2023 Minnesota Construction Summit

2023 Minnesota Construction Summit Logo - January 17-18, St. Paul RiverCentre

The 2023 Minnesota Construction Summit took place
January 17 & 18 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre!

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

Click "Agenda & Session Descriptions" and then "(presentation available)" after a particular session to view the slides, if available.

Agenda & Session Descriptions

2023 Minnesota Construction Summit Agenda:

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

6:30-7:30 am

Registration Opens/Breakfast with Exhibitors

7:30-9:00 am


Jake Thompson


Compete Every Day: How to Unlock Your Competitive Advantage in Life


Today’s ultra-competitive, always-changing landscape requires a special mindset and skillset in order to create – and maintain – a leading edge. Fortunately, these are two areas that are not determined at birth, but instead can be effectively built with the right focus and choices.


Discover how viewing a competitive mindset through this new perspective will foster professional and personal development at an unparalleled level, and position you with an advantage in your customers’ eyes. But in order to rise to this elite level, one must first understand how to make elite choices.


Elite choices that simple enough for anyone can make, but few intentionally do. In this powerful program, Jake teaches how to more consistently make the winning choices that will create a competitive advantage for your organization - and continuous growth for your life.



Listen to Jake and AGC CEO Tim Worke discuss this and more on the latest episode of The Resource podcast!

Time / Speaker(s) Breakout Session Description

9:15-10:15 am


James Abrahamson, Andrew Erichson, Kendra Kron, Kelly McNamara

Thriving Through Recession

Navigate the rough waters and riptide of a recession by following key eddies and lighthouse warnings.  This panel will give you industry best tips and insights to make to port with a full cargo. 

9:15-10:15 am


Jevon Bindman & Peter Doely

Cover Your Assets! Construction Insurance Tips, Tricks & Traps (presentation available)

The construction industry is rapidly evolving, and contractors who fail to update their insurance practices may wind up with uncovered or under-covered claims. In this presentation, construction and insurance coverage attorneys will discuss how to manage risk and ensure proper insurance coverage on construction projects. Topics will include: (1) common policies and the basic anatomy of each, (2) additional insured and indemnity considerations, (3) tips for drafting insurance requirements in subcontracts, and (4) responding to disputes with insurers.

9:15-10:15 am


Jody Jacoby, Paul Johns, Wayne Waslaski

Public Owners - What Keeps Them Up at Night?

Back by popular demand! 2022 has been a tumultuous year for contractors and owners alike. Hear from the Department of Administration, MnDOT, Hennepin County, Met Council, and other invited public facility owners on their future plans, goals, and project delivery.

10:15-11:00 am

Break with Exhibitors

Time / Speaker(s) Breakout Session Description

11:00-12:00 noon


Dean Lincoln Hyers

The Presence Effect (TM): The Human Expression of Brand

Are you benefiting from the Presence Effect? All communication and sales studies conclude that less than 50% of the overall impression you make is about what you say. The rest is your presence -- how you say it, and who you are being when you say it.


Join Dean Lincoln Hyers in this interactive presentation as he makes soft-skills tangible so you can round all your communication up and win over prospects, clients, teams and decision-makers with winning presence, powerful storytelling, and instant connection that gives you an edge.

11:00-12:00 noon


Cal Beyer, Scott Staffon, Ray Stenglein, Tim Worke 

The Mental Health Crisis in Construction - Formulating a Culture-Changing Game Plan

Construction is the leading economic sector for mental health-related crisis and work-related suicide.  How can transformative change be brought to this daunting challenge?  Participants will learn about recent activity in this space that is designed to change the industry culture and reset the narrative about mental and psychological health in the workplace.  Takeaways include best practice approaches that have delivered proven results.

11:00-12:00 noon


Jimmy Christianson

Federal Legislative and Regulatory Update (presentation available)

The Washington D.C. landscape is ever-changing.  Along with a newly elected Congress, recently enacted major legislation 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.   

11:00-12:00 noon


Ken Dort

Cybersecurity Risks and Considerations: Threats and Solutions for the Construction Industry (presentation available)

The Washington D.C. landscape is ever-changing.  Along with a newly elected Congress, recently enacted major legislation and prospective program regulations comes increased obligations, risk and opportunity for contractors.  

12:00-1:30 pm

Lunch with Exhibitors

Time / Speaker(s) Breakout Session Description

1:30-2:30 pm


Cindy Luoma, Randy Pickell, Traci Tomas, Jen Tregarthen

We developed a DEI plan. Now what?

Join us for a discussion and workshop covering the current state of DEI in the workplace. Panelists will work within small groups to address obstacles businesses face and solutions available to drive a more diverse culture in their businesses.

1:30-2:30 pm


Jim Helgestad, Ken Johnson, Reed Leidle, Michelle Moser

Work Zone Safety and Automated Enforcement: I94 Field Operations Test (presentation available)

It's a shared general consensus that traffic speeds through our Work Zones. But do we have actual data? Join us to look at a Work Zone speed analysis from the I-94 Design Build Project in Maple Grove, other data that has been collected around the metro, and to talk about current efforts to mitigate speeding in our Work Zones.

