Each Supervisory Training Program (STP) session at the Summit will serve as a sample of the kind of education and training employees will receive when participating in AGC's STP classes throughout the year. Come see how the STP program can develop your field leadership!


The purpose of leadership and motivation is to contribute to a new leader’s professional development.  This course is specifically for first line supervisors who are responsible for jobsite work tasks on a construction project.  Leadership and motivation will teach the value of effective supervision of workers and improve the construction supervisor’s ability to lead and motivate others on the jobsite. 

9:15-10:15 am


Tim Worke, Laura Ziegler

(Back by Popular Demand!) Federal Regulatory and Legislative Update

The Washington D.C. landscape is ever-changing.  Major infrastructure investments and prospective program regulations comes increased obligations, risk and opportunity for contractors.  Participants will hear an insider’s perspective from AGC of America Vice President of Government Relations Jimmy Christianson covering everything you must know and be concerned about at the federal government level that will impact your business.  Takeaways will include increased knowledge and understanding of new legislative and regulatory details and an enlightened perspective of the importance of industry advocacy at the federal level.   

9:15-10:15 am


Nicole Blissenbach, Mark Becker, Matt DeSarno

Wage Theft: Law and Enforcement

Commissioner of Department of Labor & Industry Blissenbach plus the Assistant Attorney General will provide updates on the new wage theft law, how general and subcontractors face expense and exposure, how to comply and protect against unseen liabilities, and how their office is investigating and enforcing wage theft laws. Attorney Mark Becker will moderate and fill in on other risks including relations between generals and subcontractors, and private enforcement actions. 

1.0 CLE Credit Approved

9:15-10:15 am


Pete Machalek

Leadership Blueprint 2024 Sneak Peek: Confident Presence for Career Advancement

As one of AGC’s flagship training programs, Leadership Blueprint offers communication skills to general contractor professionals new to the industry who have been recognized for their potential. In this preview presentation, Pete Machalek of SagePresence will share tips you can use right away to elevate your ability to project confidence under pressure, as well as an understanding of this game-changing cohort program.

10:15-11:00 am

Break with Exhibitors

Time / Speaker(s) Breakout Session Description

11:00-12:00 noon


Matthew Semerad

STP: Communication

Each Supervisory Training Program (STP) session at the Summit will serve as a sample of the kind of education and training employees will receive when participating in AGC's STP classes throughout the year. Come see how the STP program can develop your field leadership!


This course aims to teach the value of effective worker supervision and improve the construction supervisor’s ability to communicate well – in both one-on-one and group settings.  Following this course, participants will be able to Identify/ apply techniques for improving the use of oral and written communication including the use of common forms of electronic communication. 

11:00-12:00 noon


Nancy Daubenberger, Charlie Zelle, Tim Worke 

Conversations with Commissioners: Shared Challenges and Opportunities 

Remote work, navigating market uncertainty, and delivering historic infrastructure investments are just some of the current push points for contractors and governments alike. Join this session for a high level, strategic discussion with the top appointed leaders of the state’s largest public owners and ask them questions about the current state of affairs! 

11:00-12:00 noon


Kurt Erickson, Martin Kappenman

Marijuana Laws and Practice 

Cannabis on the construction jobsite, according to AGC, can still be prohibited. This hour will discuss AGC’s position and spend more time discussing how to handle cannabis use among those not on the jobsite (especially those who oversee safety sensitive work or complicated mental work), how to adjust your policies and handbooks and the outlook for an intoxication test. 

1.0 CLE Credit Approved

11:00-12:00 noon


Pete Machalek

Introducing Building Leaders: Leadership Presence for High Potentials

AGC’s newest training program, Building Leaders provides leadership skills for your transition to leadership. In this preview presentation, you’ll experience techniques you can use right away to inspire team unity as a leader team members would want to follow, along with a preview of this transformative leadership cohort program.

12:00-1:30 pm

Lunch with Exhibitors

Time / Speaker(s) Breakout Session Description

1:30-2:30 pm


Matthew Semerad

STP: Scheduling and Productivity

Each Supervisory Training Program (STP) session at the Summit will serve as a sample of the kind of education and training employees will receive when participating in AGC's STP classes throughout the year. Come see how the STP program can develop your field leadership!


This session covers how project estimates and schedules are compiled, how to compare actual project controls (cost reports and schedules) with those estimated and how to manage the work accordingly. This session will also detail how productivity is measured, how the supervisor plays a major role in increasing jobsite productivity, how to recover a schedule, and how a small increase in productivity can have a significant impact on the time and cost of a project.

