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  People & Companies

Oct 31, 2017

Contrack Watts


Chris Durham joined the Gig Harbor office of Contrack Watts as project manager in the estimating department. Durham transferred from Contrack's sister company, The Weitz Co., where he spent nine years. He holds a bachelor's degree in construction management and has 19 years of construction experience. He recently worked on the $86 million Heron's Key life plan community in Gig Harbor.

Harbor Freight Tools

Enumclaw High School teacher Bob Kilmer won the $100,000 top prize in the 2017 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence program. Kilmer was recognized for teaching woodworking, CAD, architecture and construction. He will receive $30,000 to use at his discretion and the school will get $70,000 to support skilled trades programs. Two other teachers — from New York and California — also won the top prize. Seven teachers won second place, which has $10,000 for the teacher and $20,000 for the school.

Washington Women in Trades

Winners of 2017 Tradeswoman Awards will be honored Saturday at El Centro de la Raza by Washington Women in Trades. Here are the winners: Sisi Collins, journey level laborer at Gary Merlino Construction, Tradeswoman of the Year; Marilyn Kennedy, business agent at Cement Masons Local 528, Lifetime Achievement; Jon Bersche, job and training advisor at the city of Seattle Equity Team, Active Advocate; Kate Starling, superintendent at Vigor Industrial, Workplace Leader; Catie Chaplan, carpentry/CAD/CNC instructor at SCC Wood Technology Center, Instructor; Rosie Bernard, training coordinator and journey level plasterer at Renton Technical College, Instructor; Sherry Barry, construction marketing representative at National LECET/LIUNA, Union Activist; Erin Hash, commercial plumber apprentice at Seattle Area Pipe Trades, Josie Dunn Apprentice Award; and Mandy Richardson, carpenter apprentice at Seattle Tunnel Partners, Peggy Cook Apprentice Award.

Oct 24, 2017

Lease Crutcher Lewis









In Seattle, Lease Crutcher Lewis hired Ray Michlig as superintendent; Sharon Lambuth as talent acquisition partner; David Liukkonen as site safety coordinator; and Brit Laurenti, Tia Fogle, Elizabeth Leba, Michael Banning and Ben Handziak as project engineers. Michlig rejoined Lewis after more than a decade working elsewhere. He previously spent over 30 years with the firm. Lambuth holds a bachelor's degree in business management from Northwest University, an HR management certificate from UW Tacoma and is a certified Professional in Human Resources. Liukkonen is a Marine Corps veteran who has also operated a warehouse. He holds a bachelor's degree from Saint Martin's University and an associate's degree from Tacoma Community College. Laurenti has four years of experience working with clients such as Intel. He earned a bachelor's degree in construction engineering from Iowa State University. Fogle is working in the Preconstruction group. She holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the UW, and worked at the VA Medical Center as a mechanical engineering student researcher. Leba, EIT, has six years of experience in the energy field, most recently at Hanford. She holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston. Banning, EIT, has four years of engineering and construction experience. He holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of California Irvine. Handziak is working in the Preconstruction group. He has seven years of mechanical engineering experience, and holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin Platteville.

Absher Construction Co.


In Puyallup, Absher Construction Co. hired Michael McCanna as project manager. McCanna has seven years of project management experience, encompassing preconstruction, construction, and close-out on a variety of facility types. He is a LEED Green Associate with GC/CM and design-build experience. He is part of the team building the new Salish Coast Elementary School in Port Townsend.

NUCA of Washington

The National Utility Contractors Association of Washington elected its officers and board members for the coming year. Here are the officers: Ashley Baldwin of Encore Environmental, president; Shane Webley of Johansen Excavating, president-elect; Jason Lane of Laser Underground, vice president; Kirk Merrill of Clifton Larson and Allen, treasurer; Tom Krider of Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker, secretary; and Mike Pellitteri of Pellco Construction, past president. Directors are: Brett Hill of Ahlers & Cressman, Mike Foote of Modern Machinery, Matt Frause of Pellco Construction, Ryan Mitchell of Imco Construction, Justin Taylor of Taylor Excavating, Derrick Sas of Johansen Excavating, Chad Epple of HUB International NW and Tim Pullar of HB Jaeger.

Birch Equipment

Birch Equipment in Bellingham awarded its first scholarship with Bellingham Technical College to Scott Fuhrman. The $1,500 endowed scholarship supports students in the school's diesel mechanic program. Birch is an equipment rental firm serving commercial contracting, industrial, government and home improvement markets.

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