1:30-2:30 pm


Phyllis Karasov & Mike Schechter

Labor Law 2023: What is in our Future?  (presentation available)

This session will discuss current issues in labor law, including prevailing wage, Davis Bacon Act, PLAs (including when to request), and trends at the NLRB.

1:30-2:30 pm


Dr. Jermaine Davis

Leading the Way of Positive Change in Times of Uncertainty (presentation available)

Do you know how to influence positive change? Want to learn how to effectively lead change when life, work, and the economy are consistently shifting? Will your organization thrive in times of change? There are many factors that accelerate the rate and speed of change. The BIG question is - are you, your coworkers, and your managers prepared to Lead the Way of Positive Change? 

This presentation will provide leaders, individual contributors, and front-line employees with practical tips on how to thrive, flourish, and succeed during times of uncertainty, unpredictability, and the unknown. Those who Lead the Way of Positive Change do so by creating a workplace that involves courageous conversations and psychological safety. Leading the Way of Positive Change will teach participants how to maintain positivity and optimism and how to leverage adaptability and creativity in the midst of constant change to achieve organizational success. 

2:45-3:45 pm


Johnnie Burns, Barb Lau

Myths, Excuses, and Games - Oh My! (presentation available)

True equity in contracting, specifically in public projects, continues to be illusive. The battle between government inclusion programs, Minnesota low bid statutes, continued false narratives, and no apparent commitment causes unsuccessful outcomes.  How many times have we heard:

  • “No DBE’s would bid - so what am I supposed to do?”
  • “I checked all the Good Faith Effort boxes - why am I in trouble?”
  • “It’s just easier to use one large subcontractor to manage the entire scope.”
  • “I don’t know this subcontractor, that’s a lot of risk when my guy over here has been great for years.”
  • “It was easier to just self-perform the scope after we got into the project, so we did.”

You can succeed if we dispel the myths, eliminate the excuses, and have an open mind about inclusiveness.  You will learn techniques to make meeting and exceeding your small business goals a part of your normal contracting practices.  

2:45-3:45 pm


John Hass

Worker Safety and Utility Damage Prevention: Blueprint for Change (presentation available)

It’s not a matter of if, but when.  As the arms race of adding infrastructure below ground and out of site continues, the risk to the labor industry and public have risen.  Laws written nearly 40 years ago do not apply in today world.

In this session, we will share operational process improvements, understand remaining stakeholder issues, and present proposed legislative improvement that create accountability and adapt new use of technology.

2:45-3:45 pm


Shelly Peterson

Changing the Way Construction Sells Business (presentation available)

Times and technologies are changing.  People's attitudes, perspectives, and the way they engage with businesses, networks, and each other are defined by technology, media channels, and social trends.  There are over sixty billion messages shared on digital platforms every day.  The average person scrolls through over 300' of content daily and checks their emails over 30 times an hour.  Learn how to stay steps ahead of your competition and stand out in a micro-attention world.

2:45-3:45 pm


Dr. Jermaine Davis

Influencing Up, Down & Across Your Organization! (presentation available)

Can you effectively influence up, down & across your organization? Do others really listen when you talk? Can you quickly assess a chaotic situation and adjust your message to accomplish your communication and leadership goals? Do you know how to authentically motivate and inspire others to take positive action from the inside out? Are workplace conflicts & disagreements destroying your team’s morale and motivation?  If you would like to explore the answers to these questions - then this session is definitely for you.


In this engaging and interactive session, Dr. Jermaine will share practical tips and tools on how leaders and employees can increase team communication, cooperation, and  collaboration to accomplish the organization’s strategic goals. This presentation is based on Dr. Jermaine’s bestselling book, Leading with Greatness! Moving from Chaos and Conflict to Communication and Cooperation.


This engaging, fun & interactive presentation will teach participants how to:


·       Reduce communication confusion utilizing the B.L.U.F. Method

·       Rebuild employee and leadership trust utilizing the 4 S’s Approach

·       Build a culture of employee appreciation using the R.A.P. Philosophy

·       Motivate others utilizing Relationship-Based and Task-Based Leadership

·       Create an authentic communication brand utilizing the Likeability Factor

·       Resolve workplace conflicts using the N.E.W. Communication Method

·       Communicate effectively with the 4 Communication Styles in life & work

·       Communicate assertively across your company using the Carpenter’s Rule

·       Create buy-in from others using the 55%-38%-and 7% Communication Rule

3:45-6:00 pm

Milwaukee Tool Networking Reception

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Wednesday, January 18, 2023

7:30-8:00 am

Registration / Breakfast

8:00-9:00 am


Facilitator: Tina Nazier
Nicole Belden, Henry Pears, Cindy Wuddah


Recruiting & Training the Next Generation | Panel Discussion (presentation available)

In this general session, Tina Nazier, Wipfli LLP, will lead a panelist of four individuals who recently decided what construction firm to work with full-time. It is well known that young professionals in the industry are highly sought after and bring a different perspective to the recruiting and hiring process. The panelists will share their decision-making process and what they currently think about the future of the construction industry.

