APWA's Awards Program, the most prestigious in the public works world today, annually recognizes outstanding individuals, groups, and chapters who have demonstrated discipline, vision, and passion and who are truly dedicated to making a difference. The following award winners and their dedication to our profession are to be commended.
Charles Walter Nichols Award
The Charles Walter Nichols Award recognizes outstanding and meritorious achievement in the environmental field. This includes, but is not limited to, street sanitation, refuse collection, disposal and recycling, sewers and sewage treatment, water supply, and water treatment.
George R. Crombie
Director of Public Works
City of Nashua, New Hampshire
A protector of both public works and the environment, George R. Crombie is the winner of the 2001 Charles Walter Nichols Award. During the past two years Crombie has accomplished a number of environmental initiatives including a multi-million dollar project to turn old landfills into environmentally safe parks. Most recently he has led a delegation of New England Chapter officials who have negotiated an environmental compliance program with the EPA, allowing communities to conduct self-audits to substantially reduce the risk of fines or other legal action.
Crombie is an active member of the chapter, having served as President in 1993 and selected as Chapter Member of the Year in 1996. In addition, he has presented numerous papers on public works and the environment at national APWA conferences and regional chapter meetings.
Harry S. Swearingen Award
The Harry S. Swearingen Award was established in 1958 to perpetuate the memory of Harry Seller Swearingen, who worked untiringly on behalf of APWA. The award recognizes the valuable and dedicated service of APWA members at the chapter level.
Glen R. Andler
Director of Public Works
Village of Mount Prospect, Illinois
Dillon Consulting, LTD.
An active member since 1979, Glen R. Andler is the recipient of the Harry S. Swearingen Award. Active in the Chicago Metro Chapter, he has served as Treasurer (1989), Secretary (1990), Second Vice President (1991), First Vice President (1992), and President (1993). In 1994, Andler was a member of the APWA Congress Management Committee.
Andler has led the initiative on a program to encourage public works agencies to hold open houses during public works week, and is working to publicize these through various venues. He is the past recipient of the Robert Retondo Memorial Award of the Chicago Metro Chapter, which recognizes outstanding and dedicated service to the local chapter and its branches.
Winner of the Harry S. Swearingen Award, Wally Wells has been a member of APWA and the Ontario Chapter since 1975. Along with working his way up to Chapter President (1991), he has remained devoted to the chapter with achievements such as participation on the chapter's annual Nomination Committee for eight years; author of the biannual Chapter Bylaw revision updates; member of the Chapter Promotions Committee; and member of the ad hoc "Chapter Marketing" task force.
In addition to his activities with APWA, Wells is very active at the CPWA level, which includes editor of the CPWA newsletter in the mid 1990s; member of the organizing committee for the 1996 CPWA Canadian Conference in Hamilton; current chapter representative for CPWA; current President of the CPWA Board; and member of the Advisory Committee for the preparation of the CPWA-supported "Canadian Infrastructure Guidelines."
Donald C. Stone Award (Individual)
The Donald C. Stone Award recognizes outstanding and meritorious achievements of individuals assisting in the areas of continuing and graduate professional education for public works professionals.
E. B. Cape Training Center
City of Houston, Texas
Jayne Longley, currently the Texas Chapter President, has been a strong advocate for training and education of public works professionals. Her position with the City of Houston involves training and education of public works employees through the E. B. Cape Training Center. Longley has brought in a number of APWA programs to the center for public works training for the City of Houston, surrounding area, and statewide needs.
Currently, Longley is partnering with the Texas AGC and Texas Chapter's education chair and branch representatives to develop a certified course in construction inspection. She has partnered with other associations and agencies to provide training in water and wastewater treatment, water utility management, transportation, and clean air. She has also coordinated many of APWA's national satellite teleconferences.
Donald C. Stone Award (Chapter)
The Donald C. Stone Award is also intended to recognize chapters for their work in delivering educational opportunities for all levels of persons engaged in the delivery of public works services.
Presented to: New Jersey Chapter of the American Public Works Association
The New Jersey Chapter has had a long tradition of providing educational opportunities for the public works profession and has worked closely with other institutions and agencies to provide these opportunities. Indeed, it is the stated position of the chapter to provide, to the maximum extent possible, educational opportunities and programs for the public works professional in the State of New Jersey.
