In 1953, a handful of area contractors began to meet and discuss their positions in the local construction industry. They realized that individually their positions were weakened, but together they could strengthen their efforts to improve the local construction industry. They traveled to Evansville, the nearest AGC chapter, to gain experience to form their own association of members qualified by the AGC motto of “Skill, Integrity, and Responsibility”.
The Associated General Contractors of Western Kentucky, Inc. was chartered as the 122nd Chapter of AGC in June, 1953 with a banquet and ceremonies held at the Irvin Cobb Hotel in Paducah. Formal presentation of the charter was made by Mr. C.P. “Gabby” Street, President of the Associated General Contractors of America. It was witnessed by a number of guests including a delegation from the Memphis Chapter, whose president, John Cassidy, was the principal speaker. Officers were J.P. Kerr, president, and J. Edwin Ruby, vice president. Directors were Robert Traylor, Hal Perry, Hal Wright, J.T. Divine, and James Shephard. H.L. Gangnath was secretary-manager. Charter members were: J.R. Barley, Venable & King, and Ralph Wright & Son, all of Mayfield; Ray Black & Son, Leslie A. Feast, Ed D. Hannan, Harper & Gray, George W. Katterjohn, Lake Shore Paving Co., Inc., Brady Thomasson & Son, Grover C. Watkins Co. all of Paducah; John Cassidy Construction Co., Memphis; Divine Brothers Construction Co., Central City; Kirkpatrick Construction Corp. and W.B. McIntosh both of Hopkinsville; Hal Perry, Benton; Traylor Brothers, Inc., Evansville; Ruby Construction Co., Madisonville; and Edgar Stephens & Son, Cairo.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the AGC headquarters at 1930 North 13th Street was held on May 14, 1954, and the building dedication ceremony was held on July 16, 1954. The association remained at this location until March of 1998 when it moved into its new headquarters at 2201 McCracken Boulevard in the Paducah Information Age Park where it is presently located.
Bill Kressenberg served as Executive Director for over 30 years, retiring in 1993. Farrell Beyer headed the association from 1993 until 1999. Mike Gerescher served from 2000 until March 31, 2011. Chris Nelson, who has served as Safety/Education Director since 1997, now leads the association as Executive Vice President. Since 1953, the association has grown from 19 members to approximately 400 members. AGC continues to be the voice of the construction industry in Western Kentucky, keeping members informed and protecting their best interests while offering the construction industry’s most complete array of services.