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January 29, 2018
During its annual convention on Jan. 26 in Seattle, the AGC of Washington posthumously honored Gene Colin and recognized three other members Nancy Munro, John Belarde and Jimmy Blais for their commitment and dedication to the industry and local community. Other kudos were given to Sen. Lynda Wilson.
Lifetime Distinguished Service Award
AGC joined with the AGC Education Foundation to posthumously recognize Gene J. Colin’s lifetime of achievement. Colin’s passion for the construction industry was boundless. He is remembered fondly for his many contributions to AGC, including his leadership on the Government Affairs Council for many years. Colin also served as a board member and major supporter of the AGC Education Foundation. He was committed to increasing education options and opportunities, and continuous learning. He also was generous to his community. The award was presented to Gene’s wife, Susan Janus Colin.
General Contractor of the Year
Munro was recognized for her leadership and vision for the AGC. Her passion for workforce development played a key role in passing Senate Bill 5713 in Olympia in 2017. The Career Technical Education Awareness Bill provides a pathway to grant money for construction industry awareness. Munro’s vision of diversity and inclusion has shaped the very make-up of the AGC board of trustees. Her dedication to AGC’s Diversity Task Force is shining a positive light on AGC disadvantaged business enterprises.
Specialty Contractor of the Year
Belarde was recognized for his work on behalf of disadvantaged business enterprises. As a DBE contractor, Belarde is open, honest and vocal about the challenges of working as a DBE contractor in the state. As a member of the AGC board of trustees and a member of the Diversity Task Force, Belarde’s willingness to share is shaping the discussion about DBE firms. One of his goals is to have DBE contractors invited to bid on all jobs — not just when they are required by contract.
Associate of the Year
Blais is a key to the success of the AGC Environment Committee. He has led the effort to engage the AGC of Washington with the state Department of Ecology. His efforts have led to quarterly meetings with the director of Ecology. Blais’ depth of knowledge on environmental issues and his negotiation skills have given the AGC a chance to vet new regulations before they are made into law.
Legislator of the Year
Senator Lynda Wilson
Wilson, of Vancouver, was the only member of the Senate to have a perfect AGC legislative score in 2017. She is always willing to help “in the trenches” on workforce development, business regulations and other priority matters. A business owner, Wilson is a leader in seeking ways to improve the state’s economic climate.
Liz Evans is the Northern District manager of Associated General Contractors of Washington.