Bradford Barringer of B.R.S. Inc. in Richfield, N.C., was honored April 20 by the members of the North Carolina Utility Contractors Association as the organization’s first “Ditch Digger of the Year” during the Association’s Spring Conference held in Charleston, S.C.
Presenting the award were Justus Everett of A.B.E. Utilities and Lonnie Chandler, retired Safety Director of B.R.S. Inc. Everett drew a comparison between the award recipient and Spartan King Leonidas, who courageously led the defense of Greece against the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.
Everett noted that Leonidas used cunning, strategy and incredible tenacity in defending Greece, allowing the Greek City-States time to unite and ultimately triumph against their would-be oppressors. Like the Greek City-States, contractors, Everett noted, often exist in their own state of mind.
He said Barringer has fought bravely for the association’s interests, often at his own great expense in time and effort, and has brought this industry together as no one else has.
Chandler followed with an impressive list of awards and accolades bestowed upon the award recipient and his company, adding a note on Barringer’s skills as a prolific letter writer on all issues affecting the industry.
In accepting the award and thanking NCUCA for the recognition, Barringer noted the support that he had received from his family, especially his two sons, Matt and John Barringer, who were in attendance.
NCUCA President David Gaines said his predecessor, Ken Malonson of Park Construction, led the initiative to establish the NCUCA Ditch Digger of the Year Award. Malonson assisted in establishing the criteria for the award and sponsored the presentation shovels for the next 10 recipients.
In addition, Foremost Pipe Construction Company Inc., in Gaston, S.C., was honored. George Aun, safety director, was presented the NCUCA 2008 Safety Award for companies with more than 100,000 man-hours.
Patterson-Wilder Construction Company, a multi-state gas pipeline construction company was presented with an Honorable Mention in the same category
The NCUCA Safety Awards are for underground utility contractors who are able to document their company’s commitment to safety and record their outstanding performance over the last three years. NCUCA honors companies that work diligently to provide a safe work environment for their personnel.