CHARLESTON, S.C. – Ed Myers has been named the 2015 TAUC James J. Willis Craftperson of the Year.
The award, which recognizes outstanding labor-management cooperation and quality craftsmanship in the union construction and maintenance industries, was presented at a special ceremony on May 14 at TAUC’s annual Leadership Conference in Charleston, S.C.
Ed Myers is a Steamfitter with Local Union No. 420 in Philadelphia, Pa. He was nominated by J.J. White, Inc. for his work on the atmospheric relief vent mitigation project at the Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery in Linden, New Jersey. The project involved demolishing an existing 150-foot flare stack and erecting two new 250-foot tall flare stacks. All told, the project required more than 100,000 work hours to complete, along with 500 tons of structural steel, 13,000 feet of pipe and more than 1,000 individual welds.
Ed was praised by executives at both Phillips 66 and J.J. White for his performance on the massive project. “He really builds a tremendous spirit in the way that he leads by example,” said James White IV, President of J.J. White.
“He has the respect of his men,” added James Daley, Senior Vice President of Operations for J.J. White. “Everyone had to have the opportunity to perform their work safely, and Ed had the vision to see the completed project.”
“People want to work with Ed, not for Ed,” added Phillips 66’s Joe Schneider.
“My philosophy is, everybody has something to bring to the table,” Ed Myers said. “It’s my responsibility to figure out what it is and utilize it for the project.”
He added, “In my mind, the safest project is the project where everybody has a clear understanding of their tasks. It’s the unknowns that get them hurt. Safety is everything.”
About the James J. Willis Craftperson of the Year Award
The James J. Willis Craftperson of the Year Award honors outstanding labor-management cooperation and quality craftsmanship in the union construction and maintenance industries. It is given to building trades members who have a gift for recognizing the vision of a project and can bring that vision to fruition in a professional manner. Apprentices, journeymen, foremen and general foremen from all crafts are eligible for nomination.
The recognition program was originally created in 1989 as the Craftsman of the Year Award. TAUC changed the name in 2008 to memorialize James J. Willis, Sr. He was a dear friend and supporter of TAUC and an authentic leader within the union construction industry for more than five decades. Jim started out as an apprentice ironworker in 1945 at the age of just 16 and eventually rose to the rank of First General Vice President within the international union. He also served as President and Labor Co-Chairman of the National Maintenance Agreements Policy Committee, Inc. (NMAPC) from 1988-2000.
Jim was hugely influential within the union construction industry, and his steadfast commitment to fairness and cooperation was legendary. It is fitting that the award bearing his name honors a union worker who demonstrates unparalleled leadership and professionalism, because Jim exhibited the same qualities throughout his life.
The James J. Willis Craftperson of the Year Award recognizes five categories of achievement:
Projects must be completed in the calendar year of the award. Nominations are forwarded to our judge’s panel to be evaluated and ranked in each category. This year, the members of the James J. Willis Award Task Force were: Kathleen Dobson, Alberici Constructors; William Kroeger, AGC of Missouri; and Jacob Snyder with Enerfab Power and Industrial.
The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) is the premier national trade association for the 21st century union construction and maintenance industries. Our more than 2,000 member firms include union contractor companies, local union contractor associations and vendors in the industrial maintenance and construction fields. We demonstrate that union construction and maintenance are the best options because they are safer and more productive, and provide a higher quality and cost-competitive product. For more information, log on to www.tauc.org.