Vegas Inc has partnered with the Nevada Contractors Association for more than 20 years to honor Southern Nevada’s best general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and professional service providers.
The most exemplary feats of construction and leaders in the industry, as chosen by association members, are recognized in this edition of the Contractor of the Year Awards.
The construction industry builds the infrastructure that shapes our daily lives. Award recipients have built clean energy facilities, shopping complexes, homes, warehouses and offices. This field of labor affects the lives of individuals living, visiting and working in Southern Nevada every day.
These awards are among the industry’s highest and most coveted honors, and we are pleased to present them.
General Contractor of the Year: Martin-Harris Construction
Martin-Harris Construction was founded by Frank Martin and Frank Harris in 1976. Both men were carpenters with a mission of buying, selling and renovating houses. The company has since evolved and is now a leading commercial construction company with a team of more than 375 associates that has completed 60 projects in just the last year.
These projects include luxury residences like Parc Haven Downtown, state-of-the-art industrial facilities like Chartwell Commerce Center, and cutting-edge spaces like the Cathédrale Restaurant at Aria Resort & Casino. Martin-Harris Construction proves time after time their commitment to delivering exceptional results.
Martin-Harris Construction also prides itself on its high standards of safety. Site superintendents perform daily site-safety audits and the safety team conducts weekly assessments. It has won numerous Associated General Contractors Safe Site awards and its workers’ compensation modification rate consistently surpasses industry norms.
The construction industry currently faces struggles with sustainability, in the environment and in the labor force, but Martin-Harris Construction is innovating creative solutions to bring progress to the industry. It implements energy-efficient systems and uses renewable energy sources, contributing to a greener future. And, through a partnership with the Clark County School District and the STEM Academy, Martin-Harris Construction is exposing young students to the opportunities and advantages available in construction careers.
Community involvement is another area where Martin-Harris Construction takes great pride. In the past year, it has contributed to Project Marilyn, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, the Catholic Charities food pantry, and many other organizations and programs. It also utilizes social media to spread awareness and invite community members to join in making a difference.
Subcontractor of the Year: Bergelectric Corp
Bergelectric opened its Las Vegas branch in 1999 and has grown with the city since then, embedding itself in the dynamic landscape of the region. Projects have included everything from casinos to condos, as well as federal buildings, industrial warehouses and renewable energy projects.
In the nearly 70 years since its inception, Bergelectric has been propelled by vision, determination, a progressive attitude and a desire to improve. Its culture of trust with clients, business partners and communities is built on a safety mindset which encourages employees to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others.
Innovation is another sector where Bergelectric excels. Using innovative technologies both in the field and in the office is a key element in its success. During the design process, Bergelectric utilizes advanced Building Information Modeling software which enables teams to access the most up-to-date information and resources, communicate the status of projects across the entire organization and easily organize and update project records.
In the past two years, Bergelectric has experienced success in safety by hiring a corporate safety director, renewing its safety policy and increasing credential safety professionals within the organization. It has also taken home awards for projects and innovation.
Supplier of the Year: Rebel Oil Company
Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, Rebel Oil Company is a privately owned, family-operated business and wholesale distributor of conventional fuel, renewable fuel, DEF, lubricants, oils and specialty products for Nevada, Arizona, California and Utah.
The values and mission of Rebel Oil Company are community driven and include honesty, integrity, empowerment, environmental stewardship and supporting the prosperity of families, business partners and communities. With these values at the forefront of everything the company does, it has taken action to upgrade the Las Vegas fuel terminal for environmental compliance. It has also expanded into new markets and increased customer retention.
Rebel Oil Company is proud to support the communities its employees and customers live and serve in. Its founder sponsors youth athletic programs, hoping to inspire skills including discipline, respect, leadership, resilience and teamwork.
Professional Service Firm of the Year: Universal Engineering Sciences
Universal Engineering Sciences is guided by a defined set of values represented by the acronym STRIVE: safety, teamwork, responsiveness, integrity, value and excellence. As the business puts these values into action it builds trust with business partners that UES teams will solve problems for their customers and deliver high-quality service ensuring the success of clients, employees and stakeholders alike.
