BISMARCK, ND—He’s the man behind the award-winning company that builds today’s structures towering over America’s oil and gas fields, refineries that process crude oil that go to world markets, the ethanol plants in and around corn fields, the power plants that generate electricity to millions of homes, the processing plants that put food on people’s tables, and much, much more of what keeps America’s industrial engine going.

He’s Mark Peterson who founded Westcon Inc. in Bismarck, ND, nearly 40 years ago, and today it’s a large-scale diversified industrial construction company providing those services to a wide spectrum of industries across the United States.

Mark Peterson speaks to a crowd of dignitaries before receiving the prestigious Virtuous Leadership Award from University of Mary President, Monsignor James Shea (background).

Today, April 9, 2019, Peterson became the fourth person to ever receive University of Mary’s prestigious Virtuous Leadership Award, given to people who it wants its students to emulate.

“Mark Peterson knew when he started his company in 1981 as a regional open-shop industrial construction contractor that any growth and success would depend on the performance of its employees and meeting the expectations of its customers. But neither could be accomplished without the moral and ethical values and integrity that he instilled companywide from the very beginning,” said University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea. “Mark’s vision and leadership meant hiring high-character employees committed to service, safety, quality and attention to detail. Westcon and its employees are a reflection of Mark Peterson, and it’s why, with great pride, we honor him today.”

Bilfinger Berger purchased the company in 2012 and renamed it Bilfinger Westcon Inc. and today is a national organization with growing annual revenues. Its headquarters is located in Bismarck, ND, with regional offices in Houston, TX, and Canton, OH, and field offices in Piqua, OH, Blair, NE, and Sinclair, WY.

UMary President Monsignor James Shea (left) presents the Virtuous Leadership Award to Mark Peterson (center), and his wife Phyllis (right).

In a Construction Todayarticle, the company is quoted as saying, “Our business is about making our customers’ lives easier, and providing them with people they enjoy working with is a part of that.” Much of that stems from Peterson’s leadership and nearly 50 years in the construction industry, or “customer service industry” as he would refer to it as. Following his retirement, Peterson continues as an advisor in the company, providing his expertise in certain areas, especially estimating and planning projects. The article continues by stating, “Our company motto is ‘Pride Thru Performance,’ and that’s really something that Mark has instilled in us from the beginning and distinguishes us from our competitors today. His philosophy has always been that while you need to make a profit, it’s most important to have a happy customer at the end of the day.”

Peterson has always made a commitment to the environment, health and safety. Not only has it won numerous safety awards, but it’s at the heart of each of Bilfinger Westcon’s projects and has now become the gold standard among all U.S. construction industry peers.