For more than 30 years, the APWA-MN Chapter has sponsored an annual Awards Program that recognizes excellence in public works. In addition, the chapter actively supports the APWA Awards Program with multiple submissions to the annual national awards program.

Learn more about awards and winners in the tabbed section below.

Chapter Awards

Project of the Year

Minnehaha Park Area Sewer Rehabilitation
Minnehaha Park Area Sewer Rehabilitation

APWA-MN Chapter 2021 Project of the Year Award is presented to the Metropolitan Council for the Minnehaha Park Area Sewer Rehabilitation Project. Owner – Metropolitan Council; Design Firm  Brown and Caldwell and CNA Consulting Engineers; Construction Administration Firm  Metropolitan Council and Foth Infrastructure & Environment LLC; General Contractor  Lemetti and Sons. See the Metropolitan Council's award submittal here.

In addition, the Awards Committee selected three Project of the Year Award - Honorable Mentions. 

Project of the Year, Honorable Mention – Long-term Flood Mitigation Phase 1 - Liberty Crossing and DeCola Ponds B&C. Owner  City of Golden Valley; Designers  Barr Engineering Company and SEH; Contractors  Eureka Construction and Dahn Construction

View the awards submittal here

Project of the Year, Honorable Mention – Granular Activated Carbon Water Treatment Plant. Owner  City of St. Paul Park; Designer  WSB; Contractor  Magney Construction Company

View the awards submittal here.

Project of the Year, Honorable Mention – Dale Street Bridge. Owner  Ramsey County; Designer  TKDA; Contractor  Redston Construction 

View the awards submittal here.

Public Works Employee of the Year

Jerry Johnson
Jerry Johnson

The chapter's  Public Works Employee of the Year for 2021 is Jerry Johnson, Utility Operator with the City of Chanhassen.

Jerry has 27 years of loyal service working for the City of Chanhassen. He’s part of our PW Utilities Division and acts as the City’s main champion for our 32 Sanitary Sewer Lift Stations. Jerry provides unmatched service to our community. Read more.

Superintendent of the Year

Jason Staebell
Jason Staebell

The 2021 Superintendent Award is awarded to Jason Staebell, Principal Professional Engineer with Hennepin County.

Jason is a Principal Professional Engineer in Hennepin County’s Design Division and leads a team of sixteen project managers and technicians in the delivery of the county’s transportation projects. He has been with Hennepin County since 2013 and during that time Jason has successfully delivered several key projects while mentoring and supporting his team in delivering their projects. 

Additionally, Jason has consistently supported his team and staff county-wide through technology and continuous improvement. Much of this work is above and beyond his job description or work that he’s been asked to do. Instead, Jason has taken initiative to find the time, during and after work hours, to explore and learn himself and then actively transfer his knowledge to those he works with, directly and indirectly.

Read Jason's nomination here.

Director or Manager of the Year

Michael Thompson
Michael Thompson

This year's recipient of the Director or Manager Award goes to Michael Thompson, Public Works Director, City of Plymouth.

Michael Thompson for his dedication to promoting the public works field in a positive light, his leadership on the local level, and his commitment to professional development of his departments. Michael is an active member of the APWA-MN chapter and has served in the public sector here in Minnesota for 16-years. He actively participated in the Technical Advisory Committee for the Transportation Advisory Board, he regularly testifies in front of the legislature and shares public works success stories with the local news. He regularly challenges staff at all levels to continue learning through APWA trainings, leadership exercises, and not being afraid to try new things. Since starting at Plymouth, the City has implemented a department-wide asset management mindset starting with the items that help the crews do their jobs, has revamped the City's plow maintenance policy resulting in 4 straight years of continued success in resident satisfaction, and personally has served as a mentor since 2015 (even as a consultant). He also makes sure that employees of all levels continue to balance service to the public and service to family at home and demonstrates that through being a father (and soccer coach) of two...even if it means coming in hot to a council meeting.

Read Michael's full nomination here.

Hugo G. Erickson Award

Chris Petree
Chris Petree


During the 2021 Fall Conference, this year's Hugo G. Erickson Award was presented to Chris Petree, Director of Operations, WSB.

This award is presented to an individual who has provided superior and outstanding service to the Minnesota Chapter to further the continued success of the Chapter’s goals and operation.  

