Category: JRGF

Guess What? We’re Back! The 2021 GreatFutures Forum Will Be In-Person & In Scottsdale, Arizona!

We heard you. We know you’re eager to get together with other students and with contractors from around the country. And, honestly, we can’t wait to see you, too!

So, we thought, let’s not wait. Let’s all come together. And what better place than in conjunction with the highly anticipated, in-person MSCA21 Conference this October. Students and contractors can meet, inspire, hire, share ideas, and generally have a great time. 

Here’s where we’ll meet:

JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
October 17-19, 2021

Here’s what you’ll get to do:

  • Meet with contractors at general sessions, receptions, and pretty much everywhere you go.
  • Get to know the industry and its people, and start forging relationships.
  • Let the industry know you and your talents at the GreatFutures Forum Job Fair.
  • Gain further insight and direction regarding this year’s Student Chapter Competition. (Don’t worry, the project will be announced virtually in September!)

As schools reopen, the country reconnects, and the mechanical contracting industry reunites, you can get the jump on building your great future.

Registration will open next month, so keep an eye out for more information. For now, though, start looking ahead…It’ll be great to be together, at last! 

If you have any questions, please reach out to Megan Walsh.

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: The Endless Opportunities of Mechanical Contracting

As we wrap up our Beyond the Classroom series, we wanted to highlight the endless opportunities the mechanical contracting industry has to offer. Scott Hinton, Vice President of Harrell-Fish, Inc. and a member of MCAA’s Career Development Committee and MCAA’s Board of Directors, describes the unique nature of mechanical contracting saying, “People do not seem to get stuck in roles. They get more opportunity to advance and continue advancing throughout their careers.”

A part of advancing within this industry is in surrounding yourself with other professionals. Scott credits MCAA for helping him establish relationships with contractors across the country. These are people he can call with questions, share information and ideas with, and lean on for support. They’re the same type of people, who look forward to welcoming you into this industry and helping you grow.

Take advantage of all MCAA offerings, whether in-person or virtual. Sit next to a contractor at the next in-person MCAA event you attend or send a question directly to a contractor during the next virtual presentation you watch. In short: reach out and get involved! 

Scott, and other MCAA members are ready to help introduce you to the endless opportunities within the industry!

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: Participation–The Key to Growth

Adam Crnkovich is currently a Project Manager at the Ray Martin Company and a previous member of the University of Nebraska- Lincoln student chapter. As a student, Adam really enjoyed participating in MCAA’s Student Chapter Competition as it gave him incredible exposure to technical aspects that contractors work on, as well as played a huge role in his understanding of the industry as a whole. 

Additionally, during his time in his student chapter, Adam actively attended MCAA GreatFutures Forums and MCAA Annual Conventions which he says not only helped him continue to learn about the industry and network, but ultimately helped him grow further into his field and as a person. Adam shared participating in these opportunities “gave me a lot more experience that not only understand if this is something I wanted to pursue, but also how I could be better in the industry and grow as a person and career in general.

Adam loves that the mechanical contracting industry is not only about building things, but building people and relationships, something he has personally benefited from.

Meet the Final Four Teams in MCAA’s 2020-2021 Student Chapter Competition

MCAA is so excited that our Virtual Education Conference (VEC)Essential Learning for Unconventional Times, is almost here! Next week starts off with MCAA’s Annual Student Chapter Competition on Monday, March 22nd from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET and you will not want to miss it. Get to know the final four teams before the big competition!

Fairleigh Dickinson University

MCAA’s student chapter at Fairleigh Dickinson University was chartered in 2003. Wonjae Choi, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, is the current faculty advisor.

The FDU chapter has entered the MCAA Student Chapter Competition every year since 2004. They competed in the Final Four at the 2018 MCAA Convention in San Antonio. In 2010, 2015, 2017 and 2019, the chapter placed in the top 10 and received a Certificate of Merit recognizing their achievement.  

The chapter received Emerging Chapter grants in 2004 and 2007. They also received a Chapter of Excellence Grant in 2005, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2020.

