Get Engaged, PDCA

As with anything in life, the more engaged we all become, the more our teams become energized. I have always found that the more interaction I have with my team and the more we emphasize our company's strategic goals, the greater the benefit for us, our clients and even our suppliers. Coming out of PDCA's strategic planning, I feel renewed listening to members from contracting companies, just like mine, who want to get all the benefits out of working together with PDCA and its members.
Being involved and interactively discussing common ground can and does produce a positively charged energy. I want all PDCA members to discover this type of energy by getting involved. There is no better time for all member companies to be active with PDCA. One of the easiest tricks to get involved starts with logging into your PDCA web portal. If you don't know how, it's easy:
Type in your company email address (not a generic email address such as your own email address at your company) and click "recover password." If that doesn't work, call the PDCA office at 904-215-4771, and they can take care of you it will be completed in the time it takes you to make your coffee.
And, of course, for those of you reading this message in PileDriver magazine, there are numerous opportunities outlining how you can get more involved in PDCA in the pages. One of the most important opportunities includes attending our 2019 PDCA ExPEERience:

Read more about this year's PDCA ExPEERience starting on page 55 of this issue of PileDriver.
PDCA's 2019 vision: Where you fit in
PDCA is quickly diving into 2019 with an outstanding strategic plan that focuses on engagement, education and outreach.
Our Board of Directors has been working diligently to find the best ways to interact with other organizations involved with the driven pile industry and that are in need of our expertise to enhance their programs.
In keeping with that plan, the PDCA Communications Committee will be working hand-in-hand with the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI)'s Driven Pile Committee on several projects; and the PDCA Education and Safety Committees are considering a much-needed ground safety program to be adopted by certain training organizations.
The above efforts, when more developed, will undoubtedly pay dividends when it comes to strengthening the driven pile industry. But one PDCA committee has overwhelmingly taken the lead as far as cross-organizational outreach, and has already had a direct positive impact on our industry. The PDCA Technical Committee has been engaged in a collaborative effort with DFI to improve the IBC 1810 Foundation Section (International Building Code 1810).
This has been an ongoing partnership since 2012 and deserves more recognition than it has been given. This project continues to gain strength, again via partnerships, and the participant group has taken to calling itself the 1810 GeoCoalition Code Committee. The partners on the 1810 GeoCoalition Code Committee come from strong groups of contributors and are lead by the committee chairman (and the chair of PDCA's Technical Committee), Dale Biggers of Boh Bros.
The 37 members participating in the 1810 GeoCoalition Code Committee are from the following groups:
PDCA Technical Committee
DFI Code and Standards Committee
DFI Augercast Committee
DFI Helical Committee
ADSC Drilled Shaft Committee
ADSC Micropile Committee
If updating building codes and discussing future safety qualifications and accreditations are not what speak to you as you venture into becoming a more engaged PDCA member, there are myriad other options available to you.
All of PDCA's active committees would love your ongoing involvement, and at the very least would be thankful for your input to identify like-minded organizations that PDCA should be partnering with. Help PDCA by telling our committees what you think the most important association initiatives should be. Find a list of PDCA committees and the contact information for each chairperson on page 18 of this issue of PileDriver. And you can always reach out to me or any of PDCA's staff members to discuss your options!
PDCA Project of the Year Awards
For members looking for some more immediate engagement gratification, the PDCA Communications Committee is accepting submittals for the PDCA 2019 Project of the Year Awards. The Project of the Year Award program is open to all PDCA membership categories contractors, associates and engineering affiliates. The deadline to submit your project is April 26 and the winners will be announced at the PDCA 22nd Annual International Conference & Expo 2019 in July. You and your company automatically benefit by sharing your project; all entries will be published in PileDriver magazine.
PDCA Member Engagement Campaign and Awards
For the PDCA members that are already actively involved in our rapidly growing organization, we have something new for you. (The opportunities for PDCA members to become more involved in the organization seem to grow on trees!)
The Associate Member Council, which helps grow our organization and whose members sponsor our events, has created the PDCA Member Company Engagement Campaign and Awards! This program is a very straightforward involvement campaign whereby PDCA members evaluate their own company's engagement with the association. Check it out on the PDCA website and see if your company is a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum member!
Again, to log in, just type in your personalized company email address and click "recover password," or log in if you've previously done so. If you encounter any difficulty, call the PDCA office (904-215-4771) and they can get you access in no time.
Once you've logged in, go to the Member Engagement content and check off the boxes you have completed.
Active members will be honored at the annual conference in July, so complete your evaluations ASAP! The deadline to have your activities considered for an award at our annual event is May 1, so don't delay. This is an easy way to get you and your company recognized at PDCA's largest meeting!
In closing, thank you to every PDCA member for your support and participation. I'll see you in July in sunny Orlando, Fla. at the PDCA 22nd Annual International Conference and Expo 2019!
Pile on!

