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AGC Honors Kelly Layman, Aaron Bartel, and Insurance Firm Parker, Smith & Feek
By Rindi White
man in white construction hat at microphone
AGC Honors Kelly Layman, Aaron Bartel, and Insurance Firm Parker, Smith & Feek
By Rindi White
Layman Receives 2022 Hard Hat Award

elly Layman first got involved with Associated General Contractors, or AGC, of Alaska after moving to Anchorage with his family and not knowing a soul.

“I knew I needed to get connected in the construction industry,” Layman says. “I started working with AGC and trying to get connected there.”

Working in the field of insurance, Layman came to Alaska in 2003 to join Ribelin Lowell & Company Insurance Brokers in the company’s bonding department. Sixteen years ago, he joined Marsh McLennan Agency, where he currently works as director of the surety department.

Within a couple of years of becoming involved with AGC, Layman was elected as an AGC of Alaska board member. He has since served on various committees throughout the years. Most who have attended AGC’s annual conferences will recognize him; he has both helped organize and stood behind the presenter’s podium at AGC events many times.

“Kelly is always available and contributes his time unselfishly when a need presents itself. His commitment to the Associated General Contractors, the construction industry, and our community can be measured by the countless hours of personal time he dedicates. Kelly has done all of this never asking for recognition. He is a quiet, humble contributor,” AGC board member Robby Capps said of Layman when Capps presented him with the 2022 Hard Hat Award, AGC of Alaska’s most prestigious award, at the November 12 AGC Dinner Dance Gala at the Hotel Captain Cook. Capps received a Hard Hat award in 2012.

The award was established by the chapter to recognize an individual who has demonstrated outstanding contributions to the Alaska construction industry. A team reviews nominations for the award each year.

“It was a huge honor,” Layman says of receiving the award.

Layman says his time working with AGC of Alaska has been incredibly rewarding.

“I just fell in love with the people,” he says.

Receiving the Hard Hat award is recognition for outstanding support of the industry, not just for a “job well done.” Layman doesn’t plan to slow his involvement with AGC. In fact, he makes it a practice to encourage young people—particularly those he works with—to become involved in AGC. The benefits are exponential.

He explains: “People who will engage, they’ll see all the benefits. If you join and don’t do anything, you’re probably not going to get the enjoyment out of it. I’ve made some incredible friendships through AGC.”

AGC of Alaska Volunteer of the Year: Aaron Bartel

“His enthusiasm for the industry is unparalleled and we appreciate the energy and passion he brings to all AGC events, committees, and issues,” says Associated General Contractors of Alaska Executive Director Alicia Amberg of this year’s AGC Stan Smith Volunteer of the Year, Aaron Bartel.

Bartel is vice president of BC Excavating, Inc. in Anchorage. He frequently attends AGC functions and lends his “smaller contractor” perspective in AGC’s advocacy efforts, Amberg says.

“[Bartel] is always rallying folks to get excited about AGC, to encourage positivity about the changes within our association staff and leadership,” Amberg says.

Bartel, who says he was surprised to hear his name when the award was announced at the November 12 AGC of Alaska Dinner Dance celebration, cites “karma” as a major reason he invests his time supporting AGC.

“You get out what you put in,” he says. “I’ve had really good luck with AGC being as good to me as I’ve been to AGC. It’s a two-way street.”

Bartel says volunteering at AGC events and becoming a supporter of the association has resulted in demonstrable benefits for his company—connections made at AGC functions have become clients, for example. But some of the less-tangible benefits are just as important.

“It’s also good for our employees to see that we’re doing good things in the world, too—their bosses are not just goofing off,” he says.

Being involved in the organization is also professionally motivating.

He says, “You get to work around some really motivated people who do really great work.”

Aaron Bartel holding award

Parker, Smith & Feek Chosen as Associate of the Year

It takes a lot of work by members to make a member-driven association relevant, engaging, and active. Luckily, Associated General Contractors of Alaska has a roster of very committed members who are always ready to sponsor, pitch in, or provide advice.

Insurance firm Parker, Smith & Feek is at the top of AGC of Alaska’s “very committed” list of members. It’s no surprise, then, that Parker, Smith & Feek was chosen as 2022 Associate of the Year, an award given at the AGC Dinner Dance Gala at the Hotel Captain Cook November 12.

Employees from the firm are at almost every event AGC hosts, and the firm’s name is on almost every sponsorship list. Representatives from the firm help plan all of AGC’s larger events, such as the annual conference, golf tournaments, and the Sporting Clays shoot. They are often the first to register for smaller events like the Construction Leadership Council’s Grill & Chill and various other member mixers. Their industry support extends beyond AGC-sponsored events; the firm hosted the 2022 Women in Business networking event as well.

Firm representatives have also assisted as AGC has worked to refine legislation, helping the AGC of Alaska Legislative Affairs Committee to revise worker’s compensation legislation. They have helped update the focus of the AGC Board Nomination committee to identifying and molding good AGC board members and helping them become lifelong industry leaders.

Parker, Smith and Feek holding award
Rindi White is the editor of The Alaska Contractor. Photos by Photo Emporium.