Ted C. Kennedy

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Ted C. Kennedy is one of the four founders, along with Peter Bolvig, William F. Edmonds and Henry Goodrich of engineering and construction firm BE&K, Birmingham's largest privately held company. He acted as the company's CEO from its founding until 1995.

Kennedy was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania to an ironworker who made his way south as an employee of Rust Engineering. As a boy, Kennedy hauled water for his father at job sites.

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Duke University and returned to his father's company, Rust Engineering to work as an engineer before striking out with his colleagues to form BE&K in 1972. Ten years later he was given Duke's "Distinguished Alumnus" award.

Kennedy became a controversial figure when he took on the Presidency of Associated Builders and Contractors, an organization of open-shop contracting companies at the time that BE&K was being criticized for crossing picket lines to take jobs.

In 1992 he "turned his artillery on his own side" and called for builders to increase wages and benefits to employees. His policies at BE&K transformed the company from a notorious open-shop into a recognized leader in employee benefits. He led ABC's program to create new open shop craft training programs and encourage improvements to member's employee benefits packages.

In 1995 Kennedy stepped down and was replaced by Henry Goodrich's son, Mike Goodrich as CEO. He stayed own as chairman until 2003, leaving the company he helped found as a $1 billion a year industry leader. He has been inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame and the Alabama Academy of Honor. In September 1999, Engineering News-Record recognized his as one of the top 125 industry leaders of the past 125 years. Associated Builders and Contractors named him of the 9 top leaders of the last 50 years.

He served as Finland's Honorary Consul in Alabama from 1993 to 2003 and was awarded the decoration of Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland for his service. In 2003 he was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees for the National Center for Construction Education and Research.

Kennedy serves on the board of directors for the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the Housing Enterprise of Central Alabama, as commissioner of the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District. He has also weorked with Children's Hospital, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Leadership Birmingham and the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.

He has four daughters, two sons and three grandchildren.

External link


  • Dinger, Ed (no date) "BE&K, Inc." Reference for Business [1] - accessed May 13, 2006
  • Shellenbarger, Sue, (December 26, 2001) "A Long Career Gives Business Leader Lesson in How to Value Labor". Wall Street Journal.
  • Kennedy, Ted C. and Mike Goodrich. (November 4, 1998) BE&K, Inc.. Newcomen Society. Publication No. 1527.