Chris has served in numerous positions of the Chapter and is currently the Chapter Delegate. Some of Chris' contributions to the Chapter include serving on a number of Chapter committees:

  • MN2050 Committee, 2016-2018
  • Education & Training Committee, 2006-2015
  • 2016 APWA PWX Minneapolis – Futures Program Chair and Event Volunteer
  • Audit Committee, 2015
  • Executive Committee Director, 2011-2012
  • APWA Council of Chapters, 2018 & 2020-Present
  • APWA Public Works Awareness Task Force, 2020-Present
  • APWA National Institute Review Committee, 2017-2019

Chris also assisted in the creation of the Chapter's virtual conference sessions during the fall of 2020, scheduled the first-ever Public Works Advocacy Training, assisted in the creation of the Government Affairs Committee, worked to help create the Spring Conference annual service project initiative, and has made numerous contributions to the Public Works Certificate Program. In addition, Chris is a recipient of the APWA Young Leader of the Year Award (2012) and the APWA Harry S. Swearingen Award for Chapter Service (2021.

Currently, Chris is the Chair of the Outstate Development Committee, a member of the Government Affairs, Conference Planning, and Raise Our Grade MN committees.

National Awards

Presidential Award for Chapter Excellence

Minnesota Chapter

The Minnesota Chapter proudly accepted its 17th Presidential Award for Chapter Excellence (PACE) Award. 

The Minnesota Chapter of the American Public Works Association continues to experience excellent participation for Chapter events despite the impacts of COVID-19 on our ability to gather in person. In addition, attendees for all events and educational offerings are actively encouraged to complete evaluations provided to each attendee. The Chapter’s activities provider carefully monitors this feedback and attendance and works diligently to improve and/or continuously modify offerings to provide the best service delivery possible to Chapter members. This feedback has been especially important as we determine member needs during such a challenging time.

The Minnesota Chapter is very proud to have received three national APWA awards in 2020, including the 2020 PACE Award! This adds to the many national awards our Chapter members have received previously, as well as a strong local awards program, all of which are discussed in our submittal.

In 2020, the Minnesota Chapter continued to see more member volunteerism and outreach in educating the public about the value of Public Works. The Chapter continued its support of young professionals in their student outreach through the establishment of Student Chapters at the University of Minnesota, University of St. Thomas, and Minnesota State University. In addition, the Chapter continued participation in several outreach activities and STEM events, educating others on Public Works and how it relates to their quality of life. The Executive Committee believes that these efforts help to better serve our members and our profession, both now and into the future.

The Minnesota Chapter of APWA continues to provide valuable opportunities for members to be involved, gain continuing education, network with their peers through committee work, chapter outreach, semi-annual conferences, technical tours, etc. The Executive Committee strives to provide exceptional value for chapter members through their desired experience with the Chapter. 

Read the complete PACE submittal here.

Professional Manager of the Year, Transportation

Matthew Morreim

Matthew Morreim, Assistant City Engineer for the City of St. Paul, is the 2021 recipient of the Professional Manager of the Year award in the Transportation Category.

Matt holds the position of Division Manager for Street Maintenance (Assistant City Engineer). His submittal illustrates the extensive efforts made and his commitment to the City of St. Paul. 
Matt embodies the characteristics that the American Public Works Association (APWA) espouses for its members and all professionals in the public works field. As both a manager and a leader, Matt is technically adept, productive, passionately attentive to safety for employees and the public, forward- and future-focused, steadfastly innovative and creative, cost-conscious, customer-focused, supportive of his employees, tenacious and resolutely attentive to employee management, committed to improvements across the industry evidenced by his active participation in APWA and other professional organizations, and assiduously focused on his own social awareness and cultural competency while also committed to improving the workplace and achieving respectful and inclusive workplace. Read more.

Professional Manager of the Year, Public Works Emergency Management

Mark Ray

Mark Ray, Public Works Director/City Engineer, City of Crystal, Minnesota, receives the 2021 Professional Manager of the Year award in the Public Works Emergency Management Category.

Mark has been an avid supporter and active participant of APWA on a national and local level for more than a decade. His passion for advocating for public works and improving the profession of emergency management through advancing education and awareness comes through in every interaction with Mark. Mark truly is a boots-on-the-ground leader and asset to the community that he serves and to APWA.

Read more about Mark here.

Public Works Project of the Year, Disaster or Emergency Construction/Repair, $5 Million, but less than $25 Million

City of Woodbury

The City of Woodbury along with Rice Lake Construction Group (Primary Contractor) and AE2S (Primary Consultant) received the Project of the Year Award, Disaster or Emergency Construction/Repair, $5 Million, but less than $25 Million, category.

The PFAS Temporary Water Treatment Plant project became necessary due to the presence and increasing contamination levels of PFAS in Woodbury’s drinking water source. The submittal illustrated how the City of Woodbury approved, acquired funding, designed, and constructed a Temporary Water Treatment Plant under adverse conditions and in an almost impossible timeline. To accomplish this, Woodbury declared a local state of emergency and expedited construction utilizing a three-component design process while maintaining water service to the community, working collaboratively through a global pandemic, modifying materials due to availability during the global pandemic, and securing the site during civil unrest. 

