By Mia Alfonsi
On the morning of Oct. 4, as part of the University of Florida Homecoming celebration weekend, guests gathered at the M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management to welcome the newest members of the Construction Hall of Fame.
DCP Dean Chimay Anumba, Rinker School Director R. Raymond Issa and University of Florida President Kent Fuchs were in attendance as well as Construction Hall of Fame members Jim Pugh, Vince Burkhardt, David Brandon, John McIntyre, Charles P. Reid and Steve Palmer, who also serves as the hall of fame’s liaison.
This year’s Construction Hall of Fame inductees were Wayne Wadsworth and Dale R. Hedrick. Both recipients of the Rinker School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, these men have advanced the legacy and prestige of the Rinker School as well as the construction industry through their work and connection to UF and surrounding communities.
First to be recognized was Wayne Wadsworth, a Rinker School legacy. He resides in Atlanta and serves as the Executive Vice President for Holder Construction in Georgia.
One of Wadsworth’s most noteworthy accomplishments was his role as principal in charge of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. The Associated General Contractors of America named the $1.5 billion operation 2017’s most significant project.
Wadsworth not only attributes his success in this endeavor to Holder and its company culture, but also to the experience he had at the Rinker School.
“The project tested me as a person, as a contractor, but I relied on the values and the principles and skills that I learned here at UF,” Wadsworth said. “I showed up every day with the belief that every problem has a solution and faith in my team that together we were going to get that project done.”
Wadsworth was awarded Holder Construction’s first Chairman’s Leadership Award for his dedication to the stadium.
Further extending his service to UF, Wadsworth established an annual golf tournament through the Rinker School Alumni Clubs that raises money for the school . He strives for excellence personally as an active member of his church and a triathlete.
Recognition was also extended to Dale Hedrick, founder and CEO of Hedrick Brothers Construction.
Hedrick’s work focuses on high-end luxury homes and commercial buildings, but he is also recognized for his restoration of 1916 Palm Beach County Courthouse, his work with the Harriett Himmel Theater and the famous Palm Beach Clocktower that he completed with Rinker alumnus, Vincent Burkhardt.
His leadership and devotion to the construction space is seen through his position as President of the Associated General Contractors for the State of Florida, Chairman of the Rinker School’s Industry Advisory Board as well as his accumulation of multiple Builder of the Year awards.
Though Hedrick has tackled great feats in construction, he recounts that none of his achievements would have been possible without the great minds and mentors that he has connected with, whether they be his family, his professors at the Rinker School, his fellow alumni or his brother.
“I’ve learned that when you surround yourself with a great team, you can do great things,” Hedrick said.
We are fortunate to have a great team here at DCP comprised of alumni, students, faculty and staff and we look forward to doing great things in the future. Congratulations to the 2019 Construction Hall of Fame inductees.