In order to accomplish this goal, the chapter provides programs either sponsored by its North and South Branches, or by co-sponsoring them with other organizations. Major programs offered during 2000 included "Leaf Collection Seminar" (North Branch); South Branch-two seminars; Road Scholar I Program; Road Scholar II Program; Municipal Construction Inspection Program, Parts I & II; and New Jersey Asphalt Paving Conference.
Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award recognizes an eminent governmental or other national leader for his/her far-reaching, positive impact on public works programs, services, or policies through distinguished public service and commitment. The award particularly recognizes the national leadership in furthering the mission and goals of APWA.
Honorable Thomas M. Menino
Mayor, City of Boston
Mayor Thomas M. Menino has based his public service career on the efficient delivery of basic city services and of public works improvements for the City of Boston.
Under his leadership, Boston's neighborhoods have improved dramatically through his promotion of public works, neighborhood revitalization, quality education, health care, and public safety. His commitment to public works is evident in his use of public works initiatives to make Boston a more attractive place to live.
Mayor Menino's reputation as the "Urban Mechanic" is well deserved because of his focus on the issues affecting everyday living such as street lighting, roadways, parks, libraries, police protection, and an overall responsiveness to neighborhood concerns. His leadership on a number of public works projects involving state and city resources has made a considerable difference in the quality of life enjoyed by the residents of Boston.
Community Involvement Award
The Community Involvement Award is given to recognize public works leaders who are also leaders in their community; to encourage public works professionals employed by governmental agencies to become active leaders in their community; to restore public trust in public employees through recognition of outstanding community leadership; and to set the example for other public employees to emulate.
Ronald Ford, Sr.
Director of Parks & Recreation
City of Aurora, Illinois
Along with his duties as Park Department Superintendent for the City of Aurora, Illinois, his activities with APWA, and his family responsibilities, Ronald Ford, Sr. finds the time to do volunteer work. For the past six years (three as a board member), he has been involved with God's Gym, a program that has served more than 3,000 children in Aurora, Illinois. The purpose of God's Gym is to create safe, fun activities that keep children "off the street" and away from problems such as alcohol, drugs, and gangs. Ford is also involved in the Christian Health Center, an organization that offers free or reduced-fee health services for lower income families without access to health insurance.
Ford is a member and performs volunteer work with the Quad County Urban League. He has done volunteer teaching at the local Junior High School during career days, and has taught woodwork classes as a volunteer for local organizations.
Young Leader Award
The Young Leader Award recognizes and encourages young APWA members who have demonstrated a commitment to the profession and the association and show potential for future growth within the association. This award promotes the concept that length of career does not necessarily indicate one's leadership abilities or potential for service.
Brigitte A. Mayerhofer
Director of Engineering
Village of Wilmette, Illinois
Brigitte Mayerhofer, the recipient of the Young Leader Award, has taken an active role in the leadership of the Chicago Chapter and the Lake Branch. In 1995, she was chosen by the branch to serve as Treasurer. In her desire to further promote APWA, she volunteered to be the chapter's Membership Chairperson. At the same time she was selected to serve on the National Membership Committee, which she served on for two years. During 1999, Mayerhofer led the Lake Branch as President, and in 2000 she was elected as Secretary of the Chicago Chapter.
Prior to her present position at the Village of Wilmette, Illinois, Mayerhofer was the Village Engineer for the Village of Barrington, Illinois, where she was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Village's new Multi-Year Infrastructure Program. She led the effort to sustain a Bikeway Program that links other regional bikeways to the Village, and coordinated a Neighborhood Special Service Area to fund the installation of a new storm sewer to relieve a backyard flooding condition that had existed for years.
Private Sector Service Award
The Private Sector Service Award acknowledges the important role the private sector plays in providing public works facilities and services. This award recognizes outstanding individual achievement through chapter activity in support of the association's strategic plan, goals, and objectives.
Michael Wm. Malloy, P.E.
Gannett-Fleming West, Inc.
Edward J. Mulcahy, P.E.
