The John T. Parker Industry Ambassador Award is presented each year at the PDCA Annual Conference to an individual who shares the late John Parker's passion for this industry; someone who has represented and promoted pile driving in a way that reflects the highest standards of our industry. Each recipient is determined through consensus of the PDCA President, Executive Committee and a representative from the PDCA South Carolina Chapter; Mr. Parker was a leading pile driver in Charleston and a longtime supporter the Chapter.
Historically, the recipient of the Parker Award has been a South Carolina Chapter member, however the selection committee confidently went a different direction in its decision for the 2022 Award. PileDriver magazine Publisher Jill Harris of Lester Publications has been a longtime partner to the industry, and consistently develops an essential communications tool for continued advocacy for the driven pile. Through her years as the leading industry scribe, Ms. Harris has grown a close relationship with the South Carolina Chapter and several of its members; she has even traveled from her Canadian home to South Carolina to visit area jobsites, yards and offices of those who lead the deep foundations installations in the Palmetto State.
Current South Carolina Chapter President John King, with the support from his members, proposed Ms. Harris to be the Parker Award recipient for 2022. Recognizing her contributions to the industry over the years, the national leadership team quickly affirmed the decision.
Fast forward to February 8, 2023 and the PDCA Annual Conference in San Diego, CA; Mr. King was tasked with presenting the John T. Parker Industry Ambassador Award before a large audience gathered for the Awards Luncheon. There, he delivered a heart-felt introduction of the recipient, repeatedly noting the passion for the industry that the recipient has demonstrated. He also conveyed that he and the recipient share a genuine and valuable friendship.
Seated with the scores of luncheon attendees, Jill listened to King's complimentary words with great interest and curiosity. She confided to us later that she was puzzled about this friend of John's, since, as she said 'I thought all of his friends had already gotten this award.'
Her name then appeared on the screen near the podium where John stood, and his voice cracked as he spoke it. Across the room, Jill was spotted dabbing moisture from her eyes as she slowly rose from her seat in utter surprise. Amid a rousing applause, she proceeded to the front of the auditorium to receive her award.
Current Parker Marine Contracting Co. staff, Candi Stegall and Pete Adams meet Jill, who won their company namesake award.