2020 Chapter Award Winners

The MN/ND ABC’s awards program was created to recognize members who are dedicated to improving their business, customer service and community through determination and hard work.  Members have been nominated by their peers and winners were selected by the Business Development Committee using specific criteria for the following categories:


2020 Construction Company of the Year - The Weitz Company

The Weitz Company offers construction expertise in three core product lines — Commercial, Industrial and International — and has built projects in all 50 states. We are committed to superior quality, value and complete customer satisfaction by developing collaborative relationships with clients, designers, partners, subcontractors and suppliers.

Our job is first, and foremost, about our customers. Keeping our customers at the forefront helps us determine what project success really looks like, long before the first piece of construction equipment arrives on the jobsite.  This goes beyond cost, schedule and quality. It’s about relationships, innovation, efficiency, empowerment and learning. We work with our clients to uncover their expectations to reveal other pressures, challenges and concerns that face them in the process of building their project. Then, we respond by developing solutions and taking steps to address these needs, help achieve their goals and complete projects efficiently and safely.

Weitz is proud to be working with the Tyson Foods team members, as we constructed the first of the next generation of feed mills.  Weitz has done considerable work for Tyson Foods Inc. in the past, and due to our excellent quality of work and attention to detail, we continue to be one of their contractors of choice.  For the past five years, Weitz Minneapolis has spent a day volunteering for a local organization called Household & Outside Maintenance for the Elderly (HOME).  Weitz provided yard service and miscellaneous chores for the elderly in nearby communities. 

2020 Construction Woman of The Year - Diane Haugen, Certified Wood Products

CEO and majority owner of Certified Wood Products in Maple Lake, MN. Certified Wood Products is a national wholesale supplier of forest products that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This means the growers and harvesters of FSC timber must protect animals and water quality, ban highly hazardous chemicals, minimize clear-cuts, protect rare old growth forests, protect the loss of natural forest cover, forbid illegal logging and protect the rights of people and local communities.

Diane Haugen’s focus on sustainability and stewardship of forests is exemplified by supplying FSC-certified wood. As you might imagine, it’s easier and cheaper to skip that certification. But every year, Certified must pass a demanding certification audit in order to continue supplying FSC-certified wood. Orders are used for building structures including commercial, institutional, educational, medical, recreational and governmental use. FSC-certified forest products help support organizations' initiatives for stewardship, environmental impact, social responsibility and climate change mitigation.

Diane Haugen understands the importance of quality and integrity. She and a partner started Certified 20 years ago with an eye on their values as well as on making a living. That meant seeking out responsible users and connecting them with responsible producers.

Annually, her company contributes 10% of all earnings to organizations that are making a positive impact. Certified supports Feed My Starving Children, Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, Joni and Friends, the Red Cross, the Animal Humane Society and the Salvation Army among other community organizations.

She appreciates the work ABC’s does to help members develop people, win work and advocate on our behalf for free enterprise in the construction industry. Haugen especially appreciates the patriotism exemplified by ABC. Her company takes advantage of ABC’s training programs, structured networking events and has sponsored many events and meetings.


If you would like to nominate a member for the 2021 Chapter Awards, please contact Jeni Ankeny at the MN/ND ABC office at 952-941-8693. Nominations will be accepted up to October 15th with the presentation at the Annual Meeting on November 17, 2021.

Past Chapter Award Winners

2019 Construction Company of the Year - Knobelsdorff Enterprises

Since their start in 1988, Knobelsdorff has seen their people, their process and their clients grow more than they could have ever imagined. They give credit to their team of selfless and dedicated employees for their success. With a set of core values that are the standard for the work they do including being strong and progressive leaders to their team and the industries they serve, also staying down to earth with a desire and capacity to learn and grow always. Being an ABC member since 2009, they’ve stayed true to their merit shop roots in delivering the best service and building lasting relationships with their customers, vendors and subcontractors. Recently having completed their work on the ADM Mendota project which is the largest ground up built flour mill in the country, their versatility stems from their experience and high ethical standards, which apply to every project they are on, from large industrial sites to local residential customers. They’ve won multiple ABC STEP and EIC awards over the years, proving their processes and work ethic create the safest and highest quality projects. Outside of the work they do, KE is a leader in the community. From donating safety equipment to emergency teams, to offering scholarships to kids looking to get into the trades, and providing the best support to our Veterans, Knobelsdorff gives back. Safety has always been a priority for KE, following and implementing the ABC Safety Program, they have been the standard for safety in the industries they serve. A team of experts, a culture of winning, and family-based values. That is the #KEway.

2019 ABC Hall Of Fame - Jim & Georgia Hoffman, Protouch Painting

The ABC Hall of Fame Award is presented to a member who through many years and even generations has achieved significant accomplishments in the construction industry and the merit shop. It recognizes those outstanding individuals and companies who, through their exceptional work and achievements, have made a significant contribution to our Industry and a profound difference in the local communities where they work. The award this year went to Jim and Georgia Hoffman from Protouch Painting, Inc.

2018 Construction Company of the Year - Rice Companies

For over 65 years, Rice Companies has partnered with clients on thousands of projects and constructed millions of square feet. Over 80% of their business is with repeat clients, some of them for over 40 years and many of them with multiple generations working with a collaborative design and construction team. A few of these  construction clients include: Coborn's Support Center; Functional Industries; and the Madelia Fire Reconstruction. The company has partnered with and promoted charities that align with their own values including: Boys & Girls Clubs; Coborn Cancer Center; and the March of Dimes. The company was founded with a merit shop philosophy, and that continues today. As an ABC member for over 35 years, they have won numerous awards including Pyramid & Eagle - Awards of Excellence & STEP awards. Their safety committee has utilized ABC's safety program for a number of years, resulting in an ever-increasing culture of safety on their jobsites. And they continually work to solicit merit-based vendors and subcontractors to work with their team.

2018 Construction Woman of the Year - Nancy Samson, Shingobee Builders, Inc.

The ABC 2018 Construction Woman of the Year is Nancy Samson, CEO of Shingobee Builders, Inc. This award recognizes the outstanding efforts of women in the construction industry. It encompasses accomplishments, leadership, and contributions to the community and promotion of the merit shop.  Under her leadership as CFO for the past 14 years, and now as CEO, Nancy's company withstood the recession by growing the business in diverse markets and geographic areas, and has increased volume and revenue.  Shingobee has been actively involved in STEP since 1995, and frequently submits to the Excellence in Construction awards program. Her firm was the first to achieve Level 3 Cooperative Compliance Partnership under MNOSHA's partnership program with ABC. Nancy Samson has been a member of the ABC Board of Directors for two years, and an active member of the Legislative Committee for several years, including taking annual trips to Washington, D.C. to advocate for merit shop legislation.