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2019 NWUCA Chapter Award Winners and Scholarship Recipients

Heart of NWUCA Award – Gary Stephens – MEI Group

This award is not given out annually.  It’s only awarded to members that have dedicated themselves to the success of NWUCA and the industry.  Gary Stephens is an example of that member and is this year’s recipient of the award.  Gary is one of the founding members of NWUCA and served as President from 2000-2001.  He is still a very active past president and participates on NWUCA’s ODOT/WSDOT, Public Agencies Self-Performing Work, City of Portland BES, City of Gresham, City of Portland Transportation, and City of Portland Water Committees.  Gary can always be counted on to offer input on project plans and represent NWUCA on local issues.  No one has more knowledge of the industry.  He’s truly been a gift to our association!  Gary has recently retired from MEI and will be leaving his volunteer post at NWUCA.  It will be impossible to fill his void.  Congratulations to Gary Stephens on his well-deserved award!


Members Choice Award – John Kalkhoven – Titan Utilities

This is the first year for this award.   Members submitted nominations for the person they felt most deserving of being recognized for their contribution to our association.  John Kalkhoven was chosen to receive this year’s award.  John has been involved with NWUCA for 20 years.  He chairs NWUCA’s Public Agencies Self-Performing Work and Portland BES Committees, Co-Chairs NWUCA’s Clean Water Services and City of Portland Water Committees and sits on NWUCA’s Bureau of Labor & Industries, Budget & Investment and City of Portland Bureau of Transportation Committees.  John also currently sits on NWUCA’s Board of Directors and is a very involved past president of our association.  He spent countless hours, along with other NWUCA members and associations, to push through legislation holding public agencies accountable for proper cost accounting.  This has been a cornerstone issue for NWUCA since its inception.  John is so closely tied to NWUCA and is often our “go to” when we need something done.  Without John’s dedication to NWUCA, we would not be the respected association we are today. 


Contractor of the Year – Kendall Miller, Interlaken

Kendall took it upon herself to create and run the NWUCA Career Fair.  It was a large undertaking and directly benefited the industry by exposing local students to the many potential careers in our industry.  Kendall removed the transportation cost barrier that schools have ran into in the past. She got donations from NWUCA members to offset the transportation cost for 6 schools to attend our Career Fair and exposed hundreds of high school aged kids to our industry.  This was NWUCA’s first time doing a career fair and she pulled if off flawlessly.  It’s remarkable she did all this while being 9 months pregnant with her first child and running her busy excavation company.  Because of the success of the event, it will be duplicated at NWUCA’s first Dozer Days in Oregon during May 2020.  Kendall also sits on our board of directors and our BES committee.  Thank you, Kendall, for your contributions to NWUCA and the industry! 


Associate of the Year-Travis Berg-United Rentals Fluid Solutions

Travis has transformed the Associates Committee into one of the most active committees we have.  They now meet monthly to plan the Equipment Rodeo, work on service projects and highlight associate and affiliate members at our meetings.  Travis has been instrumental in making participation on the Associate/Affiliate Committee a very positive experience.  Travis has also spearheaded NWUCA’s participation in community service projects and helping those in our industry in need.  We sponsor families at Christmas time, help industry families that are having a hard time and organized our first physical community service project at a family’s home where the child had cancer.  What Travis helped facilitate at the family’s home far exceeded what was expected and was a day that all the participating members will never forget.  Travis is also active on our Board, the safety advisory group, clean water services and golf committees, and will be a key person in the 2020 Dozer Days event.  Thank you, Travis for all you’ve done for NWUCA! 


Affiliate of the Year- Joel Dietzman- Anchor Insurance

Joel is a member that is always willing to help with anything that is needed.  He helps us navigate insurance policies, access our insurance needs, etc. Whenever we need help with an insurance question, he’s there.  Everything Joel does he does for the betterment of NWUCA.  He has also helped to re-work the scholarship evaluation process this year.  Joel is active on our board of directors, our Hood to Coast team, associates committee, scholarship committee chair, is one of our dividend insurance program agents and will be a key member of our Dozer Days 2020 committee.  Joel is a true asset to NWUCA and a really good guy!  We are lucky he is so involved.  Thank you, Joel, for everything you do for NWUCA!  


Safety Award – Coffman Excavation

Coffman Excavation exemplifies a contractor that places the highest priority on safety.  Congratulations to their team for a job well done!  Enjoy your Traeger BBQ!


Equipment Rodeo Winners – Landis & Landis Construction

1st-Jason Stepp   2nd-Clay Comp   3rd-Joel Clarkson


1st Place High School Award – Ashley Vega-Lazaro

Ashley is the daughter of Jose & Terry Vega-Lazaro and applied through NWUCA member United Rentals.  Ashley is a recent graduate of Ridgefield High School and will be studying neuroscience at Washington State University.  Ashley’s scholarship award is $2,000!


2nd Place High School Award – James Taylor

James is the son of Bret & Sherah Taylor and applied through NWUCA member Falcon Shoring.  James is a graduate of South Salem High School and will be studying art animation and graphic design at the University of Oregon.  James’ scholarship award is $1,500!


1st Place College Award – John Romo

John is the son of Nick & Stacy Romo and applied through NWUCA member Titan Utilities, where he is also employed.  John is currently attending the University of Oregon, majoring in economics and business.  John’s scholarship award is $2,000!


2nd Place College Award – Jacklyn Ferraris

Jacklyn is the daughter of John Ferraris and applied through NWUCA member Ferrari Enterprises Inc.  Jacklyn is currently attending Portland Community College, majoring in dental hygiene.  Jacklyn’s scholarship award is $1,500!