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Professionals honored at Salute banquet

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The 38th installment of the annual Salute to Design and Construction Awards Banquet offered a chance for professionals to be recognized for standout projects and career distinctions.

Two Lifetime Achievement Awards were given for careers committed to the design and construction industry. Recipients were Dianne Rankin of Morelock Builders & Associates Inc. and Garry DeLong of DeLong Plumbing, Heating & Air.

Wayne Morelock, president of Morelock Builders, remarked that Rankin was one of the first women in Springfield to have the position of project manager and estimator.

“She was large and in charge of everything we were doing,” he said, adding she expected others to do the job right.

Upon accepting her award, Rankin, who is now retired, joked that she didn’t miss working, but she said she did miss seeing her colleagues.

“I want to thank each of you for building our communities and for building our economy,” she said to the audience.

DeLong was praised by customer Jimm Swafford of Jimm’s Steakhouse & Pub for having the only plumbing company that had been in his restaurant in over 25 years.

“You got that feeling that you were being taken care of and comfortable,” Swafford said.

The American Institute of Architects presented the Superintendent of the Year award to Clay Alexander of Snyder Construction Group LLC for his work on Hollister Middle School.

Ryan Thomassen, senior project manager, said Alexander is an old-school superintendent with a warm heart. In Hollister, Thomassen said, Alexander got to know everyone on a first-name basis.

“I feel like he almost became part of the school district,” he said. “I think that helped build the relationship, not only him personally, but us as a company.”

Taking the podium, Alexander offered his thanks, noting his associates have all been great to work with and work for.

The National Association of Women in Construction presented two Outstanding Women in Construction Awards. The Rosebud Award was presented to Jadan Scoggins of Commercial Builders LLC. The Vesta Award was presented to Joyce Buxton of Buxton Kubik Dodd Design Collective. 

Heather Swearingen, project coordinator at DeWitt, praised Scoggins as someone who wants to be in the middle of it all.

“She not only cares about the project she’s working on, but she cares about the people,” Swearingen said.

Buxton was praised by her colleagues for her passion for interior design.

Buxton said after 41 years, she was thankful for her choice to enter the field.

“It’s such a great field that we’re all in,” she said. “We’ve been entrusted with the ability to help people realize their dreams, and I know we all take that very seriously.”

The group behind Ozark School District’s Tiger Paw Early Childhood Center won the Design Team of the Year award. The team included architect Esterly Schneider & Associates Inc.; engineering firms Anderson Engineering Inc., civil; JS Smith Consulting Engineers PC, structural; and Smith-Goth Engineers Inc., mechanical, electrical and plumbing, with general contractor DeWitt & Associates Inc. Latta Technical Services Inc. of Dallas served as security consultant, and CJW Transportation served as the road consultant. Andrea Nesbitt Designs was the interior designer.

The two finalists for the award were the Greene County Sheriff’s Department and the Wire Road Brewing Co. design teams. •

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