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NSSGA awards Vulcan CEO its highest honor

By |  February 26, 2014

NSSGA awarded its highest honor — the 17th annual Barry K. Wendt Memorial Commitment Award — to Donald M. James, Vulcan Materials Co. chairman and CEO, for his dedication to the construction aggregates industry, his family and his community.

Donald M. James

Donald M. James

“Don James is truly deserving of the Barry K. Wendt Memorial Commitment Award,” says NSSGA President and CEO Michael Johnson. “We are deeply thankful for his commitment to and work for NSSGA. Don’s long and distinguished record of civic and business involvement, his leadership role at Vulcan Materials Co. and for our industry over many years, along with his great and abiding devotion to his family are all compelling reasons for Don to be named this year’s recipient.”

In addition to his position as chairman of Vulcan’s board of directors, James is a director of the Southern Company and Wells Fargo & Company. He also serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and NSSGA. In 2006, he served as chairman of NSSGA.

James’ leadership service on the boards of community and national nonprofit organizations is extensive. He currently is a director or trustee of: Boy Scouts of Central Alabama, Birmingham Museum of Art (and served as past chairman), Birmingham Business Alliance, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Inc., University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, UAB Health System, Hugh Kaul Foundation, Birmingham-Southern College, Children’s Hospital and The Independent Presbyterian Church Foundation.

He also is a member of the President’s Cabinet at the University of Alabama and the President’s Advisory Council at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He also served the Mountain Brook, Ala., Board of Education as a member of the board for 10 years and chairman from 1996 to 2001.

After a distinguished career as partner with the law firm Bradley Arant Rose White, James joined Vulcan Materials Company in 1992 as senior vice president and general counsel and was named chairman and CEO in 1997.

From the time he was a student in the Russellville, Ala., school system to the present, James’ record of achievement, leadership and commitment to community service has resulted in a number of awards, honors and recognitions, NSSGA says. An award of national significance came from the Washington, D.C.-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2009 when it bestowed upon James its Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, an honor that recognizes individuals who “are at the forefront of the idea that private firms should be good citizens in their own communities and in the world at large.” The Center recognizes that “good citizenship comes in many forms, such as promoting renewed growth and vigor in economically disadvantaged towns and neighborhoods; supporting the arts; encouraging ties among different sectors of society; promoting international cooperation and understanding; and improving education.” That same year, James was elected to the Alabama Academy of Honor.

The NSSGA award is named for Barry K. Wendt, a Cedarapids Inc. employee and industry leader who was universally recognized as a leader in the aggregates industry. He served as chairman of the Manufacturers Divisions of both the former National Aggregates Association and National Stone Association. Each year, the Memorial Commitment Award is presented to an individual who exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment Wendt embodied. It is the association’s highest individual honor and service award.

Jeff Sikora, chairman of NSSGA’s Manufacturers and Services Division, added, “We are proud to have such a respected and dedicated veteran of the construction materials industry who is committed to public service to honor with this award. Don’s leadership as chairman and CEO of Vulcan Materials Company continues to stress the company’s commitment to its mission statement, which states in part that Vulcan Materials ‘… will be a good corporate citizen in each community in which we operate. We will support and take an active part in public and charitable projects.’”

The award will be presented March 6 at NSSGA’s General Session during its 2014 annual convention in Las Vegas.

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