The recipient of the Private Sector Service Award, Michael Wm. Malloy, P.E., has avidly supported both the private and public sectors over the years as a member of APWA and other professional engineering organizations and as a private consultant. His outstanding individual achievements have made him a well-known and respected figure within New Mexico's engineering community and with the clients he represents. In addition to APWA, Malloy is a member of the Central States Water Environment Federation, American Society of Civil Engineers, and the National Society of Professional Engineers.
In his 14 years involvement with APWA, Malloy has held almost every position in the New Mexico Chapter, twice president. His achievements have been recognized by his peers, not only in APWA, but in other organizations as well. He has received the following awards from his peers in New Mexico: the Distinguished Service Award from APWA's New Mexico Chapter (1995), and Engineer of the Year, NSPE, New Mexico State (1998).
Edward J. Mulcahy, P.E., is recognized as one of Kansas City's foremost transportation professionals. A Principal with the TranSystems Corporation, he has participated actively in the leadership and management of the corporation. Mulcahy's technical responsibilities have included involvement in regional and urban transportation studies, roadway location studies, preliminary and final roadway design and plan preparation, and terminal facility design.
Mulcahy is active in civic and community affairs, having served as the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce's Surface Committee and on several FOCUS Kansas City committees. He has used his knowledge of the community and experience with major projects to help private and public organizations advance important civic ventures. His work on the Kansas City Terminal Railway "Flyover" and the Kansas City, Kansas, NASCAR track are recent examples.
Diversity Exemplary Practices Award
The Diversity Exemplary Practices Award recognizes individuals or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to diversity.
Michele S. Ohmes
City Architect's Office
City of Kansas City, Missouri
San Diego, California
Michele S. Ohmes's influence extends far beyond her role as Kansas City's ADA/disABILITY Specialist. She has provided training to law enforcement agencies, notably the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Kansas City Police Department, in dealing with the disabled in law enforcement situations. She has made herself available to governmental jurisdictions throughout Missouri, and to neighboring towns and cities in Kansas. Ohmes has come to stand for clear, studied, and fair interpretations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, all within a framework of inclusion and compromise.
Ohmes is the author of Physical Design and Retrofit Accessibility Manual, Police Training Manual for Disability Interaction, and Parks and Recreation Accessibility Manual. In cooperation with APWA, she has recently published ADA: Let's Get Practical, a workbook that reaches out to everyone-not just professional architects and engineers-further illustrating her commitment to diversity. ADA: Let's Get Practical provides clear, concise, and readily applicable solutions to ADA problems.
I.E.-Pacific's corporate policy for subcontracting diversity was carefully designed with the goal of "being the best general contractor in diversity in our region." Indeed, it is part of the engineering and general contractor's corporate culture to provide jobs for small and disadvantaged businesses, not merely exercise "best efforts."
I.E.-Pacific has built numerous long-standing relationships over the years with small and disadvantaged businesses, many of which the firm calls upon regularly for its projects. The firm's in-house training includes bimonthly project staff training sessions where methods to improve its corporate outreach effort are discussed. In addition, I.E.-Pacific employs a mentor-protÃ©gÃ© program through its support of the Winning Opportunities for Responsible Contractors (W.O.R.C.) Program. The W.O.R.C. Program charter was crafted to ensure assistance for small, emerging and disadvantaged businesses to "Earn while You Learn" in the construction industry.
Exceptional Performance Award
The Exceptional Performance Award recognizes individuals, teams, or organizations in the areas of journalism and safety whose outstanding contributions in the course of performance raises the level of public awareness of the profession.
Journalism recognizes exceptional performance in presenting the story of a public works issue or event that projects a positive image of individuals or agencies in the course of their performance in both broadcast and print mediums.
Gems of Northbrook-A Guide to Our Beautiful Trees
Public Works Department
Village of Northbrook, Illinois
The recipient of the Exceptional Performance Award for Journalism is the Village of Northbrook's 30-page educational pamphlet entitled Gems of Northbrook-A Guide to Our Beautiful Trees. This quality pamphlet was designed to be a handy resource that is likely to be retained by residents for future reference. The purpose of the pamphlet is to share knowledge in an easy-to-use, easy-to-read, well-illustrated graphic format, which encourages responsible stewardship of Northbrook's urban forest.
