Tunnelers lead 2015 Golden Beaver Awards 15 Jan 2015

TunnelTalk reporting

Recipients of the 2015 Golden Beaver Awards will be presented their awards by Robert E Alger, 2014 President of the Beavers, at the organization’s 60th Annual Awards Dinner to be held this week on Friday, 16 January and at the JW Marriott at LA Live in Los Angeles.

Stevens speaks to TunnelTalk of the Bay Tunnel success

The 2015 Supervision Award is presented by the heavy engineering construction association to Jim Stevens, Director of Operations for the Michels Corporation Tunneling Division. Beginning his career as an operator/foreman, Stevens has a track record of completing successfully ever larger and more complex projects including design-build and design-bid-build project. Most recently Stevens managed successful excavation of the $215 million San Francisco Bay Tunnel, where the bore was completed eight months ahead of schedule and well under budget.

Tom Clemens, President of North American Tunneling for DSI, Dywidag-Systems International, is the 2015 recipient of the Service and Supply Award. After graduating from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, Clemens began his 44-year career in a training program and inside sales position for Commercial Shearing’s Underground Supports Division. While the ownership and company has changed several times over the years, Clemens rose steadily through the company taking on additional sales and operations positions. He was named President in December 2006 after playing a key role in developing alliances with partner companies to expand the product line serving the underground construction industry dramatically.

Tom Clemens
Tom Clemens
Jim Clemens
Jim Stevens

The Golden Beaver Management Award recipient is Richard S. Weeks, President of CEO of Weeks Marine, Inc. His career started in 1970 with Weeks Stevedoring, the predecessor to Weeks Marine. After graduating from John Hopkins University and earning an MBA at Harvard, Rich joined the company full time in 1977. Working closely with his father, Richard N. Weeks, he has grown the company from an annual volume of US$40 million in 1988 to US$600 million in 2013. Weeks and his brothers represent the fourth generation of Weeks family members active in the business. Weeks received the Moles Member Award in 2009 and has served as President of the Moles and the Dredging Contractors of America. The company is currently involved in joint venture design, finance and construction of the Midtown immersed tube highway tunnels of the Elizabeth River in Virginia. In 2011, Weeks Marine bought Canadian-based tunneling contractor McNally International to “secure an entrance into North America's bored tunneling industry and establish a significant presence in Canada” said Weeks of the acquisition.

Rich Weeks
Rich Weeks
Mark Leja
Mark Leja

The 2015 Engineering Award will be presented to Mark Leja, Chief of Caltrans Division of Construction in California. Leja’s career with Caltrans spans 30 years, beginning as a design and resident engineer at the district level and steadily progressing though the organization, culminating in being named Chief of the Division of Construction in 2007. During the past seven years he has been responsible for delivering the largest construction program in the department’s history – an average of 675 projects annually with a combined worth of more than $11.25 billion. Several tunnel projects are part of this investment including the Devil’s Slide road tunnel on the California coastal Highway 1; the fourth bore for the Caldecott highway tunnel east of San Francisco; the Doyle Drive replacement project for the new 1.2-mile highway approach to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco; as well as investments in the planning stages of the potential for a tunnel to provide the missing link in the 710 Freeway around Los Angeles in Alhambra.

Founded in 1955, the Beavers is a social, honorary organization formed, organized and managed by the construction companies and individuals who are, or have, engaged in heavy engineering construction with the purpose to promote goodwill, friendliness and consideration within the heavy engineering construction industry; give recognition to those men and women who have demonstrated particular skill, responsibility and integrity; and encourage and support entry of promising young individuals into heavy engineering construction.

The Beavers Awards Dinner each year in January is one of the largest gathering of heavy construction contractors on the west coast of the USA and up to 2,200 guests are expected at the 2015 event on Friday evening. Guest speaker for the event is CBS golf commentator David Feherty.

The other major event for the organisation if the Beaverdilly golf tournament which in 2015 will be held at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California from 19-20 August.

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