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

A New Strategic Plan and the Work Begins

Every new beginning has to start somewhere. A road trip starts long before we get in the car. A building project starts well in advance of the first shovel being placed in the ground. A plan, no matter how well conceived, starts before the pencil is put to paper. So it is that we have ideas, we solicit input, we challenge alternate views, we refine the process and we come up with a plan that, we hope, will take us where we want to go.
The Pile Driving Contractors Association held its annual Strategic Planning Meeting Jan. 9 to 11, 2019, in Atlanta, Ga. The PDCA Board of Directors, along with several past presidents, held intensive discussions, strategy sessions, break out groups and continued discussions during lunch and dinner in order to draft what is now referred to as the 2019 PDCA Strategic Plan. This document, comprised of core values, started far from where it ended.
You could call it the "kitchen sink approach" where everything and anything is put up for consideration. Some items might represent pet projects, some could be standing principals, while others are timely and should be considered. Regardless, they are all considered, discussed, dissected, pared down, refined, tested and, finally, put on paper to be discussed and refined even more. This process is not for the faint of heart or for someone who is easily offended. The conversations can be direct, but it is with good intent and for the purpose of challenging whether what is being discussed is something that is believed or simply there as a filler. If it is something that is believed, it will be supported and could make it to the next level.
This process continues until certain ideas rise above others and the strategic plan starts to take shape. At this point, the Board is ready for action. They dig in for the final leg of a marathon meeting to simplify all that has been discussed into workable ideas that will form the foundation for the organization's efforts over the next 12 months. That is the goal and is why the meeting is so important because the impact it will have on the organization and the services provided to members will have long-lasting effects.
The product of this extremely important meeting could not happen without the dedication and commitment of the people involved. They are to be commended for their work and the time they took away from their own businesses to devote to this important task. It is no small effort.
This year's Strategic Plan is constructed with three values: Education, Membership and Visibility. Three words that by themselves could be disregarded but in context make up the foundation for PDCA.
Education is probably one of the most important services that a trade association can provide for its members. This one value is so important that without it, the organization may not have a reason to exist. The programs and information that are provided have to address the issues and concerns of association members. These programs have to be timely, accessible and, in most cases, repeatable. PDCA has a unique challenge due to the fact that members are located in all parts of the United States, Canada and other countries around the globe. PDCA is an international association of pile driving contractors and those associated with the industry. And while the majority of members are located in the U.S., the organization has to be mindful of how its programs and services impact these other areas.
PDCA depends on its Education Committee as a primary means of vetting education ideas, programs and activities. This work never ends because education needs are always changing.
It is obvious that without members in the organization, there would be no PDCA. The importance of membership is often easy to overlook. Membership is vitally important for the support it provides to the organization. As the second priority in the Strategic Plan, we need to work harder to develop members, to nurture member growth and to provide members a reason to renew their commitment and support year over year. Understanding why a company would join the organization as well as why they won't renew their membership are both important metrics that have to be developed. Only then can PDCA make the adjustments necessary to ensure the highest level of participation.
Visibility is the final point to the 2019 PDCA Strategic Plan. This is no small task and while it may seem less important than Education or Membership, Visibility provides the branding and continuity that helps the other two points. This effort can take many forms. Using the PDCA website as the base for visibility opens many opportunities. The fact that just about everything we use to represent the association can be digitized means we are able to push all these resources to the website for access by PDCA members, other interested individuals and groups and the general public. Everything we do can and should encourage website participation. The ability to branch out to social media and other related channels is always an option and, at some point, a necessity. By using the available technology, PDCA will have the ability to track current web usage and compare that over time to determine which programs are working, what new initiatives should be started and what resources should be shelved for newer, more effective offerings. This is a dynamic, active, ongoing, continuous process. We have to begin somewhere in this effort and once started we have to continue for it to be effective. And we have to be consistent. We cannot start this effort and then stop mid-stream. It has to be done over time in a purposeful way. Visibility helps every aspect of what PDCA is doing to represent the driven pile industry. Our message that a "Driven Pile is a Tested Pile" gains more traction with increased visibility.
The 2019 PDCA Strategic Plan: Education, Membership, Visibility. PDCA members must be part of the process. Members need to tell the organization what programs, information and activities should be developed. Then when they are developed, members need to attend programs, use information and support activities. This success will breed its own success.
Members need to be active about their own membership by utilizing all the services that the organization offers and by renewing their membership each year. But members also are the best voice in telling non-members why they should join PDCA. Members have to be active in the organization to maintain a vital, healthy and growing community.
Members become the first line of visibility for the organization to the rest of the deep foundation industry. Keeping the PDCA logo visible is one way to help develop a successful brand. Using the PDCA website on a consistent and strategic basis will provide "visible" results. Helping others learn how to use the website and all the information available there is an important step. When a social media feed is posted for PDCA, a repost or tweet or Snap goes a long way.
Members have to be involved in every aspect of the association. With your engagement and active support, the 2019 PDCA Strategic Plan will be meaningful and successful.
The work begins. Let's get to it.

