Southeast Construction has announced the selection of BE&K Building Group of Charlotte, N.C., as this year's "Contractor of the Year." The company was selected on the basis of its achievements in the four-state region during 2009. One of the firm's biggest accomplishments was its selection -- in a joint effort with Turner Construction Co. -- as the builder of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner final assembly facility in North Charleston, S.C., which was one of the highest-profile new projects in the Southeast during the past year. Additionally, BE&K Building Group reported that it had been awarded nearly $1.3 billion in new Southeast contracts during the past year. Considering the down market, that stood out as a major accomplishment.

Readers will be able to read the entire story of BE&K's 2009 achievements and credentials for this "Contractor of the Year" designation in the upcoming June/July issue of Southeast Construction.

For now, I'd like to explain the process behind the selection of Southeast Construction's "Contractor of the Year," now in its second year. First, a list of nominees was determined based upon firms' regional achievements during 2009. Factors considered for the nomination process included regional construction revenue, noteworthy new contracts, the volume and/or growth of new business and intangibles such as innovative business practices, industry awards or technical accomplishments.

Six firms were nominated this year: BE&K Building Group; Balfour Beatty Construction; Clark Construction; The Shaw Group; Skanska USA Building; and Turner Construction Co.

These firms were then asked to respond to our nomination form and submit detailed information regarding their activity and business actions in the Southeast during 2009. The submissions from a "short-listed" group of finalists were then sent to a group of McGraw-Hill Construction editors across the country. (Editor's Note: Though I was involved in the nomination process, I did not vote in this round of voting that determined the "Contractor of the Year.")

The firm's selection as "Contractor of the Year" is well-deserved. The company has come far since its inception in 2004, when BE&K Building Group was created from a combination of FN Thompson of Charlotte, N.C., and Greenville, S.C.-based Suitt Construction. The company entered our annual Top Contractors ranking for the first time in 2006, reporting more than $475 million in revenue for its first full year of operation (2005). By comparison, in Southeast Construction's most recent Top Contractors ranking, published this month, BE&K Building Group reported more than $686 million in 2009 regional revenue, placing sixth overall in the Southeast.

Of course, as many readers know, BE&K Building Group -- as well as the rest of Birmingham, Ala.-based BE&K -- is now a subsidiary of KBR.

Again, we'll have more about BE&K -- and the rest of the "Contractor of the Year" nominees -- in the upcoming June/July issue of Southeast Construction.

What do you think of BE&K Building Group's selection as "Contractor of the Year"? Let us hear your thoughts!