The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) has awarded its 2006 Awards of Excellence. The selections were made during the association’s recent Fall Board & Committee Meetings in Keystone, Colo.
Ditchdigger of the Year — Cheryl Yoder, chief operating officer, Myers Construction Group Inc., Sarasota, Fla.
This award is presented to a NUCA contractor member who has made a significant contribution to NUCA and the underground utility construction industry.
After 25 years in the utility construction industry, and more than a decade of dedicated service to NUCA, Yoder was chosen to serve as the association’s 39th president (2005 to 2006). During her tenure, she worked with tireless energy and patience to implement major changes in NUCA’s 40-year-old structure. Additionally, she was an excellent ambassador for the association on both the local and national levels because of her vast knowledge of all phases of the utility contracting business and her passion for sharing that knowledge.
Associate of the Year — Brian Hunsicker, vice president of Sales, U.S. Concrete Pipe Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
This award is presented to an associate member who has made a significant contribution to NUCA and the underground utility construction industry.
A familiar face at all NUCA meetings and events, Hunsicker has been a member of both the Government Relations and NUCA PAC Committees, and chairman of the Associate Directors Council (2003 to 2004). Also a presence on the local level, Hunsicker serves on the board of directors of the Underground Contractors Association of South Florida (a NUCA chapter).
We Dig America Award — Shirley Franklin, Mayor of Atlanta.
This award is presented to a non-NUCA member who has made a significant contribution to NUCA and the underground utility construction industry. The achievement must have national impact and the recipient must have national stature.
When Franklin took over as Mayor of Atlanta in 2002, the city faced numerous problems — a budget shortfall of approximately $45 million, an aging water and sewer infrastructure, a government mandate to clean up the Chattahoochee River and a privatized water drinking system.
Affectionately known as the “Sewer Mayor,” Franklin plugged the financial gap, established Clean Water Atlanta, brought drinking water back under the city’s control, and created a Department of Watershed Management. As a result of her lobbying for the city’s cause in Washington, making presentations and consenting to interviews, Franklin also helped focus national attention on clean water issues.
The Ditchdigger and Associate of the Year Awards will be presented at Utility Construction Expo ’07, Feb. 11 to 14, 2007, at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nev. The We Dig America Award will be presented at the 2007 Washington Summit & Spring Meetings, May 15 to 17, 2007, at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Va.