2018 Project of Year Results

The Winner of our Student/Emerging Leader Project of the Year Award for 2018 is Blessing Bags of Buffalo!    

Demonstrating empathy, grace, and the ability to fully sketch out and complete a complex initiative, emerging leader 16 year old  Aliya M. Roach-Bontzolakes' project Blessing Bags of Buffalo involves the creation and distribution of "blessing bags"—which Aaliyah describes as one-gallon sized Ziploc bags filled with a variety of non-perishable food, health, and grooming products—serving to bring a little spontaneous goodness to homeless members of the Buffalo community. 

Blessing Bags of Buffalo's goal is simple and timeless—coordinating the efforts of those with more to give, to those with very little—but the project's completion requires the management of several moving parts, which Aliya does with remarkable skill. 

Utilizing word of mouth, social media, crowdsourcing, and the publicizing of regular events to fund, assemble, and guide the distribution of, her practical and deeply needed bags,  Aliya's Blessing Bags of Buffalo is a project showing initiative, organizational skill, and the principals of project management at work. We are certain that this is not the last we will hear of Aliya M. Roach-Bontzolakes'.

The Winner of our Community/Non-Profit Project of the Year Award for 2018 is Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper's 2018 Spring Shoreline Sweep! 

Every year, as the ice begins to melt away and a blanket of snow no longer covers the perimeter, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper (Formerly Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper) coordinates its Spring Shoreline Sweep. This event has in recent years attracted volunteers into the thousands; it is the largest single-day shoreline cleanup in Western New York, covering an impressive 50 plus miles of shoreline across the region. 

This admirable initiative demonstrates the power of strongly-coordinated individuals sourced from the greater community, working towards a single goal—and achieving a result felt by, and benefiting, all. In this manner, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper achieves something very special indeed—for one day, and through the keen utilization of project management principals and techniques, it is able to effectively share its precious task with the very community whose waterways it aims to protect and preserve. 

This year's implementation also included the use of  specialized software designed to streamline the coordination of over 2000 pre-registered volunteers in moving over 10 tons of debris from 53 targeted locations throughout Erie and Niagara counties' waterways. All in all, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper's 26th Annual Spring Shoreline Sweep was an unprecedented success, and we are proud to honor them with this award. 

The Winner of our Corporate/Professional Project of the Year Award for 2018 is National Grid's Buffalo River Tunnel Project!  

The needs of a bustling city like Buffalo are anything but static. In terms of electricity, we are lucky to have corporations with the ingenuity and know-how of National Grid, whose Buffalo River Tunnel Project demonstrates this perfectly. 

The power company coordinated this $11 million effort, which utilized a machine whose operations are best likened to those of a gigantic coffee grinder to bore a 422 feet long tunnel—6 feet in diameter, and topped off with steel-reinforced concrete—under the Buffalo River, allowing them to run electrical cables through a span 18 feet below the riverbed. The benefits of this, versus having above-ground cables, were explained by project engineer Cillian Cotter as both practical and aesthetic. The project involved the excavation of over 8000 tons of soil; untreated it may have ended up in a landfill, but instead it was treated on site and donated for use in future development, a testament to National Grid's economy and commitment to 

This was the first time machinery of this kind had been used by National Grid in the United States, and excavation proved particularly challenging due to the strength of the fortified limestone under the river, but employing principals of great project management and meticulous project planning, National Grid's Buffalo River Tunnel Project generated a great success for National Grid. Once the finishing touches were completed in July of 2018, there would be few, if any, signs of this super-charged project—aside from the power now available to drive new growth in the targeted area, meeting the needs of an ever-changing community.

Adam J. Almeter, P.E., PMP, and Senior Construction Supervisor, and his colleague Mike Roberts, CUSP, and Senior Construction Supervisor, accepted the award. The $500 cash prize, however, was donated by National Grid to New Directions Youth and Family Services (www.fosteringgood.org), a Non-Profit organization working with close to 2000 at-risk young people, and their families, throughout the eight counties of Western New York.