Ken Pike’s construction career began back when Architects and Engineers provided fully detailed documents and actively directed the building process. He saw the industry evolve into the design-build approach wherein A/E plans are more conceptual, shop drawings are used to fill in the details, and the General Contractor carries the Quality burden, thus creating increased likelihood of disputes.

Ken’s father was a member and shop steward of the United Packinghouse Workers union, which brought discussions of labor/management disputes to the family dinner table each day. A decade later Ken came into construction at the very bottom, working as a common laborer and member of the AFL-CIO union local. A bit more than a decade after that he found himself on the other side of the fence, managing a business that employed members of his former Laborers Union, and negotiating with their Steward and Business Agent. This unique “in-the-trenches” perspective helps him to see that there are two sides to every disagreement, and that a solution usually lies somewhere in between.

His experience as a laborer aroused his curiosity about how steel beams and concrete footings were designed, and that led him to Purdue University and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. In 1965 he became a Junior Civil Engineer with the Bridge Division of the California Highway Department working on construction inspection and bridge design. His next step was working as Office Engineer for the general contractor on the Ohio River Uniontown Locks Project. At the end of that project he became a Field Engineer for the Midwest Region of the Portland Cement Association, providing technical support to concrete designers and users.

When PCA was downsized he went to work for a small precast concrete company in western Kentucky as the Chief Engineer and, eventually, General Manager. This began a 35 year career in the precast business that led him from Kentucky to North Carolina, and to experiences as an engineer, operations manager, salesman, marketer, and project manager. As he matured in this business he was the one that builders and designers turned to for guidance on how to use precast systems in their projects. He was also the one they called on when they were not satisfied with some aspect of the agreement or the performance provided by his company.

That experience in the precast business kept him deeply involved in negotiating contracts and in working out disagreements before they became lawsuits. By his retirement in January 2006 he was already enamored with the ADR process and so he set about taking the class work and the mediation observations required by North Carolina statutes so that he could become a non-attorney Certified Superior Court Mediator. That title was conferred in July 2006.

He is also co-founder of a business, Sunbelt Consulting Group, LLC, which was formed to provide ADR services and Property/Casualty Insurance Claims services.


Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Purdue University, January 1965.
Thirty five years of Continuing Education courses on a variety of engineering and construction related topics.