This will be my last issue as ENR’s Midwest editor. I have been promoted to associate editor of technology and equipment, and while I will still be here in Chicago, I’ll be handing the ENR Midwest reins over to the highly capable Annemarie Mannion, who brings a wealth of experience at both ENR and the Chicago Tribune to the role. 

Since becoming Midwest editor in 2017, it has been my honor to cover ENR’s largest region—11 states strong—and tell the story of  the construction and design professionals who work hard every day to deliver the buildings, infrastructure and problem-solving know-how that makes everyday life in such a wide and topographically varied region possible. I stood against the wind in the blow-through floor of a 1,198-ft-tall Chicago skyscraper while then-ENR Managing Editor Scott Blair and I asked questions to the building’s engineer.  I wrote about the first two U.S.-Canada border crossing bridges—the Baudette-Rainy River Bridge and Detroit’s Gordie Howe Bridge— in 60 years. I saw the 1917 Cook County General Hospital Building go from sitting empty for nearly 20 years to becoming two boutique hotels thanks to a renovation. Missouri even showed me how to bring a major federal investment like the Next NGA West Headquarters to a blighted part of town. 

I have always striven to document the innovative, can-do spirit of a region that includes some of the most well-known designers and construction companies, everyone from AECOM to the Walsh Group. Some of the new technologies I have reported on include experimental battery storage  and the continuing evolution of recycled materials in roads.

Along the way, two ENR Midwest Best Projects were crowned Best of the Best Project of the Year: Chicago’s 41st Street Pedestrian Bridge over Lake Shore Drive in 2019 and the Omaha VA Ambulatory Care Center just two months ago. Midwest professionals were consistently named ENR Newsmakers every year. Some of it was magic and some of it was tragic, including covering the flooding in rural Nebraska that destroyed the Spencer Dam and killed a resident in 2020. And in December a tornado caused the partial collapse of an Amazon fulfillment center in Edwardsville, Ill., killing six. We also exposed corruption in Illinois politics when bribes were asked for from vendors and developers in order to gain project approvals.

I was also lucky enough to spend five years covering the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its investment in the renewal of the locks and dams along the Ohio River and the Mighty Mississippi. I hope that I was able to live up to the example of my predecessor, friend and former colleague, the late Tudor Van Hampton, and tell your story the way it truly happened.

There are too many people to thank for that privilege, but here are a few, anyway: Thank you to Scott Judy, Aileen Cho, Scott Blair, Jan Tuchman, Jeff Rubenstone, Richard Korman, Nadine Post, Deb Rubin, Louise Poirier,  Tom Ichniowski, Kim Griswold, Andrea Pinyan, Brian Adams, Sam Mishelow, Ben Bunge, Bob Clark, Sarah Green, Ken Johnston, Ryan Sawall, Ryan Moss, Blake Andrews, Steve Zimmerman, Mary Young, Robert P. Madison, Robert Klann, Kimberly D. Moore, Ginger Evans, Lindsey Conner, Robyn Frankel, Lynda Leigh, Don Minner, Pete Doherty, Dave Eckmann, Matt Streid, Greg Leofanti, Christy Klobach, Stan Pepper, Kaitlyn McAvoy, Paul King, Ron Klemencic, David Fields, Renato and Dana Gilberti, Jim Goettsch, Matt Larson, Carol Ross Barney, William Haas and Danielle Dy Buncio. 

The region is in great hands with Annemarie, and I’ll still see you all on the jobsite.