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Kerker honored for contributions to construction industry

Kerker, Tom

F.A. Wilhelm Construction Operations Manager Tom Kerker was awarded the 2014 Outstanding Technology Alumni Award by the Department of Building Construction Management at Purdue University.

In February, Kerker was presented the award by staff and colleagues during Purdue’s Tech Week celebration.

“This award is given on an annual basis to an alumni or alumnus who has supported the University and College by using their education to improve and move the world forward,” said Vanessa Buntin, Manager of Special Events and Alumni Relations at Purdue. “Out of almost 40,000 living College of Technology alumni, we honor only six alumni each year for the Outstanding Technology Alumnus Award.”

Kerker was nominated with the support of the entire Building Construction Management faculty, and it’s not difficult to see why. His career in construction began at Purdue and spans 30 years of projects and volunteered time to the cause of construction. He received his Bachelor of Science in building construction management (BCM) from Purdue in 1984. After working for Gilbane Building Company, he began working for F.A. Wilhelm in 1988. Throughout the past 26 years, Kerker has risen to the ten-person Wilhelm leadership team.

“He has become a major force in the construction industry,” Buntin said. “He is known for his leadership in technically demanding construction projects such as those at Eli Lilly, where he is account manager.”

“We recommend to all of our employees to get involved in their communities and help improve the lives of others. Tom’s commitment to the BCM program at Purdue is a perfect example of this involvement. We all congratulate Tom on a job well done,” said Wilhelm President Phil Kenney.

Since 1988, some of the top projects Kerker has been involved with at F.A. Wilhelm include the Indiana Government Center renovation and additions, and Circle Center Mall. He serves as account manager for Wilhelm Construction’s business with Eli Lilly and Company, and is responsible for other life sciences clients.

Kerker is heavily involved in construction outside the realm of his career as well. He is a board member of the Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council, whose mission is to promote and cultivate successful minority enterprises within the central Illinois, Indiana, and eastern Missouri business community. He is also a member of the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE), and serves on a safety research team with the Construction Industry Institute (CII).

Buntin said that Kerker’s nomination is based on his leadership in construction education and support of the BCM Department at Purdue. She said the BCM Department is grateful for Kerker’s dedication to their program for more than a decade as a member of the BCM Construction Advisory Council (CAC). He is also active with the BCM’s national accreditation group, the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) to promote construction education.

“His commitment of time and philanthropic support of our program has been unwavering,” Buntin said. “The entire BCM faculty supported his nomination.”

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