Since its formation, the Pile Driving Contractors Association's vision has been to promote driven piles as the preferred foundation solution. Over the past two decades, the association's board of directors has changed, but has remained and continues to be diligent in its mission to "effectively communicate the benefits of the driven pile through education and continuous improvement of methods, material and equipment to the industry." PileDriver magazine recently sat down with new PDCA board members Brian Heck, Emmett Waggenspack and Kustaa Mansfield to find out what they like best about the pile driving industry, why they joined PDCA and what their goals are as new directors. Here is what they had to say. Where are you from originally and how long have you been in the pile driving industry? Brian Heck: I grew up in Fort Thomas, Ky., which is right across the river from Cincinnati. I have been in the industry for 20 years. I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor's degree in civil engineering. Emmett Waggenspack: I am born and raised in Baton Rouge, La. I've been in the industry since 2009 when I started working for Coastal Bridge Co. I graduated from Louisiana State University with a construction management degree and a minor in business. Kustaa Mansfield: I was born and raised in Washington State and have been involved in the pile driving industry for 15 years. I graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree. What is your current position and responsibilities? Brian Heck: I am a vice president at Richard Goettle Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio and head up a team of "seller-doers." We estimate projects and then manage them to completion. Emmett Waggenspack: I am a project manager at Coastal Bridge Co. in Baton Rouge. My position entails running the job from start to finish. I line up any subcontractors that we have, order materials needed for the job, meet with inspectors and engineers for the project, make schedules and watch costs. Kustaa Mansfield: I am a business development manager at Pacific Pile & Marine in Seattle, Wash., responsible for identifying new opportunities and working with our team and any partnering organizations to pursue those opportunities as well as help advance the overall strategic initiatives of the organization. What do you like most about this industry and why? Brian Heck: I like the people I get to meet and know. Everybody seems to have a great story or experience to share. The relationships that are developed are invaluable. Emmett Waggenspack: Living in the South with soil so unique from the rest of the nation, each job has its own challenges and every job is different. I enjoy tackling the challenges and problem solving to present solutions that are tangible. Seeing a project go from words and numbers on paper and turning into a useful piece of Louisiana infrastructure used every day by the public is a great feeling. Kustaa Mansfield: I got into the industry to help pay for school, but ended up on a path that would eventually have me trading in my work gloves for a pair of management boots. I started with Pacific Pile & Marine as a field engineer and worked my way to managing projects and ultimately joining the management group. I've had the good fortune to work with and learn from some of the most talented, hardworking men and women in heavy foundation and marine construction in western North America. While the industry is full of opportunities to advance ideas and progress conventional ways of doing things, especially with the evolution of equipment and computing technologies over the past 10 years, it's definitely the people that kept me here. What is the main benefit of PDCA membership? Brian Heck: Education. With continuous changes in technology, building codes, equipment capabilities, and the like, PDCA is a great resource to learn about them, whether through various relationships that are developed with other members and/or the courses that are put on throughout the year. Emmett Waggenspack: Networking with contractors, engineers and vendors has been the main benefit for me. The membership also helps me stay up to date with industry news and advancements. Kustaa Mansfield: PDCA offers membership into a community of like-minded organizations with resources that highlight the benefits and applications of driven pile. PDCA additionally offers an authority on the challenges and solutions addressed by driven pile useful for contractors, owners and designers when evaluating methodologies. How long have you been a PDCA member and why did you want to become involved on the Board of Directors? Brian Heck: I have been a member of PDCA for about 10 years. I had been looking to become more active, so when Scott Callaway asked if I would consider joining the board, I jumped at the opportunity. Emmett Waggenspack: I've been a member for at least six years. I wanted to become a board member because when I was in college, I didn't even know PDCA existed or that there was a thriving industry. I feel that my networking and social skills can help with the educational component of the board's initiatives. Kustaa Mansfield: I have been a PDCA member for 10 years. I became involved to engage with industry leaders across the country and bring a larger West Coast presence to the discussion. I hope to contribute to a better understanding of where the organization thinks the industry is heading. What do you hope to accomplish as a PDCA director? What are your goals for the organization? Brian Heck: As we transition from Steve Hall's retirement to the start of Frank Peters' tenure as executive director, I hope to help make that changeover as smooth as possible. The association has made tremendous strides under Steve's leadership. The goal is to take the momentum Steve has created and keep it going. Emmett Waggenspack: My hopes and goals include assisting the other directors to help move the initiatives forward, bring awareness of PDCA to students at local schools (colleges and/or universities), who may be moving into the field after graduation, and gain more experience and education to continue furthering my career. Kustaa Mansfield: My hope for the organization as a director is to achieve greater industry awareness and recognition as a leading authority on driven foundation systems and to establish an infrastructure to support education and promotion. My goal is to continue the great work that has been done under the stewardship of Steve Hall and others and maintain financial stability and ensure programming is kept in line with strategic objectives for the organization.
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