9:00-9:45 am


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Time / Speaker(s) Breakout Session Description

9:45-10:45 am


Melissa DeLay

The New Rules: How Construction Leaders Can Create a Healthy Workplace (Part 1)

Drawing from 22 years of experience in business communications, Melissa Delay will share her top strategies for creating a healthy workplace, including ...

  • The dangers of shortcuts, slang, irreverent speech and overly direct messages. 
  • How to make authentic connections with employees & customers while maintaining a high degree of professionalism. 
  • Good ways to deliver bad news and address performance issues. 
  • Interactive discussion on word choice and its tie to increasing productivity. 

Through examples of destructive and disgruntled employees, irate customers, and negative reviews, Melissa will teach workshop participants the real-world power phrases and sample conversations that will help them create a healthy workplace culture. The session will include an interactive Q&A where Melissa will answer any specific questions from workshop participants about issues they commonly face as construction leaders, and tools for how to craft the right response in each scenario.

9:45-10:45 am


Susan Brower, Doug Loon

Stories in the Numbers: How the 2020 Census and Changing Population Demographics Will Impact Business Models and Alter Markets (presentation available)

The 2020 Minnesota Census reveals marked changes in Minnesota’s relative total population, population distribution and population demographics.  Learn how the decennial census will influence many aspects of our business, personal and political lives.  Hear how Minnesota’s economy is transitioning and impacted by population trends as presented in the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce report titled Minnesota: 2030 -  A framework for Economic Growth.

9:45-10:45 am


Julianne Laue, Kate Perushek, Frank Kohlasch
Climate Change Policy Developments & How They Will Impact Your Business Model (Julianne Laue presentation) (Frank Kohlasch presentation)

Climate change policy initiatives have been developed and will soon begin implementation at both the state and federal levels.  The Minnesota Climate Action Plan was rolled out in 2022 and similar comprehensive climate policy changes are being moved at the federal level.  Combined, these efforts will have a major impact on the construction industry and construction practices going forward.

9:45-10:45 am


J. Scott Andresen & Kyle Willems

High Exposure from High Tech: Preparing for Legal Risks Posed by High Tech Advancements in the Construction Industry (presentation available)


This presentation will discuss some of the latest technological developments in the construction industry and the legal risks they pose for contractors. We will also discuss contractor strategies related to contracts, insurance, and best practices to mitigate risks while utilizing these technologies to increase efficiency, reduce cost, and promote safe worksites.

10:45-11:00 am


Time / Speaker(s) Breakout Session Description

11:00-12:00 pm


Melissa DeLay

The New Rules: How Construction Leaders Can Create a Healthy Workplace (Part 2)

This session draws on the background and theories behind power phrases and workplace culture, plus offers an in-depth focus on virtually all of the most critical strategies every professional needs to know to find success in business.


You’ll learn:

  • How to respond to micro-aggressions directed at you or others, including comments around physical attributes, race, sexual orientation, age, experience level and socioeconomic status.
  • How to overcome generational differences that are creating conflict in the workplace.
  • Communication strategies to help position you and your team as credible in all circumstances.
  • How to deal with negative situations and other awkward situations.

11:00-12:00 pm


Greg Woodard

Leveraging Data as an Asset (presentation available)

On average, 60% to 74% of all data within a company goes unused for analytics and that statistic is even higher in the construction industry.  As companies continue to navigate the impacts of a labor shortage and rising material costs, it is increasingly important that they have timely insight into operations and project profitability to optimize business drivers within their control.  In this session we will discuss how organizations are leveraging data analytics to bring data together from multiple systems, decrease manual reporting efforts, and empower people to make data driven decisions with timely information.  The goal is to provide data in a consumable format that can be refreshed frequently and accurately.

11:00-12:00 pm


Tina Nazier
Building Leadership Strength in the Field (presentation available)

One of the construction industry's major challenges is attracting and retaining a strong workforce.  A key element of this is effective, engaging leadership strength in the field.  This session provides a roadmap for how to increase field leadership competency and success.

11:00-12:00 pm


Christopher Kehl, PE
The True Dirt on Geotechnical Evaluations (presentation available)

Soils can too often be a source of unforeseen costs on projects. It is inherent in the limited information we have and the variability of the sites we work on. However, by better understanding geotechnical reports and common issues on projects you can reduce your risks. The presentation, we will cover the basic of soils and geotechnical engineering and highlight key steps you can take to reduce risks of surprises on your next project.

12:00 pm

Brown Bag Lunch


KEYNOTE: Jake Thompson

Chief Encouragement Officer, Compete Every Day


Jake Thompson is a keynote speaker and Chief Encouragement Officer at Compete Every Day, a brand he started in 2011 by first selling t-shirts out of the trunk of his car.


