ASGA makes excellence an awarding experience

ASGA presents first Award of Excellence
Geoff Geddes, ASGA
February 12, 2018
By Geoff Geddes, ASGA
February 12, 2018 - It has been said that success is its own reward, but a little recognition never hurts. That was the thinking behind the new ASGA Award of Excellence. It was developed to spotlight outstanding examples of stewardship, community relations and operations from aggregate producers in Alberta.


According to ASGA director Brent Morrey, who spearheaded the award, it was intended to highlight operations and their activities that contribute to progressing the image of the ASGA membership and the sand and gravel industry.

After presenting the idea at the ASGA’s Annual General Meeting in January of 2017, Morrey received a lot of positive feedback. As a result, the call went out to ASGA members for submissions last spring.

Staking their CLAIM
At stake, apart from personal satisfaction, was a full feature in AGM programming and a profile on the ASGA website. As well, the winner could deliver a short speech on the success of their application following the award presentation at the 2018 AGM.

While applicants for the award had to be active ASGA producer members, they were not required to apply for the award in any specific area; rather, they were encouraged to demonstrate what made their site an outstanding example for the industry. Applicants were expected to support their submission with written explanations, photos, site plans and any other supporting documentation that might be appropriate.

Sharing their Story
In addition to recognizing individual companies and their efforts, the award aimed to strike the right note for an industry that often makes news for all the wrong reasons. Many producers are doing work that they and their fellow members should be proud of, and this was a chance to tell that story. Whether it be promoting safety, protecting the environment or engaging the community, members are making a difference one project at a time.    

With that in mind, the ASGA board of directors reviewed the applications and selected the winner of the inaugural ASGA Award of Excellence: The Lafarge Calahoo pit. This pit has been in operation since 2013 and represents a critical supply of aggregates and construction materials for roads and concrete applications in the Greater Edmonton Area. The Lafarge Calahoo Pit has served as an example, for educational purposes, for high schools and post-secondary education. Since 2015, the pit has hosted a “real world” annual tour for the NAIT Geo-Environmental classes.

Lafarge also participates on the NAIT advisory program for their geology and geo-environmental programs, along with many other industry representatives.

Reaping their rewards
On Day 1 of the 2018 ASGA AGM, board member Brock Helm called two people on stage to accept the plaque for their efforts: William Gowdy, environment and public affairs manager for Lafarge Canada Inc., and Larry Boisvert, chair of the Geological Technology School of Applied Sciences and Technology at NAIT.

After the handshakes and photos, Gowdy and Boisvert gave a presentation highlighting the Calahoo pit and the education and outreach work with NAIT. It was the culmination of a year-long campaign by ASGA to conceive, create, promote and present the inaugural Award of Excellence.

Going forward, ASGA plans to continue the award as an annual event and look at expanding it to include other criteria, so members are encouraged to apply when the 2019 application window opens. While the process is time-consuming for the association and the applicants, if the end result is some much-deserved recognition for employees, companies and the industry as a whole, most would agree it’s time well spent.

John Ashton is the executive director for the Alberta Sand & Gravel Association.

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