An engineering and consulting firm that has been operating for nearly 60 years, Universal Engineering Sciences has experience in geotechnical engineering, materials testing and inspections, environmental consulting, occupational health and safety, building sciences and code compliance. The company continues to grow and currently has more than 3,000 associates across 85 branches.
Key projects that Universal Engineering Sciences has worked on in Southern Nevada include collaboration with PENTA Building Group on Formula 1 preparations, Dry Lake Solar and Gemini Solar, UnCommons and Matter Logistics at North 15 with Burke Construction and Matter Real Estate Group, UMC exterior façade and Showcase V with Grand Canyon Development Partners, Otonomus Hotel with Compass Development and Rafael Construction, and multiple UNLV and Clark County School District projects.
Universal Engineering Sciences participates in local and national charitable efforts everywhere its employees live and work. Here in Southern Nevada, Universal Engineering Sciences employees support St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada, Green Our Planet and many other organizations.
Safest General Contractor of the Year: The PENTA Building Group
At the beginning of every year for the past 16 years, the PENTA Building Group hosts Safety Kick-Offs. These events, hosted in Nevada, Arizona and California, feature safety expos, inspirational speakers and award ceremonies, including the announcement of an annual theme. This year’s theme has been “A Safety Victory in 2023,” endorsing the notion that PENTA employees, partners and subcontractors all win when they embrace safety.
PENTA implements a procedure-focused rather than employee-focused incident investigation process, examining safety issues through the lens of how things could have been improved in procedure rather than blaming employees.
In addition to the annual safety campaign, PENTA conducts quarterly safety stand-downs, continuously monitors safety on job sites, such as daily, weekly and monthly safety huddles to review and discuss strategy, assigns site-safety managers to every project and maintains site-specific safety plans.
PENTA doesn’t only prioritize onsite safety. By implementing safety trainings focused on the importance of mental health and suicide prevention, PENTA demonstrates that it puts people first. It also requires safety managers to not only maintain standard qualifications, but also to continue their education. In Nevada, safety team members are enrolled in Nevada’s OSHA Safety Consultation and Training Section training program known as Safety and Health Practitioner Certificate Program.
Safest Subcontractor of the Year: Wells Cargo
Communication is at the heart of Wells Cargo’s safety implementation. Employees receive training on the importance of safety culture; most are also trained in damage prevention, an important factor on job sites where properly maintained equipment and safety procedures are a key factor to individual safety. Workers know how to prevent accidents and who to call when concerns arise.
Wells Cargo’s safety trainings include, among others, limits of dig tickets, what utilities are near milling operations, what markings mean what on the ground and safe paving practices. Wells Cargo recognizes that more work is accomplished when jobs are done safely. Employees are the key to the success of the business and their safety is therefore the priority.
This year Wells Cargo subcontracted with CB&G on a project to mill and pave Silverado Ranch Boulevard from South Jones Boulevard to Arville Street. This job had the most man-hours for the year and was completed in a timely manner. There were also zero safety incidents for the project.
Civil Project of the Year: McCarthy Building Companies - Arrow Canyon Solar and BESS Project
The Arrow Canyon Solar and BESS Project is a clean energy facility 20 miles northeast of Las Vegas. McCarthy Building Companies worked with electrical trade partner Bombard Electric to construct 621,093 solar modules which now boast a capacity of 275 megawatts DC in solar power and a 75 megawatt, 375 megawatt hours DC-coupled battery energy storage system.
The 1,387-acre facility was built on the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians Reservation. McCarthy structured the project to minimize the environmental impact during construction and operation. The project was also committed to the Tribe’s vision and values, promoting sustainable practices, and respecting the people and the land.
Because it was so important to have as little environmental impact as possible, McCarthy developed innovative approaches to the project. Installing hundreds of thousands of solar panels required vegetation to be flattened. McCarthy was able to do this in a way that preserved the root structures of native plants allowing for faster regrowth of the desert flora.
Today, the Arrow Canyon Solar and BESS Project provides enough power to sustain up to 76,000 Nevada homes, eliminating the need for 632,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
Building Project of the Year (under $15 million): Shawmut Design and Construction - Culture Kings Las Vegas
Shawmut Design and Construction had a unique task in constructing Culture Kings Las Vegas. The Las Vegas space is the first international location for the Australian-based streetwear brand, which required extensive communication and even occasional travel for the Shawmut team.
