A Pile of News - June 2023

A Pile of News: June 2023
A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors,
associated manufacturers, construction suppliers and affiliated engineers
who comprise PDCA.
By Matt Bisbee, PDCA

Originally sent June 1, 2023
Top of the Pile
June 1 marks the start of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. Most of you know, and many of you have experienced, the personal and professional interruption and in some cases devastation that the unpredictable storms bring. PDCA members are still performing work to rebuild from last year's violent storms, and even other storms dating back a decade or more. Freshen up on hurricane season preparedness with this Pensacola News Journal story, complete with photos from 2022 hurricanes, also predictions, tips, and even the list of names for the 2023 season. Violent weather is one of many safety considerations for pile drivers. Some others include threats from inadequate PPE and summer heat. PDCA members are always focused on safety: Father's Day is also a highlight in June here's looking at you, PDCA father figures (June 18). Make sure to read the Notes from the Field section below to see our salute to the dads!
From the Association & Chapters
Mark your calendars!
News and photos from the PDCA Blog:
Congratulations, Rick Sadler, you are this month's winner! Send an email to marian@piledrivers.org before the end of the month to claim your prize!
News from PDCA Companies
Dissen & Juhn opened in 1973 when founders Martin Juhn and Gil Dissen preserved a local marine construction business from their former employer, which relocated. Originally based in Rochester, NY, the company eventually expanded into Maryland in 1978. Headquarters moved to Stevensville, MD, in 2005 after current owners Gil W. and Mark Dissen took the helm. Watch PileDriver magazine for an upcoming story on Dissen & Juhn's 50 years in pile driving.

Flexicore of Texas celebrates 70 years producing PSC piles and more in Houston. The manufacturer lists a famous Texas landmark on its resume The Eighth Wonder of the World, AKA the Astrodome, used their treads and risers during its 1962 construction. Today, the company supplies TX-DOT bridges and petrochemical projects, among others. The team marked their anniversary with an April Customer Appreciation Crawfish Boil.

S&ME, Inc. embraces 50 years in business, AND the mighty ampersand! Engineers with names that are a series of letters, take note you might consider adding the quirky punctuation to your incorporation documents after watching a delightful video of S&ME staff explaining their unique name. We don't see you, technical principal/senior project manager and PDCA board member Greg Canivan!

Acquisitions & Expansions:
Giving back: Recognitions:
Governmental relations:
People on the Move
  • Miguel Arguelles was promoted to VP in the marine and industrial business unit at McCarthy in Channelview, TX. Joshua Martinez, P.E. joins the office as integrated design director.
  • John "J.P." Donoghue rejoins Orion Marine Group as area manager in Gulf Coast region. Also, Ryan Hallmark elevates to equipment manager to fill the shoes of retiring Joe Harrington.
  • Caroline Théorêt, GM at her Quebec family business PRECO-MSE, embraces her upbringing where "Tonka Trucks had no gender" she adds a new title as VP of Roxboro BauVal Group.
  • Chuck Sullivan elevates from project engineer to superintendent at Russell Marine in Houston.
  • Kris Bailey was chosen to oversee sales/consulting in foundation, utility, pile driving industries in eight-state, southeastern U.S. territory for CZM-US Foundation Equipment.
  • Tomas Delatorre retires after 36 years at Lodge Lumber; the team held a ceremony in his honor. Susan Gould joins the Houston-based supplier of pile cushions and more as executive assistant.
  • Brad Ford elevates to EVP for fabricated construction products at Nucor.
  • Garrett Smith at PVE Equipment USA promoted to business unit manager for the Gulf Coast region; James Ball onboards as the region's key account manager.
  • Ernie Nillen in New Orleans celebrates 41 years at Southern Earth Sciences! Other notable anniversaries in May were Danny Keller (33), Shane George (29) and Larry Jackson (25).

On the Job
ASAP Group shares aerial footage of a coffer cell installation for a spillway in the Florida Everglades.

Farrell Brothers Marine Construction, Inc. completes a recent North Florida bulkhead repair job, gives recommendations for incorporating a certain type of stainless steel into saltwater projects.

Forefront Deep Foundations installs steel sheets on a waterfront job in San Diego; crews use an International Construction Equipment vibro under the Southern California sun.

GeoStructures, Inc. updates progress on an eight-story development in New York City; photos depict crews installing DuroTerra ductile iron piles with less than a foot to the neighboring structure.

Orion drove 850 LF of vinyl for a special bulkhead; see a birds-eye view of the Texas-shaped product.

