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Wendy Reuer, Published March 14 2013

Industrial Builders' Diederich named president of national contractors group

FARGO – The successor of a family-founded West Fargo business known for its landmark structures in the Fargo-Moorhead area has been named president of a national contractors group.

Paul Diederich, president of Industrial Builders Inc., was recently elected president for 2013 of the Associated General Contractors of America.

Diederich, 55, is the first North Dakotan to be elected to the position, said AGC of North Dakota Vice President Russ Hanson.

Associated General Contractors was founded in 1918 as a construction trade association. It represents more than 28,000 firms, including 6,000 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 9,800 specialty-contracting firms.

The construction business is in Diederich’s blood. His parents, Warren and Irene Died-erich, founded Industrial Builders in 1953.

“I enjoyed it. Obviously, my folks were encouraging us to get involved with the industry,” he said. “It’s a very challenging industry.”

The Fargo South High School grad studied construction at Arizona State University before returning to the family business. He took the helm of the company in 1992, shortly after Industrial Builders finished construction of the Fargodome.

Another project Died-erich and other Industrial Builders leaders are proud of is the Main Avenue Veterans Memorial Bridge between Fargo and Moorhead. Warren Diederich spearheaded an effort to include a visually appealing plaza to the bridge.

Paul Diederich was already well into his duties this week as AGC president. He and his wife, Ellen Jean, are in Fort Meyers, Fla., visiting with affiliates.

“After some short remarks from me, I’ll hear from them, to find out what they’re thinking and find out what they’d like to see accomplished in the coming year,” Diederich said by phone.

Diederich moved up through the ranks of the national organization, serving as a vice president and senior vice president for one-year terms before his election as president.

While the construction business in North Dakota is flourishing, Diederich said other companies in his industry are not seeing the same vitality. AGC membership has dropped by about 3,000 in recent years, with some of those numbers attributed to consolidation.

Diederich said he is confident construction is on the upswing nationwide. During his tenure as president, he will be encouraging membership growth as well as lead AGC efforts in Washington, D.C., as an advocate for the construction industry.

Diederich, the father of two daughters, is hopeful Industrial Builders will remain a family business.

His oldest daughter, Monica, lives in California and his youngest, Brittany, is studying business and construction management at North Dakota State University while working part time at Industrial Builders. His nephew is also pursuing work in the construction industry.

“So, we’ll see if a third generation gets involved,” Diederich said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530