Steel erection leaders receive awards at 2016 SEAA convention in Charlotte

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Eddie Williams

The Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA), headquartered in Winston-Salem, has named Eddie Williams, CEO and chairman of Buckner Companies, Graham, NC, as Person of the Year.

Williams was recognized at the SEAA’s 44th Annual Convention and Tradeshow in Charlotte-Concord in early May.

“Eddie is our senior statesman, and his wise counsel and suggestions over the course of more than 60 years have shaped this association and the industry as we know it today,” said Alan Sears, awards chairman and banquet host. In the 1950s Williams began his career as a rod-buster for C.P. Buckner Steel Erection; he eventually worked his way up to CEO. A founding member of the regional steel erector organization that was the precursor to SEAA, Williams has since served on SEAA’s Board of Directors for decades. Ten years ago he received the association’s William Davis Service Award, the association’s highest honor.

“I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t on the Board of Directors. It has been a very rewarding experience watching the association grow,” said Williams.

Sears said sometimes an individual is woven so thoroughly into the fabric of an organization and an industry that their volunteerism is assumed. “As the committee was reviewing past records of the Person of the Year, which has been awarded since 2004, we realized that Eddie had somehow been overlooked. Yet, every year he sets the example by which others are judged,” said Sears.

Williams has worked to improve safety through his work with OSHA’s Steel Erection Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee and the Cranes and Derricks in Construction Advisory Committee. He has pushed for fair competition and wages, quality control, and productivity issues through active participation in the American Institute of Steel Construction, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, and many contractor groups such as the ABC, AGC, ASA, and SC&RA.

“Looking back, no one was speaking for the non-union ironworkers, the impetus behind SEAA. This association has come so far since then,” said Williams. “Thank you all for making this a first-class organization.”

Also at the convention, Pete Walker, retired president of Phoenix Steel Erectors, Haymarket, VA., received a Lifetime Membership.

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