Mamon Powers, Sr. (1921-2001) moved from Mississippi to Gary, Indiana following World War II. Part of the wave of African-Americans moving north for economic opportunity, he was Indiana’s first Black apprentice in the state.
Mamon begins his career working for Andrew Means, a trailblazing African-American real estate developer. Means led the way in constructing quality housing for the area’s growing Black middle class, leaving an indelible mark on its landscape and architectural legacy. For the next few years, Mamon perfects his craft and learns key business principles.
Mamon Powers, Sr. ventures into business on his own as a first-generation entrepreneur by founding Powers Construction.
Along with partner Hollie Winters, Winters-Powers Construction Company is born. Mamon met Winters when he was a plastering subcontractor for Means Developer, Inc.
With support and encouragement from his wife Leolean, Mamon Powers, Sr. goes solo and opens his own firm: Powers & Sons Construction Company.
Mamon continues building single-family homes, primarily working on on the growing west side of Gary, Indiana.
LATE 1960s & EARLY 70s
The eldest of four sons, Mamon Powers, Jr. works at the firm during his college breaks. He is earning a civil engineering degree at Purdue University in West Lafayette.
Mamon Sr. begins charting a new course for Powers & Sons Construction. The father and son focus on business diversification and expansion.
Commercial, industrial, and institutional construction are soon added to the company’s original residential focus.
Mamon Powers, Jr., a new graduate of Purdue University’s School of Civil Engineering, officially joins the company as a full-time employee, where he moves up the ladder to the executive position he holds today. Mamon and his fiancée, Cynthia Berry, found Powers Realty.
Powers & Sons Construction substantially enters the industrial construction and renovation market with a large, multi-million dollar project for U.S. Steel and Amoco. The property will later be acquired and operated by BP.
As Powers & Sons Construction continues to expand its operations, the company constructs its last single-family home at 4925 Monroe Street in Gary, Indiana.
The first chapter in our history comes to a close as a new era begins and continuing opportunities emerge.
One of four sons born to Leolean and Mamon Sr., Claude Powers joins his father and brother as a project manager for the family firm.
Claude is a new Purdue University graduate with a degree from one of the newest schools on its West Lafayette campus at the time, the School of Technology. Claude begins a career that will progress to the executive role he fulfills today.
Powers Management, Inc. is established to provide construction management services for the firm’s growing portfolio of clientele.
Powers & Sons Construction enters the Chicago market and our first project at O’Hare International Airport begins: A new expansion is added to an American Airlines employee reporting facility. The scope also includes a new vehicle repair and maintenance shop.
Powers & Sons Construction builds its first McDonald’s restaurant on Lake Street in Gary, Indiana.
An enduring partnership with McDonald’s spanning 30 years and 100+ projects across Northwestern and Central Indiana begins—and the relationship continues today.
Powers & Sons Construction substantially enters the multi-family housing market with extensive renovations at Lavergne Court Apartments, the firm’s first multi-family project in Chicago.
Mamon Jr. succeeds founder Mamon Sr., rising to fulfill an executive role of company president.
For the first time, Powers & Sons Construction is recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of its “BE Top 100” in the industrial services category. We are proud to have been included on BE’s list every year since, rising to the prominent ranking we hold today.
Powers & Sons constructed a concrete foundation for what was the world’s largest auto press at the Ford Motor Company in Chicago Heights, Illinois.
Powers & Sons was a member of the team charged with delivering new power and telephone service in Florida’s Everglades National Park. Our task at the park included building 30 miles of underground duct banks and pull-stations.
Notably, Powers & Sons also expanded to serve the Indianapolis market after being awarded the firm’s first Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) contract. The newly established Indy team completed two historic renovations, with the first at Crispus Attucks School #42 and the other at Arsenal Tech School #72.
Powers & Sons Construction Company, Inc. opens a second office in Indianapolis. The decision is made to permanently expand Indy operations in order to serve Central and South Central Indiana.
Powers & Sons Construction builds a 16,000 SF addition for an existing facility operated by a global pharmaceutical manufacturer. Building K-144 (which functioned as the R&D campus’s technology center clinic and hospital) is located in Indianapolis.
The firm completes a multi-million dollar cultural and public works project. Powers & Sons Construction builds a custom interior for the new administrative wing at the Indiana Historical Society.
Powers & Sons was selected as the lead construction manager for the first of two landmark projects at the Indiana Convention Center. Combined these two projects are the largest that Powers & Sons has ever been awarded (with one exception).
The first is the $60,500,000 Phase IV, which expands the existing facility by 140,000 SF. The Powers team builds back-of-house support spaces, enlarges the main exhibition hall, and adds new office and administrative areas. State-of-the-art MEP, HVAC, and other systems are installed. The exterior is clad with glass curtain walls and metal wall panels enclosing the steel-framed addition. Upon completion in April 2001, it is the nation’s largest convention and exhibition space. See 2011 for a description of our second project at the Indiana Convention Center, which was a Phase V expansion.
