What an experience! At the Beavers 59th Annual Awards dinner in Los Angeles on Jan. 17, I received the group’s award for service to the construction industry. I was in great company: Scott Lynn, former CEO of Atkinson Construction, won the management award. Scott Hanson, of Scott Hanson Consulting, won for supervision, and F. Dave Zanetell of Edward Kraemer & Sons, won for engineering.

It felt like receiving an Oscar to be called to the podium in front of a record crowd of almost 2,200 industry professionals and handed a heavy golden statue of a beaver posed in front of a tall, curving dam. I would like to share with you some excerpts from my acceptance remarks:

“I’m delighted and honored to accept the Beavers 2014 award for service to the construction industry on behalf of Engineering News-Record. Each editor-in-chief of our amazing enterprise is only the custodian of this industry institution—nurturing it and passing it along to be loved by the next generation of construction professionals. 

And ENR is an institution—‘a great unifying force … its principles so grounded in truth that they cannot be changed … its traditions so entwined with the interests of its readers that it cannot, without unthinkable shock, divorce itself from their service.’ These words were written in 1917 by James H. McGraw in the first issue that bore the name Engineering News-Record. A lot has changed about ENR since then, but not this fundamental underpinning. We now deliver print issues, regional editions, a 24/7 website, a daily news alert, electronic newsletters, in-person events and dozens of webinars. Readers tell us they want to read ENR on their tablets, so we are launching an e-zine version of both the regional and national editions next month.

Now, ENR is embedded in McGraw Hill Construction, collaborating with Sweets, SNAP, Architectural Record and the Dodge Global Network, with its suite of business intelligence services: BuildShare, MarketShare and SpecShare.

 ENR and its editors have been entwined with the Beavers since the Beavers’ very early days. Nathan Bowers, an ENR senior editor based in San Francisco, won the Beaver’s first service-and-supply award in 1956, and Art Fox, the editor-in-chief who hired me, won the award in 1988.

ENR’s work is complementary with the Beavers’ mission of recognition, integrity and, to attract the next generation of industry talent, encouragement. This award gives tribute to this common purpose. Many thanks to the awards committee, the Beavers’ leadership and to the talented ENR editorial and business staff members who make it all possible.”

The Beavers had other good news to report at the event. Its charitable trust portfolio reached more than $12 million at the end of 2013. The trust will have donated $466,000 in its fiscal year ending April 30 and $730,000 in its next fiscal year to fund university teaching positions and student scholarships. In addition, Karl Weiss, Caterpillar vice president, announced the launch of the Beavers Charitable Trust Caterpillar Challenge: The equipment supplier will donate $1 million in matching funds over the next four years,  providing $1 for every $2 donated by members and other supporters.