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

Growing and Strengthening PDCA

As we begin a new year, PDCA has taken the steps to aggressively pursue an ongoing and important priority: membership development. This has traditionally been a function of the PDCA national office, often supplemented by existing members. However, the efforts put forth by members and staff have previously been described as "passive" in nature, and many believe we can do even better.
Some of the methods for membership development that we have employed to date include advertising through PileDriver magazine and other publications; pitching audiences at PDCA events; circulating membership applications at industry functions; and promoting our newly redesigned web-based application system, which is now a very quick and user-friendly tool for interested parties to submit dues and enroll in the association. Collectively, all of this has grown membership. However, our leadership has determined that an additional PDCA staff position dedicated to identifying and enrolling new members will lead to further and faster association growth. Effective in January, the PDCA Board of Directors created a new position in the national office entitled director of member services, which has a defined scope of membership retention and development while also providing support to local PDCA chapters.
After a thorough interviewing process with PDCA's incoming and outgoing executive directors, I am pleased to announce that I have committed to expand the membership, become a greater resource to our chapters and assist the organization as needed to support, strengthen and grow PDCA. I offer many thanks to the board for making this important position available, to the staff for welcoming me into the office and to the entire membership for recognizing that the pile driving industry can improve and flourish when we all band together behind our common interests and mission to "effectively communicate the benefits of the driven pile through education and continuous improvement of methods, material and equipment to the industry."
A little bit about me I come to PDCA with an expansive and diverse background in the association and non-profit sector. Some of the associations for which I have worked include the National Federation of Independent Business, the Florida Public Defender Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, the Merchant's Payments Coalition and the Dirksen Congressional Center. Functions I have performed in some or all these associations include new membership development, member retention, communications, marketing, legislative advocacy, member education and coalition building. Outside of the non-profit sector, I have also worked as a broadcaster, a congressional communications director, a public information officer and as a political/marketing consultant with an agency. My career to date has been split between Illinois and Florida.
Away from the office, I enjoy spending time with my family, which includes plenty of time on the sidelines of youth sporting events and taking in all the adventures we can find in the great outdoors. And while I presently live in North Florida, the convergence of SEC and ACC country, I remain loyal to the wonderful University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where I earned a B.A. in history. Through all my experiences, I have learned that non-prejudicial networking and strong relationship building are critical components of a healthy growth strategy for any coalition. I very enthusiastically bring this philosophy to PDCA.
My first months on staff have been anything but dull. Through the training and work completed so far, I have solidified my belief that I can be successful in delivering upon the expectations of my new position. It has quickly become apparent that this is an opportunity to continuously learn and understand a fascinating, competitive and traditional but constantly evolving industry all while doing what I believe I can do well build a deep and strong foundation of support that will enable ongoing growth of PDCA membership and ultimately succeed in promoting a healthy and sustainable pile driving industry.
It is very important that I include this invitation to all readers of PileDriver magazine I want your input and guidance when you believe it is advantageous and appropriate for the association to pursue new members of PDCA. And to those who participate in local chapters, I want your ideas and desires for achieving a symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship with the PDCA national office. Communication is a critical piece of success in the growth of PDCA and I am very eager to collect thoughts and suggestions from all industry practitioners and strategically adopting those to the organization's advantage.
In my role as director of member services, I am eager to work with PDCA's Communications Committee as their staff liaison. A major function of this member committee is the develop­ment of content for PileDriver magazine. The committee is always actively searching for industry news and events to help our membership stay current. I will try to bring to this committee more legal or regulatory changes in your specific markets but am looking for member input to accomplish this successfully. The committee is open to all members who would like to participate and welcomes all pile driving job stories. The committee's main goal has always been and will continue to be to promote the driven pile industry and our members. I am eager for this experience as the active involvement of our members has proven very successful and I am offering to be a resource to this type of energy.
The PDCA national office would like you to add to your company's public relations department contacts and email distribution list. This will enable our PDCA national office to better support you, our members, in your exciting endeavors. The idea is that PDCA will collect and republish news and happenings on your company as a member benefit within our member email blasts and publication options. Again, I am eager to work with PDCA members and their regional chapters while engaging new members to join us in promoting the driven pile industry.

