Industry Honors Jerry Shaw As MVP 2014

By Traci Read, Managing Editor | April 2014, Vol. 69 No. 4
2014 MVP Jerry Shaw

Jerry Shaw has been named the 2014 Most Valuable Professional (MVP) by award sponsors Underground Construction Technology Association (UCTA) and Underground Construction magazine.

The MVP Award is bestowed annually to an individual for outstanding contributions to the underground infrastructure industry.

A special luncheon was held to honor Shaw’s achievements in the industry on Jan. 28 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX, held in conjunction with the annual UCT conference.

Noted for being a pioneer in the underground construction industry, Shaw continues to play a leading role more than 35 years later as president of SAK Construction, where he leads day-to-day operations. Shaw’s long-term success in the industry is rooted in his dedication to building a team of talented professionals committed to solving any underground construction challenge.

He’s also a humble and unassuming leader who would much rather discuss the successes and accomplishments of others than bring attention to himself as was evidenced in his acceptance speech. Once Shaw got over his surprise at receiving the Most Valuable Professional award, he was quick to point out that the honor would not be possible without the people he’s worked with throughout his career, both past and present.

“Bob Affholder, my mentor in the tunneling business, received the MVP award in 1999 and it was hard for me to believe that I was even considered for the same honor as someone whom I think is a legend in the industry,” Shaw said. “This award is really a compliment to my partners, Tom Kaishman and Bob, and to all the hard working employees of SAK. An award such as this is not an individual achievement but a reflection of the achievements of a great group of motivated individuals.

“Looking out over this crowd of people, many of whom I’ve had the great pleasure to work with for almost 35 years, is like a scrapbook of my life,” Shaw added. “I have great memories of the people I’ve met and of the places the jobs have taken me.”

The early years

It is often suggested in business that it’s the people you know who help you get ahead. This sentiment would prove true for Shaw when he answered a job listing for tunneling and boring company Affholder Inc. in 1979 that would evolve into a long and fruitful career in the trenchless industry.