NUCA Announces 2021 Award Winners

Each year NUCA convenes to recognize our organization’s best and brightest, and this year is no different. The winners listed below have shown themselves to be exceptionally dedicated to the association and the industry at large. Join NUCA in giving thanks and praise for their hard work and dedication! These awards will be presented throughout NUCA’s 2022 Convention and Exhibit in San Antonio, Texas, March 2-5, 2022.

Ditchdigger of the Year
Fred Chesney
Centerline Utilities, Inc.

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Fred Chesney


The Ditchdigger of the Year is presented annually to a contractor member who has made a significant contribution to NUCA and the underground utility construction and excavation industry.

Fred Chesney has dedicated his entire life to the underground utility industry. Fred earned his bachelors degree from the University of Florida in Building Construction Management in 1976. He has been an underground utility contractor since the 1980s when he opened Centerline Inc.

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Centerline Inc. is a well respected underground utility contractor in the South Florida area. Fred has formed great relationships with many local municipalities who would call on Fred for sound advice over the years.

Centerline joined UCA of South Florida in 1986 and has been involved on the local, state and national levels for over 30 years. Fred’s knowledge of this industry and loyalty to NUCA is unmatched.

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Most recently, Fred served as the Past Chairman of NUCA National. He led the organization through the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and managed to grow the National Association with his NUCA+1 initiative. Fred has been a dedicated and loyal member of NUCA for more than 30 years. With his many years of commitment, it would be next to impossible to list all of his contributions to advancing the underground utility industry over the years, but rest assured Fred has made his mark.

Associate Member of the Year
Michael Sturgill

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The Associate Member of the Year is presented annually to an associate member who has made a significant contribution to NUCA and the underground utility construction and excavation industry.

Michael Sturgill is a dedicated professional who has moved mountains to help establish and grow the NUCA East TN Chapter. NUCA East TN is a young chapter with a new-to-the-industry Executive Director, the learning curve has been sharp, and Michael has provided industry guidance, connected NUCA with his industry resources, and provided incredible support to all local events. Additionally, he played a large part in the growth and success as a Premiere Partner for NUCA Texas, and dedicated much of is time towards the establishment and continued growth of the NUCA Gulf Coast Chapter.

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Michael has been in the Pump Rentals and Sales Industry for 16 years with the last 12 years with Xylem Dewatering Solutions Inc. a division of Xylem Inc.
Michael has worked in various roles from outside sales representative, to branch manager, and currently Regional Sales Manager covering 10 direct to market facilities through Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and East Tennessee.

William H. Feather Safety Awards

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The William H. Feather Safety Awards were created to honor the contributions of the founding chairman of NUCA’s Safety Committee, William H. Feather, and to recognize the same commitment to safety demonstrated by NUCA members. The 2021 winners are:

Overall Winner
Foremost Pipeline, Inc., Gaston, SC

0-100,001 Man Hours Category
Fehlinger Construction Group, Shavertown, PA

200,001 – 500,000 Man Hours Category
Cleary Construction, Tompkinsville, KY

500,001 – 1,000,000 Man Hours Category
MAC Construction & Excavating, New Albany, IN

Chapter Merit Awards

The Chapter Merit Awards are presented to NUCA member chapters that support their members, NUCA, the industry, and their communities with outstanding quality publications, services, and events. The 2021 winners are:

Legislative/Governmental Affairs – NUCA of Nebraska

Special Events – NUCA of Middle Tennessee

Periodical Publications – NUCA of Iowa

Website – NUCA of Washington DC

Annual Publication – NUCA of Washington DC

Educational Programming – NUCA of Washington

Outstanding Chapter Executive Director – Janet Seelhoff, NUCA of Nebraska

Outstanding Leadership by a Chapter President – Zach Fusilier, NUCA Texas

Workforce Development Chapter Grant Award – SUCA, Construction Career Days

Top Jobs

NUCA’s Top Jobs competition recognizes challenging, innovative, or unique projects completed with excellent results. Congratulations to the category finalists! Category winners and overall Top Job will be selected at the 2022 Convention & Exhibit.

• Cleary Construction, Tompkinsville, KY – TARI Telecommunication Duct Bank

Excavation/Site Development
• Cleary Construction, Tompkinsville, KY – Jamestown Municipal Airport Runway Reconstruction & Taxiway Relocation
• Johansen Construction Company, Buckley WA – Issaquah Fall City Road Improvements Phase 1
• L.G. Roloff Construction Co. Inc., Omaha NE – 96th Street & Frederick Street Emergency Culvert Construction

Gas Distribution
• Cleary Construction, Tompkinsville, KY – North Second Street Bridge Natural Gas Main Replacement Project
• Martin Contracting, Richmond KY – Hopkinsville Replacement

Sanitary Sewer Collection/Storm Drains
• Cleary Construction, Tompkinsville, KY – Veterans Memorial Force Main
• Johnson-Davis, Inc., Lantana, FL – Lift Station No. 48 Force Main Replacement

Trenchless Technology
• Cleary Construction, Tompkinsville, KY – Flat Creek Force Main
• Iowa Trenchless, Panora IA – Lower Conner Creek Interceptor

Water Distribution
• Cleary Construction, Tompkinsville, KY – Poplar Tent Road 24 inch water Line Extension
• TA Loving, Goldsboro NC – Neuse River Raw Water Intake Screens

For more information about the 2022 NUCA & Exhibit Convention, click here.