Michael D. Flowers Named Berea College Trustee

Portrait of Michael D. Flowers

Michael D. Flowers, P.E., has been elected to the Berea College Board of Trustees at the Board’s January meeting. His term will begin immediately. Flowers recently retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of American Bridge Company, whose projects include a significant proportion of the world’s large bridges, marine installations, and other complex structures. He was appointed to a six-year term to begin immediately.

“As a young boy growing up in West Virginia, my parents taught me the importance of hard work. Their expectation was that I would go to college, and I was the first in my family to do so. I learned that education opens countless doors and its importance cannot be diminished,” Flowers said. “The inclusiveness of Berea gives hope for a brighter future. I am both humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve on the Board of Trustees at Berea College.”

Flowers is a 42-year veteran of the bridge building industry, most recently serving the past six years at the helm of American Bridge, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He joined American Bridge Company in 1975 as a Design Engineer in the Pittsburgh Regional Engineering office. In the early years of his career, he worked on the repair and maintenance of steel-making facilities which AB was designing and building for its then parent United States Steel Corporation.

Later, Flowers was assigned to a business unit of American Bridge responsible for major commercial construction projects in the United States, working largely on high-rise buildings and bridges.  His projects included the Phase II of the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan, the One Mellon Bank Center, PPG Headquarters and Fifth Avenue Place buildings in Pittsburgh, PA and the Riverside Drive Viaduct in New York City, a total reconstruction of a historic 26-span viaduct.

In 1986, Flowers joined Mellon Stuart Company working first in their commercial building division, and later running their Heavy and Highway Division as Vice President. He returned to American Bridge in 1994 as Senior Vice President of Operations, with oversight of major bridge projects including the reconstruction of the Williamsburg Suspension Bridge in New York City, the MacArthur Causeway in Miami, the retrofit of the Tagus River Suspension Bridge in Portugal, the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, B.C., the reconstruction of the historic 160-year old Wheeling Suspension Bridge in West Virginia, the Gateway Boulevard Arch Bridge in Nashville, TN, the Cumberland Lake Bridge in Somerset, Kentucky, the Kentucky Lakes Bridge at Kentucky Dam and the world’s largest bascule structure, the 8-leaf Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Washington, D.C..

In 2006, Flowers became the Project Director for the American Bridge led joint venture building of the new San Francisco Oakland Bay Self-Anchored-Suspension Bridge in California, a $1.9 billion project. There he oversaw all aspects of the construction of this one-of-a kind single tower, asymmetric 10-lane suspension bridge project in the highly seismic Bay Area.

In January of 2011, Flowers assumed CEO responsibilities of American Bridge. In his capacity as CEO, he led the company’s participation in domestic and international joint ventures including the new Queensferry Crossing, a three-tower cable-stayed bridge crossing of the Firth of Forth in Edinburgh, Scotland and the new Tappan Zee Hudson River Bridge in Tarrytown, NY.

Flowers received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

His affiliations include memberships in many professional organizations including the American Road and Transportation Builder’s Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, among others. He has served on the advisory Committees for the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Civil Engineers, and the West Virginia University, Department of Civil Engineers. In 2011, Flowers received The Golden Beaver Award for Supervision, which is awarded to individuals in recognition of achievements and contributions to the heavy construction industry. In 2014, American Society of Civil Engineers presented Flowers with the Roebling Award, which recognizes and honors an individual who has made an outstanding contribution toward the advancement of construction engineering.

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Tags: Michael D. Flowers, trustees

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.