1:30-2:30 pm


Shae Birkey

My Brain Made Me Do It: Psychological Drivers of Employee Behavior

There’s more than meets the eye when an incident occurs. When leaders understand the drivers of human behavior, how the brain works, and how to use biology to our advantage, it’s easier for them to understand the connection between people, culture, and performance. Through specific examples and personal experiences, the presenter will help you achieve an understanding of the psychological mechanics behind risk assessment, human reaction and communicating in a way people will pay attention.

1:30-2:30 pm


Connie Armstrong, Mark Becker, Kyle Willems

Construction Contracts 401

This hour is intended to be a graduate level deep dive into the most complicated and controversial contract provisions and forms. Not for the faint-hearted. 

1.0 CLE Credit Approved

1:30-2:30 pm


Tina Nazier

Executive Circle Primer: Building Trust as a Leader - Mastering Tough Conversations

In this presentation, construction leaders will embark on a journey to enhance their leadership skills by focusing on two critical aspects: building trust within their teams and effectively navigating tough conversations. Trust is the cornerstone of successful leadership, and knowing how to hold difficult discussions is paramount in the construction industry. This session will provide insights, strategies, and practical tips to help leaders foster trust and handle challenging conversations with finesse, ultimately boosting team performance and project success.

2:30-2:45 pm

Break with Exhibitors

2:45-3:45 pm


Matthew Semerad

STP: Documents/Contracts and Risk Management

Each Supervisory Training Program (STP) session at the Summit will serve as a sample of the kind of education and training employees will receive when participating in AGC's STP classes throughout the year. Come see how the STP program can develop your field leadership!


When an individual is promoted from field personnel to field leadership, there is often an educational disparity between performing the work and becoming a contractor.  This session will provide information about contract documents and construction law to help supervisors recognize the roles and responsibilities of all contracted parties, to develop an understanding of how contract documents can be helpful to solve problems and resolve conflicts, and to develop positive relationships between all parties in the construction process.  While contracts may vary from project to project, risk also needs to be identified and mitigated. This session will reinforce the foresight required to plan for the worst and identify the pitfalls before they occur.

2:45-3:45 pm


Barb Cederberg, John Hass

Where’s the Stuff Underground? The MN Underground Mapping Facilities Project 

Imagine it. You submit a one-call ticket and the facility owners share their utility maps within the excavation area mapped on the one-call ticket. Design engineers, locators and excavators are able to view the utility map data as well as understand the quality level of the viewed data. This is what the Minnesota Underground Utilities Mapping Project completed during the Phase 1 prototype in September 2022.  Phase 2 development of the open source software is progressing. This presentation will describe the system, provide a demonstration of the system, and describe the next steps for industry testing, verification and adoption.

2:45-3:45 pm


Justin Bieganek

The Importance of Branding for Construction: Think Bigger Than Low Bid

You’re not just competing for low bid, you’re also competing to attract and retain employees, build trusted and loyal relationships and establish a reputation of success. Branding is an investment that will help differentiate you from your competitors.

In this workshop, you will receive visual examples on how contractors can refresh their brand to align with social consciousness, diversity, a new generation of employees and sustainability practices while also respecting your history and legacy.

2:45-3:45 pm


Scott Chinn, Erik Mosvick

The Rapidly Evolving DEI Landscape

The last year has brought significant changes across the nation to DEI programs, from colleges to employment. Attorneys Scott Chinn and Erik Mosvick from Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath will lead a discussion on the rapidly evolving DEI landscape and the particular changes and effects to the construction industry. Topics will include:

Recent legal challenges (court decisions, legislative initiatives, AG actions) to DEI programs;

Impacts of SFFA on bidding and supplier diversity in public and private construction; and

Impacts of DEI challenges to employment and the effects on the construction industry.

1.0 Elimination of Bias CLE Credit Approved

3:45-6:00 pm

Platinum Sponsor Networking Reception


Thursday, January 18, 2024

7:30-8:00 am

Registration / Breakfast

8:00-9:30 am


Facilitator: Tina Nazier
Aaron Benike, Chris Duininck


Strategies for Successfully Transitioning Your Construction Business

Transitioning a construction business to new leadership is challenging and complex work that can be fraught with pitfalls, mistakes and re-boots.  Success is attainable, but it often takes different forms depending upon the model deployed.  Minnesota is home to a large number of successful and generational family-owned and operated construction firms.  You will hear from a panel of recognized and experienced industry executives who will share their unique perspectives as they navigate their companies through current and prospective leadership transitions.  Learn what to avoid, successful best practices and how to make the process achieve the desired outcomes for all involved parties. 

