Dave Hutton Gives Back to His Profession: Receives Hugo G. Erickson Award from APWA-MN

April 17, 2018

The American Public Works Association – Minnesota Chapter (APWA-MN) presented SEH’s Dave Hutton with the Hugo G. Erickson Award at their 2017 Fall Workshop and Conference.

Dave received this award for his excellence in chapter service and active involvement in APWA-MN. He served as chapter president in 2010 and on various committees. He also assisted with the development of numerous young professional initiatives.

We sat down with Dave, who works out of the SEH Minnetonka, Minnesota office and asked him a few questions about winning the award. Here’s what he had to say:

1. What does receiving this award mean to you?
This was a huge honor for me. The Hugo G. Erickson Award is given to the APWA-MN Chapter member that gives the most of their time or service to the Chapter. It is the top award given out each year. It’s extremely humbling to be recognized by your peers.

2. You’re a dotting grandfather. When your grandchildren ask you what you do for work, what do you tell them?
I tell them I provide the things people need in their daily lives: Safe, dependable roads and bridges; clean water to drink; drainage to prevent floods and to treat sewage; and parks and trails for recreation.

3. Why do you feel it’s important to be involved in APWA-MN?
Well, I think there are three reasons, mainly:

  • To give back to your profession. This is a volunteer organization and they rely on their members to keep it running. By being involved, I feel like I’m helping our profession and our industry by the benefits members receive from a good, strong healthy Chapter.
  • Technology and training. Being a member helps stay on top of leading technology and changes in the industry both from the plethora of training options provided, but also networking with fellow Public Works professionals, both locally and nationally.
  • Mentoring. I believe it’s important to mentor the next generation and develop a succession plan. We need to share our knowledge and experiences so those that come after us can carry the torch and add their own knowledge to continually make the world a better place.

4. What words of advice do you have for others starting their career?
Always learn more in your line of work and strive to improve it. Work hard on the "soft" skills or people skills, because that is what will help you go from being a good engineer to a great engineer. Always do what you say you are going to do. Be honest and use integrity when making decisions. Remember – it is the little things that people and clients notice the most. And last but not least, have fun. Work hard when you need to, but enjoy it as well.

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