Derek’s Decade Journey with Ancon Construction


Derek embarked on his journey in the world of construction a decade ago with Ancon Construction. It was a challenging time economically and armed with his freshly earned college degree, he hit the pavement, dropping off resumes at local construction companies. Ancon, foreseeing the future, was among the few construction companies at the time that were hiring. Little did he know this would mark the beginning of a fulfilling career.

He started his academic journey in Civil Engineering at Michigan Tech in the Upper Peninsula but found his true passion in construction management. Derek noted growing up he discovered a love for deconstructing things to understand their inner workings. The economic aspect of the industry also appealed to him – the art of value engineering, strategizing for short-term investments that would pay off in the long run.

Ancon, in contrast to other places, has always stood out to Derek for its people-oriented culture. The company is large enough to handle substantial projects with job security yet foster a sense of belonging like one big family.

Throughout his career, Derek has worn many hats. Beginning as part of the concrete crew, he experienced various roles – from a general laborer to the steel crew. He even explored the Project Manager role in Ancon’s Building Services (ABS) division for a year before returning to the field as a lead carpenter. About five years ago, he transitioned into the role of superintendent, a position he finds to be a perfect balance of hands-on work, leadership, and collaboration.

Memorable projects have defined his journey, such as the Goodwill Excel Center in South Bend and Ethos Science Center. Both projects transformed an older building back into something useful.

What he appreciates most about his current role is the variety it offers. Most projects run for about six months to a year, preventing monotony work as locations and projects change regularly. It’s a dynamic field that keeps things interesting.

If there’s one piece of advice, he’d offer to those entering the construction industry, it’s to “never shy away from opportunities. Treat yourself as a product – the more skills you acquire, the more valuable you become. Diversify your knowledge and expertise; you never know when it might come in handy when leading a project site.”

About Ancon Construction:
Ancon Construction is a leading commercial design-build contractor offering services such as planning, architectural design, construction, remodeling, and maintenance. Headquartered in Goshen, Indiana, the company is 100% employee-owned and has been a cornerstone of the Michiana community’s architectural and construction landscape since 1975.

For more information about Ancon Construction, contact Amy Self, Ancon Construction’s Marketing Manager, at 574.533.9561,, or visit