The winner of this year’s Award of Excellence was first publicly announced in New York City at the April 7 luncheon honoring the ENR Top 25 Newsmakers. Each Newsmaker took the stage, often thanking the teams that supported his or her accomplishments. Then, Jason F. McLennan, chosen by the editors to win the top honor, gave a one-minute preview of his speech for the black-tie gala. He talked about propelling his global ultra-green building movement, the Living Building Challenge (ENR 4/11 p. 42), and its success despite the odds.

That night, after receiving the Tiffany crystal in front of an audience of industry leaders, McLennan continued his story and had an announcement of his own: the “official launch” of another new endeavor, the Green Warrior Society. He described this program as a “structured way for architects, engineers and other disciplines to give back and provide much-needed professional services to nonprofit organizations needing green facilities around the world.” He continued, “Buildings that are healthier and have lower operating costs are needed the most by people who typically have the least ability to pay.”

McLennan’s message resonated with the audience and the other Newsmakers. “What a great choice,” said Ronald W. Wackrow, executive vice president of Related Cos., honored as a Newsmaker for leading the team keeping the Hudson Yards mini-city on schedule and on budget.

A video of McLennan’s full acceptance speech, with details about the Green Warrior Society as well as a video about his life and work, are on the home page of