Indianapolis Team Participates in Citizens Energy Service Project

Powers & Sons Indianapolis once again joined Citizens Energy Group (CEG) as a partner company in their annual Sharing the Dream program to benefit Indy Parks & Recreation.

This year’s effort, led by Senior Project Manager Keith Shanklin and Project Manager Rob Pinney, included Curtis Alexander, Jeff Davis, Brad Holland, Brent Klemme, and Matt Robinson.

Keith Shanklin has served as a senior project manager at Powers & Sons since 2016.

Shanklin said Powers & Sons donated materials and labor to improve Watkins Park Community Center, an inner-city facility located at 2360 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street in Indianapolis. The park’s family center was originally built in 1939. Over the years, it has hosted weddings, family reunions, civic meetings, and other gatherings.

“The goal was to get this community resource back to its usable and functional state,” Shanklin explains. “Our task focused on removing the existing ceiling and installing a modern new grid system with tiles throughout.” Matt Robinson, project engineer, notes conditions were poor. “Our team installed over 65 boxes of ceiling tiles. This minor improvement made a big difference.”

Shanklin also played a key role in a Sharing the Dream project for the city’s Frederick Douglass Park Centennial Celebration in 2021.

The 43-acre park opened in 1921 to serve the Martindale neighborhood’s African American community. In 1926, its historic golf course opened as the nation’s only course named for an African American. Powers & Sons renovated and updated the golf course club house, with the team installing new ceilings, lighting, and carpets and adding fresh paint throughout.

Many nonprofit programs that serve inner-city residents continue to struggle with obtaining the resources they need to serve local adults and youth. Shanklin says Indy Parks & Recreation facilities are vital for members of the minority community, especially children. “Kids need safe spaces where they can spend time outdoors and participate in athletic, educational, and other programs.”

Supporting programs that serve local youth is a core Powers & Sons value that has long been a focus for charitable and service activities.

2021 Holiday Message: From the CEO’s Desk

Mamon Powers, Jr.
CEO & Chairman Mamon Powers, Jr. is a noted Midwestern business and civic leader.

As a new year dawns, it is a good time to reflect on what we achieved in 2021.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and its variants, supply chain delays, rising prices, and related distractions, Powers & Sons Construction is looking ahead to a bright 2022.

Preconstruction planning for 2022-23 is well underway, with ground broken and work started on a number of exciting projects.

In the spirit of the season, Powers & Sons Indianapolis is adopting a family from the Edna Martin Christian Center. The mother is a survivor of a workplace shooting that happened earlier this year. The Indy office is also making charitable contributions to One Simple Wish, a nonprofit organization that serves children in the foster care system impacted by abuse, neglect, and trauma.

Powers & Sons Northwest Indiana and Chicago participated in a 20th Ward Holiday Giveaway Event in which grocery gift cards worth $50 and fresh produce were distributed to local residents. Powers & Sons is one of several businesses and nonprofit organizations, including Fresh Start Foods in Chicago, who joined forces to help provide food for neighbors on the south side of the city.

We wish you a joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2022. Let us celebrate our blessings, cherish our friends and loved ones, and take care of each other.

Powers named a 2021 Notable Black Leader & Executive

This week, Vice President Kelly Powers was named to Crain’s Chicago Business 2021 Notable Black Leaders & Executives list. Powers leads multimillion-dollar new business initiatives and shares key management responsibilities for general contracting and construction operations in Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

Over 70 individuals representing professions including banking, education, and real estate were recognized.

The honorees work tirelessly to lift their communities. They lead initiatives and programs that improve best practices in recruiting, hiring, and retaining diverse talent. They boost the next generation through service focused on helping youth succeed.

With broad experience, Kelly Powers co-leads the Lakeside Alliance’s Leadership Community & Citizenship Work Groups which ensures the JV brings transformative, sustainable change to Chicago and the industry.

In this role, her responsibilities include maximizing equitable and inclusive contracting opportunities for small businesses. She strengthens the apprenticeship pipeline through partnerships with groups like Chicago Women in Trades.

Active in community, business, and civic circles, Kelly Powers is a 2021 graduate of Leadership Greater Chicago’s Class of LGC Fellows. She is a trustee for the Chicago Architecture Center and a board member for the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Find the full 2021 Notable Black Leaders & Executives list at


Celebrating Success: Baron Waller & Culver’s Restaurants

Powers & Sons had a great 2021 serving client Baron Waller. To date, we have built four Chicago Culver’s restaurants for Waller with the most recent being Culver’s Pullman Park and Culver’s Ravenswood. Previous projects include Culver’s Joliet and Culver’s Bronzeville.

The Pullman Park grand opening was well attended. Pictured from left: Owner Baron Waller, Project Manager Robert Kennedy, Culver’s CEO Rick Silva, COO & President Claude Powers, and Vice President Kelly Powers Baria.

