An Accelerant: Woods Construction on Retail Construction

An Accelerant: Woods Construction President John Bodary on Retail Construction in the Coronavirus Era

By Dennis Burck

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to enforce social distancing came on March 24, advising that people stay six feet apart to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The distance was troubling for Woods Construction President John Bodary. “If we are hanging a sheet of drywall, how can our guys stay six feet away from each other?”

It would be the first question of many in a myriad of challenges Bodary faces in the especially hard-hit retail sector of construction during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a recent study by Dodge Data and Analytics, 2020 is projected to see a 33 percent decrease in U.S. commercial building starts.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that March saw the greatest decline in retail sales within the last 30 years at 8.7 percent. April’s report is expected to be much higher.

“When you go into construction, you get satisfaction from producing. You want to see that you have built something. You want to see your progress. For me this has been the opposite of that,” Bodary said.

“Now you go home at the end of the day exhausted and what you did was just put jobs on pause. It is kind of depressing.”

His first reaction was to read the executive order and see if there was a way to keep business going. Bodary evaluated over 30 of his construction sites from Boston to Alaska, trying to navigate the evolving and sometimes gray legalities of continuing operation during the pandemic.

However, a phone call from a client changed his priorities.

“The client said ‘Hey, on this date from eight until noon, we need to know every one of your employees that was on the job site because we sent in a third-party vendor who had a confirmed case of coronavirus at that site.’ I looked at the list and we had five employees at that job in Wisconsin.”

Bodary looked at the group of five on the job: One worker had a baby due in a month, another was one month from retiring.

“Each person has a story and I thought what are we doing here? If we talk the talk that our employees are the most valuable resource, we better start walking the walk.”

The employees that were exposed were remodeling a restaurant, and the decision was made to methodically make the project safe, secure and usable by the client and then get the employees home to practice self-distancing.

“The decision became more philosophical than business: We weren’t building a hospital here,” Bodary added. “We weren’t going to leave an essential remodel in progress – like a pharmacy or grocery department remodel, but we also wanted to get our people home safe and allow the client to operate their essential business without distraction.”

Now Bodary’s work has shifted to planning for a gradual and safe return to work with a nine-page document and checklist for each job site.

“We are taking the best practices from lots of sources − OSHA, CDC and the trades. We are trying to summarize these and make them ours. It is very important to have moving forward.”

According to Bodary’s retail clients, most summer projects will be bumped back into next year and the focus will shift on more immediate essential needs like installing plexiglass guards for cashiers and other emergency tasks as the situation evolves.

“As for the well-being of the retail construction market, the coronavirus is not the root cause in most of the downturns,” he said.

“I don’t think the result of the coronavirus will change what the market results would be anyway. I think it is just accelerating the change that was inevitable.”
Bodary expects to see an accelerated decline in B- and C-class malls and more retailers who are continuing to “right-size” their stores by decreasing square footage and curating the space with more popular inventory.

Target is already testing this model in downtown markets like East Lansing in 2019 by opening its first small-format store in Michigan. Woods Construction contributed to the build.

“At the same time, I think this is going to create opportunities for people who are sustainable. Retailers like Target and others that offer essential grocery and pharmaceutical products will have opportunities to take advantage of a downturned real estate market,” Bodary said. “They can take advantage of an old box vacated by Kmart or another struggling retailer. It will take some time, but I think those companies are going to flourish.”

Though the future of known specific work is still up in the air, Bodary sees the function of Woods Construction and other builders remaining constant throughout the crisis.

“From our perspective, I know from the last 35 years of doing this is that we become the managers of change. And this unique event in our lives is going to create change.”

John Bodary, President, Woods Construction
John Bodary, President, Woods Construction

Woods Construction, Inc. is a full-service General and Specialty Contractor with experience spanning, from coast to coast, and projects ranging in size from the construction of multi-million dollar retail stores, to simple maintenance calls for public schools and community churches, and most everything in-between. They are a long-time CAM member and an active participant on the CAM Safety Committee.

