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News Service

CORE Construction is Top Sponsor for 2009 Awards for Excellence

With a strong history and experience of developing structures to maximize instructional capabilities and enhance student learning, CORE Construction is partnering with Glendale and Estrella Mountain Community colleges and the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation to support educational programs and student scholarships through the upcoming third annual Awards for Excellence.

CORE Construction is the top-level $10,000 platinum sponsor for the recognition dinner and gala that honors excellence in healthcare, service and student advocacy.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 9, with a reception and silent auction at the Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa in Litchfield Park. Dinner precedes the awards presentations, which is followed by dancing to the rhythm and blues, Motown and classic rock sounds of the J. Powers Band.

Sponsorships from $10,000 to individual tickets for $50 are available. Contact Suzanne Smelser at or 623.845.3477 for details.

Visit for on-line ticket purchases. Tickets must be purchased by Wednesday, May 6.

CORE Construction is a family-owned company with six regional offices and a history dating back 72 years to 1937 when German immigrant and company founder Otto Baum started his own masonry company in Morton, Ill. Baum's four sons learned the construction business by working as laborers, apprentices and journeymen.

Under the leadership of Otto's sons, grandsons, and members of their management team, the company today has expanded into all areas of the construction industry. In addition to Illinois, CORE Construction has offices in Arizona, Florida, Texas and Nevada.

In German, the founder's last name – Baum – means tree. Each tree has a core that is its center and strength. As the tree grows, rings radiate out from the core, and the company has added rings of expertise to its core to include new locations, projects, services and people.

"Together, these rings represent the level of experience, expertise and capabilities we have at our core to make building projects successful," said Shawn Maurer, CORE vice president.

CORE Construction has built commercial, industrial, residential, education, healthcare, public/institutional and sports/special-events structures. Its projects have included portions of the multi-phased development of the 75-acre Glendale Community College North campus, 5727 W. Happy Valley Road, Phoenix. The multiple-facility site includes an enrollment services building, library, bookstore, fitness/wellness center, food-services buildings, numerous classrooms and science labs plus parking area. This project was recognized for its excellence in the "Best of" Awards, presented by McGraw-Hill Construction's Publications.

Extensive other local projects include the remodeling of the Arizona State University Memorial Union, the University of Arizona Integrated Learning Center, Chase Field, the Buckeye High School Performing Arts Center, Desert Ridge High School, the Deer Valley Unified School District Training Facility and Northern Arizona University Aspen Crossing Learning Center. Other projects can be viewed on the company's website at

Now in its third year, Awards for Excellence honors organizations and individuals who have made exemplary contributions to students and community. The 2009 honorees include:

  • Outstanding Community Partner Award for Excellence: Banner Health, the state's largest healthcare provider, is being recognized by Glendale Community College (GCC) for its long-standing partnership with GCC; the honoree for Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) is CORE Construction, which constructed portions of the GCC North Campus and is the top-level $10,000 platinum sponsor for the recognition dinner and gala.

  • Distinguished Service Award for Excellence: GCC is honoring the more than 60 volunteers of the Glendale Fire Department Crisis Response Team who help community members to deal with emotions resulting from traumatic events.
  • Special Award for Excellence: Ruby Gordon, Ph.D., is being honored by GCC for her more than 50-year career in nursing, health education and student counseling, including her service as one of the first two faculty members with the college's Nursing program.

  • Student Advocate Award for Excellence: GCC is recognizing April Orr, a student service specialist for nursing admissions in the college's Enrollment Services Office, whose advocacy and assistance has guided numerous students in entering the nursing profession. Alexander Pirehpour-Andrews, English faculty at EMCC, is being recognized for his enthusiastic teaching style that inspires his students to voice their opinions and view their lives with a global perspective.

  • Outstanding Alumni Award for Excellence: Each college is recognizing alums who have made significant contributions to the community. GCC is recognizing graduate John Thompson, D.O., an orthopedic surgeon with The CORE Institute and president of the GCC Alumni Association. EMCC is honoring Reyes Medrano Jr., Tolleson city manager and an adjunct faculty member who teaches courses in business and psychology at the college.

    GCC originated the Awards for Excellence in 2007, with EMCC joining the recognition and scholarship-development program this year. Past honorees have included GCC alums former Arizona Secretary of State and now Gov. Jan Brewer and ex-NFL player Phillippi Sparks, father of Jordin Sparks, winner of the sixth season of American Idol.

    GCC and EMCC are part of the 10 campuses of the Maricopa Community College District and offer transfer-ready academic courses and job-specific training. GCC, which last year served more than 30,000 students, has campuses at 59th and Olive avenues in Glendale and 57th Avenue and West Happy Valley Road in Phoenix. EMCC, located at Thomas and Dysart roads in Avondale, served approximately 13,000 students last year. For more information about the colleges, visit

  • In this site:

    College Advancement Services
    (623) 845-3605

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    Content revised 5/4/09