Construction, Higher Education, and Human Resources

Michigan Construction Hall of Fame names inductees

October 22, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Michigan Construction Hall of Fame name inductees
Bob Zylstra, left, and Marlin Feyen. Courtesy Feyen Zylstra

A pair of local electrical contractors are now hall of famers.

Marlin Feyen and Bob Zylstra, the co-founders of Feyen Zylstra in Grand Rapids, are among the six contractors who will be inducted into the Michigan Construction Hall of Fame tonight at Ferris State University’s Granger Center for Construction and HCVAR in Big Rapids.

Hall of fame inductees are selected based on technical, managerial and leadership achievements within the construction industry.

Feyen Zylstra

Founded 35 years ago, Feyen Zylstra said it set out to be the “first choice electrical contracting resource for the most demanding industrial and commercial applications in the marketplace, while playing an active and meaningful role in the community.”

FSU said the firm has helped set up the first Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program in Grand Rapids, the local development and adoption of "prefabrication and mechanical-electrical coordination for cleaner and more efficient job sites" and has one of the "best" safety records in the industry.

Feyen Zylstra said it's also certified by the State Department for underground mining work.

Some of Feyen Zylstra’s work can be found at Van Andel Institute, DeVos Place Convention Center, JW Marriot and the Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center.

Medio Bacco

Medio Bacco developed the Bacco Construction Co. in the Lower Peninsula and the Champion Gravel Co. in the Upper Peninsula and helped establish the Michigan Road Builders Association in 1920.

Bacco ended his construction career in 1945 and focused on the community, including the establishment of an engineering scholarship fund for students from Iron Mountain moving on to Michigan Technological University. The fund has provided more than 120 scholarships for a value of more than $1 million.

Patrick Cunningham

In the construction industry for more than 50 years, many of them at the helm of Cunningham Construction, Patrick Cunningham did his best to base work on being honest.

Cunningham served as the president of the Association of General Contractors Board for Michigan in 1992, where he helped maintain and grow membership through difficult economic times.

He was also very involved in the Detroit-area community.

Donald Templin

In 42 years, Donald Templin worked for Walbridge Aldinger, Eberle Smith Associates, Oakland Community College, H.F. Campbell Co., Damone Andrew and Soil Materials Engineers.

He served as the president of H.F. Campbell and was named the director of the Construction Federal Credit Union in 1976, a role he held until 2001.

He also served on the board of the Construction Innovation Forum, Construction Association of Michigan and as director of the University of Michigan Civil and Environmental Engineering Friends Association.

Louis Verrette

Louis Verrette was one of seven principal officers of the Corps of Engineers’ Engineer Board and started Champion.

Champion had four operating units, including construction, mining supply, electric supply and, eventually, National Ready Mix Concrete business.

Verrette helped develop several concepts, which allowed for construction during the Upper Peninsula winters.

He was the founder of the Upper Peninsula Contractors Association.

As chair of the board, he played a key role in Soo Tech leaving Michigan Technological University to become its own school, Lake Superior State University.  

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