The American Public Works Association (APWA) San Diego Chapter believes San Dieguito Engineering CEO Annie Aguilar did small businesses a solid. Awarding her the APWA 2023 Outstanding Service in the Private Sector award for the second time, APWA bestows this honor on a private sector professional who “inspires excellence and commitment to public service through outstanding career achievements.” She won this award previously in 2016.
Recognizing her significant contributions to public works in San Diego, APWA also credits her work with the city, state, and unions in mediating differences in the region’s project labor agreement (PLA). The Small Business Committee (SBC) chair in APWA’s San Diego and Imperial Counties chapter, Aguilar proved instrumental in gaining support and understanding from all stakeholders, while advocating strongly for SBEs, women-owned business enterprises (WBEs), and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs). In doing so, she also helped all stakeholders meet SBE, WBE, and DBE goals. In typical modesty, Aguilar plays down her efforts and instead credits a range of players including city, state, and union representatives, as well as Congressman Juan Vargas for their tireless work. But she also wants all parties to appreciate the difficulties SBEs, WBEs, and DBEs face.
“The pandemic was an extremely tough time for small businesses. For many, it was touch and go for quite a while. At SDE it took us a while to find our footing, but now we’ve bounced back and have gone from surviving to thriving. But that’s why I fight so staunchly for small businesses. I know the struggle they can experience and I want to help.” From land use planning to land surveying and mapping to civil engineering, SDE stands poise to grow well past pre-pandemic growth levels.
Annie Aguilar did small business a solid. For that reason, her dedication to public works, and so many other efforts for small business, APWA honored her this year with a second Outstanding Service in the Private Sector award.