The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) has announced that The Hallmark Group’s President and CEO, Charles Gardner, will receive the organization’s first Special Award for Innovation.

This first-of-its-kind honor recognizes Gardner’s outstanding performance in managing the California WaterFix, which will both ensure a more reliable water supply for over 25 million California residents and restore vast areas of natural habitat located in the California Delta region.

Charles R. Gardner, Jr. President and CEO of Hallmark Group

Charles R. Gardner, Jr. President and CEO of Hallmark Group

In 2009, Gardner and The Hallmark Group began managing the program with the directive to address the State of California’s need for a more reliable water source while protecting the delicate Delta ecosystem. The California WaterFix seeks to implement the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to secure water supplies, fix the aging water-delivery system, and protect California’s economy and public safety.

Gardner’s work on this complex program—with his guiding values of transparency, collaboration, and accountability—exemplify the CMAA’s mission to promote the highest professional standards in construction management.

Bruce D’Agostino, President and CEO of the CMAA, says of Gardner’s award, “we hope that this award will inspire other CM professionals to use creative collaboration with local and national government entities, including influential public stakeholders, to achieve project success.” Industry leaders agree that Gardner’s honor is well deserved; Tim Murchison, Vice President of the multinational engineering firm AECOM, says: “The CMAA Award for Innovation recognizes Chuck Gardner’s strong leadership over the last seven years over a diverse group, including private sector water purveyors, non-governmental agencies, and state and federal agencies to advance the California WaterFix.”

The CMAA, which was formed in 1982 with the goal of promoting the profession of construction management and the use of qualified construction managers on capital projects and programs, has successfully established industry standards for managing capital construction projects and helped the profession develop its unique industry identity. With over 29 chapters and 15,000 members, the CMAA is one of the largest and most influential organizations within the construction management industry.

The CMAA presented the Special Innovation Award to Gardner at its Industry Awards dinner on October 11, 2016, during its California National Conference in San Diego.