It's rare that I make news at National Pavement Expo, but the recent show in Nashville was rare indeed as I was honored to join a select group when I received the Award of Excellence in Power Sweeping from WorldSweeper.com. Presented at the start of the Sweepers Roundtable by WorldSweeper's Ranger Kidwell-Ross, the Award of Excellence has been presented annually to contract sweepers and manufacturers who WorldSweeper.com credits with having a positive impact on the sweeping industry. I really appreciate that. As I said when I accepted the award, it caught me completely offguard. It was suggested I attend the start of the Roundtable because there was something I needed to hear, so pen and notebook in hand I ducked into the back of the room prepared to take notes on a sweeping industry news story -- only to hear Ranger start talking about a person's background that sounded suspiciously like mine. As I also said, I am quite flattered by the recognition. Ranger was right when he said that I knew nothing of the sweeping industry (or the pavement maintenance industry, for that matter) when I accepted the position as editor of Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction in 1990. But I did know a couple of things: First, that I had a lot to learn about all aspects of the industries I was going to cover and, second, that there were plenty of folks out there -- contractors and manufacturers alike -- who would be willing to take the time to teach me if I demonstrated an interest. I must have done that because ever since 1990 manufacturers and contract sweepers from across the country have patiently answered my questions, providing insight and direction as Pavement and NPE have worked to serve the sweeping industry. And the key, I think, is that last phrase, "serve the sweeping industry," because that's always been a goal of this magazine and the two trade shows -- and now our websites. There's no question that Cygnus Business Media, which employs me and owns these products, is a for-profit operation --- just as contractors and manufacturers are in business to make money. But our approach has always been to be a part of the industry -- in this case the sweeping industry -- and to do what we can to help that industry develop and grow. That means "how to" articles, equipment articles, and profiles of contractors in the magazine. It means including seminars sweeping professionals need and want, and it means supporting the sweeping industry association through its growing pains to become the North American Power Sweeping Association (for the life of me I can't figure out why it doesn't have 1000 or more members). Our approach has always been the "rising tide lifts all boats" kind of approach, and we like to think that's happened over the years and that we can play a role in it continuing to happen. So though I was the individual accepting this award, there is no question in my mind that I was able to receive it through the support of all those in the industry who helped me learn what sweeping is all about and who continually help me whenever I need assistance. So a hearty "thanks" to WorldSweeper.com for the honor, and a heartfelt "thanks" to all those in the industry who helped me receive it. This is something that could not have taken place without your belief in your industry and your willingness to openly talk and teach others about it.