PRIDE of St. Louis, Inc., the first-of-its-kind construction labor-management group, is undergoing the most significant change in its 38-year history – adopting a corporate governance structure to better serve the St. Louis construction industry. The change will allow the organization, which represents all facets of the construction industry, to operate more efficiently and broaden the cultivation of ideas to make St Louis the best place to build.
PRIDE had previously been led by the three “co-chairs,” each representing labor, management and owners who purchase construction services. The 30-plus-member PRIDE advisory board voted to create a new seven-member leadership group consisting of:
· Tom Heeger, president. He represents the Erectors and Riggers Association – St. Louis Chapter and is chairman of ACME Constructors and Erectors
· Dave Zimmermann, vice president. Zimmermann is business manager of Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local No. 36
· Steve Sobo, secretary treasurer. Sobo represents the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers and is director of design and construction at the Washington University School of Medicine
· Board member Matt Doell, president of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association. Doell is a vice president with Sachs Electric Co.
· Board member Gary Elliott, business manager Eastern Missouri Laborers District Council
· Board member Jerry Feldhaus, executive secretary of the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO
· Board member Robert Grossmann, representing the Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors National Association – St. Louis Chapter.Grossmann is with Murphy Co.
Jim LaMantia remains executive director of PRIDE.
“By adopting corporate governance, we can more effectively tap the broad spectrum of construction industry leadership that makes up the PRIDE board,” said Heeger. “The new structure will allow the best ideas for building better together to percolate to the top from the basic trades, the mechanical, plumbing and electrical trades, buyers of construction and construction management.”
The new leadership group will meet quarterly to advance measures that enhance St. Louis’ competitiveness in the national construction market, while the PRIDE board will meet monthly. The full board will continue to vote on initiatives that drive PRIDE’s mission of “creating, embracing and implementing only the most productive construction practices.”
“PRIDE’s mission remains unchanged,” said Zimmermann. “We will continue to be the place for constructive dialogue by stakeholders who want to capitalize on the union construction industry’s significant investment in developing the highest skilled workforce in the country.”
PRIDE committees are currently engaged on such topics as labor-management relations, jurisdiction, legislation, safety, drug testing policies, productivity and education. The organization also continues to advance other strategies including:
- Recruiting the next generation of construction worker through its Careers in Construction Manual;
- Advancing the Regional Union Construction Center (RUCC), a minority business incubator designed to help grow a sustainable minority contracting community;
- Cultivating relationships with national real estate investment trusts that fund 100 percent union- built projects; and
- Connecting with apprentices/journey workers to deliver optimal productivity and jobsite safety.
“PRIDE has clearly demonstrated that when the industry unites as a team, it can accomplish great things,” said Sobo. “From the owners’ perspective, we want to make sure the trade worker is fully part of the drive to make St. Louis a great place to build. PRIDE builds that necessary team concept.”