Each year, Engineering News-Record names 25 individuals for its annual "Newsmaker" program. Essentially, these people are members of the construction and design industry who have made an important contribution to the betterment of the industry as a whole. The most recent "Newsmakers" were announced in the Jan. 23 issue of ENR.

In a nutshell, ENR editors nominate people they've written about during the past year for consideration as a Newsmaker. It takes something special to earn the designation. ENR editors aren't easily swayed to hand out this award to anyone. The magazine takes great pride in the esteem that this program has garnered over the years, and the selection process is appropriately stringent.

The program culminates each year with a black-tie gala in New York City, in which one of the 25 Newsmakers is recognized with the Award of Excellence. That black-tie event is coming up shortly, on April 12. And I am very much looking forward to finally meeting the Newsmaker I nominated this year, Ryan Gravel of Perkins+Will. He's the visionary behind the $2.8-billion Atlanta BeltLine project, currently under construction.

We've already published an article summarizing Gravel's selection as a Newsmaker. But in celebration of the upcoming Award of Excellence event in New York, I'm including two videos here that arguably do a better job of explaining the depth and scope of Gravel's vision, and the incredible grassroots effort it took to make it happen. And it's really both of those things for which ENR is recognizing Gravel and the impact he has made.

So, if you have a spare 15 minutes or so, check out the following great videos. One is of Gravel's presentation at a TEDx event in Atlanta, in which he explains how he got the big idea of transforming Atlanta's abandoned freight rail corridor into the giant infrastructure project that is the BeltLine. The other is from an Atlanta group called SaportaReport that highlights Gravel's "Moment." Enjoy!

Presenting at TEDx

Ryan Gravel talks about the moment he realized that the Atlanta BeltLine wasn't his project anymore and that it was actually going to become reality.