PCCA inducted Ted Koenigs into the PCCA Hall of Fame on September 25, 2015, during its Mid-Year Meeting in Charleston, SC.
Ted Koenigs graduated from high school in Campbellsport, Wisconsin, in 1945 and went on to serve in Casablanca, Africa, during World War II. After the war, he graduated from Marquette University with a degree in business, and in 1957, he opened a building specialties company with Jim Michel.
Two years later, Ted and Jim partnered with Ted’s brother-in-law, Dale Michels, to form Michels Pipeline Construction. The plan was for Ted and Jim to continue working at their business while Dale managed and grew Michels for five years, just enough time to take advantage of huge gas opportunities in the early 1960s and then move onto other projects.
That plan changed during the first year when Dale was seriously injured and couldn’t work. Ted and Jim took turns a week at a time running Michels and their own company. After Dale returned to work, Ted opened Precision Metals Inc. in his hometown of Campbellsport, but remained active in Michels Corporation.
Since those humble beginnings, Michels has flourished and was recently ranked by ENR as the 24th largest contractor in North America. The company's more than 5,000 employees take pride in what Ted, Dale and Jim began more than 50 years ago--their reputation for performing safe, high-quality work and for being the contractor that their customers know will exceed their expectations.
Ted Koenigs was an influential force in the Communications and Pipeline construction industries for more than 40 years. He was a mentor to countless young people in the industry, including Pat Michels, Bill Weltin, Bob Westphal, and PCCA Past President Ron Tagliapietra.
Tag called Ted Koenigs a mentor and a role model. He said that Ted was a very fair, honest man and a natural leader. "When Ted talked, people listened."
Ted fostered a culture of innovation and creative thinking at Michels, encouraging his people to improve their work processes and constantly think about new and better ways to do things. That culture has obviously served the company well.
Michels joined PCCA in 1967, and Ted was an active member for more than 20 years, serving on numerous committees and as the PCCA President in 1984-85. He was very instrumental in re-writing the RUS 511 construction contract, which preceded the 515. He also served on the Wisconsin Underground Contractors Association board for nearly 15 years and was influential in shaping the direction of that association as well.