Perhaps the most widely known editor at Engineering News-Record—Gary J. Tulacz, director of our top-ranked firms enterprise—is retiring on Dec. 31. 

ENR’s 16 different rankings provide an objective source of competitive information and “a vehicle for exposure in ENR to firms around the country and around the world,” Tulacz notes. This year, more than 2,200 firms submitted top list surveys. During more than 27 years at ENR, Tulacz expanded the number of firms contacted for comment on company and market conditions by using email, up to 250 firms per story.

Responding to industry changes and suggestions, he also expanded the series by creating new products such as the Top 50 Program Management Firms list, the Top Green lists and the Construction Industry Confidence Index surveys. He also expanded participation in the Top International survey by reaching out to the China International Contractors Association and the Turkish Contractors Association.

Tulacz points out that interviews for the accompanying analyses expand the value of the rankings. “They expose ENR and its readers to the thoughts, ideas and innovations of these major companies. Their insights can help readers become more productive, more efficient and more inclusive in their business,” he adds.

Tulacz remembers interviewing DPR’s Doug Woods, Peter Nosler and Ron Davidowski (The D, P and R in the firm’s name) about their innovative ideas when DPR was first ranked 25 years ago. It is now one of the largest construction firms in the country.

His interviews also reflect the industry’s changing demographics. Years ago, a female ironworker in Colorado started out working for her father’s decking company and told Tulacz that male co-workers “didn’t want to work with a woman.” But she rose to become co-owner of the firm and added, “Now they don’t work with me. They work for me.”

Tulacz is a Fordham Law School graduate who devoted himself to journalism and became an amazing human encyclopedia of world construction. He shared his insights generously with fellow editors while writing and organizing many thousands of words and statistics and credits retired survey database manager Virgilio Mendoza, a longtime colleague, with helping to make it all possible: “My work would not have been done nearly as well without his dedication,” Tulacz says.

Catching the handoff of Top List duties from Tulacz is Jonathan Keller, associate editor, surveys and rankings. “Gary has such depth of knowledge about the industry, but he’s always open to learning more, and crucially for me, sharing what he knows,” says Keller. “Fortunately, Gary will still be consulting with us once he leaves full-time work, so I can still bother him!”