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

PDCA Hires New Staff Member

PDCA is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Kathy Harper as its manager of education and events. Harper brings with her years of experience working with non-profit associations, including a 10-year tenure with the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE).
"In my position at AACE, I worked extensively with doctors, which meant a lot of education programs and credits," she said. "I often worked with the chapters of AACE, planning their education, coordinating with exhibitors, hotels, program management and those types of responsibilities. I'm excited to apply my knowledge in these areas to working with PDCA."
Primarily, Harper will be responsible for planning and organizing PDCA's educational programming and events.
"I'm really excited to learn in a new field, coming from the medical industry," she said. "It will be a bit of an adjustment in terms of professional development and how the educational opportunities are presented. I think the environment will be a little more relaxed, and so I'll be learning how everything gets done and figuring out the best way to help PDCA's programming grow."
Her first project will be to dive into the planning and organizing for PDCA's 22nd Annual International Conference and Expo, taking place July 9 to 12 in Orlando, Fla.
"I might as well dive into the deep end of the ocean!" she said.
In addition to working on conference logistics and programming, she's looking forward to expanding her skillset.
"I'm eager to take on more responsibility," she said. "In terms of marketing and sponsorships, I'll be growing my own education in those areas. And of course, I'm hoping to provide the best possible education and programming to PDCA's members. The association already provides valuable technical knowledge to its members and it's exciting to now be a part of that process and to see where there are areas for improvement."
Outside of the office, Harper enjoys reading and watching movies, and runs around after her two sons, aged 4 and 7.
Harper joins the other PDCA staff members Frank Peters (executive director), Matt Bisbee (director of member services) and Marian McMillin (office manager and executive assistant) in the PDCA office, located at 33 Knight Boxx Road, Suite 1 in Orange Park, Fla.
PDCA members can be in touch with Harper if they have questions or need assistance regarding any of PDCA's meetings, such as event programming or registration. Harper can also be contacted with feedback about PDCA's website,
Harper can be contacted via her email address,, or by phone at 904-215-4771. Please feel free to reach out to Harper to welcome her to the association.

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

PDCA Welcomes Three New Directors This Year

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.

