Since signing on at GAI Consultants more than half a century ago, Gary DeJidas has worked up from civil engineer to the company’s top leadership role, a journey that took him from Pennsylvania to Florida, where he established the company’s presence in the state where it now thrives with six locations. 

Now, ENR Southeast is excited to announce the next step in his journey: 2024 Legacy Award winner. Each year ENR Southeast recognizes an industry professional who has established a legacy of service in AEC industry, among their colleagues and in their community. The honoree is chosen from among a group of nominees by ENR' regional editors. 

Taking his first job at GAI as a civil engineer in 1972, DeJidas accepted the challenge of taking the firm to Florida 10 years later. He started GAI’s Florida excursion with six employees, where the firm now has 125. In all, DeJidas oversees 800 employees at the multi-disciplinary firm from his Orlando office. 

His 50-plus-year tenure has built an expertise in highway and transit design, urban and streetscape engineering and construction monitoring of roadway, sidewalk and utility networks. 

In 2003 he was elected president of the firm, and in 2017, Chairman/CEO. Under his leadership, GAI has grown to have 27 offices in 12 states and rank No. 173 in ENR’s Top 500 Design Firm rankings and No. 167 among ENR’s Top 200 Environmental Firms. 

DeJidas is affiliated with industry groups, and supports community efforts like a local Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway and Wheels for Kids events, as well as supporting GAI’s annual Charity of Choice fundraising campaign and other non-profit organizations like Make-A-Wish, United Way, Building Homes for Heroes and is a past director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. 

A colleague of DeJidas’s for more than 30 years, GAI President Anthony F. Morrocco says in the firm’s nomination, “From his beginnings in GAI’s first office in 1972, to spearheading the company’s Florida expansion in 1982 … Gary DeJidas has made an unparalleled impact on our company’s continued success and growth.”

Find out more about DeJidas and his legacy in our ENR Southeast’s upcoming January edition. 

Here is a list of all the past  ENR Southeast Legacy Award Winners.
Southeast Legacy Award Winners
2023 Chuck Jablon, Skanska
2022 Michael Russell, HJ Russell & Co.
2020 Preston Haskell, Haskell
2019 Robert Maliva, WSP
2018 Bob Moss, Moss & Associates
2017 Ed Lobnitz, TLC Engineering for Architecture
2016 Miller Gorrie, Brasfield & Gorrie
2015 Bill Pinto, Hardin Construction
2014 Pat Rodgers, Rodgers Builders
2014 Tom Murphy Jr., Coastal Construction