To bring this two-story store and entertainment source to life, Shawmut coordinated with the resort’s operation team at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Because the project was on the casino level, special care had to be taken so as to not disrupt regular resort operations and guest experience. Structural work included demolishing four pre-existing spaces down to the studs, adding a mezzanine and infilling spaces where the stairs and elevators had been.
Some of the unique features of the new space are a large feature staircase, a mirrored tunnel hallway that leads clients into a secret room, a jumbotron, a half basketball court, a recording studio, a shoe customization lounge, the largest hat wall in the world, a DJ stage and a bar.
The Culture Kings store is a multisensory experience with a futuristic aesthetic. Shawmut helped create the owner’s vision with a layered design approach, resulting in a modern retail experience bursting with fresh energy.
Building Project of the Year ($15-30 million): McCarthy Building Companies - UNLV Tropicana Parking Garage Expansion
The UNLV Tropicana Parking Garage, built twelve years ago, was no longer meeting the needs of the communities it served. This year, McCarthy Building Companies, with design partners Choate Parking Consultants and Ficcadenti Waggoner and Castle, completed the UNLV Tropicana Parking Garage Expansion project.
This project added to the preexisting structure to better meet the needs of the Thomas & Mack Center and the growing UNLV campus community. Expanding the structure came with several construction challenges. Settlement and seismic separation threatened the stability of the existing structure. However, the McCarthy team, with its partners, devised a strategy to combine the new and existing footings, a process which reinforced the foundation and ensured the seamless integration of the structures.
The parking structure was built with the future in mind. Advanced mapping services captured 65 years of modifications which were then consolidated into up-to-date records and provided to the university for future maintenance and renovation. The updated garage also has the infrastructure to include more EV parking spots and a future solar canopy to provide clean energy.
Building Project of the Year (over $30 million): The PENTA Building Group - 63 Las Vegas
Working in one of the most traveled areas in the world is no minor construction feat. Yet the PENTA Building Group succeeded in building 63 Las Vegas in a high-profile location with frequent foot traffic. 63 Las Vegas hosts 12 tenant spaces that have been built out individually. Adjacent to Crystals, a high-end mall on the Strip, it also includes an LED sign facing Las Vegas Boulevard, leasable storage space below the street level and valet parking.
PENTA worked closely with the design firm to ensure that the new structure fit seamlessly with existing infrastructure. The new structure also needed to complement its surroundings while still achieving its own unique look, all while experiencing the effects of supply chain problems for construction materials. The project was accomplished with close coordination with the project superintendent and the owner.
Safety was an important consideration through the process as not only worker safety, but also pedestrian safety needed to be accounted for. By building a safety bubble between hoisting operations and the public, conducting safety stand-downs for onsite crew and quarterly safety trainings, the project team achieved successful safety outcomes without incident.
Member of the Year: Gitana Cafasso, Burke Construction
Gitana Cafasso has been a member of the Nevada Contractors Association for five years and currently serves as the vice chair of its Construction Leadership Council. In her role, she attends fundraisers, safety forums and mixers, as well as finding professional development workshops for CLC members. As the marketing manager at Burke Construction Group, she also leads teams, does outreach with local educators, and organizes programs.
Cafasso says that the NCA has been instrumental in her journey in the construction industry. “It provided me with a network and a platform that is unparalleled in its quality and depth,” she said. “This has enabled me to foster strong, meaningful relationships with diverse and experienced professionals. These relationships, built on mutual respect and shared passion, have not only expanded my professional horizons, but also enriched my personal development.”
In her time with the NCA, Cafasso has served as the Secretary of the Construction Leadership Council where she organized leadership trainings, prepared volunteer activities, and connected with the community through volunteer efforts including the CANstruction competition and events at Three Square and Boys & Girls Clubs.
Member Company of the Year: Fasteners, Inc.
Fasteners, Inc. is now in its 30th year of membership in the NCA. Leading by example, Fasteners, Inc.’s vice president of sales Brett Wilson, salespeople Alexandra Weber and Brian Ridgway and social media marketing manager Rosie Jimenez are members of the NCA’s Construction Leadership Council. They and other employees volunteer at NCA community service events and attend NCA training events, including NCA’s Operation Backpack event, Construction Career Day, Can Drive Build and Ladder Safety Week.
