(HOUSTON – January 2008) The Gulf Coast Trenchless Association (GCTA), in affiliation with Underground Construction magazine, has named LAN Vice President, Rafael Ortega, P.E., as the 2008 Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in the private sector. He will receive the honor at an awards luncheon on Jan. 29, held as part of the 2008 Underground Construction Technology (UCT) International Conference & Exposition in Atlanta, Ga.
Ortega joined LAN in 1981 and has experience in a wide variety of civil engineering fields. As a vice president, he directs the firm’s Infrastructure Large Diameter Business Group and is instrumental to the operation of the City of Houston’s $398 million Surface Water Transmission Program (SWTP) capital improvements project. In this role, he has been responsible for the design oversight of more than 200 miles of large diameter water transmission mains, including nearly 25 miles of tunnels.
His outstanding portfolio includes spearheading several major water line projects, ranging from 24 inches to 96 inches in diameter, including the design of a 60-inch force main and a 72-inch raw water main for the Water and Sewer Department in Miami-Dade County, Fla. Ortega also has performed sanitary sewer rehabilitation design for several municipalities. He was responsible for coordinating the constructability and biddability review effort for the City of San Antonio and the City of Alvin sanitary sewer construction programs.
Ortega also has served on a number of nationally-renowned committees and conferences. He was the chairman of the UCT 2007 International Conference and Exposition in Houston and will again serve as the chairman for the 2008 event in Atlanta. He has been a member of the American Water Works Association Steel Pipe Standards Committee for a number of years, and also served as chairman of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Pipelines 2005 Conference.
His other distinguished accomplishments include serving on the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission’s Underground Storage Tank Advisory Committee and as Harris County’s representative on the Trans-Texas Water Project. He was appointed by then Governor George W. Bush to the Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority and served as a vice chairman and president of the authority’s economic development agency, known as the Gulf Coast Industrial Development Board. Ortega also served as an Ambassador to Guam during the Republican National Convention in Houston in 1992.
“I am proud that Rafael Ortega has been named as the 2008 MVP in the private sector,” said LAN President Dennis Petersen. “This award is a tribute to his outstanding service to the underground water and sewer industry in the last 27 years. It’s a great honor that he has worked very hard to achieve.”
The GCTA, in its 14th year of operation, and Underground Construction magazine annually present the MVP awards to individuals for outstanding contributions to the underground infrastructure industry. This year, the GCTA expanded the MVP protocol to include two separate awards in the public and private industry.
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