LaMantia announces retirement
By TIM ROWDEN
Jim LaMantia, executive director of the St. Louis Construction Cooperative (formerly PRIDE of St. Louis Inc.) surprised the 200-plus guests at the Cooperative’s annual awards luncheon last week by announcing the new name for the organization as well as his intent to step down at the end of the year.
“While it is true that every major U.S. city should have a construction cooperative, it is a challenge to keep something like this going for 43 years,” said LaMantia, former president of the St. Louis Building Trades and former business manager of Iron Workers Local 396.
“I want to thank the St. Louis Construction Cooperative Board members past and present for the countless hours and countless days they have put in working to build something together cooperatively.”
LaMantia is a 47-year member of Local 396, serving many of those years as an officer: six as business manager, six as a business representative and as a vice president, and member of the union’s executive board and examining board.
The St. Louis Construction Cooperative (SLCC) is the nation’s first and oldest voluntary construction labor-management organization. As executive director, LaMantia has carried out PRIDE’s mission to maintain harmony and build cooperation among St. Louis area AFL-CIO construction craft workers, contractors, construction buyers, architects, engineers and suppliers.
“When people ask me about the character of the St. Louis construction industry, I always tell them that great labor leaders lead their membership not where the members want to go, but where the members need to be,” LaMantia said.
The Cooperative’s eighth annual awards luncheon saluted Monsanto, which is currently investing $400 million to expand its research facilities in Chesterfield, MO, with the 2015 Industry Impact Award.
Also recognize individual achievement were:
• Otis Williams, executive director, St. Louis Development Corporation, receiving the Joe Rinke Owner Award;
• Thomas Heeger, retired chairman and chief executive officer, ACME Constructors and retired chairman and chief executive officer, ACME Erectors, receiving the Al Fleischer Management Award; and
• Richard “Dick” Kellett, retired business agent, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562, and recently retired president of the North County Labor Club, receiving the Dick Mantia Labor Award.