The pamphlet tells the story of Northbrook's urban forest and the value of trees by recognizing the community's tree heritage and legacy starting with the Village's first survey/platting in 1839. It includes information on aged/bicentennial trees, native forest, oldest tree, the designated Village Tree, champion community trees, and includes extensive color photographs, descriptions, tree trivia, and location information on over 70 species of trees. The pamphlet highlights Northbrook's commitment to the environment by nurturing and preserving the community's urban forest.
Safety recognizes exceptional performance in the area of safety.
Public Works Department
Town of Bristol, Wisconsin
The Town of Bristol, Wisconsin, a small community of 4,600 residents in approximately 34 square miles, responds to approximately 500-550 fire/rescue responses yearly. However, Bristol doesn't have enough incidents to warrant or afford a full-time fire and rescue department. Thus, the Town has taken the initiative by training its public works employees to respond to emergencies for the fire and rescue department. The public works employees are specifically scheduled and understand which public works projects have priority. When the fire or rescue incident comes in, the employees not working on the priority project answer the incident. If there is a major incident, all employees answer after they safely stop the project they are working on.
All of the public works department employees are cross-trained in all aspects of public works as well as fire and rescue response. This includes wastewater, water, streets, parks, recycling, and janitorial operations. This keeps boredom at bay and keeps their need for learning at its peek. In addition, there are pay incentives of $.75 per hour for each fire and rescue certification. This program addresses how small-town government can provide professional fire and rescue services for less cost than full-time fire and rescue departments.
Technical Innovation Award and Management Innovation Award
The Technical Innovation Award and the Management Innovation Award recognize an individual, team, or organization for the development and implementation of a creative idea, device, process, or system that enhances the goals of public works in serving the public and protecting the environment.
Technical Innovation Award
Pioneering Autoheated Digestion
Village of Plover, Wisconsin
The Village of Plover, Wisconsin, is a rapidly growing community with a significant industrial manufacturing base. Plover's wastewater treatment plant produces waste solids (biosolids) that are applied to agricultural land as a fertilizer. Residential development in rural areas created a need for Plover to become more sensitive to increased public awareness of Plover's biosolids land application program. Consequently, Plover desired a more reliable and safe method for disposing of biosolids.
The preferred method of further processing the biosolids for Plover was to use an aerobic (with oxygen) digestion process. However, design procedures for meeting state and federal biosolids standards using an aerobic digestion process had not been well developed. Earth Tech (the prime consultant), together with Plover, developed such a design procedure that assures compliance with state and federal standards, and protects the public. Special testing was also performed which allowed Earth Tech to investigate a unique autoheated aerobic digester solution. This autoheated digestion process, the first of its kind in municipal use in Wisconsin, was completed on schedule and more than 12 percent under budget.
Management Innovation Award
The Agility Project
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Edmonton's Integrated Waste Management System
Waste Management Branch
City of Edmonton, Alberta
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's (PennDOT) Agility Project addresses the relentless demands on Pennsylvania's transportation system, and the inefficiencies that result from ownership that is splintered among 2,600 government municipalities and over 2,000 local authorities. Through the application of Agility, PennDOT is striving to provide improved, virtually "seamless" transportation services to Pennsylvania's residents and visitors while retaining the individual sovereignty of the multitude of publicly funded organizations that share in ownership of the system.
The genesis of this project was the transformation of a successful business strategy called Agility. This strategy encompasses four principles, first recognized by the Iacocca Institute at Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA), as key to the success found by organizations that master change. The Institute worked closely with PennDOT at the onset of the project to assist in understanding, communicating, and applying these basic principles:
1. Value people, skills, information, and relationships
2. Create an adaptive organization and culture
3. Enable customer enrichment
4. Cooperate in virtual relationships
Fundamentally, success is realized through strengthened relationships with employees, customers, and partners. PennDOT has, since 1996, worked to adapt these principles to its business and has had much success.
In the early 1980s, when the City-owned landfill was nearing its capacity, the City of Edmonton, Alberta began a lengthy search for a new landfill site. More than 100 sites within the City and surrounding area were considered. This was a highly public process with extensive public input. Residents of Edmonton and region, through many public meetings, made it clear they did not want a landfill located near their residence and demanded a more responsible approach to waste disposal that wouldn't compromise their children's quality of life.