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

Membership benefits of PDCA and its local chapters

The Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA) is the only association globally that exclusively represents the driven pile industry.
PDCA offers the strength and experience of its more than two decades as an association representing the driven pile industry and provides a forum for members to promote driven piles in all cases where they are effective.
PDCA members include contractors, equipment and materials manufacturers and suppliers, engineers, academicians and end-users that take a dedicated and proactive approach to advancing the benefits of the driven pile, such as environmental benefits, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and rapid productivity.
PDCA membership gives contractors a larger voice in influencing and establishing procedures and standards for the installation of driven piles.
PDCA members meet and work directly with all public agencies to ensure our industry is equally represented in all deep foundations and earth retention design and construction specifications.
PDCA members share up-to-date and relevant industry information in the areas of equipment, technology, safety, business and more, so contractors can stay on the cutting edge of efficiency and productivity designed to increase their financial bottom line.
PDCA members work with other non-competitive groups on issues of mutual concern to the deep foundation industry.

The best way to gain value from your PDCA and chapter membership is simply to get involved. Ask any PDCA member how!

PDCA chapters and locations
PDCA chapters conduct regular meetings to provide members a local forum to be able to network, while also featuring industry keynote speakers from the driven pile and deep foundations industry. Regionally, the chapters host and conduct technical seminars and conferences to educate contractors, engineers and others associated with the pile driving industry.
All PDCA members are encouraged to join a chapter. Find out more information about a chapter near you at

PDCA of the Northeast Chapter
Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont

PDCA of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter
Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C.

PDCA of South Carolina Chapter
North Carolina and South Carolina

PDCA of Florida Chapter

PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter
Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi

PDCA of Texas Chapter

PDCA of the Pacific Coast Chapter
Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming

PDCA of the Pacific Northwest Chapter
Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Alberta and British Columbia 

PDCA committees
PDCA encourages all members to participate on a committee of their choice.
Committee participation is voluntary; however, it is a great way to add value to your membership for those who choose to be actively involved. Joining and participating on a PDCA committee aligns you with like-minded industry individuals seeking to achieve common goals. Your industry and personal career will benefit.
Contact the PDCA office to find out more about how to join a committee. All interested PDCA members are invited to attend committee conference calls at any time to see if that committee is right for you.
PDCA committees include:
Associate Member Council
Contracts and Risk
Market Development
Safety and Environment
Steel Sheet Pile
PDCA members, especially those who serve on the PDCA Education Committee, have developed many educational programs aimed at ensuring the long-term sustainability and safety of the driven pile industry.
PDCA's current education programming includes:
PDCA Annual International Conference & Expo
Design and Installation of Cost-Efficient Piles Conference (DICEP)
Deep Foundation Dynamic Testing and Analysis Workshop
Pile Load Test Options Course
Pile Driving Inspectors Course
Pile Driving Professionals Development Course
Steel Bearing Piles & Sheet Walls in Infrastructure
Engineers' Driven Pile Institute (EDPI)
Professors' Driven Pile Institute (PDPI)
International Foundations Congress & Equipment Expo (IFCEE)
Portable training programs about piling equipment, testing and more
PileDriver is published six times annually and features PDCA member companies and project stories; industry articles related to technical, legal and safety issues; and other relevant topics dedicated to the pile driving industry. is PDCA's official website, containing a broad base of information about PDCA, its members, industry resources and other industry news.
The PDCA e-Letter is emailed monthly to PDCA's subscriber list to provide up-to-date information on PDCA's activities, events, seminars, workshops and member news.
The PDCA Membership Directory is an annual directory that includes contact information for all categories of PDCA members in good standing for the year.
The PDCA Wall Calendar is published annually in October and distributed with Issue 5 of PileDriver. The calendar includes important PDCA dates to keep on your schedule for the following year.

