Golden Manhole Award

2019 Recipient: James Perotti



2019 Recipient: Barry Shearin

2019 Recipient: James Perotti 


 Throughout his career at Brown & Caldwell and CDM Smith, Jim has been a sustained presence in North Carolina's water and wastewater industry. He led the Wastewater Collection & Water Distribution Systems Committee as the 2016 Chair and has remained on to support the committee as past-Chair and as a member. Jim has furthered the association's mission of teaching others by presenting at the NC AWWA-WEA Spring Symposium, Annual Conference, seminars, and training sessions. Finally he has encouraged young professionals at CDM Smith to join NC AWWA-WEA and the CDS Committee. Jim's technical competence, reliability, and humble demeanor make him worthy recipient of the Golden Manhole Award. 



2019 Recipient:Barry Shearin


Barry has established himself as a leader in the design, education and training, construction, operations, maintenance, and management of water distribution and wastewater collection systems. Through service as an engineer, deputy director, and utilities director at both Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities and Charlotte Water, and currently as a utilities consultant, he continues to promote professionalism and pride among those involved in collection and distribution system activities. Barry has made significant contributions to the fields of water and wastewater, especially in North Carolina. Barry’s contributions to the water and wastewater industry include: Negotiation, purchase, and consolidation of private water systems, design and management of numerous high profile water distribution projects, expansion of multiple WTP and WWTP. Barry's longtime efforts to promote the standing of North Carolina's water and wastewater collection and distribution fields, and water and wastewater field in general, qualify him for receipt of the Golden Manhole Society award


The Golden Manhole Award is a method to recognize those individuals who are significant contributors to the advancement of the Systems Design, Education, Training, Certification, Construction, Operations, Maintenance, and Management of Water Distribution Systems or Wastewater Collection Systems.  This award will provide a permanent recognition of efforts that promote professionalism and pride among those involved in Collection and Distribution Systems activities.



This Award has been approved by the Water Environment Federation as a way to recognize those who have contributed to the development and professionalism of the Collection System Industry on a national level.  It is the desire of the Federation that each Member Association adopt this award, which would be given on the Member Association level.  The State criteria for the award will reflect the WEF approved criteria.


In North Carolina, because our Association is a combined organization of volunteers affiliated with the American Water Works Association and  the Water Environment Federation, we propose that the award be issued to those individuals involved with either Collection Systems or Distribution Systems.  The precedent for this inclusion locally stems from the NC AWWA-WEA criteria for the 5-S award that honors recipients from either AWWA or WEF orientations.


Criteria for the Golden Manhole Society will be 3 or more of the following:

  • Years of experience and significant accomplishments in the Design, Education, Training, Certification, Construction, Operations, Maintenance, Safety, or Management of Water Distribution Systems or Wastewater Collection Systems. 
  • Innovative solutions to problems.
  • Presentations and/or participation at conferences.
  • Involvement in promoting the professional recognition of the Collection/Distribution Systems field.
  • Papers or articles accepted by state, regional or national publications.
  • Membership in WEF national collections system committee or AWWA national distribution systems committee
  • Membership in good standing with the NC AWWA-WEA
  • Active involvement with the NC AWWA-WEA Wastewater Collection / Water Distribution Committee.
  • Any other reason why the Nominee deserves recognition.


Past Recipients

2018: John Allen, Wendy Banks, Matthew Vessie

2017: Mike Borchers
2016: Dan Anderson, Frazier Engineering

2015: Barbara Moranta 

2014: Jeff Cruickshank, Robert H. Bald

2013: Theresa Benson, Walter (Ted) Credle, Troy Perkins, and Keith Shirley
2011: Tony Arnold, Dave Brown, Scott Helfrick, Chip Smith
2010: Steve Cavanaugh, Rick Davis, Geri Brown, Christine Nesbit
2009: Will Baker, Michael Kirby, Howard Corey, Bart Hepler
2008: Tony Dubois, Marie Doklovic, Greg Wells, Andy Brogden
2007: Wayne Bryant, Wane Miles, Thurman Green, Robert Walters, Richard Huffman, Kevin Eason, Kelly Derr, Dwight Lancaster, Don Knibb, Angela Lee

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