Jake works with construction organizations as a leadership & performance coach, teaching how they can develop the habits, culture, and teams to grow in their industries and their individual lives.


It’s through his entrepreneurial experience, client work, and research that he’s built a proven model to help people build a competitive mindset, mental grit, and leadership influence.


Jake is a third-generation entrepreneur and a graduate of both Texas Christian University (B.S.) and the University of Dallas (M.B.A.). He lives in Dallas/Fort Worth with his wife, Elena, and their three dogs, Sugar, Biscuit & Donut.


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.

James Abrahamson

President, Max Gray Construction


Jim Abrahamson, President of Max Gray Construction, is a 1987 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology-Building Construction.  Prior to coming to work at MGC in 1995 as an estimator/project manager, he held positions as a project superintendent constructing tenant finish outs, a retail owner’s representative as a project manager and a commercial project manager/estimator in the twin cities region of Minnesota.  Jim is an ASHE Certified Healthcare constructor and a member of the American Society of Professional Estimators.

J. Scott Andresen

Shareholder, Bassford Remele


Scott Andresen is a Shareholder and Chair of the Construction Practice Group at the Bassford Remele law firm.  For more than 20 years, Scott has represented Owners and Contractors in real estate and construction disputes across the region. He also advises clients on contract negotiations and other risk mitigation efforts on the front end of projects.  Scott has extensive experience with construction cases involving building and product defects, MCIOA warranties, indemnity rights, mechanic’s liens and other payment claims, insurance coverage, surety bonds, OSHA citations, and premises liability. He serves as Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association Construction Law Section and is a Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Association of America.

Nicole Belden

Student, Lunda Construction


Nicole Belden grew up in construction with her father fostering her love of the industry. Nicole joined Building Strong Community, a program centered on helping women and minorities enter the construction trade. At the conclusion of the program, she was placed with Lunda Construction and has been with them for two seasons. She has enjoyed running a 100-ton crane and is proud to be an operating engineer. 

Cal Beyer

VP, Workforce Risk and Worker Wellbeing, CSDZ


Cal Beyer is the Vice President of Workforce Risk & Worker Mental Wellbeing for CSDZ, a firm dedicated to construction risk management for over 100 years. In partnership with parent company Holmes Murphy & Associates, CSDZ serves construction companies nationwide. Previously, Beyer served as Director of Risk Management at construction company Lakeside Industries, Inc. in Issaquah, WA from 2014 until 2020.

Jevon Bindman

Associate, Maslon LLP


Jevon Bindman is an experienced trial lawyer at Maslon LLP who focuses his work on construction, insurance, and appellate litigation. He has significant experience in construction defect, insurance coverage, and mechanic’s lien claims, and he has taken numerous complex matters to jury verdict. Jevon is a frequent presenter on issues related to construction, insurance, and trial practice.

Susan Brower

Minnesota State Demographer, State of Minnesota


Susan Brower is the Minnesota State Demographer and directs the MN State Demographic Center. Susan became the State Demographer in February 2012. In that capacity, she travels the state talking with Minnesotans about the new social and economic realities that are brought about by recent demographic shifts. Susan's work applies an understanding of demographic trends to changes in a range of areas including the state's economy and workforce, education, health, immigration and rural population changes.


Susan earned her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Michigan, specializing in demography and family sociology. She also holds a master's degree in public policy from Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Johnnie Burns

Director of Contract Compliance, City of Minneapolis


Johnnie has over 25 years’ experience in DBE certification, contract compliance, small business programs, workforce development, apprenticeship, and prevailing wage. He has managed and directed programs in Minnesota, Arizona and Texas as well has performed certification and title VI in Missouri. He has worked for 3 Departments of Transportation and 5 government organizations and also worked in the private sector compliance world. All these experiences have allowed him to work directly with contractors and public agencies in providing direction, guidance, and in developing solutions that bridge the public and private sectors of the construction compliance industry.

He holds a BA in Criminal Justice and a Master Compliance Certificate with the American Contract Compliance Association.

Jimmy Christianson

Vice President of Government Relations, AGC 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.


Prior to joining AGC, Jimmy worked as an attorney for the international law firm of K&L Gates and as a government affairs specialist for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. Jimmy received his Bachelor of Arts degree with magna cum laude honors from the University of Pennsylvania and Juris Doctorate degree with cum laude honors from the University of Maine School of Law.  He is licensed to practice law in Virginia, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

Dr. Jermaine Davis

Founder & CEO, Jermaine M. Davis Seminars & Workshops, Inc.


Before receiving the prestigious College Instructor of the Year Award, Dr. Jermaine Davis worked in corporate America for IBM, Keebler Cookies, and Frito-Lay in sales and management. Now, he’s an award-winning Professor of Communication Studies at Century College and Organizational Leadership at St. Kate’s University in Minnesota. Dr. Jermaine has authored 10 books including, Get Up Off Your Butt & Do It NOW, Leading with Greatness, and Leading and Working with an Inclusive Lens.