Palmetto Pile Driving, Inc. works close to home as it begins its scope on capital improvements for the Charleston County, SC, Plum Island Water Treatment Plant, a job valued around $60M.

Russell Marine LLC removes 62-year-old piles from the Port of Beaumont.

APE, Inc. hammers built San Francisco's new Treasure Island Ferry Terminal; Bill Ziadie performed wave equation analysis to prescribe the correctly sized hammers for driving the pier and breakwater piles.

JD Fields & Co. supplies coated steel sheets for seawall restoration in Daytona Beach, FL; 2022 hurricane activity left significant damage for several resorts and condos.

Eustis Engineering performs construction testing and inspection for the new Harrah's Casino that is progressing in downtown New Orleans.

Dewberry is building the Digital Coast platform for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, an initiative that will be a collection of data made available to parties interested in coastal development, natural disasters other oceanic concerns.
Media Hits
Geotechnical Special Publication, Highway 1 Rat Creek Embankment Failure analyzes the 2021 Big Sur, CA, roadway collapse, coauthored by Phil Gregory, Reid Fisher and Justin Lindman of Haley & Aldrich.

A Hands-Off Approach to Geotechnical Instrumentation by Isabella Kennedy, Kyle Szewczyk, Brendon Murphy of GZA GeoEnviromental published in Boston civil engineering publication.

Houston Business Journal honors JD Fields in inaugural recognition of family-owned business awards.

Sustainable Biz Canada writes about Samuel Roll Form Group CEO Colin Osborne's presentation on the viability of sustainability in business.
Notes from the Field  Here's to the Dads!
The big day is June 18  but consider celebrating early by partaking in a traditional dad-pastime of a horseshoe competition. Foundation Constructors' annual Horseshoe Tournament is on June 10

Sport shooting with dad is always fun imagine using this historical Gatling Gun that a Kokosing crew found on a military installation job in Virginia. Unofficially, only eight of these ever existed.

Hitting the links? We hope you don't get late snow like Michigan-based Koppers golfers did in May.

Snow or not, you'll be safe in a bowling alley; some of the dads at D.A. Collins Construction have begun practicing their technique to not get Munsoned if the family takes them bowling.

Wanna just show off that dad-bod? You could take it easy and enjoy a beach day like the team at Aggregate Technologies did for their annual company outing.

Got Beaver Nuggets? A Texas borne phenomenon, Buc-ee's is ubiquitous around the Lone Star State, as evidenced by this photo of breaking operators at Orion's Channelview yard. Dad needs that cooler!

Grandfathers are dads, too David Sauls at GeoEngineers has a very unique out-of-office email reply:
  • Grandparenting Advisory and working at odd times
--MondayWednesday, I will be grandparenting two boys today with my cell phone
--in a drawer. I am working a full schedule at odd times. I am in office on Thursday.

Father knows best  Hopefully, there's been a father figure in your life who gave you a lesson or two about self-accountability and perseverance. Here's another one, as shared to social media by Heron Wolf. Apparently, HBO sent a mass email to subscribers, but the email was for internal use only. HBO held itself accountable and protected an intern who was involved. Check out this collection of uplifting and supportive responses the intern received because of their employer's classy handling of the situation.

That's a wrap, thanks for reading the June installment of 'A Pile of News.' Coming in July, we will lead this publication with a list of all the new members who have joined PDCA during the second quarter of 2023. If you want to be included on that list, but you are procrastinating on your enrollment, you have one month left to activate. Please contact PDCA for more information about membership options. Otherwise, Happy Father's Day, Happy Summer (June 21), and stay vigilant about threatening weather.
Copyright © 2023 Pile Driving Contractors Association, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are an industry leader in the piling community and
may be a member of the Pile Driving Contractors Association.

Posted in A Pile of News PDCA Monthly e-newsletter.

DUE July 1: Apply Here for Pacific Coast Chapter Scholarship

Students from the western states who are previous winners of the PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter Scholarship.

Attention West Coast high school and college students pursuing higher education in preparation for a career in the driven pile industry (this can include construction management, engineering, safety, accounting, IT, etc.); you are invited to apply for the 2023 PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter Scholarship Award. Here is important information for you to know before submitting your application:
  • Scholarship Amount $1,000
  • Scholarship is for academic year beginning Fall 2023
  • Scholarship Applications due by July 1, 2023
  • PDCA Scholarships will be awarded in August, 2023
To apply, please click the following button to be redirected to the 2023 application, complete the form, and return it by July 1, 2023 to the PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter as specified within the application guidelines. Good luck to all applicants!

