Urban Land Institute Michigan (ULI Michigan) is pleased to announce that John Rakolta, Jr. has been awarded the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. The Chairman and CEO of Walbridge is being recognized due to his strong presence and significant contributions to the real estate industry and many Michigan communities. ULI Michigan Chairman Robert Schostak made the announcement.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was established to recognize leaders in the Michigan real estate community whose achievements throughout his or her lifetime – including contributions to real estate, civic, charitable and philanthropic endeavors – exemplify the spirit and mission of ULI. In addition, the Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner serves as ULI Michigan’s annual fundraiser, and supports the many programs and initiatives coordinated by the District Council.
“Mr. Rakolta is an outspoken voice for change in Michigan, and because of that, it has come as no surprise that he has been chosen for this prestigious award,” said Schostak. “He has skillfully guided Walbridge through some of the state’s harshest economic times and has a proven record of business and civic accomplishments. His work ethic and commitment to make things better for all residents of Detroit provide a tremendous example for professionals across the industry.”
The award will be presented at a dinner on May 18, 2017 at the Westin Book Cadillac with top local business and real estate executives as attendees. World-class leaders like Mr. A. Alfred Taubman (2005), Mr. Wayne Doran (2006), the late Mr. Robert Larson (2007), the late Mr. Jerome Schostak (2008), Mr. Edsel B. Ford II (2010), Mr. Peter Karmanos, Jr. (2010), Mr. Sidney Forbes (2012) and Mr. Dan Gilbert (2014) have created quite a legacy as past ULI award recipients.
John Rakolta, Jr. is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Walbridge, one of America’s largest privately held construction companies. Founded in Detroit in 1916, Walbridge has constructed iconic structures across southeastern Michigan, including the Book Building and Tower, Olympia Stadium, Detroit’s Symphony Hall, and the Chrysler World Headquarters and Technology Center. For more than a century, Walbridge has provided general contracting, construction management and design-build services to customers in the automotive, industrial, manufacturing, power, transportation and education markets. During Rakolta’s tenure, Walbridge has grown from a regional construction firm with annual sales of $40 million to a global constructor with sales of approximately $1.5 billion in 2016. Walbridge is an industry innovator in the areas of lean construction and safety. As a community leader in education reform, race relations and corporate citizenship, Rakolta has received numerous honors over the years. He currently co-chairs the Coalition for the Future of Detroit School Children, which advocates for stabilization of the troubled school district to ensure quality education for Detroit youth.