The Value of Honors

why contractors should pursue recognition

It was truly an honor to be the 2018 recipient of the Alan Curtis Industry Service Award at this year's National Pavement Exposition in Cleveland, Ohio. The award, which included my installation into the U.S. Pavement Hall of Fame, was a tremendous honor.

The other inductee into the Pavement Hall of Fame this year was my friend, Guy Gruenberg, who was also quite honored by the award. In fact, when he and I went together to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame after NPE, the irrepressible Guy jested to several of the exhibit monitor personnel inside that “I’m in the Hall of Fame and,” pointing toward me, “so is he. We just got in very recently.” I suspect he was hoping one of them would ask what group we were with, so he could answer “Pavement.”

I tell this story as a reminder to the contractors reading this to be sure and let everyone in your professional circle know about any awards or honors received by you, your company or others in your organization. Otherwise, to paraphrase the realization of Charlie Brown in one of the Peanuts cartoon strips, “It’s like wetting yourself in a dark suit; it give you a warm feeling but nobody else notices.”

Find reasons to set your company apart from your competitors. If you belong to professional organizations, including WSA and NAPSA, tout that fact by putting the logos on your website, letterhead, etc. People recognize that membership in professional organizations, as well as the honors and awards you may garner along the way, are the hallmarks of professionalism.

Also make sure you have an "elevator speech" to cover the question of what any such professional membership or award means to you and your company — and especially to the customers you service. People like to do business with others who are involved in making their community a better place, as well as with those who have been honored by their peers. However, it’s vitally important you take the final step of broadcasting the news throughout your market area.