The Hammer Wall Ceremony is by far my favorite Mortenson event of the year. Each year we honor a select group of superintendents and field operations managers with a hammer or tool on The Hammer Wall. The Hammer Wall was created in 2010 by my dad, Mort, to honor long-term craft team members who, through their passion for building, extraordinary commitment, and care for our people, have had the most significant impact on our business. There are currently 53 Superintendents or Field Operation Managers who have been honored with a tool on the Hammer Wall. This event is so special to me because I get to personally thank each of these honorees and see the pride in the eyes of their family as their hammer or tool is unveiled.
On September 13, 2023, we recognized Chris Helms from our Power Delivery business, Mike Sorge from Milwaukee, Danny Sowell from Power Delivery, and Glenn Van Heel from Minneapolis. Because this is a family business, this is also a family affair, and we were privileged to welcome spouses, sons, daughters, grandkids, and in-laws to celebrate with us in Supt’s Kitchen, the home of the Hamer Wall at our Headquarters in Minneapolis.
Glenn Van Heel - Minneapolis
“Glenn mentored his crews and project teams, and they excelled due to his leadership style and mentorship, he was known for being meticulous and fun - it’s hard to be both.” -Kelly McNamara
Glenn is the first Superintendent to retire with a masonry trowel on the wall. He started his career in 1979 as a Bricklayer and took immense pride in his work and working for the Mortenson family. His 41-year tenure set the standards and structure still in place today for our masonry work. As a senior superintendent, he led and consulted on numerous historic preservation and renovation projects, and he has retired as a master of his craft to spend time at the lake with his family.
Mike Sorge - Milwaukee
“The biggest part of Mike's legacy is the leaders that he built” - Tim Jones
Mike started with Mortenson in 1986 as a scheduler for Minneapolis. He held many roles, including estimator, PM, Superintendent, FOM, and Project Executive on projects from the west coast, to the east coast, and from Texas to the Midwest. He is well known for his mentoring, leadership, and for the relationships he built with team members, customers, and design partners. Regardless of his title, his leadership process made everyone better on countless projects.
Chris Helms - Power Delivery
“Chris cared about how we showed up as an electrical contractor, he cared about how we showed up as a Company, he cared about the Mortenson brand and protecting it, but most of all, he cared about our people.” - Jake Frazier
Posthumously honored is Chris Helms, electrical superintendent with the Power Delivery Group, with the first Linesman pliers on the Hammer Wall. Chris joined Mortenson in 2007, working on countless projects spanning the country. He shaped our electrical safety, processes, protocols, and electrical training into what it is today. Chris will be remembered for the hundreds of projects he impacted, and the countless number of team members he influenced within our Power Group and many more across our E&I businesses. Even more so, he will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend.
Danny Sowell - Power Delivery
“Danny has coached and mentored many team members, including many of our superintendents. He is a true builder in every sense of the word.” - Keith Kapala
Danny started his career with Mortenson in 1982 with our Heavy Industrial group in El Paso, Texas. He was instrumental in creating a collaborative and safe environment as Mortenson started our self-perform work in the electrical market. Because of Danny’s invaluable creativity in solving complex challenges, our operations team safely and successfully energized over 132 substations under his watch.