Alvin Bresler, co-managing director of J. Smith Lanier & Co., recently was presented with the Alabama Associated General Contractors’ Capstone Award.
The award was presented Jan. 16 during the BuildSouth Awards Banquet, which kicked off AGC’s centennial year celebrations.
“Alvin is a consummate professional,” Billy Norrell, CEO of Alabama AGC, said in BuildSouth, the magazine for the group. “His trustworthiness and ethics make working with him a great pleasure.”
Bresler got into the surety bond and contractors’ insurance industry after several years as a football coach, including being head coach at Homewood High School in the 1970s where he led the program to its first football state championship in 1974.
He is a native of Birmingham and graduated from Shades Valley High School with a football and track scholarship to Auburn University. In 1970, he broke Auburn’s record for the longest touchdown pass reception in a game against Georgia Tech – an 85-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Pat Sullivan. That record was tied in 1988 but not broken until 2004.
Bresler received the Cliff Hare Award, which is the highest award an athlete can receive at Auburn.
He was picked in the 6th round of the NFL draft but declined because of a knee injury, opting to become a coach instead.
After coaching, Bresler found his career in the contractor insurance and bonding industry.
Bresler began working with Engel-House/Corroon & Black, which is now Willis Towers, in 1978.
When he interviewed with the surety bond producer Frank ‘Pig’ House, himself a former major league baseball player, Bresler said, “He told me that he would make me successful in the construction industry in the surety bond/contractor insurance arena. He said that contractors are like football coaches – they are self-confident, they work hard and they are very loyal, humble people. That was enough for me.”
In April 1999, Bresler moved to J. Smith Lanier & Co. to start a Birmingham office with four employees, became co-managing director in March 2000 and now oversees 42 employees.
During the course of his career, Bresler earned the trust of his clients and brought a level of dedication, determination and professionalism to his job, BuildSouth said in his bio for the award.
“We have worked with Alvin for 35 years, we never considered anyone else. His dedication, knowledge and wisdom are unsurpassed. We knew he would deliver the most high-quality opportunities available,” said Ricky Tant of East Alabama Paving Co. “He is a true gentleman, business professional and a great friend.”
Bresler has a long history with Alabama AGC. Over the years he has served on multiple AGC committees, including being extensively involved with the state convention committee. He served as the Alabama AGC State Associate Board president in 1988, and in 2003 he was the recipient of the Henry T. Hagood Jr. Associate Leadership Award. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, Bresler received the CompTrust AGC Top Producing Agency award.
Bresler and his wife, Becky, who will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in June, live in Vestavia Hills. They have three married daughters and 10 grandchildren.