Dr. Jermaine was raised in a dangerous drug and gang neighbourhood on the West-Side of Chicago. After the tragic loss of six family members to violent deaths, he enrolled in college to change the direction of his life. Now he holds a BA and an MA in Speech Communications, and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership. He specializes in helping teams and organizations develop healthy work environments so ALL employees can thrive and succeed. Dr. Jermaine helps organizations increase employee morale, motivation, and engagement utilizing his popular, 3 C’s Approach: Communication, Cooperation, and Collaboration.


Dr. Jermaine is an international speaker, leadership coach, and communication strategist that engages audiences with his unique style of speaking and facilitating known as – EDUTAINMENT – a fun combination of education and entertainment. Prestigious organizations like 3M, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Land O’ Lakes, Prudential, Wells Fargo, West Point Military Academy, John Deere, Microsoft, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car regularly seek out Dr. Jermaine’s expertise in the areas of increasing thriving as a team, leading courageously, communicating with influence, and overcoming workplace burnout.

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, details her years of firsthand experience coaching and consulting professionals through some of the toughest communications issues facing modern leaders today.

Peter Doely

Associate, Maslon LLP


Peter Doely is a business litigator focused on resolving construction and insurance coverage disputes. He provides practical advice to help his clients navigate all phases of their construction projects, from contract negotiations to asserting or defending claims. He has represented a variety of participants in the construction industry, including owners, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, design professionals, and sureties in matters such as construction and design defect claims, delay and extra work claims, performance and payment bond claims, mechanics liens, and bid protests. He also advises clients on federal and state compliance issues.

Ken Dort

Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP  


Ken Dort (CIPP/US/E/C) is a preeminent resource on mission-critical data security issues and is consulted often for immediate counsel on high-stakes data breaches, as well as for guidance and strategy on the privacy and other legal implications of new technologies. Ken is a recognized adviser to clients around the world on data security and privacy practices and compliance needs arising under federal, state, provincial and international laws and industry standards. He also is a powerful litigator in the courtroom, a deft negotiator with regulators and a valued counselor on software development and integration.


Over his 30-year career, Ken has focused on the ways that law and regulation frame the development of new technology. He is engaged by some of the world’s largest companies to stem and mitigate major data breaches, including those involving credit card information and employee, customer and patient data. He is called on frequently to create or improve data security and privacy protocols for highly sensitive information, devices and mobile applications.

Andrew Erichson

Vice President/General Manager, Ulland Brothers, Inc.  


Andrew Erichson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management from Minnesota State and a Master’s Degree in Infrastructure Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Andrew began his career working at Ulland Brothers, Inc. in 2004 as a Project manager. He currently serves as the Vice President/General Manager of Ulland Brothers, Inc. in the Southern Division.

Scott Everson

Director, Capital Project Management, University of Minnesota


Scott Everson, AIA has over 30 years of private-sector experience as an Architect and Construction Professional with a proven track record of providing organizations, clients and project team’s strategic guidance and operational leadership. As Director of Capital Project Management, Mr. Everson is responsible for day to day operations, management of departmental staff and overall management of the University’s Capital Project Portfolio. CPM's annual construction volume is $250M within a $1.2B portfolio of facility and infrastructure improvements throughout the entire University of Minnesota system.

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)

Jim Helgestad

Area Manager, C.S. McCrossan, Inc. 


Jim Helgestad started at C.S. McCrossan in 1993 and has been with the company ever since. Over the past 30 years, he has worked on and managed numerous Twin Cities metro freeway projects through high-speed work zones. Most recently, Jim served as Project Manager on the I-94 Design-Build Project between Maple Grove and Rogers. 

Jody Jacoby

Director of Procurement, Metropolitan Council  


15+ years in procurement. Certified with National Institute of Government Procurement (NIGP) as certified procurement professional (NIGP-CPP) and certified public procurement officer (CPPO). Chair of NIGP Member Council. Volunteer with Make-A-Wish, Minnesota as a wish granter.

Paul Johns, P.E.

Assistant Office Director, MnDOT Office of Construction and Innovative Contracting


Paul is currently the assistant office director for MnDOT's Office of Construction & Innovative Contracting.  He has worked for the department for the past 33 years in various capacities including Bridge & Roadway Designer, Resident Engineer, Construction Standards Engineer and in his current position as the Assistant Office Director.  Before joining the department he worked for a heavy/highway contractor and a consulting engineer. 

Phyllis Karasov

Attorney, Larkin Hoffman


Phyllis Karasov, Attorney, Larkin Hoffman Phyllis is a labor and employment attorney at Larkin Hoffman, and chair of the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group.  Phyllis is certified as a labor and employment law specialist by the Minnesota State Bar Association.  She works with employers in all areas of employment law, including employee relations, sexual harassment, FMLA issues,  employment and separation agreements, and employee handbooks.  A former attorney with the National Labor Relations Board, Phyllis represents employers in negotiating collective bargaining agreements, grievances and arbitrations, and representation issues.  Phyllis is a member of the Board of Directors of AGC of Minnesota.

