The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) will recognize outstanding industry advocates at the association’s upcoming Legislative and Policy Forum/Fall Board meeting, Sept. 24-28. The 2017 NSSGA Grassroots Awards will be presented to individuals for educating policymakers on the value of the aggregates industry and explaining how certain policies can benefit or harm operations around the country.
“Our industry’s most effective advocates are the people who work in aggregates operations in just about every congressional district. The more than 100,000 men and women of our industry have the unique ability to personalize the impact of legislation and regulation on their business, families and communities,” said Michael W. Johnson, NSSGA president and CEO.
George Sidney of McLanahan Corp. will receive the Grassroots CEO of the Year award. McLanahan Corp. invited presidential candidates to tour McLanahan’s facility in Holidaysburg, Pa., and Donald Trump visited during the campaign in August 2016. Sidney consulted with NSSGA ahead of the visit to get talking points on issues impacting the industry, most notably, the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule.
After the plant tour and a lengthy sit-down with President Trump, a candidate at the time, Sidney was invited to address the crowd at a rally for President Trump that evening to talk about the issues and regulations impacting the industry. It was after this event that Trump started talking about the WOTUS rule specifically on the campaign trail as an example of regulations in need of reform. Sidney has also been an active participant in advancing the candidacy of an individual from the aggregates industry to be nominated to lead MSHA.
Bill Schmitz of Gernatt Asphalt Products Inc. will receive the Grassroots Coordinator of the Year award. Schmitz has been a reliable proponent of the aggregates industry in western New York. He solidified relationships with Gernatt and NSSGA with New York Republican Reps. Tom Reed, Chris Collins and John Katko by setting up facility visits and participating in fundraising events. He actively recruits other New York members to participate and join him in taking time out of his busy schedule to travel to D.C. In the past, he has also testified before Congress on issues impacting small businesses.
Brian McNamara of Bluegrass Materials will receive the Grassroots Advocate of the Year award. In addition to his professional responsibilities, McNamara testified before the White House Office of Management and Budget on the harmful effects of MSHA’s Examination of Working Places rule, flying to Washington, D.C., on his own time and expense over the New Year’s holiday. This came after he participated in NSSGA’s 2016 Washington, D.C., advocacy event where he educated several congressional staff members on industry health and safety issues.
NSSGA’s annual awards program recognizes individuals and aggregates operations throughout the United States for their extraordinary commitment to safety, environmental practices, community relations and efforts to advance the industry. The Safety Excellence Gold, Sterling Safety and Environmental Excellence awards will be also be presented at NSSGA’s Legislative & Policy Forum/Fall Board Meeting.