Construction is a unique industry. It is the only business in which its practitioners—builders, designers and owners alike—leave behind lasting public artifacts in our physical world, in the form of the buildings and infrastructure they help to build. Of course, most of the time, the only people aware of the personal significance of each building, highway or other structure that dots our physical landscape is often the man or woman who aided with its construction.

To everyone else but the builders, the people behind those lasting legacies of our culture remain anonymous. Still, they're the only ones privileged enough to be able to say, "I built that." And certainly that must be its own reward.

That said, however, ENR's Regional Publications—and, specifically, ENR Southeast—are launching an effort to more publicly recognize a long-time industry achievement with our newest program, the Legacy Award. As ENR noted with its announcement of this new program, the Legacy Award is designed to recognize those people "who have established a solid 'legacy' of lifetime service to the AEC industry and to their colleagues. Movers. Shakers. Mentors. True professionals who have gone above and beyond for decades."

With that in mind, ENR Southeast is proud to announce that we've found two people who fit the description well, and will serve as the region's first two winners of the Legacy Award: Pat Rodgers, president and CEO of Charlotte, N.C.-based Rodgers Builders; and Tom Murphy Jr., chairman and CEO of Coastal Construction Group, Miami.

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Rodgers Builders' president and CEO, Pat Rodgers, pictured next to her husband, B.D. Rodgers, who passed away earlier this year. In addition to helping lead her company to the upper heights of the North Carolina construction industry, Rodgers has garnered a long list of civic achievements unmatched by many. (Photo courtesy Rodgers Builders)

Both are outstanding representatives of their industry.

Rodgers—a 42-year veteran of her firm, and president since 1987—is noted nearly as much for her contributions to the Charlotte community as she is for helping guide Rodgers Builders to the upper heights of the North Carolina contracting industry. In addition to serving as the current chairman of the Construction Industry Roundtable, she was named "2013 Executive of the Year" by the Construction Financial Management Association. Also, she's served as chair of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, and is on the board of directors for several community groups, such as the Foundation for the Carolina and the Central Piedmont Community College Foundation.

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Tom Murphy Jr., chairman and CEO of Coastal Construction Group, pictured with his two sons, Thomas C. Murphy, left, and Sean Murphy, right. (Photo by Angel E. Valentin)

Also earning an inaugural Legacy Award is Tom Murphy Jr., chairman and CEO of Miami's Coastal Construction Group, a roughly 45-year veteran of Florida's construction industry. Since founding Coastal in 1989, Murphy has guided the firm to achieve an undeniable reputation for excellence, as numerous demanding customers are willing to attest. With that reputation, Coastal is being hired to lead some spectacular projects, including the recently announced $430-million SkyRise Miami observation tower.

There is much more to both Rodgers' and Murphy's records of achievement than can fit in this blog space. To that end, ENR Southeast will publish a feature story highlighting these Southeast construction industry leaders in our January 2015 print edition. In addition, each will be honored at ENR Southeast's Best Projects Awards Luncheon, to be held Nov. 11 in Orlando.

For now, a sincere congratulations and thank you to these two deserving recipients!

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