The construction industry lost a true matriarch just before Christmas. Ruth Michels passed away Dec. 21, just four days short of her 84th birthday. In her later years, Ruth served as a chairman of the board of Michels Corp., which was co-founded by her husband Dale with his partners in 1959. Dale passed away in 1998, leaving Ruth to lead the company with their four sons Pat, Kevin, Tim and Steve.

Michels Corp. has evolved into a marvelous international construction organization. Pat is the president and CEO, Kevin and Tim are vice presidents in the company, and Steve is involved with a related family business. The amazing development of Michels Corp. could not have been done without the guidance of Ruth.

Ruth and Dale were longtime philanthropists. They gave millions to local educational institutions, medical facilities, and community organizations. It certainly took a strong and special woman to raise four sons while Dale launched the family business. Coming from a family of three boys, I can relate to such a special a mother to raise so many sons.

To this day, Michels Corp. is a family-owned business. It’s remarkable that after more than 70 years the company has developed into to being one of the largest construction organizations in North America. Ruth was particularly proud that the company was named Wisconsin’s Family-Owned Business of the Year in 2018. Ruth is sadly missed by her family and by her many friends in construction.

Ruth Michels

Goodbye 2020

Wow, we are sure happy to bid farewell to 2020. Trusting our businesses are intact, and hopefully, very little COVID virus impact on our families, we look forward to 2021. Now, we have a vaccine rolling out across North America and a Democratic political party that has a reputation for infrastructure spending. The horizon looks good!

Like so many, I am looking forward to our many trade events and going back to a healthy life. Events are transitioning from being virtual to live. The first event of significance will be the NASTT No-Dig Show being held live in Orlando, Florida, March 28-31.

So, as we start off this year, we should count our many blessings that we got through the most challenging 2020. “Be Positive” is a good mantra to keep thinking as we march into 2021.

Much success in 2021,

Bernard P. Krzys, Publisher