Time / Speaker(s) Breakout Session Description

9:45-10:45 am


Thomas Young, MD
It's a Crisis: What Do I Do?

Learn ways that managers can recognize and intervene when employees are in danger. Learn more about new offerings to improve mental health.

9:45-10:45 am


David Williams, Matt Semerad, Lisa Hollingsworth, Jeff Slusser, Stacy Arnold, Wayne Devoe, Brooke Donnelly

CHASE Program Roundtable

A discussion of the CHASE program, looking back and looking forward.

9:45-10:45 am


Phillip McGraw


A Health and Wellness Conversation: How Changing my Diet Improved my Overall Health; Mental, Emotional, and Physical

Drawing from his personal experiences, Phillip McGraw will offer insights into how transforming his dietary habits significantly improved his overall well-being. This workshop is designed to explore the advantages of embracing a healthy lifestyle, including the incorporation of nutritious practices such as juicing and the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Participants will also gain valuable knowledge on stress reduction techniques, including guided breathing meditation, yoga, and physical exercise.

9:45-10:45 am


Kevin Bright
No Buying Time For “Buy Clean” – Creating a New Path for Reducing Carbon Footprints in Public Procurement 

The use of lower-embodied carbon materials in vertical and horizontal construction will be integrated into public agency procurement models as early as 2025. 

10:45-11:00 am


Time / Speaker(s) Breakout Session Description

11:00-12:00 pm


Melissa DeLay

Crisis-Proof Talking Points: How Construction Leaders Can Communicate Change & Avoid Conflict

Leadership can be easy when sales are up, budgets are strong, and morale is high. But throw in a difficult situation such as a disgruntled employee or nasty rumor and suddenly, even the most liked leaders are in danger of ruining their reputations and losing their influence. During Melissa's talk, she will share message design and delivery techniques that are guaranteed to strengthen reputation, inspire change and create brand ambassadors. 

11:00-12:00 pm


Jules Edwards

Neurodiversity Inclusion in the Workplace

Employment is a relationship-based endeavor. A culture of inclusion is an investment into those work relationships. Together, we’ll explore how neurodivergent people and employers can create and strengthen mutually beneficial relationships in the workplace.

Learn about neurodiversity, common challenges, and effective adaptations.

Neurodiversity is diversity in the way people’s brains work. People who work well together, whose ideas complement one another, and problem solve through innovation, are essential in building effective teams. Every company's greatest asset is the people who are investing their time and energy in working towards the company's goals. 

11:00-12:00 pm


Scott Lang

Building the Future: Unleashing Tech Innovations in Construction

Join us for a dynamic panel discussion with local general contractors that bridges the gap between construction and cutting-edge technology. In an industry where tradition often trumps innovation, “Building the Future” is a must-attend event for those ready to embrace transformative technologies. Discover how technology advancements are reshaping the construction landscape. Engage with experts who have successfully integrated technology into their projects, increasing efficiency & visibility.

11:00-12:00 pm


Ron Wirtz, Macrina Wilkins, Tim Worke
What’s Behind The Numbers? A Deep Dive Into the Construction Market Economy and What’s on The Horizon

Ron Wirtz Presentation | Macrina Wilkins Presentation

The construction economy has experienced wild swings in the post-COVID world.  Runaway materials price escalation; supply chain disruption; unsteady financial and regulatory environments; and generationally transformative investment that loom on the horizon.  What are the challenges and opportunities contractors face in this ever-changing economy?  This session features two well-placed experts that will share key regional and national construction market survey data and provide analysis of economic trends to help make sense of it all.  Additional information captured from survey data will be shared that provides a projection of what markets may be expanding and where challenges reside and persist.    

12:00 pm

Brown Bag Lunch


KEYNOTE: Thom Mayer, MD

Medical Director, NFL Players Association


Dr. Thom Mayer is the Medical Director for the NFL Players Association, Executive Vice President of Leadership for LogixHealth, Founder of BestPractices, Inc., and Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University and Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke University. He was named the 2018 winner of the James D. Mills Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award, which is the highest honor of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He was recently nominated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. 


Director, Strategic AlignmentWipfli


As the national leader of Wipfli’s Construction and Real Estate Strategy team, Tina works with construction and real estate clients across the country to assist them in getting all they want out of their business. From creating the ideal future vision of the company, to attracting and engaging the right workforce, and ensuring an efficient operation, Tina helps owners and top executives achieve their individual and company ideal future state.

