The International Grooving & Grinding Association Announces 2022 Annual Award Winners

The International Grooving Grinding Association (IGGA) – a non-profit trade association founded in 1972 that is recognized as the industry’s lead technical resource in the development and marketing of optimized pavement surfaces and pavement preservation around the world – has announced the winners of their annual awards program.

Presented at the association’s annual meeting held in Nashville, Tenn. on Nov. 29, 2022, the purpose of the program is to honor individuals and companies/organizations for lasting contributions made to the grooving, grinding and concrete pavement preservation/restoration industry. Five awards were presented this year: the Operator of the Year (Iron Man) award; the Government Official of the Year award; the Lester F. Kuzmick award (awarded to two individuals); and an Honorary Life Membership award.

2022 Operator of the Year (Iron Man) Award

The 2022 Operator of the Year (Iron Man) award was presented to Tony Brink, Corrective Grinding Crew Manager, Diamond Surface Inc. (DSI), located in Rogers, Minn. The purpose of this award is to recognize the men and women who work in the field for their leadership, with special emphasis on dedication to quality and getting the job done right. Tony has been with DSI since 1997 and has had a measurable impact in his 25 years with the company. He has held numerous grinding positions in mainline grinding and corrective grinding and worked his way up to a supervisor position. Tony was chosen for this award because he has consistently provided the highest quality of work and paid close attention to detail, resulting in projects being done completely and accurately the first time—all while maintaining a safety-first mindset. With projects accounting for approximately three-to-four million square yards of ground surface in America, IGGA award judges believe that having people like Tony behind diamond grinding work is not only a great asset to DSI but to everyone driving our roads.

“Not only is Tony a great employee, but he is a dedicated, trustworthy, and forward-thinking person. Tony's eagerness to find creative solutions to problems that arise in the field make him irreplaceable. In addition to his great field work, his ability to effectively work together with state DOT's is invaluable,” said Al Adamek, DSI co-owner and IGGA Board President.

2022 Government Official of the Year Award

The 2022 Government Official of the Year award went to Joe Echelle, Assistant Executive Director, Maintenance, Engineering & Construction, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA). The Government Official of the Year award recognizes leadership in transportation with special emphasis on grooving, grinding and concrete pavement preservation (CPP).

In his role with the OTA, Echelle is responsible for maintaining 630 miles of turnpikes throughout Oklahoma and is responsible for day-to-day operations. He was chosen to receive the Government Official of the Year Award because he has been a continuous champion of improving pavement conditions, making them more safe and efficient for Oklahoma motorists. His approach of maintaining pavements before they deteriorate, rather than addressing problems when the pavements are already at the end of their life, has resulted in millions in dollars of savings for Oklahoma residents.

"Joe has been an exceptional advocate for concrete pavements as well as the importance of pavement preservation techniques to optimize the taxpayer's investment. We are thrilled to see his efforts recognized on a national level as the way DOT leaders can and should approach highway maintenance." said Brent Burwell, Executive Director of the Oklahoma/Arkansas ACPA Chapter.

2022 Lester F. Kuzmick Award

There were two 2022 Lester F. Kuzmick award winners: Scott Eilken, owner of Quality Saw & Seal, located in Bridgeview, Ill. and Terrence Kraemer, CEO, Diamond Surface Inc., located in Rogers, Minn. The Lester F. Kuzmick award recognizes individuals, companies and organizations for excellence in the grooving, grinding and the CPP industry.

Jason Eilken, son and business partner of Scott Eilken, said, "We see first-hand the tremendous effort and commitment our father puts into not only our company but the industry as a whole. We've experienced many things under his leadership, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be able to honor him in front of his industry peers. Thank you to the IGGA and its members for allowing that to become a cherished memory."

As the IGGA’s longest serving treasurer of the board (14 years), Scott spends numerous hours ensuring the association has enough funding to adequately perform its duties advancing the grinding, grooving and CPP industry.

Terrence Kramer has cycled the positions on the IGGA board and served as president of the IGGA several times over the years. His guidance and participation has surely shaped what the IGGA is and how effectively it operates.

Al Adamek, Board President and business partner to Kramer, says "Terry has been the lifeblood of the IGGA for the past 30 years. He's never been one to turn down any request for assistance, whether that be boots on the ground or funding donations. One of the most admirable things about Terry is that the decisions he makes are truly for the greater good of the industry. He can look past what might be best for himself to make a decision that will benefit more people in the long run."

“At the core of any successful trade association are the men and women that comprise the membership ranks, who dedicate their time and resources to the growth and stability of the industry that they serve. This year’s Lester F Kuzmick award winners exemplify this commitment to the association by providing countless hours and resources above and beyond the call of duty. I can say with confidence that this industry is in a far better place due to their efforts,” said John Roberts, Executive Director, IGGA.

2022 Honorary Life Membership Award

The 2022 Honorary Life Membership award was presented to Steve Garrison, retired Sales and Marketing Manager of the former Diamond B, Sante Fe Springs, Calif. Election to Honorary Life Membership in the IGGA is reserved for those who, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, have rendered outstanding service to the grooving, grinding or CPR industry and to the association.

According to executive director John Roberts, “This honor has only been granted nine times in the 50-year history of the association. Steve has long been a partner in our efforts to promote, protect and strengthen the industry. A notable gesture was related to the development of our most innovative pavement surface developed to date, aptly named the Next Generation Concrete Surface. With Steve’s support, we unlocked the secret of tire pavement noise reduction on portland cement concrete pavement and changed the way motorists view concrete pavement forever. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor.”

"The IGGA is a perfect example of teamwork,” says Garrison. “The staff, the contractors and suppliers work together exceptionally well to get the word out to state and federal agencies on the value of matching the right CPP solution to their pavements. I have enjoyed that ride!"

“As is often the case in life, the road to success is paved by good, solid partners committed to achieving the same goals,” said Roberts. “This year’s group of award winners exemplify the definition of true partners as evidenced by the success that this industry has achieved. The IGGA and its members offer a hearty congratulations to this year’s winners, along with our thanks.”

About the IGGA

The International Grooving & Grinding Association (IGGA) is a non-profit trade association founded in 1972 by a group of dedicated industry professionals committed to the development of the diamond grinding and grooving process for surfaces constructed with Portland cement concrete and asphalt. In 1995, the IGGA joined in affiliation with the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) to form today what is known as the IGGA/ACPA Concrete Pavement Preservation Partnership (IGGA/ACPA CP3). Today this partnership serves as the technical resource and industry leader in the marketing of optimized pavement surfaces, concrete pavement restoration and pavement preservation around the world. The mission of the IGGA is to serve as the leading technical and promotional resource for the acceptance and proper use of diamond grinding and grooving as well as PCC preservation and restoration. For more information, visit www.igga.net .

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