Last fall, Matt Kennell of H&D Quality Builders in Roanoke, Illinois, was selected by the National Frame Builders Association as September’s Crew Foreman of the Month. 

At year’s end, the NFBA reviewed the Foreman of the Month recipients who were selected throughout 2020 in order to decide who would be bestowed the honor of Crew Foreman of the Year. After the process was complete, H&D Quality Builders was proud and excited to discover that Matt Kennell had been chosen to receive this honor. 

NFBA board member Duane Borkholder traveled from Indiana to Roanoke to personally present the Crew Foreman of the Year award to Matt at a small gathering of Matt’s family and co-workers in the H&D training center. 

NFBA Board member Duane Borkholder (right) of Borkholder Buildings presents the NFBA’s Crew Foreman of the Year plaque to Matt Kennell. Photos courtesy of H&D Quality Builders

During the gathering, Todd Meinhold, owner of H&D Quality Builders, formally recognized Matt for being selected as the September “Crew Foreman of the Month” by presenting Matt with a framed copy of the article by the NFBA that announced the monthly award. Todd expressed his thanks and appreciation to Matt for his strong work ethic, his humble leadership, and the dedication and commitment he has shown for each and every project he has worked on over the years.

In reaction to being surprised with the Crew Foreman of the Year Award, Matt told Frame Building News, “It’s definitely an honor and a privilege. Todd kind of surprised me with it. Since we didn’t have the [Frame Building Expo] this year, we had my family there, which I had no idea they were going to be there. My father-in-law and mother-in-law flew in from Florida just for this occasion. They brought my children out of school to be there. It was very special.”

This May, Matt will mark 27 years full time with H&D. Before becoming a full-time employee, he worked part time during the summers of 1992 and 1993. “That first year I didn’t know much,” he mused. But his hard work and dedication started paying off right away. During the 1993-1994 school year, he was able to participate in a co-op program where he went to school part time and worked part time. After he finished school in 1994, he started full-time with the company.

When asked about his plans for the next 10 years, Matt said, “I see myself staying out in the field as long as I can and as long as I’m physically able. As long as my body holds up. I enjoy building. I’m sure at some point there will be a transition ­— perhaps doing more office work. But at this point I’m pretty content in the field.”

Given his decades of experience, we asked Matt what advice he would give a new person coming into the trade. He thought for a moment and said, “When I was contemplating my future way back when, the one thing I realized is there’s no job that you’re going to enjoy every part of every day, Keep that in mind to help you get through the tough times. Every job has them.

“Find a good employer who is going to respect who you are and treat you well,” he continued. “You need to find someone like that and you stick with them.”

Matt holds H&D in high regard. “H&D has treated me very well. I’ve had a couple of bosses over the years and they recognize the people who are putting forth the effort. They’ve made my job a whole lot easier.”

“It’s been a good company to work for. They stuck with me and helped me to grow up in the business and learn some things.” FBN

>> Download the entire issue: Frame Building News, April 2021. <<