Connie Armstrong

Deputy General Counsel, Harris Company


Connie Armstrong is Associate General Counsel for Harris, a leading national mechanical contractor headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, with 15 regional offices in Arizona, California, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Utah, Virginia and Washington. Connie has also served as in-house counsel for a general contractor and was a Minneapolis law firm shareholder, where she defended and counseled businesses, contractors and employers in contract, construction, and employment matters. Connie is the Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Construction Law Section council, serves on the legislative and contracts committees for Associated General Contractors of Minnesota, and is in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. She is the past president of Minnesota Women Lawyers and the former co-chair of the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association’s Construction Law Committee. She received the 2022 Top Women in Construction – Professional Services award from Finance and Commerce.

Stacy Arnold CSP, AC

Safety Director, RJM Construction


Responsible for training, and continual improvement of RJM's Safety Management Systems, Stacy is an advocator and mentor for Safety's consistent integration throughout RJM's culture, and across all our projects. As a diligent, insightful, collaborative leader she provides guidance and innovative solutions to practical challenges that can become barriers to safe work practices. With her perceptive knowledge combined with her keen attention to detail and communication skills, she upholds safety to the highest standard to ensure project success and client satisfaction.

Mark Becker

Partner, Fabyanske, Westra, Hart & Thomson


Mark is a leading construction lawyer recognized for his skillful advocacy and professionalism in resolving his clients’ most challenging construction related disputes or negotiating their most significant construction contracts. Mark’s experience and practice focus in innovative early mediation methods of dispute resolution sets him apart from other lawyers with a traditional litigation-centric focus.  Through his effective early mediation advocacy, Mark has successfully resolved many high-stakes, multi-party, and complex construction disputes for his clients before the onset of the most significant litigation expense.  Mark employs early case evaluation, quantitative analysis, and strategic planning methods to guide clients through their disputes. Mark has significant experience in public procurement and public contracts.  Mark brought the first Qui Tam whistleblower claim under the Minnesota False Claims Act, achieving an important settlement that benefited over 240 Minnesota public entities

Aaron Benike

Vice President of Operations, Benike Construction


Aaron Benike, Benike Construction’s acting Vice President of Operations has been a part of the Benike Team since 1995. Formerly, Aaron was the company’s 5th President (2011-2023) since the company was founded in 1937 by his Great-grandfather, Alvin Benike. Since graduating as a Construction Engineer from Iowa State in 1995, Aaron has developed a comprehensive understanding of commercial construction and how to effectively lead and support our team of over 200 crew members. In addition to his role at Benike, Aaron is passionate about workforce development within the construction industry and is a 3rd generation past Chair of the AGC of Minnesota.

Justin Bieganek

Founder and Brand Advisor, Mercury Creative Group


Justin is a visionary with the ability to propel organizations forward. He founded Mercury Creative Group more than 25 years ago in order to expand his creative approach to brand strategy and design, now known as The Mercury Method. Justin is proud to be a proven partner to over 100 organizations, associations and nonprofits, bringing his abilities to listen beyond what is being said and to see future success as he leads teams to clarity, alignment and growth. 

Shae Birkey

Safety Culture and Leadership Advisor, Caterpillar


Shae has more than 20 years of Environmental, Health, and Safety experience working in consulting, governmental, commercial, industrial, and private industry settings. His range of work experiences, from front line field positions to corporate management roles allows him to empathize and connect with employees and leaders at all levels. His current role as a Safety Adviser and Industry Account Manager with Caterpillar Safety Services allows him to bring his passion of educating and challenging customers to light. He holds a Master of Science degree with an emphasis on leadership skill development from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign and is a Certified Safety Professional.

Nicole Blissenbach

Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry


Nicole Blissenbach has served as DLI’s commissioner since January 2023 after serving as DLI's temporary commissioner since August 2022. DLI’s mission is to ensure Minnesota’s work and living environments are equitable, healthy and safe. The department serves employees, employers and the public by regulating buildings and workplaces through education and enforcement. 


Prior to assuming the role of commissioner, Blissenbach served as DLI's deputy commissioner and directed the work of the Labor Standards, Minnesota OSHA Compliance, Minnesota OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation, the Office of General Counsel, Research and Statistics, and Projects and Planning work units. She began work at DLI in June 2019 as DLI’s assistant commissioner for Enforcement and Compliance Strategies and Partnerships.


