David A. Raymond is ENR MidAtlantic's 2018 Legacy Award winner. Chosen by ENR editors, the Legacy Award is given annually to an individual in the region who has established a solid “legacy” of lifetime service to the construction industry, their colleagues and to their community. ENR MidAtlantic includes Washington D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
Raymond, who retired in July as president and chief executive of the American Council of Engineering Companies, helped transform ACEC into a national business association that ranks in the top 3% of all federal Political Action Committees with more than $1 million in annual contributions. During his tenure, the number of ACEC members in the ENR Top 500 Design Firms has increased from 70% to 87% between 1998 and 2018, including 90% of the ENR Top 100.
Today, ACEC has more than 5,000 member firms across 52 state and regional chapters. Those firms represent more than 600,000 industry professionals.
One of Raymond's biggest accomplishments came in 2005 when he helped secure legislation to restrict the ability of state transportation departments to impose caps on firm overhead, along with the adoption of uniform procurement rules for federally funded transportation projects. The previous year, he successfully pushed for the passage of the American Jobs Creation Act, which included a 9% tax break for domestic manufacturing companies doing business overseas. Raymond and ACEC convinced Congress that the deduction should apply to engineering firms. Two years later, Raymond launched an effort to lead a broad-based coalition representing 100 business and industry organizations in the defeat of a law requiring federal government clients—including engineering firms and contractors—to have 3% of their payments withheld. After five years, the withholding law was repealed.
More recently, Raymond and ACEC scored a big win for the industry while lobbying for last year's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. ACEC convinced law makers to include a provision in the act that allows engineering firms organized as passthroughs to receive a 20% tax deduction. The provision also benefits S corporations, partnerships and LLCs.
Raymond will be honored at the ENR MidAtlantic Best Projects awards banquet on Nov. 7 in Baltimore. He will also be profiled in the February, 2019 issue of ENR MidAtlantic.