Founder and family patriarch Mamon Powers, Sr., passes away at the age of 80.
Powers & Sons completes an historic preservation and renovation of the Wabash YMCA in Chicago is completed. In the 1900s, the Wabash Y is the center of Chicago’s Black civic and social life. By 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s campaign to establish National Negro History Week (the predecessor to Black History Month) launches from the Y.
Powers & Sons leads the implosion of Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. The arena was the site of Elvis Presley’s last concert in 1977 and is where Hockey Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky competed against the Indianapolis Racers in 1978. It was also the site of Michael Jordan’s first comeback when he re-joined the Chicago Bulls in a 1995 game against the Indiana Pacers.
Powers & Sons provides construction management services for development of a new U.S. Steel Yard baseball stadium. Now home to the Gary South Shore Rail Cats, the open-air facility contains 6,000 seats and is our largest stadium project to date.
Powers & Sons Construction opens its third office, establishing a physical location in Chicago. The team continues providing general contracting, construction management, and other services throughout greater Chicagoland.
After spending several years working for a large general contracting firm in Kansas City, Mamon Powers, III rejoins the family company.
A graduate of Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, Mamon is president of the Indianapolis office, where he oversees all operations. He also serves as an executive vice president of the company.
Powers & Sons Construction builds a seven-story mid-rise with 70 one-bedroom units. The $12.7 million TRC Senior Village features environmentally friendly green building elements. Funding is provided through HUD Section 202 grants and local TIF assistance. The senior living community is the first mid-rise in company history.
Powers & Sons delivers construction management services for the $275,000,000 Phase V expansion of the Indiana Convention Center with a connector to Lucas Oil Stadium.
A new three-story glass-enclosed atrium at the intersection of Capital and Georgia Streets in Indianapolis is constructed, serving as a striking focal point for the convention center’s east side. Inside, the massive expansion increases the convention center’s total square footage from 725,000 to over 1,200,000 SF of convention and event space under one roof.
New construction added 254,000 SF of exhibit space, 63,000 SF for meeting rooms, and 103,000 SF of pre-function and registration space. An enclosed pedestrian connector between the convention center and the stadium was built.
Kelly Powers Baria rejoins the family firm, working with her father, uncle, and brother to lead the company. She begins her tenure as the firm’s director of new business development.
Claude Powers is named president of Powers & Sons Construction, with Mamon Powers, Jr. becoming chief executive officer and chairman of the board. Mamon Powers, III is promoted to executive vice president of the company and president of the Indianapolis office.
After new legislation passes in 2014, Powers & Sons Construction is one of two firms awarded the State of Indiana’s first construction manager as constructor (CMc) contract.
The scope of work is to build a new $74,000,000 Honors College & Residences at Purdue University.
Everyone at Powers & Sons Construction celebrates the company’s first 50 years of business. The Powers family hosts 50th Anniversary events for employees, friends, and business partners in Chicago and Indianapolis.
Powers & Sons is recognized as Black Enterprise magazine’s “Company of the Year” at the BE Top 100 45th Anniversary Celebration & Awards Gala in Houston, Texas.
For the first time in company history, Powers & Sons Construction surpasses $100 million in annual revenue. Kelly Powers Baria is promoted to company vice president.
Powers & Sons Construction takes a leading role in founding Lakeside Alliance. A joint venture between five firms, the alliance is selected to build the new Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. Kelly is co-leading the alliance’s effort to leverage the construction to create jobs, drive economic opportunity, and enrich the city’s south side.
CEO & Chairman Mamon Powers, Jr., Kelly, and other project partners discuss the Lakeside Alliance’s mission in this YouTube video. “Our primary mission is to be transformative,” says Kelly.
Included in the Crain’s Chicago Business annual ranking for the year, Powers & Sons is named the city’s fourth-largest minority-owned company.
Even with challenges arising from the global COVID-19 pandemic, Powers & Sons remains strong.
La Casa Norte received an award from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Excellence in Community Design.
Northtown Library & Apartments was one of four libraries in the U.S. and Canada to earn the American Institute of Architecture and the American Library Association’s 2020 Library Building Award. This project was also recognized with a 2020 Merit Award from the Chicago Building Congress.
Several higher education projects, including North Residence Hall and North Dining Hall, both at Ball State University, and the Bioscience Innovation Building at Purdue University Northwest concluded.
Powers & Sons Construction is one of two general contractors responsible for building The Sable at Navy Pier Chicago. Construction on the upscale hotel began in June 2018. The March 18 opening for guests was delayed a few months due to COVID-19 pandemic. The landmark new $100 Hilton property, which has over 230 guest rooms and a rooftop entertainment area, is built “on top” of Lake Michigan. Cold-formed steel-bearing walls and a floor joist system designed to spread the hotel’s weight across the pier (originally constructed in 1916) were installed. More than 51 micropiles were driven into two feet of lake bedrock. Smaller in diameter than traditional caissons, these piles can support enormous weight. The Sable is first and only hotel on the pier, a popular attraction.