A special thanks goes out to our Platinum Sponsor:

CFMA Member: Mike Kerbey



Derek Salas

Derek Salas is our first place winner and will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship by CFMA Silicon Valley. Derek, a former Redwood City resident and California licensed electrician, will start his junior year this fall at Arizona State University, where he is pursuing a degree in construction management. Derek is interested in Real Estate Development and Construction Finance and is on track to graduate in December 2020.

Derek is currently the Vice President of the Sigma Lambda Chi International Construction Honors Society at Arizona State, which believes is helping to develop and hone his leadership skills. He also takes regular advantage of the volunteering aspect of SLC with organizations like Habitat for Humanity. During his time as an electrician, he worked on projects at Apple, Levi’s Stadium and a Google data center in Nebraska. Derek is also a lover of music and has produced original music for over 10 years.



Rodrigo Mendez

Rodrigo Mendez is entering his sophomore year at Santa Clara University, where he is pursuing a degree in civil engineering. Rodrigo, grew up in Napa, California, and is the first college student in his family. The everyday challenges and pride of returning to buildings that he helped create are what interest Rodrigo in the construction industry. Rodrigo has interned for CFMA member Blach Construction, here in Silicon Valley.

In high school, Rodrigo was a member and the captain of the Academic Decathlon Team, which qualified for the state competition. He also played basketball and ran track all four years and was often captain of those teams.



Jesus Martin Duran

Jesus Martin Duran will be entering his junior year at Santa Clara University, where he is pursuing studies in the area Civil Engineering. Martin is pursuing a BS degree in Civil Engineering, and then hopes to secure a position with the Army Corps of Engineers.

Martin comes from a family that has worked in construction since the family’s arrival in the United States in the 1970s. He will be the first from his family to graduate college.

Martin has eight years of active duty service in the Marine Corps. He received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for outstanding leadership while serving as a team leader in Iraq in support of Operation Inherit Resolve against the Islamic State in Anbar Province, Iraq. Martin believes strongly in giving back to the community and in public service, and has been a mentor with the Big Brother Big Sister organization, where he, too was once the recipient of a mentor from that organization.

CFMA Silicon Valley is proud to share that it facilitated Martin’s hiring by CFMA Member Preston Pipelines, Inc., for a 2019 internship. A special “thank you” goes to Dave Heslop, of Preston, who helped make it happen.

$2,000 Scholarship


Sydney Lee

Sydney is currently attending California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo , where she is majoring in construction management. She will be starting her junior year this fall. Sydney credits her love for the construction industry from her Burlingame High School architecture classes taught by a former contractor. She has worked as an intern for Balfour Beatty working on the CalTrain Electrification Project; her experience with this project has convinced her that the construction industry is exactly right for her.

Sydney has been on the Dean’s List at Cal Poly for two semesters so far.