Three Inducted Into AGC Construction Hall of Fame

Wed February 28, 2007 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The late Bill Caton Sr., founder and former president of Sequoia Construction Co.; Bill Harbert Sr., co-founder of Harbert Construction Co. and former chairman and CEO of B.L. Harbert Construction; and W. Ken Upchurch Jr., former president of W.K. Upchurch Construction, are scheduled to be honored with induction into the Alabama Construction Hall of Fame.

The Alabama AGC established the Alabama Construction Hall of Fame to honor and recognize outstanding individuals in the construction industry. These individuals are held in esteem by their peers and have demonstrated their professionalism through active support of the industry through their civic and community involvement.

Only those who have literally changed the landscape of their state and nation will be enshrined in the Alabama Construction Hall of Fame.

Bill Caton Sr.

Caton founded Sequoia Construction Co in 1972 and began his association with the Alabama AGC shortly thereafter. He served on the board of the AGC throughout most of the 1980s and 1990s, serving as president in 1986.

Caton was among those instrumental in conceiving and starting the AGC’s workers’ compensation fund and was involved in making many decisions that led to the Alabama AGC’s current success. He believed in creating good relationships and treating everyone fairly and as a result he and Sequoia Construction Co. were widely respected.

Caton was a firm believer in “paying civic rent,” and readily offered his services to the Alabama AGC to improve the industry, to his church and to community charities. He was still involved in the day-to-day operation at Sequoia when he became gravely ill early in 2006.

Bill Harbert Sr.

Bill and John Harbert founded Harbert Construction Corporation in 1949 in Birmingham. From highway and heavy construction, that company quickly expanded into pipeline, industrial and building construction, both within the United States and throughout the world.

Harbert later oversaw the transition of the original construction company and worked to make B.L. Harbert a force worldwide before his retirement as chairman and CEO in 2000.

Harbert also has been active in philanthropy, recently donating a $2 million collection of European art to the Julie Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University.

W. Ken Upchurch Jr.

Upchurch has been a credit to his industry and his community for many years. In addition, he played a very important role in Alabama AGC.

During a difficult period, in the 1960s when Alabama separated into three AGC chapters, Upchurch remained active as a national director. Through his involvement, the Central Alabama Chapter remained viable in Alabama and National AGC.

Upchurch built his business into one of the leading construction firms in central Alabama.

Past hall of fame inductees include:

2006: The late Houston A. Brice Sr., founder of Brice Building Co., the late R. Hugh Daniel, co-founder of Daniel Construction, and the late John M. Harbert III, co-founder of Harbert Construction Co.

2005: John Caddell, founder and chairman of the board of Caddell Construction Co.

2004: M. Miller Gorrie, founder and CEO of Brasfield & Gorrie

2003: the late Winton “Red” Blount, founder of Blount International

2002: George Edwards, former owner of Richardson Construction

2001: the late D.W. “Bill” Ellard, Ellard Contracting Co. Inc.; Paul B. Krebs, Paul B. Krebs & Associates; Nicholas H. Holmes Jr., Holmes & Holmes Architects.