Meet Fairleigh Dickinson’s competition team: 
(The competition team consisted of all Mechanical Engineering majors)
Francis Castro, Class of 2021
Keion Oglesby, Class of 2021
Andrew Sayad, Class of 2022
Natalie Stanton, Class of 2021
Alejandro Zapata, Class of 2021

Kansas State University 

Kansas State University’s chapter received its charter at the 2010 Convention in San Francisco. The chapter’s current faculty advisors are Paul Karr and Jongchul Song. KSU has consistently participated in the student competition since 2011. Chapter members have attended all of the MCAA Conventions and Student Chapter Summits and GreatFutures Forums since it was chartered. 

The chapter received an Emerging Chapter Grant in 2011, 2014 and again in 2019. They received a Chapter of Excellence Grant in 2018 and 2020.

Meet Kansas State University’s competition team: 
Annie Burnam, Construction Science and Management, Class of 2021
Collin Champagne, Construction Science and Management, Class of 2022
Carlos Espino, Architectural Engineering, Class of 2024
Kayla Huffman, Architectural Engineering, Class of 2022
Trevor Waggoner, Architectural Engineering , Class of 2022
Peyton Winter, Construction Science and Management, Class of 2024

Missouri State University

Missouri State’s student chapter was charted in the Spring of 2017 and the chapter has been incredibly involved in MCAA’s Career Development Initiative, attending every GreatFutures Forum and Convention since. Jacob Nelson is the current faculty advisor. 

Meet Missouri State University’s competition team: 
(The competition team consisted of all Construction Management majors)
Nathan Bextermueller, Class of 2022
Cole Eiler, Class of 2021
Tanner Hartman, Class of 2021
Cabriah Hillman, Class of December 2021
Keagan Hosman, Class of 2022
Ryan Sweeny, Class of 2023

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Campus

MCAA’s student chapter at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Campus was chartered in 2007. The chapter has consistently participated in MCAA events, and their local MCA of Metro Washington hosted MCAA’s last GreatFutures Forum in Washington, D.C. in 2019. 

Most recently, their student chapter was awarded an Emerging Chapter Grant in 2020. 

Georg Reichard, PhD, PE has been the faculty advisor of this student chapter from the start and still stands as the faculty advisor today. 

Meet the Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus competition team: 
(The competition team consisted of all Building Construction majors)
Ke’Aja (KJ) Jefferson, Class of 2021
Andrew Nguyen, Class of 2021
Justin Zeigmont, Class of December 2021

MCAA and the John R. Gentille Foundation (JRGF) congratulate all of the finalists and recognize their commitment and dedication to this year’s project. 

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: Showing Interest in the Industry

Ted McHugh left college with an education geared more towards a career in general contracting, with limited knowledge of the mechanical industry. However, he applied for a job at West Chester Mechanical Contractors, Inc. and quickly gained experience in various roles within the company.

Ted shares insight into the time and interest he put into researching the company and emphasizes that this is an important part of their hiring process, “When we’re hiring, we’re looking for somebody who’s interested in the company, interested in our industry and knows a little bit about it. Come into an interview and ask questions.”

A current MCAA Career Development committee member, Ted talks with passion when describing the variety of opportunities the mechanical industry offers to meet individual interests, and he is a great example of what you can achieve if you develop an interest and passion for the industry.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to Apply for 2020 Scholarships, the Student Chapter of the Year Award and to Nominate an Educator of the Year!

JRGF offers several scholarships as part of its commitment to funding the next generation of mechanical contracting leaders. JRGF and its generous donors are proud to present the following scholarships:

  • Foster McCarl, Jr. Memorial Scholarship – The John R. Gentille Foundation (JRGF) has established a $2,500 scholarship to commemorate its founder, Foster McCarl, Jr. and to honor his memory. This national scholarship will symbolize the scope of Mr. McCarl’s impact on the mechanical contracting industry and memorialize his many contributions to its continuing advancement.
  • Reilly Family Memorial Scholarship – The John W. Danforth Company has established a $5,000 scholarship to commemorate the memory of its leadership, the Reilly Family. Danforth is a charter member of the MCAA. Kevin “Duke” Reilly served as Danforth’s Chairman/CEO. Wayne, Patrick and Emmett Reilly contributed a combined 128 years of commitment and loyalty to their company and the industry. This national scholarship will symbolize the Reillys’ many contributions to the mechanical contracting industry.
  • William A. Bianco, Jr. Memorial Scholarship – Kinetics has established a $5,000 scholarship to commemorate William A. Bianco, Jr. and to honor his memory. This national scholarship will symbolize the scope of Mr. Bianco’s impact on the mechanical contracting industry and memorialize his many contributions to its continuing advancement.
  • Ferguson – Women in the Mechanical Industry Scholarship (Open to female students) – Ferguson is sponsoring two $5,000 scholarships for two worthy female students invested in career in the mechanical contracting industry.
  • Alan P. O’Shea Memorial Scholarship – The Mechanical Contractors Association of New Jersey has established two $2,500 scholarships to honor the memory of Alan P. O’Shea, former Executive Director of the MCA of New Jersey. These national scholarships will memorialize Mr. O’Shea’s many contributions to the mechanical contracting industry.

