Ruth Michels Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

June 2014, Vol. 69, No. 6
Lifetime Achievement Award winner Ruth Michels poses with her sons, from left, Steve, Pat, Kevin and Tim.

Ruth Michels was awarded the University of Wisconsin-Madison Construction Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award on April 25 at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

Michels is CEO and chairman of the board of Michels Corporation, and leads the company with her sons. Michels Corporation, one of the largest and most diversified utility contractors in North America, offers construction, engineering and procuring services to keep pace with the growing demand in the energy, transportation, telecommunications and utility construction industries.

The prestigious award recognizes people who have made a mark on the construction and engineering fields. Honorees are chosen by UW professors, students and industry representatives.

The construction industry has been a lifelong love, Michels said, and she will extend the company’s commitment to its future.

“In coming years, Michels Corporation intends to raise its visibility and participation in the University of Wisconsin Construction Club,” Michels said. “I am very much looking forward to this initiative and will personally look for opportunities to support the club in the future.”

Michels and her late husband, Dale, along with two business partners, founded Michels Pipeline in 1959 in Brownsville, WI. About 30 years later, Ruth and Dale bought out their partners to become, and remain, a single family owned and operated business. Michels has grown to include 6,000 employees, 10,000 pieces of heavy equipment and 14 divisions that work from coast to coast in the U.S. and in Canada.

In addition to being active in the business, Michels is committed to giving back to the community and oversees the Dale & Ruth Michels Family Foundation, a charitable organization that has given millions of dollars to educational institutions, medical facilities and community organizations. She was the first woman to receive an honorary membership to the Distribution Contractors Association and also received the Fond du Lac Area Women’s Fund Women of Achievement Award.