1960s - SITE Improvement Association Takes Shape
In 1966, three construction contractor specialty associations saw the need to come together and involve themselves, on behalf of their members, in negotiating labor agreements. Thus, SITE Improvement Association, better known as SITE, was taking shape. The three associations were: Greater St. Louis Paving Contractors Association, Associated Sewer Contractors Association, and St. Louis Earth Movers Association. Two years later a fourth specialty contractor association, Concrete Contractors Association of St. Louis & Vicinity, joined the other three and formed the master organization, SITE Improvement Association to handle the administrative responsibilities.
In December 1968, Mr. Ahner of the firm of A.J. Ahner and Associates, responsible for the administrative responsibilities of SITE passed away. SITE's board chose David Birenbaum, assistant to Mr. Ahner, to assume the administrative responsibilities.
Seeing a need for contractors in each association to become better acquainted, in December 1966, the first of 48 annual Christmas parties was arranged by Joe Barbagallo (Barbagallo Grading & Excavating) and his wife Betty.
Starting in 1991, toys were collected at the Christmas parties. Through the generosity of SITE's members, over 3000 toys have been given to children of poor families in the St. Louis area.
In 1967, membership in SITE was expanded to include associate members, those who supply good and services to contractors.
In 1968, the first SITE publication titled "SITE News" was printed. This publication continues even today as a means of keeping the members informed of governmental, legislative, safety and industry changes that may affect member contractors and associates.
70s - SITE Continues to Expand
SITE continued to involve itself in labor negotiations but began to expand its activities to other areas of mutual concerns. Through these expanded activities, SITE saw a need to establish an industry fund. Thus, in 1973 the SITE Advancement Fund, funded through a cents per work hour formula, was established.
In 1978, the bylaws were changed to add associates to SITE's Board of Directors. Welcomed to the Board as the first associate directors were Dick Bussen (Bussen Quarries) and Rich Thompson (Silver Eagle Construction Products). The associate directors were given all the rights and privileges as a director except they could not vote on matters pertaining to labor negotiations/ relations, and they could not hold an officer position.
80s - SITE Takes Up Golfing!
In 1981, SITE's first golf tournament was held at Paddock Golf Club (18 hole course) in Florissant, Missouri. The tournament grew in participation and in 1996 SITE's Golf Tournament was moved to Norwood Hills Country Club (36 hole course) where it remains today.
The first construction industry couples golf tournament was initiated by SITE in 1990 and has been held annually for 25 years.
Continuing to expand its activities in the legislative arena, SITE's Political Action Committee (SITEPAC) was formed in 1987. Mr. Dale Arn (Fabick Tractor) was elected its first chairman.
90s - SITE Celebrates 25th Anniversary
In 1991, SITE celebrated its 25th Anniversary in conjunction with its annual Christmas party. Bob Hampton, SITE's first president returned to St. Louis to participate in the festivities. Charter members of SITE were recognized.
Joe Barbagallo (Barbagallo Excavating & Grading) was the initial recipient to be honored with the President's Award, given to an individual for his/her outstanding guidance and leadership contributions to SITE.
Since the initial award, others who have received the President's Award are:
1993 Ron Schaefer (Schaefer-Meyer Grading)
1999 Ken Karsten (Karsten Equipment Company)
2005 Bob Morice (Nor-vel Construction Company)
2006 Ray Daub (Kirkwood Excavating)
2009 Mark Bussen (Bussen Quarries)
2012 Joe Hoette (Hoette Concrete)
2013 Mike Jerome (Bi-State Utilities Company)
In 1993, SITE published an accident prevention manual and an employee safety handbook; receiving the Business Roundtable Recognition Award. The manual and handbook have been updated and reprinted at various times and continues to be a valued benefit to contractor members.
SITE's Board of Directors, in 1993, expanded SITE's contractor base by approving a new contractor division - Landscaping. Again in 2008, SITE's bylaws were changed to include two new contractor divisions - Highway/ Bridge and Specialty. Peggy McGrath (Tramar) was one of two individuals appointed to serve on SITE's Board from the Specialty Division, making her the first female to serve on the board.
Over SITE's history, it has negotiated numerous labor agreements on behalf of its members with the following unions: operating engineers, laborers and cement masons. In 1995, SITE negotiated its first five year collective bargaining agreement, setting a trend into current times. On behalf of its members, SITE currently negotiates five SITE labor agreements, five asphalt paving labor agreements, a seed-sod/nursery landscaping agreement and a modular block wall labor agreement. In addition to negotiating labor agreements and providing contract booklets to its signatory members, SITE also assists in contract interpretation, arbitration, etc.
2000s - SITE Advocates for its Members
The passage or defeat of legislative bills in the Missouri legislature took on more and more importance. Thus in December 2001, SITE's Board of Directors approved the addition of a new position - Director of Governmental Affairs - and named Terry Briggs to fill the position. SITE was the leader in establishing the Missouri One Call System. Other pieces of legislation that SITE was significantly involved in the passage of include Contractor's worker compensation premium adjustment credit; prompt pay in the private sector, reducing and expediting release of retainage in the public sector, highway funding legislation, passage of water projects, modification of lien laws, work zone safety, etc.
Getting members to know each other is an ongoing task of any association. Since 1981, SITE's Christmas party served this networking role. The golf tournaments were arranged for both a full membership tournament and one only for couples. A unique networking social event took place in 1982 - a barge party headed up by Dave Bangert (Limited Leasing) and Mark Bussen. This popular networking event started at Bussen Quarry, proceeded up the Mississippi River, passed the Arch and through the Granite City Lock and Dam. Eight more barge parties were held, always reaching a maximum attendance.
Although SITE did not have any national association affiliation, SITE's board in 1980 authorized a SITE sponsored function out of town. The event, known as SITE's Management Seminars, provided educational seminars and great opportunities to socialize. These seminars have been held at various resorts in the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Hawaii, Florida, Las Vegas and other beautiful locations.
In 2006, SITE's 40th anniversay celebration was held on the Eads Bridge over the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis. With a beautiful sunset and the illumination of a full moon, and dancing to the rhythms of the Bob Kuban band, over 400 attendees celebrated SITE's milestone. Many friendships were formed through these social and somewhat unique networking activities.
The year 2016 marked the Golden Anniversary of SITE Improvement Association. Membership and staff held a variety of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary. Perhaps none was bigger than the Party at the Ballpark, Busch Stadium. Nearly 400 SITE members, current and past, guests and other invited dignitaries, enjoyed cocktails on the infield, tours of the stadium, dinner and awards presentation honoring SITE members, including 14 companies who have maintained association membership for all 50 years.
The party at the ballpark was not the only "party" held that anniversary year. Nearly 300 guests cruised the Mississippi River for the ever popular "Barge Party." The 2016 event was the seventh barge party hosted by SITE over the years.