2012-2014 Emerging Leaders

2012-2014 Emerging Leaders

John Fredericks - Fredericks Inc. Contractors

John started in the construction field right out of high school in 1998 and completed the Electrical program at Associated Builders and Contractors in 2003. In 2004, John was promoted to Project Manager/Estimator and became part owner in the family business in 2011.

Do you have a special area of interest including, but not limited to, government affairs, construction education, professional ethics or diversity?

“I have personally been through the ABC apprenticeship program. I was also an instructor for two years at the East Central ABC branch for electrical. I think education and training is very important in our industry. I do not have much background in government affairs, but I think the merit shop way of business is a form of professional ethics that I hold very important in the way we do business now and in the future.”

Jake Williams - C.P.M. Construction Planning & Management

Jake Williams is a Construction Engineering Graduate from Purdue University. After graduating in 2008, he worked in Huntington, West Virginia for Hunt Construction before returning home to work at C.P.M. Construction. Jake has spent the last three years working as a Project Engineer while updating process, procedure, and technology for the production department. In 2012, he took over as the Director of Business Development and remains in that role while working with the other departments on the future progression of the company’s technology and training.

Do you have a special area of interest including, but not limited to, government affairs, construction education, professional ethics or diversity?

“I’ve always enjoyed politics and have wanted to keep progressing my knowledge of the industry. I would be most interested in how those two connect.”

Bill Harris - Freije Engineered Solutions Co.

Bill Harris graduated from St. Louis University and was hired in 2003 as an electrician at Enterprise Electrical and Mechanical. Through hard work and dedication, he acquired several positions during his time with Enterprise. The positions included Project Manager up to Director of Operations for the electrical department.

Bill joined Freije Engineered Solutions in 2010 as Director of Systems. He has recently been promoted to Director of Services where he leads a team of 40 of the industries most knowledgeable and specialized technicians.

Bill is married to Tara Harris and has three children: Ethin, 9; Natlie, 4; and Mia, 3.

How will your involvement contribute to the firm you work for?

“Being able to network and learn from other professionals in this rapidly changing business is priceless to the growth of our company.”

Adam Filler - Meyer-Najem, Inc.

Adam graduated from Purdue in 2003 with a degree in Building Construction Management. Adam joined Meyer-Najem in February 2004 to present. He has enjoyed every year working there doing everything from estimating to project management.

Adam is married to Katie Filler, and they have a son Brady (6 months).

Provide examples of your leadership as a young construction profession.

“When I started working at Meyer Najem Construction, we did not have an internship program. I have developed a program within our firm that has lead to 3 full-time hires in 5 years. What has made our program successful is it provided them with not only a position that matters, but also challenges them daily.”

Andrew Foreman - Gaylor Inc.

Andrew came to work for Gaylor after spending seven years constructing electrical projects in Cincinnati. Prior to Cincinnati, Andrew attended Purdue University and achieved a degree in Construction Management.

In Andrew’s current role as Vice President, his responsibilities consist of the day-to-day management of the operation teams in the Indianapolis branch. This includes review of construction documents, job cost control, preparation and execution of contract documents, submission of submittals and O&M manuals, and timely delivery of all resources.

How will your involvement contribute to the firm you work for?

“This is definitely not only a great opportunity for me but for Gaylor. While I benefit from the additional education of the program, Gaylor will benefit because I will be able to utilize this information to expand our business and business relations. By representing Gaylor in the program and representing them in a professional and positive light, this will be a positive when I am in a program with other emerging leaders that are in the industry. It will help me to expand my relationships and hopefully build bonds that will continue on past this program.”

Jacob Kerr - Brandt Construction, Inc

Jacob Kerr was born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana. He attended Purdue University from 1999-2004 and graduated with a BS in May 2004 (Building Construction Management Program). Jacob was a member of the ABC student chapter at Purdue, and participated on the student competition team at the ABC national convention in Hawaii.

Jacob began work with Brandt Construction, Inc. in May 2004 as an Assistant Project Manager. He was promoted to Project Manager in 2006 and currently manages a variety of projects. These projects include: Historical Restorations, Churches, New Construction, Renovations; ranging in size from $100,000 to $10,500,000.

Jacob has been married for 7 years, and has a 10 year old stepson, a 5 year old son, a 2 year old daughter, and one more due in January.

What do you think are the top three issues facing merit shop construction in Indiana today?

“Project labor agreements, Davis-Bacon wages, and union sponsored/provided disinformation.”

Joe Burgess - Wurster Construction Co., Inc.

Joe Burgess graduated cum laude from Indiana State University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management. Since graduating, he has worked for two General Contractors in the Indianapolis area. He has held the following positions: Field Engineer, Assistant Superintendent, Cost Engineer, and Special Projects Division Superintendent. He has helped manage projects ranging from small hospital renovations to The New Indianapolis Airport.

Currently, Joe is a Contract Administrator at Wurster Construction Company, Inc. In this position, he provides project management assistance, builds and maintains project schedules, writes contracts, change orders, RFIs and reviews submittals and shop drawings. When needed, he provides onsite project supervision and assists in Estimating. He is a member of Sigma Lambda Chi, The American Institute of Constructors, Indiana Subcontractors Association and Associated Builders and Contractors of Indiana.

Joe has volunteered his time on various area projects including: Rebuilding Together, CANstruction and Comcast Cares Day. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife Stacey and daughter Alexis. They are expecting their second child.

How will you share information and your experience with other young construction professionals?

“During professional organization gatherings, mentoring and project manager’s meetings at Wurster.”

Brian Cobb - Berline Construction, Inc.

I began my construction career in 1993 after attending Indiana State University. I have held various positions during my career including Carpenter, Estimator, Safety Manager and Project Manager.

Currently as Project Manager at Berline Construction, I am responsible for a particular project from start to finish. This would include bidding the project, developing an estimate, management of labor and material requirements for bid projects and coordination of field personnel with other trades, material suppliers and subcontractors through job completion.

During the course of my career, I have worked with GC’s on several projects for owners such as IU Health, St. Vincents Hospital, Ball State, IUPUI, Nestle, as well as many schools and government agencies.

I have been married to my wife Deanna for 16 years and have twin 10 year old sons. We currently reside in Pendleton.

Do you have a special area of interest including, but not limited to, government affairs, construction education, professional ethics or diversity?

“I have always had an interest in government and politics. In the election two years ago, I worked in a campaign for State Representative by going door-to-door in representation of the candidate and working the polls on election day to improve voter turnout in support of my candidate.”

Events, Projects, Activities

Events, Projects, Activities

  • Participate in, and help present at, two board meetings each year
  • Annual community service project
  • Bi-monthly educational and social events (4 educational; 2 social) to take place in evenings
  • Mentorship with current board members
  • Introduction to key legislators at the state (incorporated with an ABC/FEA/PAC event and/or day at the Statehouse) and Federal levels (possible opportunity to attend Legislative Conference)
  • Recognition at large-scale ABC events



  • Group leadership to include: Chairman of the Board & two other board members (to include one Executive Committee member, at minimum) and 1 staff person
  • Program curriculum/agenda to be set by leadership
  • Two year (+) program
  • 500 dollars/person for participation in Emerging Leaders (banner, logo gifts, etc.)



  • 20 nominations will be accepted
  • By personal invitation only (members to recommend their ‘best of the best’)
  • Group shall be diverse across the trades and include representatives from the entire state
  • Recognized as prestigious and selective

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