Richard E. Wainerdi, 1931 – 2021
Shortly after Hurricane Rita came ashore near the Texas-Louisiana border and a month removed from Hurricane Katrina devastating New Orleans and its surrounding area, I received a call from Dr. Richard Wainerdi, at the time the President of the Texas Medical Center (TMC). He was reaching out to see if AGC Houston would take a leading role in developing best practices for securing construction sites in preparation for oncoming storms. By the end of the 2005 hurricane season a team of professionals that included TMC members, contractors, architects, engineers and equipment manufacturers had produced the TMC Hurricane Preparedness Action Plan. It is a document that is still in use today.
Although I had been around Dr. Wainerdi on numerous occasions due to the strong relationship he had established with AGC and my predecessors (Pat Kiley remembers Dr. Wainerdi), it was the first time that I worked with him directly. It was also the first time I saw the passion he had for the TMC. That passion and his desire to work with AGC contractors – whom he always considered the best – were two of many reasons he was the hands-down choice as the recipient of the AGC Houston 2002 Master Builder Award.
Dr. Wainerdi passed away last month at the wonderful age of 89. I cannot state how much I appreciated his reaching out to me and to the AGC whenever there was any point of discussion related to construction at the Texas Medical Center. Knowing its stature in the world, it was always a highlight of mine to be associated in any way with the TMC.
As is highlighted in his obituary, his legacy, both personal and professional, is well secured.
By: Jerry Nevlud, AGC Houston President/CEO