Blissenbach previously worked at Education Minnesota, where she served for nearly 10 years as an attorney in the legal department. Prior to working for Education Minnesota, she worked in a private law firm, where she practiced labor and employment law.


Blissenbach is a Minnesota State Bar Association Certified Labor and Employment Law Specialist. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Morris, and earned her law degree from the University of Minnesota. She is married, has two children and lives in Minneapolis.

Kevin Bright

Sustainability Manager, Kraus-Anderson Construction Company


Kevin Bright, CEM, LEED Fellow, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, is the Sustainability Manager for Kraus Anderson (KA) Construction. He focuses on internal and external sustainability planning to help KA realize their sustainability goals and targets, and assist construction clients in doing the same. Previously, Kevin was the Sustainability and Housing Director for the Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency and the City of Rochester and held sustainability positions at Colby College and Harvard University.

Barb Cederberg

Chief Operations Officer, Gopher State One Call


Barb is an accomplished President with a reputation for driving products from conception through to commercialization by setting, aligning, supporting and executing business objectives for small, mid size and large global companies in the manufacturing industry.

Scott Chinn

Partner, Faegre Drinker


Scott Chinn represents businesses, governments and nonprofits in public-private transactions, policymaking and disputes. He also provides advice on public sector legal matters and constitutional law.

Jimmy Christianson

Vice President, Government Relations, Associated General Contractors of America


Jimmy Christianson leads the Associated General Contractors of America’s government relations efforts in Washington D.C., both on Capitol Hill and in the federal agencies. In this role, he is responsible for advancing the interests of more than 27,000 construction firms utilizing a network of 89 chapters on issues including but not limited to public and private construction investment, workforce development, tax, labor, safety and health, environmental and procurement. 

Nancy Daubenberger

Commissioner, MN Department of Transportation


Nancy Daubenberger has worked for the Minnesota Department of Transportation for over 22 years, in engineering and management positions and was appointed by Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan as the agency's Commissioner in May 2022 after serving for three years as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Engineer.

Melissa DeLay

Founder & Owner, TruPerception


Melissa DeLay is the award-winning founder and principal owner of TruPerception. With nearly two decades of strategic and corporate communication experience–including consulting for entities such as Ameriprise Financial and the state of Minnesota, as well as holding senior positions with 3M, Carlson Companies, Maytag, and AmeriPride–she knows how to deliver the right words in the right way to drive change, manage crises, boost engagement, and build a stronger brand. Her first book, The Truth About Scandal: The Everyday Guide to Navigating Business Crises

Matt DeSarno

CEO, Verfico


Matt DeSarno, CEO of Verfico Technology, is a distinguished leader with a twenty-seven-year career, including two decades as an FBI senior executive. He brings a diverse background, from private sector technology management to his early career as a U.S. Army infantry officer.  Matt currently resides in Dallas, Texas, where he drives Verfico's vision of providing innovative technology solutions to the construction industry.

Wayne Devoe

Corporate Director of Safety for Water Resources Group (parent company of Rice Lake Construction)


Prior to his career in construction safety, Wayne served in the US Air Force as a firefighter/rescue crew chief. After discharge he became a MAC Firefighter and obtaining the rank of Captain and then Shift Commander at the MSP airport. He has been focused on construction safety for the last 19 years and as WRG’s Director of Safety he manages risk, health, and safety for 3 business units with over 300 field craft that operate in 6 states. He and his wife live in Little Falls where they stay very active with their 10 grandkids scattered around Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Brooke Donnelly

Human Resources Director/Safety Manager, Ulland Brothers


Brooke Donnelly is a dynamic professional with a versatile background in HR and safety management. Currently serving as the HR Director and Safety Manager at Ulland Brothers, Inc. in Virginia, MN, she plays a pivotal role in talent acquisition, employee relations, and safety compliance for approximately 350 employees. Her responsibilities encompass managing union relationships, conducting safety audits, and ensuring MSHA and OSHA compliance. Brooke's proficiency in Microsoft Office, coupled with her expertise in safety training as a certified MSHA instructor, makes her a valuable asset to her organization.

Chris Duininck

President, Duininck


Chris Duininck is a third generation partner of Duininck Companies which manages a diverse portfolio of companies. He currently serves as the President of Duininck Inc with construction operations in MN, SD and TX. He was the Chairman of the Board with the AGC of MN in 2013-2014 and remains active in the industry. The Duininck owners have a stated goal of successfully transferring the business to the 4th generation and Chris has been instrumental in crafting the roadmap to achieve that goal, which is in progress today.

