50th Anniversary Celebration

50th Anniversary Celebration

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Let me paraphrase how I started my article ten years ago for our 40th Anniversary – “Whew!  Done; over; finished; accomplished.”  This year’s 50th Anniversary Committee did a masterful job matching the accomplishments of the 40th Anniversary Committee 10 years ago.  Upon arrival at the upstairs lounge of Reds Restaurant at Thousand Oaks Golf Club, each guest signed a Registration Book and received a beautiful gift wrapped, 16.9 oz (500mL), vacuum insulated, 18/8 stainless steel, thermos bottle, with threaded one-touch push-button lid, and imprinted in black and gold paint with the words, “50 Anniversary, CSI, Grand Rapids Chapter.”  The entire affair was quite informal as guests introduced themselves to each other and milled about the room viewing several displays commemorating the accomplishments of the Grand Rapids Chapter 098 during its first 50 years.  Finger food and beverages were available throughout the evening for everybody to enjoy. I tried to get a complete listing of all the various food items which were available to eat, but was unsuccessful.  I know for a fact that I did not (nor could not) go around and taste a little of everything that was offered for our palatable enjoyment.


The displays included large six posterboards and two long tables containing several Institute and Great Lakes Region Awards gather by the Chapter, along with a few prestigious individual awards won by various members of the Chapter.  The tables had displays of several 3-ring binders containing hard copy of past Newsletters, various Building Codes, Construction Terminology from every trade in the Construction Industry, small binders of select “Certification Guide Seminars”, and if you really cared to inspect the binders very closely, one binder had copies of actual questions from the 1986 thru 1993 CDT and CCS Examinations.  Most of the memorabilia came from three individuals (Beimers, Trudell, and Hojnacki) and probably weighed in at over 150 pounds in total.  The large posterboards included photos from the Chapter’s first bus trip to Ferris State University in 1984, three posterboards with photos of our Chapter hosting the 2002 Great Lakes Region Conference (yes that was Mark Lackowski wearing a hula skirt and bra made from cocoanut shells), one posterboard with Art Nelson’s actual musical score and all 96 Verses of the Chapter Song, and finally, one posterboard showing all Chapter Presidents thru the first 50 years as well as the current president and president Elect thru 2019.  The President’s Board also indicated the year of major significant events and milestones of the Chapter.


The official program began at 6:45 p.m. with a welcome by current president, Charlie Appleby and then Historian Jim Hojnacki gave a detailed reading of the original 36 Charter Members.  The Charter Member listing is printed as part of this month’s History Article and includes 14 Professional Members and 22 Industry members.  The first of many “Toasts” commemorated and honored our original Charter members.  Charlie then had all past presidents’ gather together for a photo op and they were “toasted.”  Following the past presidents, Charlie introduced all the current and past Board Members who were equally “toasted.”  Next, the Institute and Region Leaders who were present were introduced and “toasted.”  Congratulating Letters from Institute and Region Leaders, who could not be here, were read and “tasted.”  Region President, Ken Schmidt, offered a few very impressive and sincere comments to some of the newer and younger generation members who were present, indicating and hinting that the future Institute Leaders could be present in the room.  Again, “glashes” were raised, clinked, and “thrusted” (hic).  And not to go unmentioned, with all the congratulating and toasting going on, Kevin Bush of Atas International and J. Costen of J2 Sales stepped up and agreed to sponsor the bar tab.  Thank you Kevin and J. for refreshing our toasts throughout the evening.


Next, Gregg Jones was introduced and he read and handed out several awards from the recent Institute and Region Conferences which were held during the preceding weeks.  Award recipients were thoroughly “broasted” as glasses were once again “braised.” (Hic).   President Elect, Jeff Murphy, talked briefly about what will be on the horizon for Programs, Certifications, the Golf Outing, EXPO, and Communications.  Currently, Ed Avink, is offering and teaching several Certification Classes for approximately 77 students in several separate offices and cities in the United States via their  intra-office communication’s link.  Both Ken Schmidt (and Phil Kabza, “The Spec Guy,” at last month’s EXPO) indicated that Ed’s classes are the most thorough and industrious sessions throughout the entire United States and have gained several serious and well deserved comments from other Chapter leaders.


Here is the listing of names who signed the Registration Book:



Charlie Appleby                        MWA Firestone; Current President

Tami Appleby                           Charlie’s wife

Ed Avink (Excused)                   Progressive AE; Past President (2000-01)

Scott Baker (absent)                  Partition Systems

Gary Biemers                            GB Consulting; Past President (1998-99)

Elizabeth Bovard                       GRBX

Bovard Guest

Kevin Bush                               Atas

Phil Catalano                             Sto

Jim Collins                                C2AE

Janeth Collins                           Jim’s wife

Patrick Corderman                    Rockford Constr.

Christine Corderman                  Pat’s wife

  1. Costen J2 Sales

Stan Elenbaas                           Erhardt Construction

Anne Ficelli                               Colliers International

Gary Gerber                              Gerber Architects; Instructor FSU

Sally Gerber                              Gary’s wife

Fred Hall (Emeritus)                   Legal Consultant

Brad Hayden                             Tremco

Melissa Hayden                         Brad’s wife

Nick Hickson                             Tremco

Catherine Hickson                     Nick’s wife

Jim Hojnacki                             Past President (1983-84)

Hank Hondorp                          Progressive AE; Past President (2013-14); Past G. L. Region President

Gary Johnson                           TPTA

Gregg Jones                             C2AE

Mark Lackowski                        Past President (1995-96)

Pete Leidlein                             Past President (1985-86)

Jim Markiewicz                          GAF Materials

Jeff Mullins                               J2 Sales

Jeff Murphy                               Progressive AE (President Elect)

Larry Podojil Jr.                         DuroLast (Indianapolis)

Max Oliver                                Past President (1988-89; 1991-92; 1994-95; 2001-02)

Barbara Oliver                           Max’s wife

Mike Otis                                  Double S Craftsmen and Supply

Linda Otis                                 Mike’s wife

David Trudell                             Trudell Architectural Consulting

David Roodvoets                      DLR Consulting

Ken Schmidt                             Great Lakes Region President (Indianapolis)

Mike Sicklesteel                        Centria

Brian Welsh                              Progressive

Linda Welsh                              Brian’s wife

Dan Selleck Wilson (absent)       Selleck Architectural Sales



Author: Christopher Alexander

Christopher is a registered Architect and Architectural Revit Coordinator at Progressive AE in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition to Revit and BIM, he dapples in web design, CSI, and enjoys spending time with his wife, 4-year-old, and 1-year-old.

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