Bruce Woolpert, 61, president and CEO of Graniterock, a Watsonville, Calif., construction materials distributor, died June 24 in a boating accident on Lake Tahoe. Board member Mark Kaminski was named acting CEO. Don L. Short II, 60, a nationally known construction cost estimating consultant and the president of Tempest Co., Omaha, Neb., died June 8 of cancer. He is a past president of the American Society of Professional Estimators. John S. Taylor, 61, president since 2003 of the Associated Builders and Contractors' Texas Coastal Bend chapter in Corpus Christi, died May 6 in a boating accident in Port Aransas, Texas. A search for a successor is under way.
From large to small
the u.s. small business Administration has awarded the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence in Construction to Centennial Contractors Enterprises, Reston, Va. The award recognizes prime contractors that excel in hiring and mentoring small businesses. The firm averaged more than 80% utilization of small and disadvantaged businesses each year for the past five, says CEO Mark Bailey.
'Nimble' hotel market
the hospitality sector has been more "nimble" in its business strategies, so "it has led us out of the recession," says Tony Moayed, founder of design-builder Tricorp Hearn Construction, Sacramento. The firm has more than 1,000 hotel rooms under construction in California, making hospitality one of its most successful markets. "Hotels can adjust their rates, amenities and services quickly when they recognize a downturn," Moayed says. "But average daily rates of occupancy now are trending upward." He says design-build is a "winning" strategy with such owners as Hyatt, SLO Lodging and Grandview Hotel Investors. Among projects under way is the first Los Angeles-area hotel under Hyatt's Hyatt Place brand, an $11-million facility in El Segundo.
— Nicholas Zeman