Jules Edwards

Co-Founder, MN Autistic Alliance


Jules Edwards is a neurodivergent Anishinaabe parent, advocate, writer, and speaker. Her professional development includes Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellowship, Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) National Training Directors Council trainee, and Wilder Foundation Community Equity Program (CEP) graduate. Jules serves as a board member of the Ombudsman for American Indian Families, member of the National Intertribal Disability Advocacy Council, and cofounder of MN Autistic Alliance. She is the coauthor of I Will Die On This Hill: Autistic Adults, Autism Parents, and the Children Who Deserve a Better World. 

Kurt Erickson

Partner, Littler Law Firm


Kurt J. Erickson has significant experience in representing public and private employers in labor and employment matters. He appears regularly before state and federal courts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, as well as proceedings before other state administrative tribunals. Kurt routinely defends clients in litigation matters, including class action litigation, involving discrimination and harassment, accommodation issues, whistleblowing and retaliation, breach of contract, unfair labor practices, and trade secret and non-compete issues.  In addition, he provides advice and counsel to clients on these matters and other employment law issues such as drafting of employee handbooks, policies and procedures and the hiring, performance management and termination of employees.

John Hass

Director of Lean Operations, Veit & Company


John is the Director of Lean Operations for Veit & Company helping lead field operations across all service groups and regions.  Starting as a laborer, he has over 25 years of experience in the construction industry and now specializes in the civil scope.  John has been a leading advocate for utility damage prevention through operational process improvement and collaboration with all stakeholders.  He now leads AGC’s subcommittee for legislative improvements to MN Statute 216D.  John is a member of the Board of Directors of Minnesota Utility Contractors Association (MUCA).

Lisa Hollingsworth

Safety Investigator Principal for Partnerships, MN Department of Labor and Industry


Lisa Hollingsworth is a distinguished figure in the construction industry, with a remarkable journey that spans over three decades. With a strong educational foundation and a wealth of hands-on experience, Lisa has made significant contributions to safety and compliance within the field.

Lisa's academic journey led her to St. Mary's University in Winona, MN, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management. Her education laid a solid foundation for her future endeavors in the construction sector.

Pete Kaehler

CEO, Labor Healthworks


Peter (Pete) Kaehler is CEO of Labor Healthworks located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is an innovative health care solution provider, consumer-driven health care expert, health plan software patent holder and national speaker. Kaehler brings 43 years of health care market experience and two decades of helping labor organizations maximize value in Taft-Hartley and municipal trusts.

Martin Kappenman

Partner, PRKA Law


Martin Kappenman is a shareholder in the Minneapolis law firm of PRKA Law He represents employers in connection with the full range of employment and labor law issues.  He works with employers to avoid costly and time consuming litigation by providing counsel regarding OSHA compliance, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Minnesota Human Rights Act, drug testing, and other employment matters.


Martin is licensed to practice in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. 

Peyton Kringlie

Director of Business Intelligence, LS Black Constructors


Peyton Kringlie is a seasoned expert in the construction business, now leading as the Director of Business Intelligence at LS Black Constructors. His notable contributions include the implementation of robust systems for scalability, emphasizing the use of healthy live data for timely and informed decision-making. This initiative has significantly enhanced the company’s operational efficiency. With extensive experience in diverse roles including Supply Chain, Operations, IT, Accounting, and Business Development, Peyton's multifaceted insight into the organization reinforces his pivotal role in driving LS Black Constructors' ongoing growth and success.

Scott Lang

Partner, Wipfli LLP


Scott Lang is an audit and accounting partner specializing in the construction and real estate industries. He believes in developing deep and long lasting relationships based on trust. Scott has served clients ranging in size from closely held joint ventures to large, accelerated public filing entities. For his clients, he focuses on delivering the full client experience and ensuring Wipfli is the first thought for our clients in times of disruption and growth. He provides value to his clients through identifying opportunities for advancement in accounting, tax, technology, strategy and overall organizational performance, among others.

Phillip McGraw

Owner and Founder, Living Naturally Abundant


A Chicago-born poet and photographer, Phillip always knew there was something inside of him more significant than the experience of growing up in poverty.


Phillip was introduced to art through his mother's writings as a poet and her interior decorator skills. Phillip always used poetry and photography to vent his frustration and perception of poverty, drugs, and crime. He fell in love with photography at the birth of his first son, Aiden. After taking many photos, Phillip understood the importance of capturing moments.