Hired as a Prebid Construction News Reporter, Dennis Burck recently joined the team at the Construction Association of Michigan. Burck earned a BA in journalism from Wayne State University in 2017, spending the last two years as a new development and general assignment reporter for the Lansing City Pulse. At the Pulse, Burck was tasked with writing the paper’s “New in Town” column, tracking commercial and city developments from construction to completion. His work also appeared in the Detroit Metro Times, Metro Parent, Model D Media and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ magazine


of Michigan

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Coronavirus: Info and Updates

Michigan's Construction Industry Adapts to COVID-19 Policies

Updated March 3, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released a Toolkit to assist employers of essential workers with educating their employees about COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, and address common questions and concerns.  Click here for the Toolkit.

To help reach the state’s goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders over age 16 and bring a quicker end to the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) officials have announced that the state is moving to a new phase of vaccination on Monday, January. 11th.

MDHHS is moving forward with vaccinating Michiganders age 65 and older; frontline essential workers including police officers, first responders, frontline state and federal workers and jail and prison staff; and preK-12 teachers and childcare providers. In addition to vaccinating Michiganders who are 75+ in Phase 1B, MDHHS is accelerating to vaccinate individuals 65-74 years old (Phase 1C Group A). Contractors are part of Phase 1C.

Read the full vaccination prioritization plan here. Michigan residents and employers seeking more information about the COVID-19 vaccine should visit

To ensure construction employers are protecting workers from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) has launched a new State Emphasis Program (SEP) that will be in effect through February 8, 2021. This SEP will increase MIOSHA’s enforcement presence, as well as consultation and education activities, on construction sites to assist with and ensure compliance with the requirements of MIOSHA’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 Emergency Rules.

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, in conjunction with the MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division has developed a brief video as well as a COVID-19 Workplace Requirements Guidance Document to assist construction companies.

The newly issued directives enhance the current regulations requiring construction sites to adopt a set of best practices to protect their workers from infection. Those practices include:

  • Creating a written Preparedness and Response Plan.
  • Designating a site supervisor to enforce COVID-19 control strategies.
  • Conducting daily health screenings for workers, including temperature checks.
  • Creating dedicated entry points, if possible, or issuing stickers or other indicators to assure that all workers are screened every day.
  • Identifying choke points and high-risk areas (like hallways, hoists and elevators, break areas, water stations, and buses) and controlling them to enable social distancing.
  • Ensuring sufficient hand-washing or hand-sanitizing stations at the worksite.
  • Providing appropriate personal protective equipment, including non-medical face coverings.

Click here for State Emphasis Program for Offices

Click here for MIOSHA Return to Work Resources

Click here for OSHA Control and Prevention for Construction

Click here for CAM Members assisting with Return to Work

Michigan Update 3.05.21
Michigan Update 3.05.21
Good news for our June 9th EXPO!
Good news for our June 9th EXPO!


Members Serving Members
Members Serving Members

CAM has assembled a list of CAM members providing information, supplies, and resources available to assist your safe return to work.  Click the image above to access our Members Serving Members page.


Quick Links

Return to Work Toolkit

On-Demand Webinars

State of Michigan Health and Human Services Recommendations

Information about this outbreak is changing rapidly. You can stay informed by regularly visiting and

Resources for Employers

On April 23, Congress approved additional funding for the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers forgivable small business loans to cover up to eight weeks of payroll and other costs such as rent and utilities. The loans are primarily available to companies with up to 500 employees. We strongly encourage you to apply now with your lending institution as applications are likely to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Find a lender

Complete application

Small Business Assistance- Federal

Small Business Assistance – Michigan

State of Michigan / Unemployment

Tax / Financial / HR Information

Legal Resources

Resources for CAM Members

Precautions at the Construction Association of Michigan

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All CAM employees have returned to work-from-home effective November 18, 2020.  Incoming phone calls and emails are routed to the appropriate department.  If you need assistance, call (248) 972-1000 or send an email to  As previously announced, the 334 S. Water Street office located in Saginaw is closed permanently.

