Powers & Sons recently celebrated its 50th anniversary in the building and construction business during an extravagant event on September 15, 2017 at the Adler Planetarium. The gala, which was attended by more than 300 guests, began with a cocktail reception with seating areas decorated with time period themes to create a unique visual timeline of the Powers & Sons story from 1946 to today.
The Mistress of Ceremonies was Dorothy Tucker, CBS 2 Chicago, who throughout the evening delighted the guests with her smooth ability to help her co-emcee, Demetrious Powers, keep that program flowing throughout the night. Among the family, friends, dignitaries, customers and well-wishers were Gary, Indiana Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who both gave opening remarks. The entertainment included captivating vocals ranging from R&B, Soul, and Jazz performed by Terisa Griffin and her band, along with music by DJ Vince Adams.
Don Thompson, who now heads the venture capitalist firm Cleveland Avenue, delivered his congratulatory remarks by video. Thompson is the former CEO of McDonald’s Corporation.
The program was included in a book highlighting “The Power & Sons Story,” a timeline, from 1946 to the recognition of Powers & Sons as the 2017 Black Enterprise Company of the Year at the BE100s 45th Anniversary Celebration in Houston, Texas. The firm, which is led by Mamon Powers, Jr., chairman and Claude Powers, president, has been very dedicated to its employees, former employees, as well as to the community and business relationships. During the Chairman’s Reflections, Mamon Powers, Jr. recognized people from these relationships that were present and included retirees, widows and widowers of retirees, who continue to be invited to company functions. Claude Powers presented awards for contributions.
The Powers & Sons that celebrated 50 years that night had its guiding principles that would become the fundamental foundation of its success today imparted from the life lessons of the founder, Mamon Powers Sr., who came to the Midwest from Mississippi in 1946. Considering only 30 percent of businesses survive the transition from the first generation to the second, and less then half of those family-owned businesses or 12 percent will survive the transition to third generations. Powers Sr., who passed away in 2001, laid a strong foundation not only for his future generations but also for other minority businesses.
Today with a staff of more than 70 professionals, Powers & Sons is a leading general contractor, construction manager, and design-builder. Since its founding, the company has completed more than $1 billion construction projects as a contractor through its offices in Chicago, Gary and Indianapolis. Over the last 50 years, Powers & Sons has built a reputation for delivering quality projects and is currently managing nearly $100 million in construction projects.
The firm has long supported the community and young people with nearly $300,000 in scholarships and funding donated to hundreds of organizations like the Gary Educational Foundation, Chicago Urban league, United Negro College Fund, Legacy Foundation, Purdue University, Museum of Science and Industry, Habitat for Humanity, YWCA, NAACP, Boys & Girls Club, and United Way, among many others. After 50 years they have hired more than 50 high school and college interns, completed over 1,700 commercial and industrial projects, built whole communities by constructing over 200 homes, and constructed or renovated over 120 McDonald’s restaurants.
The third-generation is represented by Kelly Powers Baria, daughter of Mamon Jr., who said, “We are looking to maintain the legacy that my grandfather, father and uncle have worked so hard to build.” Mamon Powers III, the third-generation namesake of the man who started it all, is quick to point out that while Powers & Sons is a family-owned business, it is led and managed by a team of dedicated professionals. “We are really a big, extended family,” said Mamon III, “Even those that don’t carry the Powers surname are a key part of our success. We are fortunate to have team members who have been with the business for 30 year and so I’ve known these people most of my life.”