This year’s class of Top Young Professionals includes architects, engineers, project managers and executives at national and regional firms across Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. With educational backgrounds ranging form bachelor’s degrees to doctorates, these young leaders all exhibit their commitment to serving the AEC sector and local communities through their work in the field and beyond.
The competition was keen, with an impressive quality of nominees submitted to ENR Southwest from across the AEC community. Companies could nominate multiple people and individuals could also nominate themselves.
To be eligible, nominees must be working full-time in some aspect of the commercial construction industry in the Southwest region, which includes Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico, and entrants must be under age 40 as of Jan. 1, 2021.
Among the key selection criteria are an individual’s professional achievements, such as acquiring or progressing toward industry certifications, success in creating more efficient systems, designing new processes or managing landmark projects, seeking innovative approaches to their work, both within and away from the office, as well as a steadfast dedication to giving back through volunteer work across the industry and within their own communities.
This year’s judges included Dana Aragon, workforce development director, AGC of New Mexico, and Erica Lange, vice president, Arizona Builders Alliance. Also joining this year’s judging panel were four of ENR Southwest’s 2020 Top Young Professionals: Ozzy Bravo, senior associate, Terracon Consultants Inc.; Ali Fakih, principal at Sustainability Engineering Group; Lindsey Schultz, office leader/structural engineer, Meyer Borgman Johnson; and Milos Vasiljevic, program manager, HDR.
The following pages contain profiles of the winners, highlighting their goals, successes and the impacts they have had on their companies and communities. Congratulations to this year’s winners.
Benjamin Mlinar, 34, Division Manager – Rosendin (Tempe, Ariz.)
Located in Rosendin’s Tempe, Ariz., regional office, Mlinar oversees 30 office employees and more than 500 field personnel. His interest in construction started in high school when he spent every summer working for a small construction company in rural Nebraska. He built barns, irrigation systems, and small concrete projects. He pursued a bachelor’s degree in construction management from the University of Nebraska while working in the field, gaining direct knowledge of masonry, carpentry, and electrical trades. That led to an offer to work on the Maricopa County South Court Tower project for Rosendin in 2010.
Since then, Mlinar’s career has rapidly progressed, helped along by his efforts working full-time for Rosendin while completing the MBA program at Arizona State University. Mlinar is involved in several industry organizations, serving as a board member for the Arizona ACE Mentor Program, where he leads the scholarship committee. He is also a 2019 graduate of the Arizona Builder’s Alliance Leadership Development Forum.
“Our industry is getting older, and we need to focus on how to steer young talent toward construction careers.” – Benjamin Mlinar, Rosendin
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