On behalf of ICBA, a hearty congratulations to life member Bill Kerkhoff on the news that he is stepping back from his role as President and CEO of Kerkhoff Construction, a family company with a 50-year history and an incredible legacy in B.C. construction.

The company announced earlier this month that Bill will take on a new role as Executive Director, and his son Leonard will step up as the new President and CEO. Leonard has been with the company for 12 years, serving the past five as Vice President and General Manager.

“This is an important milestone for Kerkhoff Construction, one that is grounded in the original values, vision and principles that built this company over the past 50 years.” Bill and Leonard said in a joint statement. “We are looking forward to exciting years ahead.”

It is impossible to overstate how important Bill Kerkhoff and his company have been to the open shop movement in B.C. It was Kerkhoff & Sons Construction that built the first major, open shop public project in B.C. – the courthouse in Kamloops. It was Kerkhoff and his allies at Rempel Bros. Concrete who stared down the angry, vicious trade union mob at the Pennyfarthing project in Vancouver. Kerkhoff built a big chunk of Expo 86 and the SkyTrain bridge to Surrey.

In naming his company business of the year in 1984, B.C. Business said Bill had “unleashed forces that even this mildly spoken 34-year-old probably never suspected existed: forces of venom, hate, physical abuse, admiration, stoicism and bewilderment.” Terming him a “reluctant hero”, the magazine said he was “the most redoubtable warrior with which the union movement has had to contend in modern times.”

We’re excited to see what the future holds for Kerkhoff Construction.