Future CAM events, classes, and meetings are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis and our team is working to notify affected parties as soon as possible. Click here for upcoming events.


Detroit’s Shinola Hotel Named CAM Magazine Project of the Year 2019

At the 134th Annual Meeting of the Construction Association of Michigan (CAM), held February 12, 2020, at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, the association announced that Detroit’s Shinola Hotel was selected as the 2019 CAM Magazine Project of the Year. Located in the heart of the city’s historic Woodward shopping district, Shinola Hotel occupies five buildings, the main structure built in 1915. The unique urban hotel was also named to Conde Nast Traveler’s 2019 Hot List of the Best New Hotels in the World.

CAM Magazine’s Special Issue, featuring construction projects performed in Michigan over the past year, is published each October. The Owners, General Contractors, and Architects from these projects are interviewed and sites toured prior to the writing of the feature articles that make up this issue. The Project of the Year is selected by the CAM Magazine Editorial Advisory Committee, magazine staff, and an online vote.

CAM is currently accepting submissions for its Special Issue 2020. Project entries must be constructed or designed by a CAM member, and must have been completed – or reached substantial completion – between June 2019 and June 2020.  The deadline for submitting Special Issue 2020 projects is Friday, March 6, 2020. Advertising opportunities are available. Visit for more information and to submit your project.

The list of the finalists and their project teams from CAM Magazine Special Issue 2019:

2019 Project of the Year:

  • Shinola Hotel (Detroit).  Contractor: Barton Malow Company; Architects: Kraemer Design Group and Integrated Design Solutions; Owner: Bedrock

2019 Finalists (in no particular order):

  • Mike Ilitch School of Business (Detroit).  Contractor: The Christman Company/L.S. Brinker Joint Venture; Architect: SmithGroup; Owner: Wayne State University
  • The Legacy (Bay City).  Contractor: Spence Brothers; Architect: Quinn Evans Architects; Owner: Jenifer Acosta Development
  • I-75 Over Rouge and Goddard (SW/Melvindale).  Contractor: C.A. Hull Co., Inc.; Engineer: Alfred Benesch & Co.
  • United Shore Financial Services Headquarters (Pontiac).  Contractor: The Dailey Company; Architect: Integrated Design Solutions; Owner: United Shore
  • Flex-N-Gate Detroit Manufacturing Facility (Detroit).  Contractor: Walsh Construction Company; Architect: IBI Group, Inc.; Owner: Flex-N-Gate Corp.
  • University of Michigan Biological Sciences Building (Ann Arbor).  Contractor: Barton Malow; Architects: SmithGroup, Ennead Architects; Owner: University of Michigan
  • AUCH Headquarters (Pontiac).  Contractor: AUCH Construction; Architect: HED; Owner: AUCH Construction
  • Hub Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor).  Contractor: Spence Brothers; Architect: Myefski Architects; Owner: American Campus Communities
  • Dexter Early Elementary Complex (Dexter).  Contractor: Granger Construction; Architect: TMP Architecture, Inc.; Owner: Dexter Community Schools
  • Oakland Center — Oakland University (Rochester).  Contractor: The Christman Company; Architect: Integrated Design Solutions; Owner: Oakland University
  • Wagner Place Downtown Development (Dearborn).  Contractor: Roncelli, Inc.; Architect: Neumann/Smith Architecture; Owner: Ford Land


