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James Named Recipient of 2014 Wendt Award


The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) named Donald M. James, chairman and chief executive officer, Vulcan Materials Co., Birmingham, Ala., and a former chairman of NSSGA, as the recipient of the 17th annual Barry K. Wendt Memorial Commitment Award for his dedication to the construction aggregates industry, his family and his community.

After a distinguished career as partner with the law firm Bradley Arant Rose White, James joined Vulcan Materials in 1992 as senior vice president and general counsel and was named chairman and CEO in 1997.

In addition to his position as chairman of Vulcan's board of directors, James is a director of the Southern Company and Wells Fargo & Co. He also serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and NSSGA.

James’ leadership service on the boards of community and national nonprofit organizations is extensive. He currently is a director or trustee of the following: Boy Scouts of Central Alabama; Birmingham Museum of Art (past chairman); Birmingham Business Alliance; Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Inc.; University of Alabama Health Services Foundation; UAB Health System; Hugh Kaul Foundation; Birmingham-Southern College; Children's Hospital and The Independent Presbyterian Church Foundation.

James also is a member of the President's Cabinet at the University of Alabama, and the President's Advisory Council at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His interest in education is especially evident in his service on the Mountain Brook, Ala., Board of Education; James was a member of the board for 10 years and chairman from 1996 to 2001.

From the time he was a student in the Russellville, Ala., school system to the present, James' record of achievement, leadership and commitment to community service has resulted in a number of awards, honors and recognitions. An award of national significance came from the Washington, D.C.-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2009 when it bestowed upon James its Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, an honor that recognizes individuals who "are at the forefront of the idea that private firms should be good citizens in their own communities and in the world at large." The Center recognizes that "good citizenship comes in many forms, such as promoting renewed growth and vigor in economically disadvantaged towns and neighborhoods; supporting the arts; encouraging ties among different sectors of society; promoting international cooperation and understanding; and improving education." That same year, James was elected to the Alabama Academy of Honor.

“Don James is truly deserving of the Barry K. Wendt Memorial Commitment Award,” said NSSGA President and CEO Michael Johnson. “We are deeply thankful for his commitment to and work for NSSGA. Don's long and distinguished record of civic and business involvement, his leadership role at Vulcan Materials Company and for our industry over many years, along with his great and abiding devotion to his family are all compelling reasons for Don to be named this year’s recipient.”

The award is named for Iowan Barry K. Wendt (1946-1997), a Cedarapids Inc. employee and industry leader who was universally recognized as a leader in the aggregates industry. He served as chairman of the Manufacturers Divisions of both the former National Aggregates Association and National Stone Association. Each year, the Memorial Commitment Award is presented to an individual who exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment Wendt embodied. It is the association’s highest individual honor and service award.

Jeff Sikora, chairman of NSSGA’s Manufacturers and Services Division, added, “We are proud to have such a respected and dedicated veteran of the construction materials industry who is committed to public service to honor with this award. Don's leadership as chairman and CEO of Vulcan Materials Company continues to stress the company’s commitment to its mission statement, which states in part that Vulcan Materials ‘… will be a good corporate citizen in each community in which we operate. We will support and take an active part in public and charitable projects.’”

“Don and his lovely wife Anna, who have been married 41 years, have raised three wonderful children, in addition to being an integral part of the Birmingham philanthropic and arts community,” said Sikora.

The award is being presented at NSSGA’s General Session during its 2014 Annual Convention in Las Vegas, March 6.