In 2008, Phillip moved to Saint Paul, MN, for a simpler life to raise his two sons. The opportunity to resume creating art came around during a trip to Duluth, MN., where he began taking pictures of wildlife—his passion for capturing photos returned to him like a fervent heat of light.


Phillip learned about filmmaking through experience and failure. After watching hundreds of hours on YouTube, he purchased a used DSLR and microphone that, forever more, set him off to produce many small community projects. In 2019 Phillip was selected for a filmmakers' fellowship called Doc U Fellows. During his fellowship, he directed his second full-feature documentary, For Justice Forgotten. For Justice Forgotten was a well-received local film about police brutality. 


In 2020, Phillip became involved in community organizing during the COVID-19 outbreak. He desired to create spaces for healing and health that were absent in his community. Phillip is the founder of Living Naturally Abundant. Living Naturally Abundant became a community-focused health and wellness organization with a mission to provide unique opportunities for physical health and mental health awareness. 


Phillip is known for his creativity and how he introduces solutions to society's problems. Currently, Phillip is teaching youth about art and mental and physical health skills. He continually evolves to create a better environment for everyone to experience a higher quality of life.

Yolanda McIntosh

Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, AGC of Minnesota


Yolanda McIntosh is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) for the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota; the state's largest and longest-established commercial construction trade association. Yolanda is responsible for leading efforts in building more intentional and inclusive initiatives to assist member contractors in establishing equity in business cultures and providing greater opportunities for diverse populations in the commercial construction industry. 

Pete Machalek

Co-Founder and Principal, SagePresence


Pete Machalek is a consultant and skill-builder who specializes in helping Architecture, Engineering, and Construction professionals present themselves with confident presence, everywhere from the networking floor to the interviewing spotlight.


In 2001, Pete and his partner co-founded SagePresence around their backgrounds in filmmaking, from which they forged a unique expertise in cultivating presence and storytelling skills in others. Throughout its history, SagePresence has focused on helping A/E/C firms grow by cultivating their client-facing team members into brand advocates of the firm, building professional relationships with prospects and clients and presenting with confident presence in shortlist interview presentations, ultimately leading client firms to win projects worth over $16 billion.

Erik Mosvick

Associate, Faegre Drinker


Erik Mosvick combines substantive experience in-house, on secondment and in law firm settings to provide tailored guidance for employers across a vibrant spectrum of industries — including hospitality, construction, health care, media, retail, technology, education and finance. A versatile labor and employment attorney, he counsels on employee relations and sensitive workplace matters, creates real-world business solutions to the ever-changing realm of employment laws, advises on traditional labor law issues, and defends against labor and employment law claims.

Nate Robitschek

Senior Project Manager, Watson-Forsberg


Nate is a Wisconsin native who holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineer from the University of Minnesota. Nate is a Senior Project Manager for Watson-Forsberg. Through his versatility and 16 years of construction experience, he is well suited to manage all phases of construction. Aside from work, Nate enjoys coaching lacrosse, playing golf, and exploring new trails with his Wife and labradoodle.

Mike Schechter

General Counsel & Director of Labor Relations, AGC of Minnesota


Mike Schechter is the director of labor relations and general counsel for AGC MN, where he facilitates negotiations with the basic trades on collective bargaining agreements, helps contractors with questions or concerns, and manages the disputes board to resolve differences with the unions. 

Matthew Semerad

Director of Safety Services and Education DevelopmentAGC of Minnesota


Semerad has over 25 years of diverse experience in construction, including residential, commercial, industrial, and heavy civil projects. Semerad’s career began in the field as a laborer and has continued through field engineering, project management, Quality Management, and Safety Management.   Matt is currently responsible for providing training through AGC’s supervisor training program, and administrates AGC’s CHASE program.  His previous experience includes projects with the Alberta Ministry of Transportation, Suncor Energy, Shell Global, the Bureau of Reclamation, Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT), Pennsylvania DOT, Massachusetts DOT, and Minnesota’s Metropolitan Council.

Jeff Slusser

Director of Safety & Health, Park Construction Co.


Jeff Slusser is a seasoned professional in the field of construction safety, known for his unwavering commitment to creating safer workplaces and minimizing workplace injuries. With a career that has evolved from hands-on experience to educational pursuits, Jeff's journey is a testament to his passion for occupational health and safety.
Jeff's initial foray into the construction industry came as he extended a helping hand to small construction companies dealing with workplace injuries and striving to reduce their worker's compensation costs. It was during this phase that he realized his true calling - the prevention of injuries rather than the mitigation of their consequences. Inspired by this newfound passion, Jeff decided to further his education and earned a degree in Occupational Health and Safety.