Chris Kehl, PE

Vice President & Principal Engineer, Braun Intertec 


Chris has worked in the Minneapolis office of Braun Intertec for 22 years. He is currently responsible for writing and reviewing geotechnical reports throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as forensic evaluations of failed structures.  In additional to his client focused work, he has operational responsibilities for the Twin Cities field and laboratory testing staff and leads quality initiatives for field testing across the company.

Frank Kohlasch

Climate Director, MN Pollution Control Agency 


Frank Kohlasch was appointed as the Assistant Commissioner for Air and Climate Policy in December 2022. Prior to this appointment, Frank was the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s first Climate Director in late December 2019 and was the MPCA’s Air Assessment Section Manager from 2008 through 2019. Frank has been involved with state’s greenhouse gas mitigation tracking and Minnesota’s efforts to reduce the emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) since 2008, including regional collaborations to identify reduction pathways through 2050 for the electric generation, transportation, and industrial sectors. Frank is also a leader with the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA), serving as the State Chair of the Climate Change Committee, on the Board of Directors and was the 2021-2022 State co-President.

Frank has a law degree from Hamline University School of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law) and a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry from Fort Hays State University, in Hays, KS.

Kendra Kron

President/Owner, InSite Contracting, Inc.  


Kendra Kron is a Woman Business Owner in Highway Construction whose DBE/TGB/SBE/WBE/CERT certified company specializes in Tension Cable Barrier & Guardrail Systems Installation across the state of MN. She is an enthusiastic woman working hard to make her mark in the industry. She is passionate about uplifting, supporting, and mentoring women, and contributing to the forward momentum of advancements for women in Construction. She also enjoys serving on a variety of Boards, Committees, and Councils for a few key associations like AWC & AGC.

Barb Lau

Executive Director, Association of Women Contractors (AWC)  


Barb is the Executive Director for the Association of Women Contractors (AWC), a trade association for women business owners in the construction industry.  Barb’s background in organizational management and marketing led the AWC to a threefold growth over the past 10 years. Barb represents the interests of women and minority business owners in construction. 


She is recognized as a leader in the construction industry focused on equity issues and solutions that work for the community.  Her strong commitment to diversity and business growth is recognized throughout.  She sits on multiple local government councils and works closely with agencies advocating for small business, advising on diversity goals, and identifying best practices.   Barb served a three-year term, on the Community Advisory Council to the Board of Governors at the Federal Reserve Bank in DC. In 2020, Barb was awarded Outstanding Service to the Profession by Finance & Commerce’s Top Women in Construction Honors.   In 2012, she was recognized as the Small Business Administration’s Women’s Champion of the year for Minnesota and Region V. 

Julianne Laue

Director of Building Performance, Mortenson


Julianne brings over 25 years of experience in the design and construction industries, focusing on advancing sustainability in the built environment.  As Director of Building Performance at Mortenson, Julianne works with clients to achieve sustainability, energy efficiency, wellness, and carbon reduction goals on their projects.  Julianne also works with Mortenson executive leadership on establishing and implementing corporate sustainability policies, standards, and procedures.  Julianne holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bradley University.  Julianne is on the board for Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, the editorial board for Consulting Specifying Engineer Magazine, and serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota. She holds accreditation as a PE, LEED AP BD+C, BEPM, and BEAP.

Reed Leidle

Vice President, Safety Signs  


Reed has been in the Traffic Control industry for 30 years. He has worked as a Traffic Control laborer, Project Manager, Estimator and is currently the Vice President of Safety Signs. He holds Traffic Control certifications with both ATSSA and MnDOT, and has served on multiple Board of Directors, National Committees, Local Task Force Safety Committees and as a Technical Advisor on research programs.

Dean Lincoln Hyers

Co-Founder SagePresence  


Dean Lincoln Hyers is a former filmmaker and a presentation / interview trainer with 20+ years of experience helping Architecture / Engineering / Construction firms land over $16 billion worth of new business.

Douglas B. Loon

President & CEO, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce


Douglas B. Loon is President and CEO of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, a position he has held since September 8, 2015. The Minnesota Chamber represents more than 2,300 Minnesota companies, 130 local chambers and 65 business trade associations at the Minnesota Legislature on a variety of issues that impact Minnesota’s economy.


Prior to assuming leadership of the Minnesota Chamber, he spent 20 years at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 17 of those in Minnesota. As the vice president for regional affairs and advocacy, he managed the seven regional offices that provide political and grassroots outreach across the nation. He also managed the U.S. Chamber’s Midwest Region that includes Minnesota. He was intimately involved in supporting state and local chambers and businesses to move public policy in a direction that helps them be successful.


Previously, Loon served as director of congressional and public affairs at U.S. Chamber headquarters in Washington, D.C. There, he served as one of the organization’s chief lobbyists before Congress on issues critical to the American business community.


