The ECA DIG Award Committee has unanimously selected past ECA President and California contractor, Nick Lee, as the association’s 34th Posthumous DIG Award recipient. 

Nick Lee was president and founder of NLE Inc., a regional steel reinforcing contractor. He was President of the Engineering Contractors’ Association in 1988 and 1989. Lee was also a member of the National Utility Contractors Association and worked to represent Southern California contractors at the national level.

Lee, 71, of Los Angeles, passed away peacefully in 2015, at his beloved cabin in Lake Arrowhead. Born in Compton to Keith and Faustina Lee, he lived most of his life in Orange County.

He proudly committed his professional life to the construction business in Southern California and leaves a strong legacy, ending in the completion of the Expo Line train connecting downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica. He was deeply committed to bettering society and held strong political beliefs and aspirations.

During his long tenure he helmed esteemed industry organizations such as the National Utility Contractors Association, the Engineering Contractors’ Association and was a management trustee for the International Iron Workers Trust Fund. He played football at Utah State University and graduated in 1967 as a Bachelor of Science. He was a proud supporter of his alma mater and a brother to his teammates.

Lee spent 47 years devoted to his wife, Julia Alice Sprague Lee. He was extremely proud of his three children: Keith Nicholas Lee, Jr “Nick”; Jason William Lee “Jado”, and Leah Lorraine Lee Murphy. He was proud of his four granddaughters: Addison Harper Lee; Olivette Annabelle Lee; Scarlett Bluebell Grace Lee; and Freddie Alice Murphy. He is also survived by his sister Linda Lee Smith and her family.

Lifetime Achievements

The ECA DIG Award recognizes careers of Dignity, Integrity and Generosity in the construction industry. Proceeds from the event benefit the ECA Les Weed Memorial Scholarship Fund.