PRISM Award Winners 2020

LightBox is excited to announce and celebrate the movers and shakers in our industry with the PRISM 2020 awards. These one-of-a-kind awards shine a light on the creativity, innovation, service, and achievement of professionals making a difference in the property risk management industry. Reviewed and judged by the Zweig Group, an independent, third-party architecture, engineering, and environmental consultant, the PRISM awards champion those individuals and organizations that are making a positive difference in the property risk management industry. This year’s five winners include a rising star, an industry veteran, and companies that rose up in the pandemic to meet our toughest challenges head-on. It is our pleasure to introduce this year’s deserving PRISM award winners.

Developing Leaders Award: Krista Wahnefried

The Developing Leaders Award recognizes an up-and-coming risk management professional with less than 10 years of experience who has demonstrated impressive achievement in the areas of leadership, visibility, professional competency or industry involvement. We are proud to announce that Krista Wahnefried, McGinley & Associates, is the recipient of this award.

“It is so exciting to hear that Krista is this year’s recipient of the PRISM Developing Leaders Award. Anything she is asked to do she does it, and she does it in an enthusiastic manner,” Julie Ott, President-elect of CREW Network’s Northern Nevada chapter, says of Wahnefried. She currently sits on the organization’s Board of Directors and also participated as a mentee in the LightBox Developing Leaders mentor program in 2019. 

“I am so honored. This recognition feels wonderful to receive after years of hard work, education, and perseverance. I have already felt so much love and support from the people I’ve shared this news with. It’s good to have a piece of news that feels positive and bright right now! I am also so happy to be able to represent my community including my company, which is a small but mighty consulting firm headquartered here in Reno, the Northern Nevada chapter of CREW, plus the Reno/northern Nevada area in general. I am so proud to be able to win this award and demonstrate my accomplishments as part of a small company of close-knit experts. This will hopefully bring some attention to our wonderful part of the world as well!” Krista said.

Resiliency Award (Individual): Ben Strong

During these unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we created the Resiliency Award to honor those who have responded in positive and inspiring ways to the new challenges. We are proud to honor Ben Strong, Vertex, with this award.  

Strong was nominated by his colleagues for implementing Operation Endurance to keep employees safe and operational, and for forming the COVID-19 Safety Team to develop new policies/procedures/training programs for their employees and clients.

Strong’s leadership and resilience helped Vertex provide a unique blend of service that bolsters their resolve to endure these challenging times. As a strong leader, contributor, and natural competitor, Strong’s colleagues believe he works hard for the company and exemplifies a sense of urgency in his work. He shows he cares for his clients and employees in everything he does.

“This has obviously been a challenging year for everyone, but we’ve benefited from having Ben as an executive at the company,” noted Scott Nathan Vertex’s Executive Vice President. “As a strong leader, contributor and natural competitor, Ben works tirelessly for Vertex and exemplifies a sense of urgency in his work. He also shows he cares for the employee-owners and our clients in everything he does for our firm.”

Resiliency Award (Firm): Terracon

In addition to recognizing an individual, this year’s PRISM awards are shining the spotlight on a firm that pivoted during the pandemic response to deliver valuable services where they were needed most in this unexpectedly challenging year. We are happy to recognize Terracon for its groundbreaking work providing innovative and effective resources toward COVID response activities. Specifically, Terracon provided superior testing for COVID-19 that went beyond just cleaning/testing solutions to give clients assurances that buildings were safe. 

Terracon’s clients needed assurance that buildings are safe to enter, so the team researched ways in which testing could be conducted quickly to allow people re-entry into buildings. They discovered qCPR testing which provides information specifically on the coronavirus in real-time results.

“As an engineering and science consulting firm, we often find ourselves with noses to the grindstone working and doing what we love. We often fail to realize our unique and great accomplishments, especially when a global pandemic is thrown into the mix. I applied for the award to recognize the hard work that our professionals do and so that they can see their amazing accomplishments,” said John Sallman, Terracon.

Champion of Change Award: EBI Consulting

LightBox created this new award category to focus on a firm whose actions are directed toward creating positive change for our industry in some way (human element, technology, association involvement, education, etc.). We are happy to recognize EBI Consulting as a result of their dedicated work in meeting the full range of clients’ demands during the pandemic, such as COVID-19 readiness and adjustments to site visit protocols using technology to manage assessments.

“We’ve seen a new demand for services associated with COVID-19, and we’ve had to evolve. You just have to progress,” says Karla King, director, EHS and architecture/engineering, EBI Consulting. “We definitely were at an advantage at EBI, being that 300 out of 400 of our employees already worked from home. The stay-at-home orders for us were seamless.”

The EBI Consulting team looked at ways to get the information they needed during site assessments through technology to avoid exposure for the vulnerable populations at their sites, specifically nursing homes. By embracing drone technology, EBI’s experienced staff could get the information they needed and easily complete assessments safely, quickly, and accurately.

Industry Hall of Fame Award: Bill Tryon

The most prestigious PRISM Award, the Hall of Fame award, honors an individual for career contributions to the industry through years of commendable service, leadership, and dedication to improving the industry. LightBox is extremely honored to name Bill Tryon, Partner Engineering and Science, as our fifth Hall of Fame inductee. Previous winners included Julie Kilgore, Georgina Dannett, Anthony Buonicore, and Jeff Telego. 

“Bill always had, and continues to have, an unrelenting commitment to improve our industry. His continual leadership and voice of reason on ASTM’s Phase I and PCA Task Groups for almost three decades have been much appreciated,” said Anthony Buonicore, chairman of Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Inc. 

Julie Kilgore, head of ASTM’s Phase I ESA Task Group, who has a long-standing relationship with Tryon dating back to the development of the U.S. EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiries rule, reflected on news of his award: “I so value the breadth and depth of expertise that Bill brings to our industry on both sides of the table. He’s done so much in the lending world and the consulting world, and he drives quality in both of those areas.”

About the PRISM Awards

The PRISM Awards reflect LightBox’s commitment to promoting and elevating the achievements of innovators across the industry. The organizations and individuals who earn these awards will be recognized via multiple avenues for making a real difference in the field. 

The awards nomination process requires completion of an on-line entry form and supporting documentation. PRISM Awards are open to all professionals in the property risk management field who may nominate themselves—or another qualified professional/firm. Applications are reviewed and judged by an independent, third-party consultant, the Zweig Group, a firm with an established history of running recognized awards programs for the architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting industries. The nominations process for the 2021 PRISM Awards will open in January 2021.

Category PRISM