CAM ENewsletter – February 14, 2020

CAM ENewsletter - February 14, 2020


• CAM Inducts New Chairman and Three New Board Members
• Submit Your Project for CAM Magazine’s Special Issue 2020 Today!
• Apply Now for the Upcoming CAM Safety Achievement Awards
• The CAM Advanced Leadership Academy Kicks Off March 4th
• CAMTEC’s Upcoming Classes
• Bloomfield Hills Prime Office Space for Lease
• Great Opportunities to Network, Learn, and Have Fun
• Current Promotion on CAM’s Virtual Project News
• One of the “Elite” 40 Under 40: Josh Barney of J.J. Barney Construction
• Mid-Michigan ASSP Lunch & Learn – Professional Safety Certifications
• Seaway Painting Wins Award for Mackinac Bridge Painting Project
• Empower the Green Build Revolution on March 24th & 25th
• Last Day to Submit Nominations for the Under 40 in Construction Awards
• NECA Programs Now Accepting 2019 Submissions
• OSHA Revises National Emphasis Program on Respirable Silica

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Board of Directors Candidates

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Candidates for Board of Directors


November 21, 2019 – The Construction Association of Michigan is thrilled to announce the six new candidates for its Board of Directors.  Through a member voting process, three will be selected and installed during the 134th CAM Annual Meeting on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.  Click on each photo to view a biography of the candidate.

Each member firm receives ONE ballet.  Ballots must be returned by December 4, 2019.

Robert Broner
Robert Broner
Gerald Caratelli
Gerald Caratelli
Jeremy Gay
Jeremy Gay
Teresa Miller
Teresa Miller
Todd Moilanen
Todd Moilanen
Dean Morales, Jr.
Dean Morales, Jr.

Construction Cleanup: Trending Green

Member Spotlight

Construction Clean-Up: Trending Green

top notch

The importance of green building in construction is at the forefront of the construction industry, but just as important are the products used to clean these properties. In an era of eco-friendly and environmentally safe products, it is imperative, especially with all the new construction and revamping of historical buildings, that we are well informed about what products to use to be environmentally responsible and to help reduce your carbon footprint.

Green cleaning products prove to be a gain for the environment and also prevent human health from deterioration. However, finding a powerful product that actually works well, but is safe, has been a challenge. As a new construction cleaning company, the owners at GD Top Notch Cleaning Service Inc, located in Redford and Detroit, felt compelled to solve this issue by developing such a product that really works and that also contributes to maintaining a safer environment.

Going eco-friendly is about sustainability. Since the world is corrupted by pollution and toxic amounts of materials, contributing to making it sustainable is the goal of GD Top Notch Cleaning Service Inc. Using green cleaning products is better for both people and the planet. The company takes pride in deviating from the habitual ways and working hard towards the initiative to go green.

When an alternative path of safe cleaning is chosen, it is with the clients’ and customers’ health in mind. Although it may not be at the forefront of someone’s thoughts, it will resonate when someone sees a shiny kitchen or a polished marble floor. Knowing how clean a space is on every level provides peace of mind that the surfaces are safe for our clients, children and pets. Green cleaning can simply be defined as “cleaning to protect health without harming the environment.”

With 27 years in the construction cleaning industry, the owners of GD Top Notch Cleaning Service, Inc. couldn’t be happier to instill this practice.

For more information about becoming a Certified Cleaning Technician, click here.

Robert S. Broner President Broner Glove and Safety

About the Author:
Gale (GD) Glickoff is the CEO and founder of GD Top Notch Cleaning Service, Inc., which has been providing new construction clean-up services for commercial properties since 1992. As a young person, Gale broke barriers by being one of the very few women in construction trades. Her background ranges from active licensed builder, realtor, CEO and President. Gale is active in many humanitarian efforts, actively participates with her crews, and also takes necessary time for herself.

Mid Year Forecast Recap

Mid-Year Forecast Recap

June 13, 2019 – At today’s Mid Year Forecast and State of the Industry Breakfast, co-hosted by Construction Association of Michigan and Southeastern Michigan Home Builders Association, 250+ attendees were presented with information concerning the national economy and Michigan’s economic outlook.