Before joining the U.S. Chamber staff in 1995, Loon was legislative director to Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. In his 10 years on Capitol Hill, Loon also served as acting staff director for the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and on the Senate Commerce Committee. In addition, he worked for Senator Larry Pressler of South Dakota.


Loon received his bachelor’s degree in government and international affairs from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. He is a graduate of the Congressional Research Service’s Institute for Legislative Staff as well as the Federal Election Commission’s program on campaign finance laws for incorporated trade associations and membership organizations. He also graduated from Leadership Minnesota, an exclusive program of the Minnesota Chamber addressing the economic and public policy issues of Minnesota businesses. He is past chair of the Eden Prairie Foundation Board of Directors.

Cindy Luoma

Human Resources Director, RJM Construction


Cindy found her way into the human resource profession over 20 years ago due to a passion for people equity, relationship building, a drive to be challenged, and change the status quo.  Throughout her career, she has worked in various work settings including food service, residential treatment for youth, trucking, with the most time spent in the construction industry.  She has had the opportunity to lead not only HR, but various company initiatives in addition to HR. A favorite being continuous improvement initiatives.  These experiences have allowed her continuous learning opportunities, and to see work and people from various points of view.  These experiences allow her to contribute to being a voice for diverse perspectives in the workplace.   


Cindy is mom to four adult children and grandma to one 7 year-old.  She holds various certifications including Lean, Leadership Duluth, and FMI Leadership Cert.  She enjoys volunteering opportunities typically involving youth & families and veteran organizations.  She holds her Sr Human Resource Professional Certification and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Superior, with a Bachelor of Science in Human Relations and Psychology. 

Kelly McNamara

Vice President of Operations, Mortenson


Kelly is responsible for construction and field operations, staffing, training, and team member career development across Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas.  She leads Mortenson Team Members in all aspects of projects, including establishing project goals, providing comprehensive preconstruction services, and overseeing safety and quality programs.  Kelly is currently a board member of the Ann Bancroft Foundation and previously on the Steering Committee of the NCAA 2022 Women’s Final Four.  Kelly is a graduate of University of Wisconsin – Madison with a B.S. in Civil Engineering.  

Michelle Moser

State Work Zone Engineer, Minnesota Department of Transportation


Michelle Moser is the State Work Zone Engineer at the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In this position she provides leadership, technical expertise, and support to MnDOT and its state, local, and vendor partners in managing work zone traffic control operations to meet the safety and mobility goals for workers and the traveling public. She has over 20 years of professional engineering experience in a variety of disciplines, in both the private and public sectors.

Henry Pears

Project Engineer, Magney Construction


Henry Pears works as a project engineer for Magney Construction. Magney is a general contractor that specializes in water and wastewater treatment. Henry graduated from Dunwoody College of Technology in December of 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in construction management.

Kate Perushek

Interim Deputy Commissioner, MN Department of Labor & Industry


Kate Perushek is DLI’s interim deputy commissioner. Since February 2021, she has been DLI's assistant commissioner for the Construction Codes and Licensing Division (CCLD), Government Relations and Workforce Development programs. She oversees CCLD, Labor Standards, Apprenticeship, Dual-Training Pipeline, Youth Skills Training, Legislative Services and the Office of Combative Sports.

Since 2019, she has worked as DLI’s director of Legislative Affairs. Before her work at DLI, Perushek was senior policy advisor to Gov. Mark Dayton in 2017 and 2018 regarding initiatives for DLI and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Prior to that, she worked at the Minnesota House of Representatives for nine years, including a role as legislative director to the Speaker, where she helped develop and pass the Women’s Economic Security Act in 2014, an effort that first drew her to the work of DLI.

Perushek earned a master’s degree in both public policy and social work from the University of Chicago.

Shelly Peterson

Founder & CEO, Promoting Me, LLC


Shelly Peterson is a well-known and highly acclaimed business executive specializing in business strategy. A strategy built around marketplace trends, business development, reputation, staffing, operations financials, KPIs, communication, and community. Shelly’s passion for business, entrepreneurship, and people is her motivator. She started Promoting Me in 2020 because of her passion for helping people become brands and make a name for themselves. Shelly is a high-energy, results-oriented professional who can easily make things happen by turning thoughts into action. She is energized by making things better. As a natural networker, she brings energy and a comprehensive approach to business development and is a strong developer of people. She leads change by defining a clear vision with her engaging and energizing personality. She can connect with many people within an organization, from the executive level to the intern level. Shelly is a third-generation construction professional who has been in the construction industry for nearly 27 years. She has sold and completed over 115 major projects and hundreds of small projects totaling over $3.5B, mentored more than 2,500 employees in the market sectors of commercial, entertainment and arts, education, government, healthcare, hotel and condos, student housing, industrial, pulp and paper, power, mining, oil & gas and manufacturing in the geographies of California, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Maine, Las Vegas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, North Dakota, Washington DC. Shelly served on the executive team for one of ENR’s top 100 construction management companies in the United States.

