ARLIGNTON, VA.—The Telecommunications Industry Association held its annual VIP Dinner last week. The event recognizes industry accomplishments, and this year, CEO Scott Belcher took the opportunity to recognize Ernie Jones, who died last October in a tower elevator accident.
At the VIP Dinner on June 7, TIA CEO Scott Belcher presents the posthumous award to Ernie Jones’ widow, Kathy Jones (center) She is accompanied by her sister, Tammy Shaw (left). Belcher presented the posthumous CEO award to Kathy Jones, Ernie’s widow. A standing ovation greeted Kathy when she took the stage to receive the award, which was the first of its kind.
Belcher said that “Ernie was a structural expert and a tireless worker for the communications industry. He was the driving force to broaden TIA standards to include safety, standardized construction nomenclature, and established standard rigging plans. His contributions to the TR-14 committee research included details which created the strength theory incorporated into our industry standards.”
Soon after his death, members of the TIA TR-14 committee also indicated that they would dedicate the TIA-322 standard to him upon publication. TIA confirmed this in a release, saying, “As great as his engineering capabilities were, Ernie’s greatest contributions were his willingness to engage with any party regarding all manners of topics (especially safety) and consistently maintain a high level of integrity, courtesy and respect. He was genuine, professional and deeply respected by all who knew him, and his contributions to the tower industry will forever be remembered.”
TIA’s engineering committee TR-14, which is responsible for development of technical standards for construction and maintenance of steel antenna towers and supporting structures, will recognize Jones’ industry contribution and his life with a dedication of a TIA-322 standard to honor Ernie Jones. Jones was a “significant contributor” to the standard, according to TIA.
The event also featured Texas state Sen. Royce West, and David Wolf, managing director of Accenture Digital, the dinner’s sponsor.