A Pair of Giants in My Book

Back in 1997, I encountered two men with whom I would only interact briefly, yet both would significantly influence my tenure here at CSE. The first was Paul Beck, the other, Dave Adams. Paul, as I'm sure many of you remember, was the publication's long-time editor-in-chief. Dave was principal electrical engineer with Anchorage, Alaska-based AMC Engineers.

08/01/2004


Back in 1997, I encountered two men with whom I would only interact briefly, yet both would significantly influence my tenure here at CSE . The first was Paul Beck, the other, Dave Adams. Paul, as I'm sure many of you remember, was the publication's long-time editor-in-chief. Dave was principal electrical engineer with Anchorage, Alaska-based AMC Engineers. Sadly for me, Paul's run as top dog at the time was coming to an end, as he had big plans for tackling the World Wide Web. He was ahead of his time in launching BuildingTeam.com —a website combining the content of CSE, Building Design & Construction and another soon-to-be-Reed property, Construction Market Data. You might recognize it today as "First Source," one of our content partners on csemag.com . Anyway, when Paul first hired me, he often joked that he had the power to fire me if he simply didn't like the shoes I was wearing. And later, in his post- CSE life, as we passed each other in the office, Paul would always say, "Crockett, I never liked you." Now you have to understand that Paul has a very acerbic sense of humor, and my reply was always, "I love you man!" mimicking the over-the-top, beer-scamming guy in those old Bud Light commercials.

That said, one of the first assignments Paul gave me was to interview the AMC design team, including Mr. Adams. AMC and their Anchorage Courthouse project won one of our Integrator Awards that year. I learned a lot about power monitoring, DDC and what the concept of integrated engineering really meant. I would go on to use Dave as a regular contributor many times. In fact, he graced our cover in September of 2000.

Life, however, often throws curves. For whatever reason, I drifted away from my association with both gentlemen until recently. One of the new marketing folks at AMC contacted me earlier this year about re-establishing our relationship, and soon I was back on the phone with Dave planning a commissioning piece. It was kind of funny because Dave was on my mind daily, thanks to a poster of the aforementioned cover hanging on my office wall. I just had that poster shipped out to him shortly after we spoke, as here I thought I'd be talking to Dave on a regular basis. But in talking to AMC's marketing coordinator on a story the firm's doing for this issue, I was shocked to discover that Dave was killed in a car accident just a few weeks ago. I regret to say the news is not good concerning Paul either, as he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

It makes one pause. The good news is that I just saw Mr. Beck at a barbecue this summer, and I'm happy to report that he's hanging in there. In fact, his acerbic bite is still there along with his joking disposition. The father of a son and daughter just about my kids' ages, his courage is inspiring. As for Dave, I never got the chance to meet him personally, but I'll never forget his passion for teamwork.

This issue features our annual Giants rankings. In my eyes, both these gentlemen are giants. Anyone who'd like to touch base with Paul, please send me your e-mails and I'd be glad to forward them: jcrockett@reedbusiness.com .





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