MCA Awards; left to right, Nick Kniesch, MikeHurley, Malcolm Sweet and Dennis Corrigan.

MCA-EMO Recognizes Scholars and Volunteers

May 8, 2019
Four outstanding high school students entering college and two University of Missouri-Columbia MCAA Student Chapter Scholars were presented with $36,000 in student scholarships.

ST. LOUIS, MO – The Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri celebrated outstanding scholars and industry leaders at its annual awards dinner held May 2nd at the Danforth Plant Science Center. Four outstanding high school students entering college and two University of Missouri-Columbia MCAA Student Chapter Scholars were presented with $36,000 in student scholarships.  Four local leaders in the mechanical contracting industry also were recognized for their volunteerism and dedication to the industry.

The four high school students, each recognized with an $8,000 four-year scholarship ($2,000 per academic year), were:

Julia Reyes from St. Peters, MO (63376). Reyes, a student at Francis Howell Central with a 4.59 GPA, plans to attend the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  She is the daughter of AJ and Shelley Reyes. AJ Reyes is employed by Pipe & Ducts Systems as a 4th year apprentice construction pipefitter.

Michael Hughes from St. Clair, MO (63077). Hughes is a student at St. Clair High School with a 4.02 GPA. He plans to attend Missouri S&T.  He is the son of Matt and Michelle Hughes. Matt Hughes is employed by C&R Mechanical as a service fitter.

Caitlyn Reilly from Fenton, MO (63026). Reilly is a student at Ursuline Academy with a 4.08 GPA. She plans to attend the University of Arkansas. She is the daughter of Pat and Sharon Reilly. Pat Reilly is employed by Haberberger, Inc. as vice president of construction marketing.

Rhiannon Hall from Troy, IL (62294). Hall is a student at Metro-East Lutheran High School with a GPA of 4.18. She plans to attend the University of Kentucky. She is the daughter of Cory and Michaele Hall. Cory Hall is employed by C&R Mechanical as a sales engineer.

The Mizzou MCAA Student Chapter Scholars also were each presented with a $2,000 scholarship:

Thomas Walsh from St. Charles, MO (63303). The son of John and Dina Walsh, Thomas Walsh is enrolled in the mechanical engineering program at Mizzou and is treasurer of the student chapter.

Ahmad Atallah from Columbia, MO (65203). The son of Wajih Atallah and Bassmat Atallah, Ahmad Atallah is enrolled in the mechanical engineering program at Mizzou and is president of the student chapter.

According to Kristy Stephens, executive director of MCA-EMO, the event also presented an ideal opportunity to recognize the organization’s outstanding industry leaders.   “These four members have dedicated countless hours to the betterment of our industry, both on a local and national level.  From serving on national committees or working on labor and legislative issues, to serving on our board of directors or mentoring our student chapter, these individuals have strengthened our organization and the industry as a whole.”

MCA-EMO members recognized included:

Dennis Corrigan, president, Corrigan Brothers, Inc. from Clayton, MO (63105). Corrigan served on the MCA-EMO board of directors from 2007-2019 and was president, 2011-13. He served on several committees over the years and was a strong voice in joint endeavors with labor organizations. As a trustee, he was one of the first people to tackle pension reform on a local level by researching and presenting alternate plans to the existing defined benefit plan. He has served on that MCAA national board of directors since 2015 and currently serves on the MCAA Government Affairs Committee. He also has been a leader in Washington, D.C. and on Missouri legislative affairs.

Mike Hurley, senior project manager, Rock Hill Mechanical from Wildwood, MO (63005). Hurley was a member of the MCA-EMO board of directors from 2011-19, serving one year as treasurer then as president from 2013-16.  He’s been an outstanding volunteer, focusing on budget and financial responsibility, work issues and involvement by outstate members, as both president and as a board member, he helped establish and has promoted the UMC MCAA Student Chapter, and has participated in several MCAA national conventions.

Nick Kneische, project engineer-commercial, Murphy Company from St. Louis (63139). Kniesche was recognized as Emerging Leader.  While a university student, Kniesche led Mizzou’s MCAA Student Chapter as they went on to win the national student chapter competition and were recognized as the Outstanding Student Chapter at the 2017 MCAA National Convention. He has given back to his student chapter by mentoring the 2019 student project team. He serves on both the education and young professionals committee within MCA.

Malcolm Sweet, general manager, Integrated Facility Services from Affton, MO (63123). Sweet has been a tireless leader, working on several major initiatives, including serving as leader of the steering committee to form the UMC MCAA Student Chapter. He has been instrumental in revisions to the organization’s By-Laws and Policies, legislative drafts on licensing and codes, and other important industry issues.  He also is active with the Plumbing Industry Council.

MCA-EMO offers programs crucial to the ongoing success of contractors and vendors operating within the construction industry in Eastern Missouri. For 120 years, the MCA has sponsored cost-effective educational opportunities taught by qualified and experienced professionals in the MCA Training Center. MCA-EMO also offers industry events, networking opportunities, and sponsors a 16-member student chapter at the University of Missouri-Columbia which recently placed in the national Final Four student competition.   Visit:

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