Established in 1958 to perpetuate the memory of Harry Seller Swearingen, who worked persistently on behalf of the American Public Works Association (APWA) and its mission, the Harry S. Swearingen Award recognizes achievements at the chapter level that support APWA’s strategic plan, goals, and objectives. With a long track record of membership, leadership, and commitment of resources, as well as a continued desire to sustain and improve the chapter, BETA Group, Inc. is the proud recipient of the 2020 Swearingen Award.
BETA has demonstrated a substantial commitment to the public works industry for nearly 40 years and to the New England Chapter of the APWA for over two decades. In addition to becoming a corporate sponsor in 2003, BETA’s Chapter members dedicate their time and resources to numerous committees and events that promote and advance public works.
While BETA has been strongly invested in APWA for decades, that involvement increased under the leadership of the late James Coppola, who received the Swearingen award in 2010. As a Past President of the New England Chapter, James was truly dedicated to the public works industry and the Chapter. Not only did he participate on many National and Chapter committees, he was a major advocate for mentoring the younger generation. Following his death in 2011, his mentee Tony Garro stepped up to maintain BETA’s presence in the Chapter. Tony, a Senior Vice President at BETA, is currently serving as Chapter Vice President and will step into the role of President in 2021. He continues to honor Jimmy’s legacy with an emphasis on mentoring the Chapter’s younger members and a passion for advocating for public works.
BETA CEO and former President Frank Romeo is a long-time supporter and member of APWA. He states, “The programs, networking opportunities, and advocacy provided by APWA and the New England Chapter have greatly benefitted our staff and the communities we serve, which is why we continue to give our time and resources to the organization. We look forward to maintaining our long-term commitment to the Chapter and the public works community.”
The firm plans to continue their investment and involvement in multiple facets of the New England Chapter of APWA. They are currently assisting with plans to increase Chapter membership in Vermont and Western Massachusetts, improve event attendance, and boost sponsorships.
In addition to the Swearingen Award, BETA also received recognition for their North Square project, which was honored with the Historic Preservation Project of the Year award.