Fasteners encourages others to participate with the NCA and recently recruited Mayhew Marketing Group to the association. It has also increased the number of their own team members who are active participants of the NCA.
Besides its NCA involvement, Fasteners excels in its work. Just this past June, Fasteners, Inc. opened its new distribution facility in North Las Vegas. The 200,000-square-foot e-commerce distribution facility utilizes cutting-edge logistics technology such as robotics, automation and artificial intelligence. Fasteners continues to operate at its existing location on West Harmon Avenue, but the additional distribution center accommodates the company’s growth. The new location also ensures that customer service stays at its very best by keeping products in stock.
Diverse Subcontractor of the Year: Live Electric
Live Electric has eight diversity certifications, including Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Small Business Enterprise and Women-Owned Business, and is Southern Nevada’s only WOSB/DBE certified Union Electrical Contractor. The company offers a full range of high, medium and low voltage electrical services, with a mission to provide high-quality, on-time services that are within budget and exceed client expectations.
Live Electric seeks out small, local, and diverse business partners to work with—striving to create a robust network of diverse suppliers and contractors they can spend their dollars with. The company attributes its success to the qualities that differentiate it, and it seeks to elevate and connect similar businesses to find success as well.
This year, Live Electric was contracted for the MGM Mansion Villa 8 project alongside TEAM Construction Management. The project included the incorporation of electrical, lighting and AV upgrades.
With a pay-it-forward mentality, Live Electric is active within the community and donates labor, materials and time to several organizations, including Make-a-Wish foundation.
Diverse Supplier/Professional Service Firm of the Year: Best in the West Safety
After leaving a job as a pollution prevention coordinator, Diane Hale searched for a way to put her experience in materials engineering, mining, aerospace manufacturing safety and hazardous waste management to good use. In 1995 she began her own company promoting environmental sustainability and saving businesses money. In the beginning, the company that would become Best in the West Safety was primarily focused on hazardous materials management, waste management and sustainability solutions. However, when confronted with major safety concerns while working on a contract, Hale made the decision to switch the focus of her company to enhance safety programs. Within two years, the client that once had no idea how to begin fixing their safety problems went from an average of 8-10 recordable incidents to just one first aid injury.
Best in the West Safety holds DBE, ESB, and SBE certifications and prioritizes safety, helping promote safe practices through training, testing and outreach throughout Southern Nevada and neighboring regions. The Best in the West team consults with businesses to identify worksite hazards and determine which safety practices to implement to save time and money, and reduce risks and liabilities.
Hale and her company have continued to innovate throughout the years. Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Best in the West had initiated new safety inspection and industrial hygiene services. This allowed her to keep all of her employees, even when most companies saw a downturn in business. These services are still offered today alongside environmental and safety services.
J.A. Tiberti Spirit Award: Boyd Martin, Boyd Martin Construction
After graduating from Chaparral High School in 1981, Boyd Martin attended Brigham Young University where he received a bachelor’s degree in construction management. He married his high school sweetheart, moved back to Nevada and began working with a general contracting firm for 14 years as a project manager, estimator, and eventually vice president and general manager.
Martin decided to pursue his own dreams in January 2003 when he opened Boyd Martin Construction LLC. In the past 20 years, Martin has developed a loyal clientele and grown his business through excellent care, attention and leadership. His leadership extends past BMC. Martin served as the NCA president in 2011, followed by many years as chair of the NCA Government Affairs Committee. He was appointed as a member of the Nevada State Contractor’s Board (of which he is currently the chairperson) in 2020, and is also a member of the Residential Recovery Fund Committee.
Though busy with BMC and other responsibilities representing the construction industry, Martin prioritizes serving his community. He spends much of his personal time serving in his church, serves on the board of YMCA of Southern Nevada, received the Silver Beaver award from Boy Scouts of America, and supports local charities including Three Square, Shade Tree, Grant a Gift for Autism and Construction vs. Cancer.
Martin loves to spend any free time he can find with his wife, two children and five grandchildren, cheering on the BYU and UNLV football and basketball teams.