Melvin C. Williams honored for positively impacting the Carolinas construction industry

July 19, 2022

GroundBreak Carolinas has announced the results of its 2022 GroundBreaker Awards, an annual awards program that recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond to make a difference for the construction community in the Carolinas. GroundBreak Carolinas is an organization that focuses on connecting design, construction, economic development, and commercial real estate communities.

Selected from a well-rounded group of nominees from North Carolina and South Carolina, members of the 2022 Class of GroundBreakers represent both states.

This year’s GroundBreaker Award recipients include:

Melvin C. Williams, F.SAME, FACEC, Vice President and Senior Client Developer assigned to Terracon’s South East Division. The Citadel and South Carolina State University graduate is very passionate about business development, continuously advocating for and improving the business climate of engineering. Williams has earned a national reputation for elevating the engineering profession by encouraging a strong culture of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) within the industry, assisting with training and development of future leaders, and serving in leadership roles on regional and national boards and committees. This includes the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME); the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) – for which he is currently Senior Vice Chair and serves as a Board Member for the ACEC Research Institute; the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG), and other engineering and construction organizations. Throughout his distinguished career, Williams has been actively involved in economic development at the state level and was just elected to the South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association’s (SCEDA) board of directors.

Angela Gardner and Christi Powell, Co-Creators and Hosts of the recently launched Women Talk Construction podcast, which is elevating the industry by encouraging women to enter the construction industry – both professional and skilled trades – and supporting those already in construction-related careers and non-traditional roles. Through weekly interviews, the podcast encourages inclusion in construction while fostering a culture of mentorship, trust, integrity, leadership and education. With 21 podcast episodes aired to date and 1,500-plus downloads, these two inspirational women are gaining new followers every week.  In fact, Women Talk Construction just made’s Top 11 Construction Podcasts of 2022 and thousands are already engaged in their online forum. As of July 1, 2022, Women Talk Construction listeners represented 350 cities and 20 countries. Angela Gardner is Director of Business Development and Marketing for Hill Electric, an industrial electrical contractor in Anderson, S.C., and Christi Powell is the WBE (Women Business Enterprise) Market Manager for 84 Lumber, a leading building materials supply company with locations across the country.

Amy Sullivan Hicks, President & CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors of the Carolinas (ABC Carolinas). ABC Carolinas represents general contractors, construction management firms, specialty contractors, various material and equipment suppliers, and service providers all dedicated to the construction industry in North and South Carolina. Based in Charlotte, ABC Carolinas is one of 69 chapters of ABC, a national association representing more than 21,000 members. South Carolina has three regional ABC councils – Midlands, Upstate and Lowcountry. North Carolina has four regional councils – Charlotte, Triad, Triangle and Coastal. When Sullivan Hicks took over in 2020, ABC Carolinas was struggling with decreased membership and other challenges related to past leadership transitions. In less than two years, Sullivan Hicks has stabilized and grown the organization by building the ABC brand, hosting meaningful and engaging events across both states, promoting workforce and safety, and helping lead improvements in the construction industry. Under her leadership, ABC Carolinas received two ABC National awards for 2021. The Chapter Performance Award recognizes a Chapter for not only membership growth, but also member retention, and participation in ABC’s formal safety (STEP) and quality (AQC) programs. The Charles A. Mullan Award is presented for Chapter Growth. ABC Carolinas also won the Mullan Award for 2020 – Sullivan Hicks’ first year with the association.

In addition, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) was recognized with the Organizational GroundBreaker Award for its significant achievements in attracting economic development investment in N.C.


About GroundBreak Carolinas

GroundBreak Carolinas brings relevant insights, information, and resources to the Carolinas construction community, including a wide range of exclusive content intended to help design- and construction- related businesses be successful. GroundBreak Carolina contributors provide perspectives from thought leaders in the two-state region. Celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2022, GroundBreak Carolinas is the only platform that reaches key decision makers and influencers in the architecture, engineering, and construction (general contractors and specialty contractors) sectors, as well as the commercial real estate and economic development communities in North Carolina and South Carolina. Visit and subscribe to our newsletter, GroundBreak Carolinas Construction Connection at