If you wish to apply, please email your completed application, your resume, and a letter of recommendation to Megan Walsh at by the end of the day.

The Student Chapter of the Year Award recognizes an MCAA student chapter for outstanding achievement as an organization of students who are planning careers in the mechanical construction industry. The award recognizes exceptional achievement in governance and leadership, membership recruiting, fundraising, community involvement, and career development. Apply now!

The Educator of the Year Award recognizes MCAA student chapter faculty advisors for exceptional accomplishment as advisors, educators, and mentors of students who plan to develop a professional career with the mechanical construction industry. Nominate your faculty advisor today!

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: Taking The First Step Into the Unknown

A Notre Dame graduate in Mechanical Engineering, Anne Finerfrock was unsure which direction she wanted to take her career in. She knew she did not want to sit behind a desk but had no answers to an important question: is that a viable career option? Fortunately, Anne spent time at a career fair and began a conversation with a mechanical contracting company. Investing her time to seek out answers resulted in an internship at this company and her first step into the industry.

Anne speaks highly of the endless opportunities provided to individuals in a similar position, “The advantage of working for a mechanical contractor versus a large GC is that you really get involved in all aspects of the project.” Now a Project Manager at W.E. Bowers, Anne credits the MCAA GreatFutures program for providing opportunities to explore career options and internship possibilities that offer 8 to 10 weeks of first-hand experience.

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: Following Your Interests to First-Hand Experience

Colten Lovejoy’s interest in the mechanical construction industry may have stemmed from watching his father work in the industry for 25 years, but he was quick to create his own experiences. Colten knew he wanted to immediately start working in the field. As a student, he interned with MMC Contractors in Kansas City, MO for two summers as a pre-apprentice alongside journeymen, laborers, and foremen and really enjoyed seeing and understanding how and why complicated systems work the way they do, first-hand. 

Colten graduated from Pittsburgh State University in May and is now a full-time employee at MMC Contractors. He credits not only his dad, but his Pittsburg State University Faculty Advisor, Shannon Nicklaus for helping him continue his education and career in the industry. Through Colten’s involvement in his MCAA student chapter, he has gained a life-long mentor, as well as a network of industry peers. Even if later in life he has a question or is looking to problem solve, he knows he can call anyone he has met through this program to work through it together.

Congratulations to MCAA’s Emerging Student Chapter & Chapter of Excellence Grant Recipients

On behalf of the John R. Gentille Foundation and MCAA’s Career Development Committee, we are pleased to announce the following Student Chapters received a 2020 Emerging Chapter Grant: Bowling Green State University, Cypress College, Northern Kentucky University, and Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Campus.

The Emerging Chapter Grant was created to assist new chapters in becoming more established or struggling chapters in overcoming a challenge or obstacle. The financial assistance this grant money provides has helped chapters build stronger and better programs that attract and interest more students.

The John R. Gentille Foundation and MCAA’s Career Development Committee are also pleased to share the following Student Chapters received a 2020 Chapter of Excellence Grant: Ball State University, California State University, Chico, California State University, East Bay, Fairleigh-Dickinson University, Ferris State, Kansas State University, Kent State University, Purdue University, the University of Maryland, the University of Missouri- Columbia, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

This Chapter of Excellence award recognizes student chapters for their extraordinary performance and accomplishments during the prior year, as well as encourage their continued growth and development.

Congratulations to all recipients and many thanks for your continued interest and participation in MCAA’s Student Chapter program.