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

2019 Strategic Planning Update

PDCA conducted its annual Strategic Planning meeting from Jan. 9 to 11, 2019, in Atlanta, Ga. To signify organizational progression, the day and a half event opened with a formal "passage of the gavel" from immediate past president Larry Moore to current PDCA president Scott Callaway; Callaway led all subsequent proceedings. Paralleling the gavel transfer, former executive director Steve Hall handed over his duties to his successor Frank Peters, who assumed the executive director role for the entirety of Strategic Planning. From there, the PDCA Board of Directors, along with several past presidents, held intensive discussions, strategy sessions, break out groups and continued discussions during lunch and dinner. At the conclusion of all proceedings, the group collectively put forth a draft proposal of what is now referred to as the 2019 PDCA Strategic Plan. This document, comprised of core values, came back before the Board of Directors during a Jan. 30, 2019 meeting. At that time, the board approved the aggressive Strategic Plan designed to guide PDCA through the calendar year 2019.
The 2019 PDCA Strategic Plan will draw upon existing and new resources to optimize three dependent, yet exclusive association values: Education, Membership and Visibility. The board adopted a plan that calls upon all members, committees and staff to carry out numerous objectives that advance current association practices in each of these critical areas. With respect to Education, PDCA is working to improve existing educational programs and develop new ideas that are timely, accessible and portable. Membership has gained new resources to proactively retain and grow all levels of support. Finally, Visibility is another objective that is benefitting from new and enhanced resources, including an updated, more powerful web presence; moving forward, PDCA will draw upon this and other strengths to optimize its brand in the marketplace. A driven pile... is a tested pile. And a thoughtfully conceived action plan... is the 2019 PDCA Strategic Plan.

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

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.

Did You Know?

To answer that question, it generally very much depends on the project requirements, site conditions, application or other factors. However, pipes do get filled with concrete because there is a need to increase the capacity of the pile or the combi-wall itself. 
In a marine environment, you could fill pipes to limit corrosion inside of a steel pipe pile that is subject to tidal fluctuations. Other times, the pile is designed as a concrete pile with a left-in-place casing, where the casing is sacrificial and not considered in the design. 
If the steel pipe alone is sufficient in the specification, it can be more economical to add thickness to account for corrosion rather than drilling out the pipe and filling with concrete. 
Of course, again, with anything in the pile driving industry, the answer to that question can truly only be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

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

It's Your ExPEERience!

What is your favorite thing about attending the PDCA Annual International Conference & Expo?
Food, education, connections, entertainment? Each is exciting to look forward to every year. 
For some of us, it is all about the food. Maybe not so much about what we are eating but rather the people we are sharing the food experience with... When we define food at the conference like that, it is safe to say the food at our PDCA Annual Conference is outstanding. 
Think about who you met at the last PDCA Annual Conference. Did you meet John King, Scott Callaway, Larry Moore, Dale Biggers, Garland Likens, Silas Nichols, Steve Hall or someone else? Where did you go that evening? Did you laugh? Did you find the conversation leading to bigger ideas? The stories we bring with us to share at the conference all tie into beneficial industry cornerstones and pile driving history and will continue to shape the present and the future. Get excited to meet new members, exciting speakers and old friends at this year's 2019 conference in Orlando!
Is education that outstanding component that excites and entices both members and non-members alike from across the world to attend? The PDCA Education Committee, led by a dedicated group of member educators, always creates an outstanding line-up of industry experts, who selflessly give their time and experiences to provide the PDCA membership a better grasp on what could be coming. In fact, many members have suggested that PDCA's educational presentations and panels are far superior to those of other industry events. This year's annual conference will be held July 9 to 12; mark your calendars!
At the PDCA Annual Conference, presentations are given by engineers, associates and contractors that work with fellow PDCA members and industry experts alike. The presenters are vetted closely on topic and language and are chosen based on experience within the pile driving industry. This type of professional programming by the PDCA Education Committee is geared to help you answer questions you may have within your own organization/practice.
Since PDCA represents the driven pile industry, there is no greater place to gather with like-minded supporters. Since 2018 saw the International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo, PDCA did not host its own annual conference last year. This means that this year's conference is extra special and filled with great content, valuable short courses and many more activities. We have some major catching up to do! The Awards Ceremony will be honoring two years of Project of the Year Awards 2018 and 2019 winners will be presented. Get excited to celebrate the winning projects, as well as several additional outstanding awards. PDCA will also be paying tribute to Steve Hall, former executive director, for his years of dedication to the organization. Let's send him off with a special PDCA driving force. 
Working to get PDCA's message out to the deep foundation construction industry, the PDCA Annual Conference is where the magic begins! Yes, you read correctly "magic," as PDCA is going to the Walt Disney World Resort, the most magical place on earth! You don't want to miss the excitement. 
We are looking forward to seeing you July 9 to 12, at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, for an outstanding conference! Register today by visiting

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


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