PDCA Local Chapter Updates

PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter
Upcoming Events:
April 25, 2019
Second Quarter Dinner Meeting
Location: L'Auberge Casino, 777 L'Auberge Ave., Baton Rouge, La.
Aug. 22, 2019
Third Quarter Dinner Meeting
Location: Golden Nugget Casino, 151 Beach Blvd., Biloxi, Miss.
Nov. 14, 2019
Fourth Quarter Dinner Meeting
Location: Messina's Restaurant, 2717 Williams Blvd., Kenner, La.
Travis Schonacher, new president of the PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter
Growing up in southern Louisiana, Travis Schonacher was fascinated by pile driving a common scene when he spotted equipment working. As he neared college graduation, he knew that he wanted his career to be in heavy civil construction. When presented with the opportunity to work for a pile driving contractor, he jumped at the chance, feeling that it would be an exciting profession for him to learn.
"While I've faced many challenges, my initial thoughts were correct in that this is a unique and exciting industry," said Schonacher. "I'm glad and fortunate to be part of it."
Currently the operations manager at Sealevel Construction, Inc., Schonacher recently added to his professional plate by accepting the role of president of the PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter.
"One of the most important benefits of being involved in [a PDCA chapter] is the opportunity to interact and develop relationships with other pile driving contractors in a non-competitive atmosphere," he said. "I always encourage others to be involved."
Schonacher is eager to keep the chapter's momentum going.
"As president, I hope to build on the chapter's successful foundation by attracting new members," he said.
The chapter is also looking to expand its programming, including certain chapter activities that have received positive feedback in the past.
"Ultimately, we will continue to promote driven piles," said Schonacher. "One way we plan to advocate for driven piles is through a PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter engineers' seminar."
PDCA of the Northeast Chapter
Upcoming Events:
June 19, 2019
Skeet Shoot Fundraiser
Location: Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays, 
2750 Limestone St., Coplay, Pa.
Lunch and refreshments served
Sept. 6, 2019
Membership Drive
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: "The Water Club" at the Borgata Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, N.J.
Sponsored by R. Kremer Marine Construction Co.
Nov. 13, 2019
Meet and Greet Casino Night
Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: Iberia Restaurant, 80-84 Ferry St., Newark, N.J.
Scholarship Awards, Year-end Review
Professional development event

Left to right: Tim Fogarty of George Harms Construction; presenters Raymond Mankbadi, P.Eng., Aravinda Ramakrishna, P.Eng., and Alex Ryberg, P.Eng.]
Upwards of 50 professionals participated in a professional development event on Feb. 13, 2019, entitled "Applications and History of Load Testing." The PDCA of the Northeast Chapter organized the course featuring presenters from Hardesty & Hanover and GRL Engineers.
PDCA contractor member George Harms Construction Company sponsored and hosted the daylong event at their Howell, N.J. offices.
Attending engineers from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania received six professional development hours for their participation. Among the topics covered during the course were the impact of ASSHTO LRFD design code on driven pile designs; statnamic compression load testing of deep foundations; history and applications of load testing; engineering and economic reasons why testing is required; WEAP; testing theory; debunking common myths about testing; protection of existing structures using health monitoring; underwater noise management; and case histories.
"We continually work to make available interesting and informative programs for the professionals involved in the pile driving industry," said Northeast Chapter president, Matt Scerbak. "We were pleased to have strong participation for this event and look forward to organizing future opportunities."
Following the presentations, Trinity Products sponsored a reception for attendees at the nearby Cabin Restaurant.
PDCA of the Pacific Coast Chapter
Upcoming Event:
April 12, 2019
9th Annual Scholarship Shoot
Birds Landing Hunting Reserve, 2099 Collinsville Rd., 
Birds Landing, Calif.
PDCA of South Carolina Chapter
Upcoming Events:
May 7, 2019
Second Quarter Dinner Meeting
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Town & Country Inn, 2008 Savannah Hwy., 
Charleston, S.C.
Aug. 6, 2019
Third Quarter Dinner Meeting
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Town & Country Inn, 2008 Savannah Hwy., Charleston, S.C.
Nov. 2019 (Date TBA)
Fourth Quarter Dinner Meeting
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Town & Country Inn, 2008 Savannah Hwy., Charleston, S.C.
First quarter dinner meeting

Congratulations to Brent Bachelor, a cadet at The Citadel, the military college of South Carolina, who is the winner of the 201819 Mac Nigels Scholarship from the PDCA of South Carolina Chapter. Bachelor was recognized during the Feb. 5 quarterly dinner meeting of the chapter; several faculty members and students from The Citadel were in attendance to support him. PDCA of South Carolina Chapter board member Scott Nigels presented Bachelor with a plaque denoting the honor named for Citadel alumnus and PDCA member, the late McLeod "Mac" Nigels; Bachelor was presented a $2,000 scholarship.
The quarterly dinner took place at Charleston's Town & Country Inn and included a reception, a buffet dinner and an industry presentation. Attendees heard "A Concrete Subcontractor's Perspective on Driven Piles vs. Drilled" by Skylar Ashby of Palmetto Concrete Group. As a general contractor and subcontractor, Ashby has a keen understanding and unique perspective the benefits and pitfalls of drilled and driven piles. Audience members actively participated in a question and answer session with Ashby following his presentation.
The chapter sends its gratitude to meeting sponsors, which included: Equipment Corporation of America, Koppers, Nucor Skyline, Essve Tech, Palmetto Pile Driving, Parker Marine Contracting Corp. and Van Smith Concrete.
14th Annual Oyster Roast




On Jan. 18, 2019, the PDCA of South Carolina Chapter held its 14th Annual Oyster Roast at the property of Palmetto Pile Driving. The popular event was a tremendous success, hosting upwards of 160 pile drivers and their families, who enjoyed hours of food and fellowship.

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

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