Posted in Chapter News.

Gulf Coast Chapter to Host Quarterly Meeting on June 1 at Baton Rouge Casino

The Chapter is giving away fishing poles and a brand new ice chest - if you don't win this prize, you can try your
luck on the fishing slots following the Chapter's 2nd quarterly meeting at L'Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge!

2023 PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter 2nd Quarter Meeting

Thursday, June 1, 2023 from 5:45 PM to 8:00 PM CDT
Add to Calendar
Hotel L'Auberge Casino - Baton Rouge, LA
777 L'Auberge Ave
Baton Rouge, LA 70820
Driving Directions
Join your fellow pile driving professionals for the PDCA Gulf Chapter 2nd Quarter Meeting that will be held June 1, 2023 and the L'auberge Casino in Baton Rouge, LA.

There is no charge to attend but we are asking you to register and let us know that you are coming.  Please select the "Register Now" link below to register.

This meeting we will be giving away an ice chest and some fishing poles. You won't want to miss out on your chance for the perfect Saturday setup!!

You can also share this information with a colleague who may be interested in attending.

Additional program information will be sent to all registrants as we get closer to the meeting date.
We would like to thank our event sponsors for their generous support.

Click Here to Register!
Thank you for your continued support and participation in the PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter programs and events. We look forward to seeing you at L'Auberge Casino Baton Rouge, LA for the next PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter meeting.

Posted in Chapter News.

PileDriver Magazine - Career Story, Mike Robinson

ICE wishes the best of luck to this long-time industry veteran as he enters retirement
by Debbie Reaney, International Construction Equipment, Inc.

Earlier this year, International Construction Equipment, Inc. (ICE) said goodbye to an outstanding sales leader and mentor, Mike Robinson. For Robinson's retirement, ICE shares some of his insights and memories.

Grandfather of three boys and two girls, Robinson says his 13-year-old grandson is interested in tinkering and could be the next big innovator in the industry. The others are younger, and Robinson is holding out hope that they might take an interest in the pile driving industry. 

Robinson's youngest son is an electrician and his oldest is a welder by trade, who also owns his own fabrication shop and business.

"Be a leader and not a follower," is something Robinson has instilled in his children and grandchildren ensuring they know there are consequences to every decision...

Pile Drivers Hammer Golf Balls at Annual Northeast Chapter Outreach Event

For the third year in a row, members of the PDCA Northeast Chapter congregated at TopGolf in Edison, NJ to hold a Meet and Greet social which was also an opportunity to introduce potential new members to the organization. Dozens of contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, and other affiliates of the driven pile industry enjoyed showcasing their golf swings, networking with colleagues and friends, filling up on BBQ, and hearing a briefing on the latest in PDCA news, both at the Chapter and national levels.

Once all participants had arrived and settled in for the evening, President David Price publicly thanked event sponsors R. Kremer & Son Marine Contractors, Junttan USA, and Clydesdale Steel, before welcoming attendees and encouraging those who are not already members, to consider joining PDCA. He also gave the group a sneak preview of the next Chapter event coming August 11th, the very popular Annual Sporting Clays Fundraiser, which will again take place in Coplay, PA. Watch PDCA Publications and your inbox for forthcoming announcements. In support of the Northeast Chapter, staff from the PDCA office attended the TopGolf function and provided an update on news from the national organization. 

The PDCA Northeast Chapter thanks all members for ongoing support of the driven pile industry and hopes to see you again in August.
See who was SPOTTED at Annual TopGolf Meet and Greet and New Member Outreach event:

Posted in Chapter News.

Chapter Hears Tech Presentation about Below-Grade Parking Garages

Ric Anderson, PE, SE presents technical project story to SC Chapter

Marty Swain, Candi Stegall, Kent Parker, Pete Adams of Parker Marine Contracting

Initially, it was an industry breakthrough for the Charleston, SC market. Now, it has become a prototype for similar driven pile projects in the fast-growing historical city on the eastern seaboard. Attendees at the Quarterly Dinner Meeting of the PDCA South Carolina Chapter heard a presentation entitled "Below-Grade Parking in Charleston" by Ric Anderson, PE, SE - Nucor Skyline. As the supplier of the structural steel for two underground parking garages, including The Bennett Hotel in 2017 and 595 King Street in 2019, Mr. Anderson discussed many of the technical considerations that builders encountered when constructing those facilities Local deep foundations contractor Parker Marine Contracting installed the driven pilings for both projects and several representatives from the company were in attendance to hear the presentation on May 11th.