Macrina Wilkins

Senior Research Analyst, Associated General Contractors of America


Macrina Wilkins works as senior research analyst for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the leading trade association for the construction industry. She analyzes industry trends and compiles data products on the construction, labor, spending and material markets. Ms. Wilkins graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. degree in human development and is currently pursuing a B.A. degree in economics at George Mason University. She is a member of the National Association of Business Economists and National Economist Club. 

Kyle S. Willems

Shareholder, Bassford Remele


Kyle Willems is a Shareholder at the Bassford Remele law firm. Kyle is a litigator primarily practicing in business and tort litigation. His business litigation practice mainly focuses on the real estate and construction sectors, where he guides clients through construction defect, mechanic’s lien, contract and quasi-contract, commercial, and general liability disputes. As a tort litigator, Kyle concentrates on complex cases that involve wrongful death, serious bodily injury, and substantial property damage. Kyle recently served on the executive board of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

David Williams

CHASE Program Administrator, AGC of Minnesota


As the newest addition to the AGC team, David Williams brings a rich and diverse background of experience to both the AGC and the CHASE program. With a strong educational foundation and nearly three decades of professional experience, David is a valuable asset to our organization.

David's journey began at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental, Health & Safety. His dedication to ensuring the well-being of individuals and the environment was evident from the outset of his career.

Ron Wirtz

Regional Outreach Director, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis


Ron Wirtz is a Regional Outreach Director for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Ron’s primary responsibilities involve tracking current business conditions across the six-state Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes northwest Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. 
Along with tracking the overall economy, Ron pays special attention to employment and wages – which are central to the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate of promoting stable prices and maximum employment. He also tracks construction, real estate, consumer spending and tourism. Ron is a central contributor to the Beige Book, which is a report of current business conditions published by the Federal Reserve System every six weeks. Ron’s work includes extensive outreach to businesses, community leaders and workforce development agencies, and he gives frequent speeches on regional economic conditions. 

Tim Worke

CEO, AGC of Minnesota  


Tim Worke is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota, the state’s oldest and largest commercial contracting trade association with over 400 members statewide representing both building and transportation infrastructure market sectors.  Prior to being named CEO, Tim served as AGC’s Director of Highways & Transportation from 2003-2017. 


The first half of Tim’s career was spent with the Minnesota Department of Transportation working in the areas of legislative relations and policy development.  Tim served as the DOT’s Director of Federal Government Relations throughout most of the 1990s and managed the DOT’s Office of Government Relations from 1999-2003 overseeing both state and federal legislative matters for the agency.  Tim is a 1985 graduate of the University of Minnesota with B.A Degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice. Tim and his wife Karen live in Eagan, MN.  They have 2 children and 2 grandchildren.    

Thomas Young, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Proem Behavioral Health


Dr. Tom Young is a board-certified family physician with more than 35 years of medical experience. He is responsible for working with the Proem team of software technology experts, our customers and our partners to ensure clinical best practices are incorporated into everything we do. Tom is a recognized thought leader in consumer-directed healthcare and population health management and can often be found speaking at behavioral health industry events. Tom lives in Boise, ID, with his wife.

Charlie Zelle

Chair, Metropolitan Council


Charles A. Zelle is chairman of Jefferson Lines, an intercity bus company with scheduled passenger routes in 14 heartland states from Minnesota to Louisiana. He held the position of president and CEO for more than 20 years until 2012, when he was appointed commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In that capacity, he oversaw a multimodal state transportation agency with an annual budget of more than $4 billion.

Laura Ziegler

Director of Highway/Heavy & Government Affairs, AGC of Minnesota


Laura Ziegler joined AGC of MN in 2018 and serves as the Director of Highway/Heavy & Government Affairs.  Laura's role includes being the principal staff resource for managing and directing AGC's legislative policy and regulatory agenda.  She represents the construction industry at the Minnesota Legislature and with state agencies, as well as the federal government and Congress. She has a passion for the three P’s: policy, puns, and not the Packers.


Exhibitor List


Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown St. Paul
200 7th Street West; St. Paul, MN 55102

Rate: $149
Valet: $25/night

Booking Link
or call and mention AGC of Minnesota: 651-224-7400.

Holiday Inn St. Paul Downtown

Rate: $109

Booking Link - Associated General Contractors of MN
or call the hotel at 651-225-1515.