Summit Speakers

Summit Speakers


Opening Keynote: “Catalyzing and Unleashing a Movement”

Learning Objectives: Cal will trace the history of the construction industry mental health promotion and suicide prevention movement — both major progress and milestones as well as unfinished business and future priorities. The keynote will focus on pivotal lessons learn like how the industry can learn how to succeed at:

  1. Launching a media saturation campaign
  2. Gaining association penetration
  3. Enrolling labor union participation
  4. Building an army of helpers and champions

About Cal Beyer

Cal Beyer is the Vice President of Workforce Risk & Worker Mental Wellbeing for Holmes Murphy & Associates, a firm dedicated to construction risk management for over 100 years. Previously, Beyer served as Director of Risk Management at construction company Lakeside Industries, Inc. in Issaquah, WA from 2014 until 2020. Beyer was an inaugural member (and Co-Lead; 2015-2017), of the Action Alliance’s Workplace Task Force. Beyer was named one of the Top 25 Newsmakers for 2016 in the global construction industry by Engineering-News Record (ENR), the leading voice of the construction industry, for his work promoting mental health and suicide prevention.


Closing Keynote: “Primal Safety”


Learning Objectives:

  • Explore how traditional, hypermasculine command and control and hierarchy negatively affects safety and mental health.
  • Explore new ways of approaching safety and mental health using human connection and emotional intelligence and review some case studies.
  • Review specific tools (approaches, toolbox topics) and ways of implementing these concepts in your safety and mental health programs.

About Brent Darnell

Brent Darnell, the owner of Brent Darnell International, has been teaching critical people skills and emotional intelligence to the AEC industry since 2000. In 2012 he was awarded Engineering News Record’s top 25 newsmaker’s award. His programs, books and online courses are helping to transform the industry.


Keynote: From Plumber to Suicidologist

Presentation Summary:

Starting as a plumbing apprentice at the age of 15 Jorgen felt his world was made. It was his dream job and career. However, when he developed a mental illness a few years later it became much more of a fight for survival. This presentation describes the journey from a young plumbing apprentice to being part of starting a suicide prevention program called MATES in Construction. The presentation will discuss the power of allowing people with lived experience to lead in all parts of the development of suicide prevention programs. It will discuss the evidence for MATES and how the program motivates workers. 

About Jorgen Gullestrup

Jorgen is a Danish plumber who by accident or fate became one of the architects of the suicide prevention program “MATES in Construction” now operating across Australia and the Construction, Mining, and Energy Industries. Jorgen is currently the principal for Semicolon Consulting, CEO of the Mental Health Lived Experience Peak Queensland, Lived Experience Advisor to Suicide Prevention Australia, Chair of Queensland Workplace Health and Safety Board and member of Queensland’s Mental Health and Drugs Council. Jorgen is currently a PhD candidate investigating help offering amongst men. He holds a Masters of Suicidology, a Diploma in Social and Community Development and an Associate Diploma in Labour Studies.

In Honor of Diana Cortez Yañez