About Us2021-10-21T11:52:14-05:00

Who We Are

Building Advantage promotes union commercial construction as the first choice on behalf of union members and the contractors who employ them. Our Member Stakeholders deliver safe, quality construction projects, on time and on budget. They do this through investment in their people, their companies and their industry.

We were created by the Construction Labor Management Council of Southeast Wisconsin to promote the benefits of hiring union construction contractors and tradespeople. Building Advantage is comprised of thousands of tradespeople, hundreds of contractors, and five management associations.

Who is

BUILDING ADVANTAGE?

Directors

Nathan M. Jurowski

Executive Director

Nathan works hard to advance the interests of the men, women and companies in union construction in the Greater Milwaukee Area. By partnering with industry stakeholders and community leaders, Nathan ensures that Building Advantage is at the forefront of crucial construction industry initiatives such as workforce, business and economic development.

Nathan is a Wisconsin State Licensed Attorney, graduating from William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN, in 2009, and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Prior to his time at Building Advantage, Nathan worked as General Counsel for the Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee (AGC). At the AGC, he focused on labor relations on behalf of contractors, as well as providing direct legal services to AGC Members. At the AGC, Nathan garnered the respect and trust of both labor and management. He now looks to build on those relationships as he promotes union construction on behalf of the members of Building Advantage.

Katie Major

Communications Director

Katie promotes the work being done by union contractors and tradespeople through various marketing and public relations efforts.

Katie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Prior to joining Building Advantage, Katie worked as a marketing coordinator at a large general contracting firm in Milwaukee, as well as a general contractor in Atlanta, Georgia. During both roles, she designed marketing and advertising collateral, created proposals and interview materials, and planned local events related to careers in construction.

At Building Advantage, Katie looks forward to supporting management and labor relations and promoting union construction careers and training opportunities.

Executive Board

The Building Advantage Executive Board is made up of six labor and six management representatives, along with six industry advisors from across southeastern Wisconsin. Together, we work to solve issues of mutual concern, like recruiting our future workforce and getting our current members back to work.

Co-Chairs

Dan Bukiewicz

President,
Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council

Dan was elected to President of the Milwaukee Building & Construction Trades Council in January of 2014. Before being elected to serve the Council, Dan had been a Business Representative of IBEW Local 494 since 2012 where he provided representation for all contracts, apprenticeships, pensions, grievances, and communications with various industry and businesses affiliated with Local 494. Prior to becoming a Business Representative, he spent 19 years at a large electrical contractor where he worked his way from an Account Representative to Service Department Manager.

He also is serving his third term as Oak Creek’s Second District Alderman where he represents the interests of 3,500-4,000 residents. He serves on various committees, including:

  • Planning Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Personnel Committee
  • Park and Recreation Board Member

Kevin O’Toole

Executive Vice President,
Hunzinger Construction Company

Kevin O’Toole is Executive Vice President of Hunzinger Construction Company. With over 25 years of construction experience, he oversees many of Hunzinger’s most complex construction projects, including Milwaukee World Festival and the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club.

He serves on several boards, including:

  • Associated General Contractors of America and the Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee
  • Past President and Board Member of the Allied Construction Employer’s Association
  • St. Coletta of Wisconsin Board of Directors and Finance Committee
  • Make-a-Wish Foundation National Board of Directors

Labor Representatives

Tony Mayrhofer

Business Manager/Financial Secretary,
Iron Workers Local 8

Tony Mayrhofer is the Business Manager/Financial Secretary of Ironworkers Local 8. He was sworn into Ironworkers Local 8 on March 24, 1999. During his career as an ironworker, he has proudly served Local 8 as an Instructor, Vice President, and Business Agent and served as Business Manager for the past four years. He is one of the first Business Managers within the International Association to develop a comprehensive three-year business plan and has recently secured a $600,000 Supplemental Grant to expand training within Local 8. Under his leadership, Local 8 has been awarded the 2016 George E. Kratzer Award of Excellence from the International Association and has received the 2017 Lyle A. Balistreri Outstanding Recognition Awards for Local of the year, Business Manager of the year and Business Agent of the year.

He served in the United States Army Reserve for 18 years and participated in three combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, canoeing and hiking with his girlfriend, Kathryn.

Bart Swearingen

Business Agent,
Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons Local 599

Bart Swearingen serves as a Business Agent for the Milwaukee area 558, focusing on Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties.

Mike Mooney

President/Business Manager,
Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 18

Mike Mooney is approaching his 34th year as a proud member of SMART. He started his Sheet Metal career in 1986. He finished his 5-year Apprenticeship in 1991 and worked with the tools as a Foreman until 2000. In 2000, he was appointed as a Local Union Organizer and continued in this position until 2005. In 2005, the membership elected Mike as their Milwaukee Area #6 Business Representative where he continued in this position until 2013. In 2013, he was elected to the Statewide position of Financial Secretary/Treasurer for Local 18 and he continued in this position until 2018. In 2018, Mike was elected as the President/Business Manager for Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 18 and he continues in this capacity today.