Culver’s Pullman
Located near the Pullman National Monument, Waller’s 4,300 SF restaurant on South Doty Avenue has created 70 jobs. With outdoor patio seating, inside seats for over 120 diners, and drive-through ordering, it is the first new casual sit-down restaurant in Pullman in 30 years.

It was funded in part by a grant from the City of Chicago Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, and New Markets Tax Credit equity.

The investment brings much-needed food and beverage options to the area, which has seen investment by new businesses including an Amazon fulfillment center, Whole Food Midwest Distribution Center, and other retail shops and businesses.

Culver’s Founder Craig Culver (center) was joined by Owner Baron Waller (far right) and others to recognize the opening of Waller’s Ravenswood restaurant.

Culver’s Ravenswood
Waller’s new 100-seat restaurant on West Montrose features the brand’s first pedestrian friendly design. Located near a CTA Brown Line stop, the restaurant has a walk-up ordering and take-out window with inside seating for 100. It employs about 50 people.

With six restaurants, Waller is the franchise’s largest minority owner. Chicago’s ABC 7 news covered the opening, which was attended by civic leaders. Waller’s two sons are among the Ravenswood employees, making it a true family-owned business success story.



New & Improved K-12 Facilities in Lawrence Township

Since 2019, Senior Project Manager & Project Executive Dustin Thalmann has led five Powers & Sons CMc projects for the Metropolitan School District (MSD) of Lawrence Township.

Powers & Sons is a leader in delivering large public Construction Manager as constructor (CMc) projects, including those for K-12 and higher education clients.

This year, we partnered with MSD Lawrence Township for an improvement program at several properties:

  1. Sunnyside Elementary School
  2. Winding Ridge Elementary School
  3. Winding Ridge Early Learning Center
  4. Amy Beverland Early Learning Center
  5. Mary Castle Early Learning Center

Currently, Thalmann is putting finishing touches on the new construction of a 42,500 SF transportation building to open in early 2022.

Strategies for Success
Planning and executing detailed construction schedules with multiple phases and good communication are among Powers & Sons’ keys to success, Thalmann reports.

“In Lawrence Township, each of the schools was open and occupied, so temporary walls, fencing, and other barriers isolated work areas. The district’s COVID-related protocols were followed. Educators and students were able to go about their daily routines outside construction zones,” he explains.


Team Effort is Required
A collaborative, cohesive management team with shared goals and objectives is the primary goal.

“Because we assign PMs, PEs, and site superintendents to proactively identify issues during daily walk-throughs, we can document, photograph, track, and resolve above- and below-ceiling concerns throughout the process. Any issues are immediately communicated to subcontractors and tracked to ensure concerns are resolved. When we walk a site for the final time with architects, city inspectors, fire marshals, and owners we want a zero-item punch list,” Thalmann adds.

Thalmann credits a strong team effort from Project Manager Emily Lucas, Superintendents Don Smith, Shawn Hernson, Brent Klemme, and Brad Holland, and Project Engineers Kayden Rivers, Jose Valdez, and Alivia Naus for making the Lawrence projects successful.

Estimating and pre-construction planning will begin in the first quarter of 2022 for a new Lawrence Township middle school improvement program. It includes facility upgrades and improvements to be completed at three local schools in 2023.


Support for Local Apprenticeship and Skills Training Programs

National Apprenticeship Week is a great time to consider how your industry can support local workforce development initiatives. Apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and skills-based certification programs are tools that enable labor, education, business, and civic leaders to join forces in their efforts to hire qualified workers and strengthen local economies.

COO & President Claude Powers is at the forefront of a Lake County initiative that will make accurate, comprehensive information about post-secondary career resources in Northwest Indiana.

A member of the Gary Chamber of Commerce (GCC) Education Committee, Powers and a group of local leaders have launched a Schools2Careers program with two initial areas of focus:

  1. Building a web-based clearinghouse with links to existing regional training programs and resources.
  2. Developing supplemental after-school programs for K-12 youth.

"Today's career paths are less linear. A college degree is no longer necessarily a dividing line or barrier for job applicants who seek meaningful careers, especially in construction. Often, it is a matter of guiding students and job seekers to the resources for learning new skills and knowledge, so we support approaches that combine education with hands-on work experience," Powers reports.

Pathways for Greater Opportunity
Apprenticeships can serve as the first step in a career journey that includes continued growth and advancement. Despite the availability of good jobs and wages with paid employment, OTJ training, and classroom instruction, less than one in ten apprentices are women. Groups like Chicago Women in Trades, the California-based Tradeswomen Inc., and the U.S. Department of Labor through its WANTO grant are helping to increase construction opportunities for women.

Some of the most in-demand construction jobs include construction project managers, with a projected growth rate of 11 percent growth through 2030. Others include first-line supervisors of construction trades workers, electricians, architectural and engineering managers, plumbers, carpenters, drywallers, and painters.

