The SIR Award represents skill, integrity, and responsibility. It is presented as the industry’s highest and most prestigious award. SIR recipients are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the construction industry and their communities.
On Saturday, November 1 at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront Hotel, enjoy an extraordinary night filled with celebration to honor four stars of the construction industry. This year’s SIR Awards Gala, presented by Brown & Brown Northwest Insurance, is the Oregon-Columbia Chapter’s most anticipated black tie event.
Tickets are still available!
Jack Markgraf, Retired President, Horizon Erectors
Jim McKune, President, McKUNE LLC
David Rogge, Retired Assistant School Head for Construction Engineering Management, Oregon State University
Scott Williams, President, Hamilton Construction Company
As we count down to the event on November 1, we will be blogging about each of our four SIR Award recipients.
Honoring One of our Four SIR Award Recipients
Goldendale, Washington, a small town near the Columbia Gorge, surrounded by wheat fields and cattle ranches, was the home of Jim McKune until the age of 18. He began a lifetime of hard work very young, handling a paper route, mowing lawns, and collecting bottles for spending change. As he got older, he worked for the local Ford dealer, cleaning cars and taking them on an occasional spin around the block. When he was 13 he began spending summers with his dad, a diesel mechanic, working on logging trucks.
After graduating from high school, Jim went to Yakima Valley College, but soon realized that college was not the choice for him. He instead joined the military, following the example of his older brother, father, and grandfather. He scored high in electronics on the Air Force entrance exam, and after basic training spent six months in electronics school, learning how to repair ground radios, which was followed by being stationed at Austin, Texas where he used his new-found skills in war games. His final two years were spent with the army at Fort Hood, Texas, where he was introduced to a construction program designed to help soldiers transition to civilian life. He went through a carpenter pre-apprenticeship program, and after being discharged, headed to Portland. Two weeks later, Jim went to work for Emerick Construction as an apprentice carpenter.
The day he started, he was “as green as could be,” and brought along brand new tools and an apron purchased at Sears the night before. He worked on a variety of smaller projects at first, which gave him a wide range of experience, and soon he was a foreman and began getting a journeyman wage. After just over a year, the Portland construction market suffered from several major labor strikes, during this time he supported his family by working as a Popsicle and ice cream salesman, driving a little 2.5 foot-wide vehicle around Vancouver neighborhoods. The hours were long, but it paid the bills.
Always a hard worker, Jim rarely missed a day of work throughout his career, only occasionally taking a vacation day.
He continued to move up the ranks at Emerick, and with a couple of colleagues, took over the ownership and running of the company in 1987. Jim’s final position, chief operating officer, carried him through until his retirement in 2013, after 40 years.
Emerick has long been a member of AGC, but Jim was involved only peripherally through the Carpenter Training and Apprenticeship Trust, the Fair Contracting Foundation, the Oregon Building Congress, and the AGC Foundation’s Black Tie & Blue Jeans event. In 2005 Jim was asked to join the board of directors, and he was recognized as the Rookie of the Year his first year. He soon went through the chairs and served as chapter president in 2012.
After retiring from Emerick, Jim’s love of hard work once again won out. He was asked to participate in the repair of the exterior of the AGC Center, and after suggesting the creation of an oversight committee, soon found himself as the sole member. Under his watchful eye, the building underwent major repair, ending on time and under budget. Still unable to fully relax in his retirement, in early 2014 Jim created McKUNE LLC to work as an owner’s rep on the Oregon State Capitol Renovation Project , a project that will last several years. In May of this year he became president of the AGC Foundation.
Jim is enjoying his semi-retirement, however, and spends a lot of time keeping his 2.5 acres of land in West Linn well-manicured and beautiful. He and Denise, the “love-of-his-life”, have been married 28 years, and enjoy their four kids, 10 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
Master of Ceremonies
Rick Dancer is an award winning storyteller. He worked as a TV news anchor/producer/executive editor for over 25 years, and is currently owner of Rick Dancer Media Services. In 2008, he was also a candidate for Oregon Secretary of State.
6 pm Reception
6:45 pm Dinner
7:45 pm Program
9 pm After Party
Tickets are still available
Reserved Table for Eight $1,150
Individual Tickets $150 per person
Attire for the Evening
The SIR Awards is a formal event.
Men: Black tie or suit Tuxedo Coupon
Ladies: Evening gown or cocktail dress
Thank You to Our SIR Award Sponsors
Hamilton Construction Company
Jordan Ramis, PC
P & C Construction Company
The CAF Union Contractors of AGC
Miller Nash, LLP
Moss Adams, LLP
Precision Electric Contractors, LLC
Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt
Stoel Rives, LLP
Enterprise Fleet Management and Commercial Trucks
Northside Ford Truck Sales