The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) announced that New Mexico contractor James R. Giannelli — founder, president and CEO of RMCI Inc. of Albuquerque — is the association’s 2008 Ditchdigger of the Year. The award was presented on March 6 at the Presidents’ Banquet during Utility Construction EXPO ’09 The Big Show in Phoenix, Ariz.
In accepting the award, Giannelli said, “We must always continue to look in our rearview mirrors to see where we have been and who in life has helped us get where we are today.” In that spirit of humility, he then paid tribute to his friends and mentors in NUCA, all the people at RMCI Inc., his wife Deborah and their two sons Evan and Thomas, who he said “have sacrificed so much for me to pursue my dream.”
The Ditchdigger of the Year Award is presented annually to a contractor member who has made a significant contribution to NUCA and the underground utility construction industry. A 16-year member of NUCA, Giannelli has served on the national level as a member of the association’s executive committee and represented NUCA since 2001 on the American Arbitration Association’s National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee and also the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee’s Engineering and Procurement Subcommittees since 2008. He currently is serving as vice chair of the NUCA Foundation for Education and Research. He also has been active at the chapter level, serving as president of the Rio Grande Underground Contractors Association (NUCA of New Mexico).
Giannelli and his wife Deborah founded RMCI out of a spare bedroom of their home in 1991 and have grown the company to gross revenues of more than $60 million and 200 employees. RMCI performs large diameter wet utilities, underground tunneling and boring, and water and waste water treatment plant work throughout New Mexico.