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh published a video explaining the critical impact registered apprenticeships make in America. They are available in hundreds of occupations that touch nearly every major economic sector and aspect of daily life.

Building a Strong Local Talent Pipeline
Powers says the GCC committee's work strengthens the Lake County economy by connecting employers with skilled job seekers who are trained to meet 21st century needs.

Programs available through the Construction Advancement Foundation and We Build Northwest Indiana are examples of what he expects to be links to 25 independent partners who share the same workforce development objectives.

  • The GCC website, slated to launch in the first half of 2022, will connect users with direct links to information about programs, services, resources, and benefits.
  • It will serve as a go-to platform for guidance counselors, educators, parents, high school students, young adults, career-changers, and those who have experienced challenges like job loss, homelessness, or incarceration.

Learn how you can support Northwest Indiana apprenticeships and the GCC Education Committee by emailing or calling the Gary Chamber of Commerce at 219.885.7407.

New West Perry Library Celebrates with July 17 Grand Opening

Powers & Sons joined our partners at Schmidt Associates for the Saturday, July 17 grand opening of the new 25,000 SF West Perry Library. The newest branch of the Indianapolis Public Library welcomed a full house of Perry Township residents throughout the day.

Library officials including Peggy Wehr, Curtis Bigsbee, and Jackie Nytes spoke, offering opening remarks for hundreds of visitors. Township, city-county, education, and other local officials were on hand to mark the occasion, as was Powers & Sons’ Indianapolis President Mamon Powers, III and Senior Project Manager & Registered Architect Russell Lewis. Lewis offered remarks at the podium, noting the importance of libraries for lifelong learning, describing the library as a southside Indianapolis public gem.

The facility will serve a growing, diverse community with a range of materials, programs, and services. Located at 6650 South Harding, the celebration began at 10 a.m. with self-guided scavenger hunts, refreshments, live music, kids’ crafts, animal balloons, and a Silly Safaris’ Meet and Greet for children, all hosted by the library. Rowdie from the Indianapolis Indians made an appearance and the Burmese American Community Institute (BACI) gave a musical performance.





#FamilyBusinessHeros: Loyola University Feature

Powers & Sons Construction is excited to announce that we were nominated by our partners at BMO Harris Bank and selected as one of 12 family-owned businesses in a new Loyola University Family Business Center “Celebrating Family Business Heros” campaign co-sponsored by Katten.

The Powers family share how they continue to lead a successful construction business, keeping work on track and field crews safe, during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to advance planning and having the right people and the right systems in place, our team was positioned to pivot and embrace a virtual business environment. We stand strong and stable, strengthened by a legacy of over 50 years in business but firmly focused on a 21st-century future.

More importantly, when the communities in which we live and work experience challenging times like a global pandemic, Powers & Sons remains steadfast in our core beliefs, values, and convictions to lift as we climb.

Watch the YouTube video: Powers & Sons Construction 2021 #FamilyBusinessHeros.

Powers & Sons named a 2021 Half Century Business by IEDC

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) recognized Powers & Sons Construction on June 16 with a Half Century Business Award. Powers & Sons is one of over 100 Indiana companies and organizations who received the award in 2021.

Nominees must be in continuous operation for at least 50 consecutive years and demonstrate a commitment to community service. In addition, nominees must continue to be in the same type of business as when they were founded and be headquartered in Indiana.

Over the award’s 30-year history, more than 1,160 Hoosier businesses have been recognized. Businesses recognized represent a cross-section of retail, corporate, manufacturing, services, and other enterprises. Typically, recipients participate in an award ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse but that did not happen this year due to COVID-19.

“I’m honored to recognize these dedicated, Hoosier business leaders who have created a lasting impact not only on their communities but to the state as a whole,” Gov. Holcomb said. “As we continue to attract new jobs and investment to Indiana, these well-established businesses will set the tone for a Hoosier economy dedicated to hard work, constant improvement and strong community roots. I’m confident these businesses will continue providing great service for the next 100 years and keep Indiana on the path to success for centuries to come.”

Powers & Sons Construction was incorporated in the State of Indiana in 1967. Headquartered in Northwestern Indiana, the company began as a builder of single-family homes but shifted its focus in the early 1980s to commercial construction. The family-owned firm celebrated its 50th anniversary (photos below) in 2017 with events in Chicago and Indianapolis.

Virtual Workforce Outreach Event: Thursday, July 1 at 10 a.m. CST

Are you ready to help us build a stronger and healthier neighborhood on Chicago’s south side? Learn more about possible job opportunities for the construction of Friend Health Center’s new headquarters and clinic in Woodlawn.

You are invited to a Zoom virtual outreach event on Thursday, July 1 at 10 a.m. CST. Please register in advance:

Mark your calendars and plan now to attend! Questions? Contact Dannielle Thomas at or 773.536.3100.

Download the event flyer here.