In 2018, Mike was also appointed as a member of the National Joint Adjustment Board (NJAB) and has also served on many committees for the International. He enjoys sitting on these boards and committees where he has the ability to help resolve issues between Labor and Management on a National level.

Mike has two children. His daughter Reilly graduated from UW Madison in 2019 with degrees in Zoology and Conservation Biology. She is currently working with UW Madison on a year-long Internship in South Africa. His son Dylan opted for going into the trades and is in his first year of his Sheet Metal Apprenticeship.

Mike enjoys fishing and hunting in his free time.

Doug Volland

Business Representative,
North Central States Regional Council Of Carpenters

Doug Volland has served as a Business Representative for the Carpenters’ Union since 2017.

Joel Zielke

Business Manager,
Steamfitters Local 601

Local 601 has long been a tradition in Zielke’s family – his grandfather, uncle, and cousin were all members – and after attending Boys’ Tech for high school, it was a natural fit for Zielke to apply to begin his apprenticeship. The economy, however, wasn’t on his side during that time, and the Steamfitters weren’t taking on any new apprentices, so Zielke decided to pursue Engineering courses at MSOE and worked to gain industry experience as an estimator while he waited.

Rewarded for his patience and hard work, Zielke finally secured his apprenticeship with Local 601, and his career in the union construction industry took off from there; eventually becoming a journeyman steamfitter, a project foreman and superintendent on significant projects like St. Joseph’s Hospital and the Harley Davidson Product Development Center. He eventually was recognized for his great work by his union leadership and brought on to the Local 601 Executive Board, where he continued to move up through the ranks, eventually becoming Business Manager in 2015.

According to Zielke, this is the best job he’s ever had. “I get to work every day with a great team to influence the path this union takes,” he said. This means increasing training opportunities to meet customers’ needs, encouraging the membership to get more involved and continue to build a pipeline for their future workforce.

Zielke tries to always look toward the future. “The past is over with, and you have to stay relevant. This trade is so diverse, and we have to make sure our workers are prepared for whatever comes next.” That starts with recruiting the right people. Steamfitters Local 601 currently has about 250 apprentices, and Zielke credits his training team for great enrollment and retention rates. He says that it is incredibly important to be upfront about the realities and potential difficulties of the job during their training orientations, but to also emphasize the benefits that come along with it. “We are constantly looking for ways to reinvest back into our workforce, in terms of pay, benefits, pension and training opportunities. We are about what is best for working people here in Wisconsin.”

Management Representatives

Frank Grotkiewicz

Executive Vice President,
Preferred Electrical Contractors

Frank Grotkiewicz has been Executive Vice President at Preferred Electrical Contractors for the past …

Frank Grotkiewicz has been Executive Vice President at Preferred Electrical Contractors for the past four years. Frank provides innovative design services and manages numerous healthcare projects in the Milwaukee area. Frank began his apprenticeship in 1993 with Local 494 and is now a certified master electrician. He serves on the Electrical Construction Industry Annuity Board and has been a member of NECA since 2014.

Christopher Martinez

Founder/President,
Dairyland Energy Solutions, Inc

Chris Martinez is the founder and president of Dairyland Energy Solutions. For more than 20 years, the company has worked on notable Milwaukee projects such as; Johnson Controls HQ, Northwestern Mutual, Miller Park among others. Chris has remained an active member of the building trades and currently serves on the Milwaukee Electrical Apprenticeship Board as well as current board president of the Plumbing Mechanical Contractors.

Education:

  • Wisconsin State Indentured Apprenticeship – Milwaukee J.A.T.C.
  • Cardinal Stritch University – Business Administration
  • Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business – Executive Management

Additional information:

  • Wisconsin State Certified Master Electrician
  • Member of The Joint Apprenticeship Committee
  • Member of Butler Chamber of Commerce
  • Member of National Electrical Contractors Association
  • Member of The Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce
  • President of Plumbing & Mechanical Contractors
  • Past board member of Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services
  • Past School Board President, St. Anthony Parish School
  • Past Director of Associated General ContractorsPast labor member of the Negotiating Committee

Mike Henke

Executive Vice President,
Construction Supply & Erection, Inc.

Mike Henke has been Executive Vice President of Construction Supply & Erection, Inc. since 1997. CSE provides structural and miscellaneous steel, metal wall panels, and louvers, furnished and installed, in Wisconsin. CSE is an American Institute of Steel Construction Quality Certified fabricator. CSE provides turnkey services for its customers in drafting, fabricating, and erecting the materials it provides. Design services can also be provided. CSE is a dealer for Centria and C/S Group products.

