The Federation of Women Contractors, the oldest organization committed to the advancement of entrepreneurial women in the construction industry, honored Don Biernacki, Senior Vice President of Construction at Related Midwest, with the 2019 Diversity Innovator Award for his work in uplifting and empowering women business owners throughout the construction and real estate industries. The award, announced at the Federation of Women Contractors Annual WomenRock Awards, celebrates those who demonstrate an unrivaled commitment to supporting women and women-owned businesses in the construction trades.
"I am so grateful to be honored by such an inspiring organization that is committed to the advancement of entrepreneurial woman,” said Vice President of Construction Don Biernacki. “I am so fortunate that my work at Related Midwest is to help break down barriers to opportunities where disparities and inequalities persist. That’s exactly what the Federation of Women Contractors does every day and we are so proud to partner with them on the Community Inclusion Council for the 78.”
Related Midwest is committed to collaborating with local, small, minority- and women-owned businesses to create job opportunities and foster growth in the communities that house its developments. Related Midwest has created a Community Inclusion Council of trusted business and community partners to help implement programs, monitor progress and, most important, hold Related accountable to its community hiring goals.
Over that past 10 years, Related Midwest has awarded more than $228 million dollars of work to minority- and women-owned businesses ranging from landscaping to fencing to general construction. Related has hired more than 450 community residents and has awarded seven local companies with their first ever contract. In addition to contracting with new and local minority- and women-owned businesses, Related Midwest also provides mentorship, business support and training to community entrepreneurs.
“Related is so deserving of this recognition given all the work the company has done to help women-owned businesses, and Don Biernacki is the soul of this great effort,” said Beth Doria, Executive Director of the Federation of Women Contractors. “Don’s hard work and leadership in supporting minority- and women-owned businesses, especially on The 78, is an industry-wide inspiration and sets the standard for developers across the country. We are incredibly proud to award Mr. Don Biernacki the 2019 Diversity Innovator Award.”
Don has been honored for his commitment to community inclusion and hiring by a number of organizations. Don was named as the 2017 recipient of the Award of Honor by the CBC, an award given to individuals who have distinguished themselves in both the community, and the construction industry as a whole. He has also been recognized by Reverend Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition as a Distinguished Labor Leader, by the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association with the Sustainability and Community Development Award, and by the March of Dimes with the Leadership in the Private Sector Award.
Don serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for Saturday Place and also serves as board member of the Construction Engineering Advisory Council at Marquette University. Don is also on Board of Directors of SOS Children's Villages Illinois, a quality and innovative and foster care provider.