Honoring McKinstry’s 2022 Impact Award Recipients
McKinstry employees give generously of their time and attention in our communities to make a positive difference. Each year, we recognize, honor and celebrate individuals, nominated by leadership and their peers, who have contributed significantly to our environmental and social responsibility aspirations within McKinstry and in our communities. Award recipients have an opportunity to direct a $5,000 gift from the McKinstry Charitable Foundation to an organization that is important to them and aligns to our philanthropic priorities, as well as participate in a special community activity with our executives in the next calendar year.
McKinstry is honoring Aaron Skroch, Sara Hofstee and Tara Carney as our 2022 Impact Award recipients.
Aaron Skroch’s positive impact on our people, the local Denver community and underserved students has been tremendous.
Since 2014, Aaron has been a core part and leader of McKinstry’s STEM mentorship programs with Denver Public Schools (DPS). He has led McKinstry employees in providing nearly 1,000 hours of STEM-based community service to under-resourced students since 2017.
Each year, Aaron collaborates with classroom teachers to build project plans, develop content, facilitate field trips and lead sessions with students — all in addition to his day job on the Colorado Energy team. When the pandemic threatened the program, Aaron found creative ways to engage with students and keep our STEM mentorship going. Aaron’s efforts have touched the lives of approximately 200 local students over the years, inspiring young people to imagine pathway opportunities in STEM fields and construction. Indeed, several students have reported back that they have entered STEM fields based in part on their experiences with our mentorship program.
“Aaron’s efforts have touched the lives of children who will not only be the first in their family to go to college but are also the first to graduate from high school. Aaron has always been able to build a connection through his compassionate and thoughtful approach to engaging students,” said Bryan Hanson, vice president, Energy, MTN. “Even when he was busy developing the single largest ESPC project in Colorado history he also found the time to continue working to transform the lives of the local students through STEM.”
Sara Hofstee has led a truly impressive number of Building Good events in our Inland Northwest region, growing the team’s engagement from about two community initiatives each year to more than 10 annually. She brings enormous and infectious energy to her roles as a Building Good leader and business operations specialist.
“I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Sara for this award,” said Dale Silha, vice president, E&TS, PNW. “Not only has she contributed personally to a significant amount of community engagement and DEI events, but she is also a coordinator, organizer and inspirational leader of the Spokane team. Her passion and connection to people has directly translated into higher employee numbers in our workplace and a much more fun and cohesive team atmosphere.”
Among Sara’s many efforts to build good include environmental cleanups, career fairs for youth, blood drives, resource drives and delivery for underserved populations, and philanthropic running events. Most recently, Sara worked with the team to build 600 energy efficiency kits alongside 40 volunteers to support low-income and disadvantaged families in Spokane.
On top of all that, Sara has contributed to our diversity, equity and inclusion work by constantly uplifting women and the LGBTQ community during Women in Construction Week, women in the trades events, Pride Month, and other community activities throughout the year. McKinstry’s impact in Spokane has grown exponentially thanks to Sara’s unbridled enthusiasm.
Tara Carney has been steadfast champion of Building Good and community service at McKinstry and beyond. For nearly a decade, Tara was one of the most regular participants in the Colorado team’s community service initiatives and Building Good program.
Tara’s community service included cooking meals for women and children experiencing homelessness, cleaning up local parks and trails, sorting food at the local food bank, and building homes for underserved families. Most significantly, Tara made a substantial impact working with girls in STEM — breaking stereotypes and serving as a role model for young women about what a successful woman in construction looks like. Through the region’s STEM program, Tara worked with local girls each year, helping them construct a high-performance greenhouse, learn about wind energy, explore thermodynamics and building-envelop design, and discover solar PV — all while they gained confidence and exposure in STEM.
On top of all that, Tara was an active member of the Mountain Womxn’s Alliance and consistent champion of both gender equity and gender representation at McKinstry.
“No matter how demanding her workload was, Tara always made the time to give back to our local communities,” said Leslie Larocque, vice president, E&TS. “A proud and successful woman leader in construction, Tara particularly relished the opportunity to support and uplift young girls — serving as a role model to young women each year through our STEM program. Tara inspired everyone around her to be strong, to be vulnerable, and to be authentically themselves.”
Tara Carney passed away on Dec. 3 after a long and difficult battle with cancer. Her legacy of giving back to the community and uplifting girls and young people in Colorado continues. She truly embodied McKinstry’s values, and we are a better organization because of her.