The City administration seized the opportunity to develop an entirely new approach to waste management. It assessed its long-term commitment to reduction, recycling and resource recovery and explored many alternatives to landfill including incineration and various types of composting. This reassessment spawned the 30-year Waste Management Strategic Plan-a holistic approach that is environmentally sensitive within financial and practical restraints. The Plan was guided by input from citizens who wanted a system that was convenient, reasonably priced, environmentally responsible, and equitable.
The Waste Management Strategic Plan was approved by City Council in 1994 and the majority of the components of that plan are now complete. In March 2000, the City began composting residential waste along with the wastewater treatment plant's biosolids, in North America's largest co-composting facility. In 1999 and in the years prior, about 14 percent of waste was diverted from landfill through recycling. By end of 2000, 70 percent was being diverted from landfill.
Public Fleet Manager of the Year
The Public Fleet Manager of the Year award seeks to inspire excellence and dedication in the public sector by recognizing the outstanding career service achievements of public fleet management professionals. The primary focus of this award is recognition of exceptional management, operation, and maintenance of public sector equipment fleets.
Robert T. Degnan
Department of Fleet Management
City of Chicago, Illinois
Robert T. Degnan is the recipient of the Public Fleet Manager of the Year Award in recognition of his leadership of the City of Chicago's Department of Fleet Management, which provides the City with the latest technology, training, and preventive programs. As Commissioner, he is responsible for approximately 560 employees supporting 42 operational departments of approximately 6,000 units.
Under Degnan's leadership, Chicago's Fleet Management developed the first-ever structured privatized snow removal program for the City, developed centralized networked fueling sites and system for all City operating vehicles, trucks, and equipment; developed a new vehicle and equipment maintenance data system (VMART), replacing the previous 25-year-old system; established the first structured truck and equipment training program for the City which included a certification process for Commercial Driver's Licenses; and negotiated the first intergovernmental agreements for performance of fleet management functions with outside government taxing body agencies.
Presidential Award for Chapter Excellence (PACE)
The PACE Award recognizes chapters for their positive impact on their membership, their profession, and their community. Chapters are judged on membership, service to chapter members, advancement of public works, and service to the community.
Chicago Metro Chapter
Kansas City Metro Chapter
New England Chapter
New Mexico Chapter
The Chicago Metro Chapter and Branches have significant scholarship programs that encourage members and non-members to further their education. In 2000, more than $27,000 was raised at the six golf outings and other chapter and branch events, and was distributed to deserving recipients. This includes continuing education, degree programs, and graduate programs. In addition, the chapter established a new scholarship-the Max Whitman Memorial Scholarship-to be awarded to a promising student at the University of Illinois. Mr. Whitman, who passed away last year, was active at the branch, chapter, and national levels.
In 2000, the Kansas City Metro Chapter promoted its annual high school essay contest to encourage high school students to learn more about the public works profession. All metropolitan high schools (90) were contacted and their students invited to participate in the contest. The 2000 contest theme was "Proud to Care-Meaningful Accomplishments through Public Works." The chapter invited each essay winner and their guest to attend the National Public Works Week luncheon as guests of the chapter and to receive their awards. The students and their respective schools were also presented with a commemorative book, The Past 100 Years of Public Works in America.
The 2000 North American Snow Conference's success was due in large part to the Michigan Chapter's organization and partnering in hosting the event. The chapter not only hosted an outstanding public works education event, but also contributed toward building a stronger APWA at every level. As host to the Snow Conference, the success of the event built chapter pride and confidence and helped fulfill the goal of increasing member involvement in the chapter. The level of branch and state activity increased during 2000 because the conference inspired more members to actively participate in association events.
Almost 1,900 people participated in New England Chapter-sponsored events last year, and the number is growing as the chapter's officers become more in tune with the needs of their membership. The chapter held its first western regional meeting in 2000 to attract and service more members from the further reaches of the chapter. In addition, last year the chapter conducted a membership survey to identify needs expressed by its members with respect to the overall mission of the chapter, its education programs, and future direction. The chapter conducts this survey approximately every five years to determine if it is still on target as an organization.
