Daniel Mardian, Sr.

Daniel Mardian, Sr., whose motto was “Make it Happen,” passed away June 29, 2010. He was 93.


Dan was a man of convictions, curiosity and creativity. He was frequently at the top of his class because he believed in working hard and asking for help. Dan was a great communicator and spoke his mind, but he was rarely critical or negative. He was a tough but fair negotiator, always seeking to find benefits for the other party. Above everything, Dan was a man of his word.


Born in Pasadena, Calif., as the son of Armenian immigrants Samuel and Acabe Mardian, Dan spent his life as a builder of the community. He served in WWII, with the Army Corp of Engineers in the Philippines and New Guinea, and graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College, later retiring from the reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel.


Dan moved to Phoenix with his wife, Kathy, in 1946 to join his oldest brother, Aram, who had started Mardian Construction. Aram, Dan and Sam (Phoenix mayor from 1960 to 1964) were all partners in the business in the 1940s and were joined by their youngest brother, Robert (assistant U.S. attorney general), in the 1970s. Dan was president of Mardian Construction until 1978, when the company was sold to Perini Building Company.


Mardian Construction contributed to Phoenix’s Prominence with many of Arizona’s major structures, including the State Capital Wings, Sky Harbor’s Terminal Three, Sun Devil Stadium’s expansion, Western Electric’s Cable Plant, Arizona State University’s Residence Hall, the Executive Towers, the Printing Plant for The Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette, the Coca Cola Bottling Plant, the implosion of the Adam’s Hotel, Northern Arizona University’s Walkup Skydome, the Burrow Creek Bridge near Wikieup, the Painted Rock Dam Outworks, and several hospitals, churches, high schools, and communications and industrial buildings.


Dan was an avid supporter of ASU academics and athletics. In 1954, he asked the state legislature to request the Board of Regents to add a school for construction at ASU, which occurred in 1957. He served as president and life member of the Fiesta Bowl Committee, chairman of the Sun Angel Foundation, advisory board member for Construction Programs at ASU, and funded the Dan & Kathy Mardian ASU Construction Student Scholarship. Construction education and training was a passion. Dan served as vice president of the board of trustees of the American Council for Construction Education, a charter member of American Institute of Constructors, as president of Consulting Constructors Council of America, a member of the Arizona Correctional Industry Advisory Board, on the Legislative Oversight Committee for Prison Construction, chairman of Laborers Education and Training Fund, and as life director and state trustee for Laborers and Operating Engineers Programs.


Dan served in leadership positions on other civic organizations including: president of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, general campaign chairman for the Arizona United Way, chairman of the City of Phoenix Building & Safety Advisory Board, president of Phoenix Country Club and director of the Kiwanis Club.


Honors included the Arizona Laborer’s Training Center Facility name dedication, the CFMA Lifetime Service Award, the American Subcontractors Association Lifetime Award, the Distinguished Arizonan Award, the Medallion of Merit from the College of Engineering at ASU, member of the Construction Hall of Fame, National AGC Chairman of the Year and the Brotherhood Award from the National Council of Christians and Jews.


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