Submitted by SCJ Alliance

Quoting Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

And that habit of excellence, cultivated over his decades-long career as an engineer, has earned Scott Sawyer a prestigious award from the state’s American Public Works Association (APWA).

SCJ Alliance
Scott Sawyer was presented the Roy Morse Award for outstanding technical and professional accomplishments in public works by the Washington state chapter of APWA. Photo courtesy: SCJ Alliance

Scott, a principal at SCJ Alliance, was presented the Roy Morse Award for outstanding technical and professional accomplishments in public works by the Washington state chapter of APWA. As the APWA state winner, he will now be considered in the National Top 10 Public Works Leaders of the Year Award.

A graduate of California Polytechnic State University, Scott moved to Washington 17 years ago and has been in the industry for more than 25 years. 

“The opportunity to serve is what drives me,” Scott shared. “In my profession, I get to serve people, communities and my colleagues, all in the context of solving problems.” 

His work on the Port Townsend sidewalk tunnel reconstruction and downtown streetscape is a standout example of both his engineering acumen and people skills, and he considers it the most rewarding project of his career. “I was fortunate to develop a close relationship with the downtown merchants,” he said. “Working with them during design and construction ensured we followed through on our commitment to keep them viable during and after the project. I’m proud of both the friendships made and the work we did to refurbish the downtown core, while preserving its unique charm and historical significance.” 

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From left: Kirk Holmes, Director of Central Washington Services at Perteet, Inc. , Scott Sawyer, transportation design manager at SCJ Alliance, and Debbie Sullivan, deputy director of Public Works for the City of Olympia. Photo courtesy: SCJ Alliance.

When Scott heard the news of the APWA award, he said he was blown away …but his colleagues were not. “The people who do this work every day see Scott as a mentor and a leader in the field. This award honors his contribution not just to the work, but to the people who work alongside him,” said SCJ President Perry Shea. “There’s something special about being recognized by your peers.”

SCJ is a nationally-recognized, multidisciplinary consulting firm specializing in civil engineering, transportation planning and design, environmental and urban planning, landscape architecture and design, and public outreach. 

The company, celebrating a 10 year anniversary this year, has grown steadily from three employees in one location, to a dynamic team of more than 80 employees in five locations: Seattle, Vancouver, Lacey, and Wenatchee, Washington and Denver, Colorado. The privately-held, majority women-owned firm recently expanded into the Seattle-area market and is the recipient of two top places to work awards in the last 12 months.

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