In the end, the City of Woodbury, AE2S, and Rice Lake Construction Group had great accomplishments given adverse conditions, used sustainable design techniques, excelled at multi-agency coordination, and gave great consideration to the environment.

Read more about this Project of the Year award winner.

Harry S. Swearingen Award for Outstanding Achievement and Excellence in Chapter Service

Chris Petree

The Minnesota Chapter is proud to recognize its Chapter Alternate Delegate, Chris Petree, as the 2021 recipient of the Harry S. Swearingen Award for Outstanding Achievement and Excellence in Chapter Service.

Chris’ first exposure to APWA was in 1999 when he attended the APWA-MN Chapter Fall Conference to accept his certificate for completing the Public Works Certificate Program. Shortly after, Chris joined APWA in the Spring of 2000 and started becoming involved in the APWA-MN chapter a few years later. Chris’ philosophy is simple, try and give back as much to APWA and the Minnesota Chapter as he has received from being an active member over the last 21 years.

Chris is not only committed to APWA, but to the public works profession. Read more.

Public Works Top Ten Leaders of the Year

Jeannine Clancy

The Minnesota Chapter is proud to recognize its Chapter Delegate, Jeannine Clancy, as the 2021 APWA recipient of the Public Works Top Ten Leaders of the Year award.

Jeannine is a key and influential member of APWA, the Minnesota Chapter, and the public works community. Her extensive experience and calm demeanor provide a stable presence for the Minnesota Chapter. She demonstrates through her collaborative approach and thoughtful insight that she knows the people, the processes, and challenges of public works inside and out.

During her 36-year career, Jeannine has demonstrated to the field of public works her commitment to staff development, customer service,  collaboration along with her skills as a planner, problem-solver, and communicator that have had a positive impact on the communities that she serves.

Read more about Jeannine's contributions to the public works profession here.

Technical Innovation Award

City of Eagan

The City of Eagan is the 2021 recipient of the Technical Innovation Award for its GIS Mobile Workforce.

The City of Eagan has been a leader in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology in the Twin Cities region for many years. The quality and longevity of the GIS leadership at Eagan has enabled the establishment of an operation that capitalizes on the talents of these dedicated professionals. With encouragement and support from the team at ESRI, the City’s GIS software provider, City GIS staff have worked with staff across Eagan to develop new and innovative applications that have led to numerous process and workflow improvements. Eagan GIS staff are a group of dedicated professionals that help ensure all City staff can work smarter, not harder, and this in turn benefits businesses and property owners of the City.

The development of a mobile workforce application through GIS technology has provided noticeable process improvements for the City’s Public Works operations. Increases in efficiency at multiple levels has been well received at a time when all departments are being asked to do more with less.

The City’s GIS staff have progressively served Public Works for over 25 years. New applications developed provide the opportunity to utilize the full capacity of the ESRI GIS software and has raised the level of service provided to end-users above expectations. Both internal and external customer service levels have been increased, and associated costs have been reduced. Additionally, the enclosed submittal shows that the involvement of non-GIS staff in discussions to further develop task efficiency has also led to increased overall satisfaction and effectiveness. Read more.

Exceptional Performance Award - Chapter Journalism

Raise Our Grade, MN

The APWA-MN Chapter received the Exceptional Performance Award - Chapter Journalism. Accepting the award on behalf of the chapter is Kristin Asher, Chair of the Raise Our Grade, MN Subcommittee; and Consultant Scott Barsuhn, branding, messaging, and Raise Our Grade, MN website developer.

Raise Our Grade, MN is a public awareness campaign stressing the importance of infrastructure investment in Minnesota. To get action from Legislators on this issue, the elected officials needed to hear from the constituents in their districts. APWA-MN moved this idea into action by creating an easy-to-use website. 

The Raise Our Grade, MN website ( informs the public about the state of Minnesota’s infrastructure and gets them the resources to understand how aging infrastructure impacts them on a personal level. It educates them about infrastructure needs across the state but also in their own congressional district. It shows how failing infrastructure can negatively impact their quality of life. Then the website invites the user to tell their own legislators that it is a high priority to invest in this critical infrastructure. There is strength in numbers and this website will help bring attention to this need to those that can make changes happen. 

This is a very important initiative for the infrastructure in Minnesota. Through Raise Our Grade, MN, APWA-MN found a creative solution to make change happen and executed it well. They had to collaborate with other organizations, public officials, public employees, and a branding expert/website designer to get out the message effectively and clearly.

Read more about this vital chapter initiative here.

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