Congratulations to Pete Strange, AFC honoree for the 2012 Harris and Alice Weston Apple Award.

Peter S. Strange is a builder. Growing up working on construction sites in his grandfather’s construction business, he fell in love with building and with the craftspeople who do the work. Since joining Messer as a co-op engineer he has worked for more than 40 years to create environments where people can thrive; and Pete has taken his passion for construction a step further through a life-long commitment to empowering and helping others build successful lives for themselves. His commitment to improving the people and places around him is evident in his actions and the example he sets in both his professional and personal life.

A native of Northern Kentucky, Pete began working as a co-op at Messer Construction Co., a family-owned company, while pursuing a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. He joined the company full-time in 1972 after graduation. Over the years he progressed through the ranks of the organization and was promoted to vice president of operations in 1985. Beginning in 1988 he led negotiations with the Messer family, resulting in the purchase of all outstanding Messer stock by management and employees. Pete was named president and chief executive officer at the completion of the buyout in January 1990, which made Messer the 100 percent employee-owned, locally-headquartered company it is today. Pete served in this role for 15 years and in 2005 was elected by Messer’s board of directors as chairman and chief executive officer. Five years later Pete transitioned to the position of chairman of Messer, Inc., the parent company for Messer Construction Co., where he is focused on expanding the company’s value and depth. Today the company has nine regional offices across a five-state footprint with more than 800 employees and will complete approximately $750 million in revenue in 2012. Messer credits that success to its safety commitment under the banner of Safety4Site; and its championing of innovative methods, processes and thinking, such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), Building Information Modeling (BIM), ValuePath, Lean Construction, and economic inclusion efforts.

Under Pete’s leadership, Messer’s contributions to Cincinnati’s built environment over the past four decades have helped to create a more vibrant community to live, to work and to raise our families. The awards and accomplishments achieved include the industry’s highest honor, the Build America award bestowed by the Associated General Contractors of America, for Messer’s leadership in building The Aronoff Center for the Arts and the restoration and remodeling of Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. Other notable projects include Riverbend Music Center, Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, the anticipated revitalization of Music Hall, ongoing work for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Xavier University, and countless others.

Beyond his contributions as a builder, he has built a reputation for being one of the community’s and construction industry’s most active and steadfast advocates for the arts, education, workforce development, and innovation. His commitment to raising the bar includes current board service with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation; ArtsWave; Cincinnati Arts and Technology Center; Minority Business Accelerator of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber; Northern Kentucky Education Council; Vision 2015; University of Cincinnati Foundation; and Partners for a Competitive Workforce.  Past service includes time spent with the following organizations and non-profits: Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber; Strive; Dan Beard Council, Boy Scouts of America; Southwest Ohio Workforce Investment Board; Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; College of Mount St. Joseph; Easter Seals Work Resource Center; University of Cincinnati Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Hamilton County Municipal Court; Leadership Cincinnati; People Working Cooperatively; Erlanger Christian Church; Purdue University Department of Construction Engineering and Management; and Cincinnati Youth Collaborative.

Additionally, Pete serves as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Cleveland, Cincinnati Branch and on the Board of Directors of Construction Software Technology. He has also lent his time and expertise to the Associated General Contractors of America and Ohio; The Society of American Military Engineers; American Institute of Constructors; Allied Construction Industries; and the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board. Pete understands that communities need to thrive to create building and development projects, but more importantly he understands that communities need to generate opportunities and offer culture to keep people investing in them. His example has instilled a sense of pride and purpose in Messer employees in their commitment to developing the communities in which they live and work.

Pete resides in Northern Kentucky with his wife of 40 years, Ginger. They consider their children, Andy, Carrie and Matt, and grandchildren, Sam, Josh, Lily, Charley and Harrison their greatest accomplishments, and their greatest joy.

Thanks to our patrons and sponsors: Messer, Eagle Realty Group, Baker Concrete Construction, BHDP Architecture, Champlin Architecture/DNK Architects, cHc Manufacturing, CR architecture + design, Deloitte, Gallagher SKS/Cincinnati Insurance, GBBN Architects, HGC Construction, iSqFt/River Cities Capital Funds, KZF Design, Mike and Jane Keating, RCF Group/Haworth, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, The Thomas J. Dyer Company, TriVersity Construction, Turner Construction, UBS Financial Services and US Bank.

Thanks also to Kolar Design and The Video Production Group for their valued assistance.