ASU construction grad offers helping hand
Posted: September 22, 2010
When the home of a Navajo Nation member and U.S. Marine Corps veteran was vandalized and burglarized this past summer while he was in the hospital, the community stepped up to help him.
Damage to the house in Rough Rock, Ariz. was so severe that Anderson Benally, who served in the Vietnam conflict, was left homeless.
Among the first to respond to Benally’s plight was a fellow Vietnam veteran, Jeff Begay,
Begay is a 1974 graduate of Arizona State University’s Del E. Webb School of Construction and now a business development manager with Kitchell Contractors. The company’s Navajo Nation joint-venture partner, BITCO, is renovating Rough Rock High School.
Begay convinced the company to come to Benally’s aid and help rebuild and refurnish the home.
The effort grew, as the Navajo Times reported, to include contributions from Navajo Nation veterans’ organizations, local businesses and community volunteers.
Begay, a Navajo Nation member, earned his degree in construction management – aided by a Kitchell scholarship and the G.I. Bill – and has worked in the construction industry for more than three decades.
He’s had experience in tribal administration, community development, construction project management, and as an owner of a general contracting business.
He’s also a former president of the American Indian Council of Architects and Engineers, and a founding executive committee member of the Del E. Webb school’s Construction in Indian Country organization.