Mike has a Civil Engineering degree from Marquette University and an MBA from UW-Madison’s School of Business.

Dan Rogers

President,
BREDAN Mechanical Systems, Inc.

Dan Rogers has served as BREDAN Mechanical System, Inc’s President since 1992.

Dan holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale.

Mike Stern

Project Manager,
J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc.

Mike Stern is a Project Manager at J.H. Findorff and Son, Inc., one of the Midwest’s leading builders with offices in Madison, Milwaukee, and Wausau. He began working at Findorff after graduating from Marquette University in 2010 with a degree in Civil Engineering.

Stern has managed a number of prominent Milwaukee projects including The Moderne and The Commons at Marquette University. He has served on the AGC-GM Board of Directors since 2018 and is the current AGC-GM President.

Advisors

Mark Kessenich

CEO,
AGC-GM

Mark Kessenich became CEO of the Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee in June 2020. As CEO, Kessenich partners with and represents 40 general contractors, over 400 subcontractors and suppliers on issues affecting their businesses. Previously, Mark served as President and CEO of WRTP/BIG STEP. Kessenich holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Jonathan Kowalski

Executive Director,
PMC-SMACCA

Jonathan Kowalski is the new Executive Director of the Plumbing Mechanical and Sheet Metal Contractors’ Alliance (The “Alliance”). In this role Kowalski will serve under the direct supervision of the Executive Committee of PMSMCA, under the authority of the Boards of Directors of the PMC and SMACCA Milwaukee. He will be responsible for all the administrative operations of the Alliance and the execution of the policies, programs, and activities of the Alliance organizations. Kowalski will work with the Alliance to direct all labor relations activities and he will serve as the spokesperson for the Alliance entities in dealing with the labor unions associated with the Alliance entities and will be called upon to maintain effective relationships with industry groups and institutions.

Kowalski comes to the PMSMCA from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (“MSOE”) where, for over 10 years, he served in various capacities in the MSOE Development Department. At MSOE he was responsible for the development and implementation of university-wide fundraising activities and instrumental in securing several large donations for the university and scholarships to support students. Having served as the interim Vice President of Development from 2015-2017, Kowalski worked very closely with internal and external constituents to secure philanthropic support for the development of campus wide priorities.
His previous roles had him working in administration at the Medical College of Wisconsin, BMO Harris Wealth Management and Marquette University.
Kowalski holds a B.A. in Journalism (Print) from the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN) and a J.D. from DePaul University (Chicago, IL). He and his wife Maggie have two sons and live in Milwaukee.

Matt Marcellis

Executive Director,
ACEA

Matt Marcellis became Executive Director of the ACEA in February 2021. Matt is a member of the Wisconsin State Bar and a proud Air Force veteran. His background in construction and business law will give him an edge with the competing interests of business reality and legal risk.

Bob Rayburn

Executive Vice President,
NECA

Bob Rayburn is the Executive Vice President of National Electrical Contractors Association – Milwaukee. He has been with NECA for 34 years, and has been in his current role for the last 11 years. Rayburn serves on the WRTP and BIG STEP Boards, and is the Secretary of various Electrical Construction Industry Trust Funds.

Lindsay Blumer

President & CEO,
WRTP/BIG STEP

Lindsay Blumer is a respected nonprofit organization professional with almost 20 years of experience in executive leadership, strategic planning, entrepreneurship, social enterprise and innovation.  Blumer has worked as a community fellow with United Way of America designing community impact solutions, advising and developing state government advocacy and policy work in various appointed roles, advancing curricular and program design as Assistant Dean at Ripon College, creating collaborative community-based solutions as the executive director of a domestic violence and sexual assault prevention organization and developing entrepreneurial pathways at Marquette University.  Her dedication to mission-based and community-focused work continues to drive her personally and professionally as the newly appointed CEO and President at WRTP|BIG STEP based in Milwaukee, WI.

Industry Partners

Building Advantage was created by The Construction Labor Management Council of Southeast Wisconsin to actively promote the benefits of hiring union construction contractors and trades people. We are comprised of nearly 20,000 trades people, 600 contractors and six management associations throughout Wisconsin.

News

Industry Resources

Contact Us

Interested in learning more about Building Advantage or joining the union construction industry? You’re in the right place! Give us a shout via phone or email — we’re happy to help!

Building Advantage
250 E Wisconsin Ave, Suite 100
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Nathan M. Jurowski, Executive Director
Email: njurowski@buildingadvantage.org
Phone: (262) 215-9656

Katie Major, Communications Director
Email: kmajor@buildingadvantage.org
Phone: (262) 719-6964

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