New President Gourgues Prioritizes Member Input, Participation for 2021
Orange Park, FL (December 31, 2020): When asked his vision for PDCA in the New Year, deep foundations veteran Kevin Gourgues (pictured, right), who begins a one-year term as President of the Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA), definitively states that he will "give members a voice on what they want PDCA to accomplish." He adds "it's also important to increase PDCA membership, continue providing educational outreach and grow our library of technical resources."
With 25 years of diversified foundation construction experience under his belt, Mr. Gourgues currently serves as President of the Deep Foundations Group for Patriot Construction & Industrial, LLC (Patriot), a division he co-founded in 2018.
Prior to his 2018 election to the PDCA Board of Directors, Gourgues served both on the Board and as President of the Gulf Coast Chapter of PDCA. Summarizing his years of involvement in the specialty trade association, Kevin enthusiastically states, "PDCA has afforded me a voice in the pile driving industry but has also helped me develop new relationships and friendships with other contractors, vendors, and engineers all around North America."
A graduate of Louisiana State University, Gourgues holds a bachelor's degree in Industrial Technology focused on Construction Management. Today, he resides in the Baton Rouge suburb of Plaquemine with his "beautiful wife of 18 years, Kelly" and teenage sons Brady and Benjamin.
Outside his professional career, Kevin's passion is being outdoors with his sons. "Hunting, fishing, and watching my boys compete in cattle sorting (horseback riding) ...however I just watch the cattle sorting, I am too old for horseback competition!"
As a new year begins, make the resolution to support, promote and advocate for the driven pile as an effective and viable method of deep foundation construction and ground retention; after all, it has proven itself for literally centuries through safely and reliably supporting structures from ancient to modern times. As a member of PDCA, you strengthen the collective voice of hundreds of industry professionals throughout North America and the world who work tirelessly to maintain the driven pile's superiority as a deep foundation solution.
Membership in PDCA comes with a growing list of benefits. services and opportunities, including:
- Annual Conferences
- Educational Programs
- Trade Shows
- Project of the Year Awards program
- Connectivity between public sector, private owners
- Committee and industry leadership opportunities
- Safety discussions and resources
- Industry networking
- PileDriver magazine
- Annual Membership Directory
- Monthly e-Newsletter 'A Pile of News'
- Free and reduced rate advertising
- Industry and business marketing
- Constant Contact Partner Program (New!)
- Virtual Programming (New!)
- Up to Five (5) Names Listed from One (1) Contractor, Associate Membership (New!)
- and MANY more resources available
PDCA members are a diverse group which includes contractors, manufacturers, suppliers and geotechnical engineers. They install and support pilings made of timber, concrete and steel as well as sheeting and many aggregates. Membership options reflect the various disciplines. To review PDCA membership categories, dues rates and additional benefits, CLICK HERE to be redirected to our our Join PDCA page; your 2021 Membership Application awaits you! Thank you in advance for your support of PDCA.
Harry Robbins - Making a Difference for the Driven Pile IndustryBy Mark Halsall
Few people have had as big an impact on the Pile Driving Contractors Association as Harry Robbins. During his long and storied career in pile driving, Robbins has played a vital role in the success of PDCA as it's grown into a thriving national organization and was the driving force behind the establishment of its first local chapter in 2003.
Robbins has also been about as strong a proponent of the driven pile that you'll ever see in the industry. Just ask Jason Moore, the vice president and general manager of Palmetto Pile Driving in Charleston, S.C., who was mentored by Robbins. Click to read more in Issue #6, 2020 of PileDriver magazine.
Gwen Sanders, P.E., Eustis Engineering
When we talk about equality in the workplace, conversations are often laden with stories of challenges overcome and ceilings broken through. Hardly ever do we hear stories where women are supported and nurtured throughout their careers without bias or backlash for being a woman in the first place.
Those stories are just as important to tell. Women who work in an inclusive environment have the kind of story other women need to hear in order to keep progressing in their own careers, knowing that equality is possible.
Gwen Sanders, P.E., the first woman to be president of Eustis Engineering, a regional Gulf Coast firm headquartered in New Orleans, has that kind of story. Click to read more in Issue #5 2020, PileDriver Magazine.
Click the image (left) to read the digital edition of PileDriver magazine Issue #6 of 2020.
In this issue, we provide you information about new PDCA member benefits as well as how to get more involved in PDCA committees. Also, learn about efforts in progress to establish new PDCA Chapters.
Check out a preview of what PDCA will offer at IFCEE, coming to Dallas May 10-14, 2021.
We are excited to provide you an important and timely update on working platform guidance; safety is a priority issue for us all.
A couple names you may know; pile driving industry veterans Jay Boyd and Harry Robbins sit down with our writers to share perspectives on deep foundation construction.
Don't miss a fascinating project story from Boston that details contributions from DuroTerra.
We are pleased to provide guidance on construction law issues such as Addressing the Risk of Third Party Claims and Contract Terms in the COVID Era.
There is a new installment to our mental health series that helps you understand how to avoid the tragedy of suicide in construction.
And don't miss the business article that explores a growing trend of military veterans transitioning to construction careers.
As we do in every issue, we are proud to feature profiles of some of our members; of course without members, PDCA doesn't exist. This time, you will meet Ford Pile Foundation, Junttan USA, ESC Steel and Earth, Inc.
Click here to read Issue #6 of PileDriver. As we move to the new year, please contact us with any content ideas you have for future magazine editions.
New PDCA Communications Committee Chair Jason Moore will lead PileDriver magazine development, Project of the Year Awards coordination, other external functions. Moore (pictured, far left) is shown with Past PDCA President Dave Chapman, former Communications Committee Chair Pollyanna Cunningham noted for her significant impact on the Association's public presence and current PDCA Treasurer Scott Webster.
Orange Park, FL (December 1, 2020): The Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA) announces a new Chairman to the Communications Committee; Jason Moore (right), who is the immediate Past President of PDCA, takes the helm of the standing committee that is responsible for overseeing the publication of PileDriver magazine six times each year and disseminating the annual Project of the Year awards program, among other organizational functions. These are important components of PDCA which enable deep foundation construction professionals from around the globe to engage in the organization and stay informed about the latest developments and trends in pile driving.
"At PDCA, we proudly advocate for the driven pile in all applications where it is effective," explained Moore. "Our product is manufactured in a controlled environment, installed with efficient equipment through a time tested process, and has inherent quality and integrity testing built into the cycle. That is the message we as an Association work to communicate throughout the industry and I am excited to provide it amplification through Committee channels."
Since 2015, Moore has served as VP/General Manager at Palmetto Pile Driving in Charleston, SC. There, he oversees an active concrete pile manufacturing and installation operation with a strong and loyal regional footprint. Prior to his position at Palmetto, the longtime Low Country resident spent 14 years working in precast concrete. A 2001 graduate of The Citadel, he lives in Charleston with his wife and three children.
Jason Moore receives the gavel, assumes PDCA Presidency from Scott Callaway in early 2020
Indicates Cooperation Among Stakeholders 'Key' to Future Association Growth
L-R: Rich Anderson, pictured at the ECA Florida facility with Branch Manager Mike Elliot and company CEO Roy Kern
Orange Park, FL (December 9, 2020): With ten years under his belt serving in Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA) leadership roles, Rich Anderson has been appointed by the Board of Directors to serve as the new Chairman of the Membership Committee.
"One of the biggest advantages to driving membership at the Chapter level was the level of cooperation among all the members," recalled Anderson, who began his PDCA involvement at the PDCA Northeast Chapter in 2011. "We had a strong, team approach that led to successful Chapter growth. This underlying principal absolutely translates to membership at the national level and we will work to realize organizational cooperation to its fullest potential."
In 2020, Anderson completed a five-year tenure on the PDCA Board of Directors and sought an opportunity to stay involved. His colleagues recognized his abilities as a growth agent and unanimously named him to lead the Committee. Prior to his service to the national organization, he was an officer for the New Jersey-based PDCA Northeast Chapter.
Rich Anderson is the Branch Manager of the Philadelphia region for the Equipment Corporation of America (ECA), a role he has held since 2017. At ECA, he oversees 18 employees and manages an area which includes New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and all of New Jersey. He joined sales operations at the construction equipment giant in 2010 before elevating to his current role.
Leading to a career in the construction industry, Anderson earned his bachelor's degree in Marketing from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, while competing as a student athlete on the cross country and track teams. Outside of his work, Rich and his wife Chrissy are happily married and living in Westchester, PA with their four children who are five years and younger, including two-year-old twins. Leisure time is minimal, but when he gets an opportunity, Rich enjoys playing golf.
Oakley, CA: PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter President Dermot Fallon announces that three students in California who are pursuing higher education in a construction field and have demonstrated an interest in the pile driving industry have each received a $1500 scholarship. The 2020 awardees are:
Erick Medina (pictured, left)
Erick is a first generation college student attending his third year at California State -Sacramento. He is pursuing a bachelors degree in Construction Management with a minor in Business Administration. During the summer of 2020, Erick completed an internship at Foundation Constructors Inc. in Oakley where learned to assist Project Managers with takeoffs, track jobsite materials and production. He says that the experience has provided him valuable perspective on the role of Project Managers in the pile driving industry and has prepared him for a future in deep foundation construction. As an intern, Erick visited several Foundation Constructors Inc. jobsites where he learned about the different pile types such as pipe piles. He also observed their safe installation. Erick says of his time at Foundation " I have found great interest in pile driving through this opportunity and I hope that with my degree in construction management and continued experience, I can continue to become a larger asset in the pile driving industry"
Connor Free (pictured, right)
Connor Free, first learned about the pile driving industry during a tour of the Balfour Beatty Transbay project in downtown San Francisco. This was a major, heavy civil project with dewatering, CIDH pile installation, excavation and shoring. Connor became genuinely interested in the complexities he observed at this jobsite and the experience ultimately lead him to study Engineering at California State University - Chico; he is currently a third year student at the school. In anticipation of an engineering degree, Connor aspires to influence the pile driving industry. Based on some of the ideas he shared in his scholarship application, he exhibits a vision that challenges the status quo; he suggests innovative pursuits toward new and faster means to drive piles. Also, he embraces the idea of joining with developers in constructing a machine that could drive two piles at once. An environmentally conscious student, Connor indicated support for cranes to burn greener fuels such as hydrogen, electricity or even plant based oils.
Zander Kuthe (pictured, left)
Zander Kuthe is a first year student at California State University - Fresno. In his application, Zander indicates that as a biology major he can "influence the pile driving industry by helping to find new ways to power pile driving rigs and other heavy civil machinery so they don't burn fossil fuel like diesel." Zander believes that reducing carbon emissions from pile driving equipment as well as expanding the use of natural resources, the construction industry can contribute to a necessary reduction in pollution. He is aspirational to become involved with equipment innovators who strive for cleaner, safer and more efficient construction equipment which will benefit future generations.
DFDTA to be offered twice in 2021
Orlando FL (November 13, 2020): A small group of engineers convened in Orlando in November to take part in the Deep Foundation Dynamic Testing and Analysis seminar (DFDTA), a program and proficiency test offered twice a year from PDCA and Pile Dynamics, Inc. (PDI.)
Due to ongoing health concerns related to COVID-19, PDCA and PDI strictly adhered to Federal recommendations to ensure a safe and successful event for attendees. Social distancing was accommodated, face masks were required when they were unseated and the hotel implemented new cleanliness protocols throughout the public facilities and guest rooms.
The program consisted of a one-day seminar titled Deep Foundation Integrity Testing and Wave Equation Analysis and a two-day workshop titled High Strain Dynamic Foundation Testing. On the third-day, PDCA administered the Dynamic Measurement and Analysis Proficiency Test, a 90-minute, multiple-choice exam on the theory of Wave Mechanics, Case Method (PDA) equations, data quality assessment, data interpretation and basic CAPWAP analysis.
If you missed the 2020 DFDTA programs, PDCA and PDI are planning to offer the course twice in 2021; the three-day program returns to Orlando over the dates of March 8-10, 2021 at the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando Airport Hotel. Register here. Also, stay tuned for information about a second DFDTA in Fall 2021 in Cleveland, OH.
- Coronavirus Safety Best Practices
- PDCA Pursues Member Growth, Expanded Resources in '21
- DOWNLOAD: Working Platforms Recommended Practices Guide
- A Pile of News - January 2021
- Meet Kevin Gourgues, the 2021 PDCA President
- Become a PDCA Member for 2021
- PileDriver Magazine: Harry Robbins, A Career Story
- PileDriver Magazine: Gwen Sanders, P.E., A Career Story
- PileDriver Magazine: Issue #6, 2020
- Outgoing PDCA President Moore Takes New Role for 2021