Michael Kennedy, Jr., president of KAI Design & Build, was presented with a Diversity Champion Award from the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during its annual awards ceremony Dec. 13 at the Sheraton Westport Lakeside Chalet in St. Louis, MO. The SLCCC is the owner organization representing major buyers of construction and promotes the region through collaborative leadership to improve the efficient delivery of construction projects.

Kennedy was recognized for his role in documenting the plight of St. Louis' minority construction industry through a video he funded and produced called "Building a Better St. Louis." The video featured candid discussions from more than 17 local politicians, historians, business owners, financial consultants and organization leaders on the topic of minority construction in St. Louis. The goal of the video was to enlighten, reinforce and identify solutions to narrow the gap in economic opportunities for minority contractors. The video was distributed to members of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) and to others with an interest in the topic.

This marks the second consecutive year that a member of KAI staff has received this award; in 2011 the award was presented to KAI’s Chris Bowers for his work with minority subcontractors, suppliers, and tradesmen.

Kennedy serves as Chairman of the AGC Diversity Committee and has taken an instrumental role through task forces in addressing the many issues raised from the association's recently released diversity study.

Kennedy said he is thankful for the SLCCC recognition and hopes it brings more attention to his cause for improved minority construction opportunities.
“Construction is one of the most crucial services to creating an infrastructure for a city,” Kennedy said. “Even more, it is the foundation of a city’s image. It is an economic engine for the city. It is a catalyst for creating jobs and shaping the profile of the community. An opportunity for St. Louis to demonstrate a progressive and ethnically pluralist group of construction trade providers is a business imperative for the competitive future of St. Louis – an opportunity that cannot be overlooked.”