Education is a major component of the New Mexico Chapter. In that regard, the chapter offers an annual Construction Inspection School to provide training for people involved in the construction industry. The School reaches across boundaries to engineers, developers, contractors, and governmental representatives from around New Mexico. In November 2000, the New Mexico Chapter performed as one of the Beta sites for the first public presentations of the new PowerPoint( versions of the course. With approximately 50 attendees from the southwestern U.S., it was a resounding success.
Each week members of the Oregon Chapter pick up trash discarded on more than two miles of campus roads and jogging paths at Clackamas Community College. Additionally, members participate in the semi-annual trash pick-up along the Oregon coast. The chapter, through member agencies, sponsors several roadside cleanup and stream-restoration programs. The chapter also sells stencils for stormwater drains and catch basins. The stencils say "Drains to Stream-Dump No Waste." The chapter offers the stencils as a convenience to its members, schools, environmental groups, and businesses.
One of the Sacramento Chapter's most important goals is to promote public works on the local level. In 2000, the chapter celebrated its widest promotion of National Public Works Weeks in history. Championed by the Sacramento County Public Works Agency, public and private companies involved in public works came together to successfully publish an insert in the area newspaper titled, "Celebrating Public Works Week 2000." The 12-page Sacramento Bee insert was filled with educational articles promoting public works and reached a circulation of 250,000 people in the greater Sacramento area.
The Texas Chapter has been actively involved in the provision of training and technical assistance through partnerships with a number of universities and educational institutions in Texas. The result of one such partnership is the Public Works Short Course held at Texas A&M University. The course lasts 21/2 days and offers public works employees insight into the latest technologies available in the areas of solid waste, municipal engineering, equipment services, water resources, management and leadership, and street maintenance. Nearly 300 people participated in the 2000 Short Course.
Abel Wolman Award
Established by the Public Works Historical Society, the Abel Wolman Award recognizes the single best new book published in the field of public works history. This award is intended to provide encouragement and recognition to historians whose research and publications have made outstanding contributions to the history of public works.
Martin V. Melosi
Distinguished University Professor of History
University of Houston
An invisible infrastructure defines a significant portion of the American urban experience, affecting everything from the quality of the water we drink to the frequency of our trash collection to the pressure of the flush in our toilets. In The Sanitary City: Urban Infrastructure in America from Colonial Times to the Present, author Martin Melosi studies water supply, wastewater, and solid-waste-disposal systems in U.S. cities from the colonial era to the present day. Along the way, Melosi discusses not only changing technologies and the expanding population, but also growing public health awareness and ecological theories. He shows how the social beliefs and scientific understandings that emerged over time influenced how Americans have viewed waste and sanitation in urban life and how they came to accept workable solutions to the problems of sanitation, water delivery, and waste removal.
Ambitious and comprehensive, The Sanitary City incorporates an exhaustive supply of sources, from popular accounts and journalism to scholarly histories in the fields of technology and urban growth to congressional reports and legislative studies. It will appeal to scholars, students, and professionals in environmental history, urban studies, the history of science and technology, public health, and American government.
Michael Robinson Award
Established by the Public Works Historical Society, the Michael Robinson Award recognizes the single best article published in the field of public works history. This award is intended to provide encouragement and recognition to historians and practitioners whose research and publications have made outstanding contributions to the history of public works.
Gregory T. Cushman
University of Texas at Austin
Good public works history is more than an interesting story about the past. If we listen, it will teach us about today and the likely consequences of today's actions for tomorrow. The first winner of the PWHS Michael Robinson award is good public works history.
Gregory T. Cushman's winning article, "Environmental Therapy for Soil and Social Erosion: Landscape Architecture and Depression-era Highway Construction in Texas," is about depression-era highway construction in the 1930s. It recounts how the leaders of the Texas Highway Department (THD) vigorously pursued and accomplished a massive and successful state and local road paving program.
As Cushman points out, the Texas highway story demonstrates that public works facilities and the organizational processes used to create them last a very long time, for better or for worse. It is therefore imperative that the processes used to plan, design, and construct public works facilities take a broad view of public needs, seek input from those affected, do whatever possible to predict the likely consequences, and attend to those expected consequences.
The article appeared in Environmentalism in Landscape Architecture, a collection of articles edited by Michel Conan, published in 2000 by Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C.