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ADL in Concert: Music for Love and Respect Honored Associated General Contractors of Missouri

  • October 3, 2019

Anti-Defamation League Heartland presented the 2019 Distinguished Community Service Award to AGC of Missouri at a family friendly musical gathering on Sept. 8 at Delmar Hall in St. Louis.  The Brothers Lazaroff and Friends provided musical entertainment for the event.

Steve Lewis (left) with Karen Aroesty, ADL Heartland

The ADL’s Distinguished Community Service Award recognizes and honors corporations, agencies and individuals that demonstrate strong commitment to diversity through education and/or advocacy, working with individuals of all background in intentional efforts to lift up the benefits of diversity and its importance in building community.

Karen J. Aroesty, regional director, ADL Heartland, presented the award to Stephen H. Lewis, vice president, accepting on behalf of the AGC of Missouri.

Steve Lewis (left) with Heather Cirre, McCarthy Building Co.

“AGCMO has been described in the industry as a ‘village of builders, suppliers and community partners ‘– working together for more than 10 years to raise up and increase participation by minority- and women owned businesses,” said Aroesty. “While this may be known in the construction trades, ADL present the Distinguished Community Service Award to more broadly recognize significant advances in minority membership, leadership, program innovation, and mentorships, from youth to skilled tradespeople.”

Steve Lewis, AGCMO

In presenting the award, ADL cited AGCMO for the following accomplishments:

  1. The first AGC chapter in America to hire a full-time diversity director.
  2. Increasing diverse membership from almost non-existent 10 years ago to currently 14 percent, with plans to grow total membership by an additional 25 percent by 2021.
  3. Becky Spurgeon, president of Interface Construction Corporation, a minority-owned business, will be installed as chair of AGCMO’s board of directors in January 2020.
  4. Michael Kennedy, Jr., CEO of KAI Enterprises, also a minority-owned enterprise serves as an AGCMO board member and currently is vice-chair of AGCMO’s Building Division.
  5. AGCMO is advised by a robust Diversity Committee, crossing all disciplines and currently comprised of 21 members, with 60 percent diverse representation.
  6. Four of those members, all St. Louisans, serve on the AGC of America’s national Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

In addition, AGCMO:

  • Recently received the 2019 Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Chapter Award from AGC of America in April 2019;
  • Participated in the Stempel Plan Mentor-Protégé program in a joint venture with the St. Louis Minority Business Council while the program was in effect;
  • Provides significant financial support and serves on the board of directors of the Regional Union Construction Center (RUCC); and
  • Operated the Construction Careers Center Charter High School (2001-14).


ADL’s Heartland regional office, established in 1958 and located in St. Louis, serves Missouri, Southern Illinois and Eastern Kansas.  In 20017, the office marked the 20th anniversary of its largest education program, the A WORLD OF DIRRENCE® Instituted.  One of the earliest Institutes in the country, Heartland maintains a large and experience cadre of anti-bias education professionals, and has created a series of unique and collaborative approaches to presenting its award-winning curricula.  Teaming up with the St. Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum and the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, ADL presents programs to almost 3,000 students, teachers, police officers and other individuals annually.

The Associated General Contractors of Missouri is the leading voice of the construction industry in Missouri, representing over 500 commercial, industrial, heavy and highway contractors, industry partners and related firms in 110 counties throughout Missouri.