South Florida Contractor Named Ditchdigger of the Year

The National Utility Contractors Association recognized Fred Chesney and his four decades of service

South Florida Contractor Named Ditchdigger of the Year

Fred Chesney

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The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) awarded former chairman Fred Chesney its prestigious Ditchdigger of the Year Award, honoring his decades of industry experience and his years of work supporting NUCA’s programs. 

“Fred has passionately dedicated his time, talent and treasure to promoting NUCA and the industry for more than 30 years,” says Doug Carlson, CEO of NUCA. “With his many years of commitment, it would be next to impossible to list all of Fred’s contributions to advancing the underground utility industry over the years, but Fred has made his mark on this industry and our association.”

Chesney has dedicated his entire life to the underground utility industry. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in Building Construction Management before starting his business Centerline Utilities Inc. four years later in 1980. He continued to serve as the company’s president until his retirement last year.

Under Chesney’s management, Centerline became a well-respected underground utility contractor in the South Florida area. The company joined the local chapter NUCA of South Florida (then known as the Utility Contractors Association of South Florida) in 1986 and has been involved since then on the local, state, and national levels.

Chesney has been long involved in the industry’s associations, including his local industry chapter. He served on that chapter’s board of directors beginning in 1989, and before assuming the chairman’s title for NUCA, he served as the national association’s chairman-elect, vice chairman, and secretary, and as a contractor director since the early 2010s.

Centerline Utilities was named his local chapter’s Member Company of the Year in 2009 and 2010; Contractor of the Year in 2010, 2012, and 2014; and NUCA of Florida Contractor of the Year in 2016. Chesney has been a major sponsor of his chapter’s events, actively recruits new members to the association, and has been an ever-present participant to NUCA’s Washington Summit lobbying events, national conventions, and industry meetings.

Most recently, Chesney served as the past chairman of NUCA National in 2020-21. He led the organization through the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and through his leadership expanded the ranks of the national association with his NUCA+1 membership growth initiative.

The Ditchdigger of the Year Award was presented to Chesney at the association’s recent annual meeting in March in San Antonio, Texas. It is awarded to a NUCA contractor member who has made a significant contribution to NUCA and the underground utility construction and excavation industry.

About The National Utility Contractors Association

Founded in 1964, the National Utility Contractors Association represents over 1,800 U.S. utility and excavation contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers who provide the materials and workforce to build and maintain our nation’s intricate network of water, sewer, gas, telecommunications, and electric infrastructure. Visit


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