Best of 2009
No matter how you look at it, 2009 was a different kind of year.
When we sent out our initial call for submissions way back in July, we really didn’t know what to expect. We’re in the business of paying attention to what is going on in this industry and we knew what you knew: things weren’t looking good.
Coming off a year in which we received more Best Of Awards submissions than we ever had before (269 if you’re counting), we knew the industry had slowed to the point where reaching that number again would be virtually impossible. But we also knew there was an impressive array of completed projects throughout the region that could match up against any of the submissions we’d received in recent years.
On the one hand, there were several jobs that, under normal economic circumstances, would have been finished in 2009 but suffered slowdowns (or worse) that affected their completion dates. So it was likely we’d receive fewer submissions.
On the other hand, several important, highly visible and well-executed projects were eligible this year. So we knew – or hoped – that what we might lack in quantity we would make up with quality.
As it turned out, we got the best of both worlds.
Submissions were down, yes. We received only about 150 this year. But our panel of 8 judges, representing New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, were so impressed with the entries we did receive that they ended up awarding more projects than we’ve ever seen: 45 to be exact, including this year’s Overall Project of the Year winner - Yankee Stadium. The panel was also asked to select our first-ever special “Judges Awards” for the year’s Best Architectural Design, Best Engineering Design and Best Project Management. All winning projects will be profiled in the pages that follow.
What also made this year unique was that we, for the first time, opened the awards up to projects completed in New England. Along with the rest of McGraw-Hill Construction’s regional magazines, New York Construction was asked to include nearby states that are not covered specifically by our other 11 publications. We’re happy to say that in its first year of inclusion, New England took home four awards.
Lastly, this year we were presented with a situation this region – or any region – may never see again: a battle between two major league sports stadiums completed in the same city in the same year for the same sport. The completion of the new Yankee Stadium and the Mets’ Citi Field brought a new dimension to a judges’ panel with split allegiances. As is usually the case on the field, in the end, the Bronx Bombers were able to declare victory.
Best of luck to everyone in 2010.
Meet the Jury The judges on the 2009 panel came from various backgrounds across the construction industry and contributed their diverse experience to evaluating this year’s projects. Carefully considering the approximately 150 submissions during a one-day, marathon meeting in September, the judges discussed the construction and design of each project in detail. Working off one another’s specialties, they were able to constructively comment, admire, argue, praise and disagree on each project from various angles, ultimately selecting 45 winners, including one outstanding Project of the Year. This year’s jury included:
John A. Rapaport
Director of Operations and General Counsel for Component Assembly Systems, Inc. Pelham, NY
He joined Component Assembly Systems, Inc. after practicing construction law and spearheaded the company’s efforts to digitize and modernize its technology infrastructure. Through his vision, the company was able to develop its own proprietary software known as CASim, which tracks and updates progress on its projects using the latest web based technologies.
John serves on the Board of Directors’ of the Subcontractors Trade Association in New York and on the National Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, chairing both groups’ Technology Committees. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the national publication Constructech Magazine.
Denise M. Richardson
Managing Director, The General Contractors Association of New York, Inc. New York, NY
She has over 25 years of construction contract and financial management administration experience in both the public and private sectors, including positions at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, MTA/New York City Transit, the former NYC Department of General Services (now DDC), NYC Department of Sanitation and Honeywell International.
Denise has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Simmons College and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton University.
Shawn L. Pressley
VP of Project Management Systems at Hill International, Philadelphia, PA
He is a civil engineer with experience in project management systems and development. In 2007, he won the Primavera Award for Blockbuster Effort in Recognition of Superior Team Efforts and the Primavera Award for Leadership and Advocacy of Project Management Best Practices. In 2009, he received the 2009 Minority Business Leaders Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Shawn is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Construction Management Association of America, the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering, and the Project Management Institute.
President, John Gallin & Son, New York, NY
He is a 30-year veteran of the construction industry and has worked on all aspects of the business, from mason tender to superintendent to project manager, and was named president of the family-owned construction firm with a 123-year history under four generations of family ownership in 2000.
Mark graduated from the College of Steubenville in Steubenville, Ohio and currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Building Trades Employers’ Association and the Governor’s Council for the Hundred Year Association of New York.
He was previously on the Board of Directors for the Building Contracting Association of New York.
Principal, Arup, New York, NY
He is Arup’s commercial and residential business leader in the Americas and leads Arup’s global residential business. He has also been involved in the design of many high-performance buildings all over the world.
Ashok is a LEED Accredited Professional and a licensed professional engineer in 25 states. He frequently lectures on Sustainable Design and is a Technical Advisor to the National Building Museum and the Museum of the City of New York on matters involving sustainability.
Associate Principal, DeSimone Consulting Engineers, New York, NY
He has significant experience managing large-scale projects as well as expertise in computer modeling and analysis. His experience includes award-winning projects such as the Fisher Center at Bard College, IAC/InterActiveCorp Headquarters, and the curved glass of the Condé Nast Employee Cafeteria, which have both stretched modern limitations for the materials of glass, concrete, masonry, and steel and have utilized the latest software in 3D computer modeling and analysis. His work has also been featured on the cover of many prominent industry publications.
Chris has a Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Engineering with an emphasis on structures and a minor in architecture from the Pennsylvania State University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of New York, an Associate Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures” Committee and the current President of the Structural Engineers Association of New York.
Jeffrey J. Zogg
Chief Executive Officer of the Associated General Contractors of New York State
His career with the General Building Contractors of New York State began in 1971 when he served as the Director of Governmental Affairs and as an administrative and executive assistant to the Managing Director of the GBC. From 1987 to 2008, Jeff was the Executive Director of the GBC/ New York State Building Chapter, Associated General Contractors of America where he was responsible for overall policy execution on behalf of the general contractor. He administered a staff of seven and a budget of $1 million annually. In 2009, Jeff became the CEO of the AGC NYS, the largest chapter of the AGC of America, resulting from the merger of the GBC and the NYS Chapter. AGC represents the highway construction industry in New York State.
Jeff also serves as the President of GBC Safety and Construction Services Inc. He has served on many committees and task forces with the Associated General Contractors of America and regularly writes pieces for construction and business periodicals throughout New York State and beyond.
John B. Farnham
Executive Director, Associated General Contractors of Connecticut, Inc.
He previously worked for the AGC of Virginia as Executive Director, the AGC, Detroit Chapter as Assistant Executive Director, and the AGC, Michigan Chapter as Director of Membership Services before becoming the Executive Director of the AGC of Connecticut in 1991 where he helped establish Connecticut’s first coalition between the minority construction, the building trades unions and the AGC of Connecticut Labor Relations Division. He has served on several national and state organizations involved in shaping policy and regulations for the commercial construction industry.
John has a BA in Public Health from Truman University, an MS in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Missouri and an MS in Public Health Administration.