In addition to the technical program, the meeting included a separate segment to honor Richard Gilbert for his years of dedicated industry contributions. Now retired, Mr. Gilbert spent decades with Nucor Skyline and was instrumental in growing and strengthening the PDCA Chapter in South Carolina up until his 2015 retirement. He was introduced by Chapter founder Harry Robbins and presented a miniature pile driving rig trophy for his years of work advocating the driven pile.

(L-R) Richard Gilbert, Harry Robbins
SC Chapter members honor Gilbert

The PDCA South Carolina Chapter thanks all attendees of the May Quarterly Dinner Meeting, the group will next convene on August 10 at the Town and Country Inn & Suites in Charleston. Watch for future announcements in your inbox and on the PDCA Events Calendar online for forthcoming registration information. All 2023 Quarterly Dinner Meetings of the Chapter are brought to you by PDCA members Koppers, Nucor Skyline, Junttan USA, Palmetto Pile Driving, Inc., ECS Limited, and ICE-International Construction Equipment. 

See who was SPOTTED at the PDCA South Carlina Chapter dinner:

Posted in Chapter News.

This Month in PDCA History...20 Years Ago, A Chapter Was Born

L-R: Harry Robbins, John King, Richard Gilbert, Marty Swain

Did you know...The PDCA South Carolina Chapter incorporated as a registered nonprofit organization 20 years ago this month and held its first Membership Meeting on May 6, 2003. The Chapter affiliated with the international organization and was designed to provide a local presence that, to this day, serves and educates the driven pile industry primarily in The Palmetto State while also reaching interested parties in North Carolina and Georgia. 

The first meeting of the PDCA South Carolina Chapter was held at T-Bonz, a former steakhouse in Mount Pleasant, SC. The charter leadership team consisted of founding member and president Harry Robbins of Palmetto Pile Driving, vice president John King of Pile Drivers, Inc., and secretary/treasurer Andrea Edwards of what was Cox Industrial and today is Koppers. The initial at-large board members included John Parker of Parker Marine Contracting Corp., Richard Gilbert of Nucor Skyline Steel, Bob Musselwhite of Cape Romain Contractors, and Keith Plemmons of The Citadel.

While some of the founding members have entered retirement or moved on in different capacities, some of them are still active with PDCA today. Several of them participated in a Charleston golf outing this month and gathered to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the PDCA Chapter they established. And if you know anything about the PDCA South Carolina Chapter, you know that they are strong proponents of industry swag...and as you would expect, they produced a stadium cup to mark their two decades in existence.

PDCA thanks all current and former members of the PDCA South Carolina Chapter for its work in establishing a strong, singular voice for the driven pile in a critical, American marketplace. In addition to its work successfully building a robust coalition of contractors, equipment manufacturers, industry suppliers and civil engineers, it has also started and continues great industry traditions such as the Annual Oyster Roast which draws attendees from throughout the eastern U.S. to Charleston every January. Make sure to watch the PDCA Events calendar for upcoming dates for all PDCA Chapters.

Posted in Chapter News.

Midwestern Pile Drivers Attend Chicago Networking Reception

Dozens of professionals in the pile driving industry from throughout the Midwestern U.S. enthusiastically made their way to Revolution Brewing in Downtown Chicago on May 4, 2023 to participate in the PDCA Mid-America Meet-Up, a FREE networking reception which introduced the Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA) to an important industry market where the organization has a limited footprint. Executive Director Frank Peters conducted a short program for attendees which included, a welcome from PDCA President Brian Heck who traveled from Ohio for the event. Frank also thanked all sponsors and a couple guests who were instrumental in planning the evening. Then, he circulated around the room sharing the microphone with attendees for self-introductions. When introductions were through, he provided an overview of PDCA leadership, its mission, its functions and its goals for the short and long term. Many attendees endorsed PDCA's goal of establishing a formal presence in the region.
Mike Bronson and PDCA's Kathy Harper coordinated the details for the successful event.
Frank Peters of PDCA gives sponsors, attendees a hot-mic moment for self-introductions.

The highly successful event would not have been possible without several sponsors who came on board to underwrite costs for the venue rental, hors d'oeuvres, and the popular craft beer exclusive to Revolution Brewing. Sponsors participated at two levels; Drive 'Em Deep Sponsors were Bull Moose Tube, Hammer & Steel, and J.D. Fields & