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Graham Brent stepping down as CEO of NCCCO
Graham Brent will step down as CEO of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) effective July 1, 2019, to take up leadership of the newly formed NCCCO Foundation.
Brent, who has led the non-profit certification body virtually since the inception of NCCCO certification programs in 1996, will be succeeded as CEO by NCCCO board member and immediate past president, Thom Sicklesteel. Sicklesteel is currently the general manager USA of Leavitt Cranes, based in Tacoma, Wash.
In making the announcement, NCCCO president Kerry Hulse said, "NCCCO would not be the organization it is today without the leadership and guidance of Graham Brent. While his expertise and knowledge will be missed at NCCCO, we are excited about his accepting the CEO position of our newly formed NCCCO Foundation. We are certain he will expend the same energy and commitment to its success as he has done for NCCCO."
As the executive director and later the CEO of NCCCO, Brent has overseen a 30-fold increase in candidate volume, steering the fledgling organization over the past two decades into a market leader that now offers 27 credentials in 12 major certification programs. Since testing began, NCCCO has administered more than 1.2 million written and practical examinations, and issued more than 425,000 ANSI-accredited and OSHA-compliant certifications.
"It's been an extraordinary journey," said Brent. "One that has seen NCCCO emerge as the leader in the certification of crane operators and other personnel."
That the number of crane-related fatalities and injuries had declined as a direct result of this initiative was validation, he says, of the original vision of NCCCO's founding fathers and a testament to the millions of hours of hard work and expertise donated by industry volunteers in fulfilling NCCCO's mission.
After 23 years at the helm, Brent says that it's been an honor and a privilege to be part of that success.
"I am delighted that Thom has agreed to step into this role to lead a singularly professional team of dedicated staff and volunteers whose commitment to the NCCCO safety mission is as extraordinary as it is effective," said Brent. "And I have every confidence in the detailed transition plan that has been developed to provide seamless continuity of service to the industry and its certification stakeholders."
Brent is equally enthusiastic about the pospects for the NCCCO Foundation that he will lead.
"I am thrilled at the opportunity the Foundation will provide to focus on initiatives that will contribute to workplace health and safety in new and inspiring ways while allowing NCCCO to continue to pursue its mission of developing effective certification programs for construction, telecommunications and other industries," he said.
AECom earns coveted distinction for its corporate reputation
For the fifth consecutive year, AECom has been named by Fortune magazine as one of the World's Most Admired Companies, a distinction that is considered by many in the business community as the definitive report card on corporate reputation.
Crediting the global team at AECom, chairman and CEO Michael S. Burke said, "This important honor is a celebration of the expertise and talent of our employees, and a reflection of their commitment to delivering innovative, impactful work to our clients around the world."
The World's Most Admired Companies list is compiled each year through scientific research. Fortune and global management consulting firm Korn Ferry Hay Group field an annual survey of top executives, directors and financial analysts to identify the companies with the strongest reputations within their industries and across industries.
The companies featured on the annual list represent "the pinnacle of excellence" in nine key performance areas:
Ability to attract and retain talented people
Quality of management
Social responsibility to the community and the environment
Innovativeness
Quality of products or services
Wise use of corporate assets
Financial soundness
Long-term investment value
Effectiveness in doing business globally
PDCA congratulates AECom, an engineering affiliate member for the past 10 years, for its continued success as a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm.
Terracon awards University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign $100,000 grant toward new geotech lab

A new geotechnical laboratory is coming to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) thanks in part to a $100,000 grant from the Foundation of Terracon, a PDCA member company.
"We are deeply grateful to Terracon for all their support over the years, but especially for this latest gift to the CEE Modernization Project," said Benito Mariñas, Ph.D., head of CEE at Illinois.
The hands-on instructional laboratory honors those who built the geotechnical engineering program at the university, including Karl von Terzaghi, Ralph B. Peck and Don U. Deere. The Terracon Foundation made the grant in the name of company founder and UI alumnus Gerald Olson, who was inspired to pursue the field of geotechnical engineering after attending an impactful lecture by Terzaghi.
"Terracon has a history of supporting the next generation of civil and environmental engineers through its relationship with the University of Illinois," said Brian Porter, P.E., Terracon's St. Louis office manager.
The Terracon Foundation has been making grants to individual CEE students for more than 25 years. This is the first year a grant is being awarded to a capital campaign for CEE engineering education facilities at Illinois.
Team from Aldridge donates time and labor to South American community

Santa Rosa, Bolivia is a small agrarian community in the South American mountains and that has recently gained new and necessary infrastructure, thanks to Aldridge. Ten employees of the Chicago-based contractor spent two weeks in 2018 to volunteer with Bridges to Prosperity on the construction of a 275-foot suspended bridge over the Rio Santa Rosa in Santa Rosa.
Bridges to Prosperity and its partners work around the world with isolated communities to build footbridges over impassable rivers and create safe access to education, health care and market opportunities. Since 2001, Bridges to Prosperity has built more than 225 footbridges in 20 countries. Partners like Aldridge allow Bridges to Prosperity to not only build the bridge but to share their knowledge with local foreman and superintendents, which results in continued infrastructure support in the region long after the team has returned home.
The residents of the Santa Rosa community (population 830) earn their living as farmers who grow potatoes, corn, wheat and other vegetables. Crossing the Santa Rosa River had always been a challenge for residents. But during times of significant flash flooding, it became extremely dangerous and limited residents' access to critical government resources, health clinics, schools and markets. The Santa Rosa Suspended Footbridge will provide safe, year-round access for the members of the communities close to the vicinity and will empower the communities out of poverty.
The team spent their days hard at work, and their nights playing soccer with the children and introducing them to s'mores while sharing stories around the campfire. When they realized that lights at the soccer field would allow the children to play a little longer, they organized a plan. The team secured and installed new LED lighting as an additional gift to the community.
The experience changed the lives of everyone involved. PDCA commends Aldridge in its partnership with Bridges to Prosperity; congratulations to the hard-working participants who sacrificed vacation time and weeks away from home and family to be a part of this incredible cause.
GEOKON announces staff appointments
Michael Eno

GEOKON is pleased to announce that Michael Eno has rejoined the team as a sales engineer.
Eno is a highly motivated, versatile team-player with over two years of experience in the geotechnical and structural instrumentation industry. Eno previously worked for GEOKON during 2016-2017.
Eno has a B.Sc. in civil engineering from the University of New Hampshire, graduating in 2015. His duties at GEOKON include working directly with customers in the identification and procurement of instrumentation for their specific applications.
Adam Webster

GEOKON is pleased to announce the appointment of Adam Webster as quality assurance manager. Webster has over 12 years of experience in manufacturing process engineering, quality management, quality engineering and project engineering with a leading OEM supplying industrial equipment for the welding and cutting industry. Webster has extensive experience in Lean and Six Sigma processes, supplier qualification, quality auditing, ISO9001 compliance and corrective and preventive action systems. He has a B.S in technology management from the State University of New York at Oswego.
Webster has a passion for integrating continuous improvement programs and quality management processes in fast-paced production environments. His duties at GEOKON will include leading the implementation of Lean and Six Sigma processes, driving best practices in quality assurance, identifying and reducing non-value elements of the production value stream and leading the GEOKON quality assurance team.
Pile-cutting veteran joins DarkHorse Industries

Baton Rouge-based DarkHorse Industries has named Greg Major as sales manager. Major, a 35-year veteran concrete cutter, previously owned American Pile Cutting (APC), which operated for several years throughout the southern region of the United States. In addition to his long tenure at APC, Major has consulted and supplied equipment for various projects around the globe.
"This is a very exciting opportunity for me," said Major. "I expect to contribute to the company's growth in its current field of pile cutting, but also work with leadership to expand into concrete drilling and sawing."
The Canadian-born Major presently lives in Houston and will be balancing his time between the DarkHorse home office in Baton Rouge and the Texas field office. He invites all past clients, colleagues and friends throughout the region to contact him for their pile cutting and concrete cutting needs.
Watch for a later edition of PileDriver magazine in 2019 when Major discusses leading a 50,000-pile cutting project, the country's largest to date, in an upcoming construction career profile.
MBK expands its range of products


MBK, a leading manufacturer in welding machines and reinforcement systems for the civil engineering and concrete precast industries and a new PDCA member, has recently announced a new cage welding machine, ASM, for the flexible production of reinforcement for driven and bored piles as well as supports and masts. The machine allows flexibility, individuality and economy all in one.
With the ASM cage welding machine, round reinforcement cages with outer cage diameters of minimum 236 to 274 mm and up to a maximum of 1,536 to 1,575 mm can be manufactured. A maximum cage length of almost 80 feet is possible. A hydraulic cage support during production and cage removal is part of the stable production process.
The ASM is available in different variants and welding processes; manual welding by hand, arc welding one-fold and several times as well as resistance welding are among its features.
The ASM is operated via a touchscreen, which ensures easy handling in regard to programming or setting of the reinforcement cage and welding data via stored programs. The uncomplicated storage of the reinforcement cage and welding data via corresponding programs means a noticeable relief for employees in everyday production.
By default, the machine is supplied for the production of structural steel reinforcement cages for columns, bored and driven piles as well as masts in right-hand version, but on request it is also available in left-hand execution.
MBK is defined by its high service philosophy and is committed to active communication with its clients and paying quick attention to their requirements and wishes. This is made possible by a system of worldwide networking between customers, partners and branches, where needs become ideas. These ideas are then developed and implemented together to a solution with the MBK competence team.

Posted in PileDriver Magazine. Tagged as Edition 2, 2019.

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