Randy Pickell

Regional Vice President, Talent Dimensions


Randy is a skilled sales and marketing leader and talent development consultant with 18 years of experience partnering with market leading companies to improve individual performance and business results through strategic initiatives Randy joined Talent Dimensions in May of 2012 as Regional VP, Enterprise Solutions He covers the upper Midwest and is based in Chicago. Randy has worked with more than 100 different companies across a wide range of industries Some of his clients include 3M, Advocate Aurora Health, Astellas Pharma, BJC HealthCare, Doran Companies, Ecolab Grainger, Medica, NiSource and Lubrizol.

Randy is particularly accomplished at understanding the business needs of his clients, building strong relationships based on mutual trust and respect, developing creative solutions to meet business goals and providing the highest level of customer service. Prior to his work in the talent development industry, Randy spent 20 years in sales, marketing and leadership roles with 4 different Fortune 500 medical product and healthcare delivery companies.

Sarah Psick

President, Psick Capitol Solutions


Sarah Psick established Psick Capitol Solutions, Inc. in 2016 as a private lobbying business focused on representing clients at the Minnesota Legislature, state agencies, metropolitan agencies, and local governments.  Sarah works with clients to identify legislative goals, develop strategy and messages, and implement legislative plans to achieve success.  Sarah has successfully represented clients on complex policy and regulatory issues, as well as appropriations, taxes, and bonding.  Sarah will be leading AGC’s legislative efforts related to underground utility damage prevention and worker safety.

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.

Scott Staffon

Director of Risk Management, CSDZ


25 years of professional Safety, Claims & Risk consulting in the construction and insurance indusrty. Executive -level risk management which includes, safety, health, environmental, insurance, claims management.

Ray Stenglein

Project Manager/Estimator, Environmental Associates, Inc.


Raymond Stenglein is Project Manager/Estimator at Environmental Associates Inc. since 1994. He is a Board Member and Treasurer with Minnesota American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, and the chairperson for the Walk Out of Darkness for Suicide Prevention in Willmar (MN). He is a member of the Member of Minnesota Task Force for mental health awareness in the construction industry.  He is a trainer for SafeTalk and Talk saves Lives and Its Real for Teens. Ray is also the President/CEO of Wings of Hope, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. He is a survivor of suicide and a mental health advocate for our youth and all. Ray also has partnered with Emma Benoit, a suicide survivor, to bring her documentary movie MY ASCENSION to various schools across the state, as well as panel discussions in the communities and schools.

Traci Tomas

Chief Operating Officer, Doran Companies


As Chief Operating Officer, Traci Tomas charts a strategic path forward for Doran Companies’ certification as a woman-owned business and also oversees operational functions for the company, including asset management, human resources, IT and marketing. Traci is a licensed Minnesota real estate broker, a Certified Commercial Investment Member and a Certified Property Manager. She is an active member of multiple professional associations and was honored with a Personal Development Award from the Business Women’s Circle and named a Notable Woman in Commercial Real Estate by Twin Cities Business Magazine.

Jen Tregarthen

Advisor, Lockton People Solutions 


Jen is responsible for developing and leading client relationships. Her role is to work with clients to create a strong alignment between their business strategy and people and culture strategies. Her background is in communications, marketing and behavioral health. She also served in the U.S. Army and is a service-disabled, combat veteran. Because of her experience and background, Jen Chairs Lockton’s MN Talent & Culture Advisory Council and helps lead Lockton’s Women in Leadership and Veteran Associate groups. Within the community, she serves on the National Board for Tee It Up for the Troops and Ridgeview Medical Foundation, both headquartered in Minnesota.

Wayne Waslaski

Interim Assistant Commissioner, MN Department of Administration 


Wayne Waslaski has over 27 years experience working in the real estate and construction industry on high profile projects for the State of Minnesota. 

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.

Greg Woodard

Principal, Wipfli  


Greg Woodard is a principal with over 30 years of experience in leveraging the power of data through analytics that transform businesses. He has spent decades developing advanced data and analytics solutions and is a recognized thought leader on business-driven data strategies and best practices. Greg has a rare combination of operations, technology and people/organizational perspectives and understands the culture of strategic execution and sustainable results. Throughout his career, he has consistently demonstrated a customer- and partner-first strategy, with a focus on building long-term relationships and value.

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.    

Cindy Wuddah

Construction Management Student, Minnesota State University Mankato


Cindy Wuddah is a senior majoring in Construction Management with a minor in Business Administration at Minnesota State University – Mankato. Cindy will be graduating in December of 2023. In September 2022, Cindy did a 6 month co-op with Braun Intertec as a construction materials testing field technician, and in the summer of 2023, she will be working as a project intern with The Opus Group. 


Exhibitor List


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

Rate: $109

Booking Link - Associated General Contractors of MN
or call and mention AGC of Minnesota: 651-224-7400.

Holiday Inn St. Paul Downtown

Rate: $119

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

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Photos from the 2021 Construction Summit

2022 Minnesota Construction Summit