During the first presentation by Gabriel Ehrlich, Director of Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics (RSQE) and Assistant Research Scientist with experience in the Financial Analysis Division at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), statistics indicated that by July 2019, the national economy will set a record for longest sustained period of growth.  To view all of the charts and graphs presented by Gabe, click here.

The second half was presented by returning speaker Eric Bussis, the Michigan Chief Economist and the Director of the Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis at the Michigan Department of Treasury.  Eric’s remarks focused on Michigan and demonstrated that Michigan has outperformed the US and Great Lakes States during the economic recovery.  To view Eric’s presentation, click here.

To view photos from the event, click here.

Special thanks to our sponsors:


Construction Federal Credit Union
Michigan Talent Investment Agency
Doeren Mayhew


Progessive Plumbing Supply
Testing Engineers & Consultants
Progressive Sweeping Contractors
CMIT Solutions
Surework Construction
Plante Moran
Operating Engineers Local 324 LMEC & JATF
Pella Window & Door


CAM Jobsite Posters Are Updated for April 2019

Are your jobsite posters current? The answer is likely no because the new Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act with its Required Poster just became effective on March 29th. CAM has the new posters in stock!

Get an all-in-one, plastic-laminated, 30″x 60″ jobsite poster that contains seven Federal and eight Michigan posters that are required on all jobsites. CAM Jobsite Posters are available for $45.00. CAM Members pay only $35.00! For purchase information, contact Mary Carabott at (248) 972-1000 or



CAM Members Elect New Board

CAM Members Elect New Board

At the 133rd Annual Meeting of the Construction Association of Michigan (CAM), held February 5, 2019, at MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit, the association’s new officers and directors, who will serve on the 2019 Board of Directors, were installed.

CAM’s new 2019 Chairman of the Board is Kevin Foucher, Vice President, Construction, Commercial Contracting Corporation, Auburn Hills.  Newly promoted to CAM Vice Chairmen are: Kerlin Blaise, Blaze Contracting, and Erik Wordhouse, Edwards Glass Company. CAM’s incoming Treasurer is Samuel Ruegsegger III, The Christman Company.

Each year, three Directors retire from CAM’s 12-member board, and three new Directors are elected by the CAM Membership. The newly elected 2019 Directors are: Tricia Ruby, President/CEO, Ruby+Associates, Inc., Bingham Farms; Matthew Cramer, President, Dee Cramer Inc., Holly; and Frank Jonna, CEO, Jonna Companies, Detroit.  Outoing Directors include Joseph Fontanesi, Fontanasi and Kann Company; Tom Broad, Midwest Steel; and Jennifer Panning, Artisan Tile.

Other current members of the CAM Board of Directors are: Joshua Barney, JJ Barney Construction; Jeffrey Chandler, Valenti Trobec Chandler Inc./VTC Insurance Group; Stephen Frantz, Motor City Electric Company; Michael Green, John E. Green Company; and Paul Stachowiak, Integrated Design Solutions, LLC.

2019 Special Issue Awards: Submission Deadline Extended!

If you have a groundbreaking, beautiful, complicated construction project that deserves to be featured in the October 2019 CAM Magazine Special Issue, submit your entry today!

CAM Magazine’s Special Issue is published each October.  It highlights the 12 most outstanding construction projects, as determined by the CAM Magazine staff and the CAM Magazine Editorial Advisory Board.  Any project constructed or designed by a CAM member company, which has been completed or reached substantial completion between June 2018 and June 2019, is eligible for consideration.

As an added bonus to being featured in Special Issue 2019, the General Contractors/Construction Managers/Architects of each winning project will be presented with a commemorative plaque at an award ceremony held at the Michigan Construction & Design Tradeshow in February 2020. They will also be eligible to be voted as the CAM 2019 Project of the Year.

There are great advertising opportunities in Special Issue 2019. Ad reservations can be made by calling Roy Jones at (248) 972-1115. The advertising deadline is August 23, 2019.

The deadline for submission has been extended to Friday, March 15, 2019.  Click here to download your entry form.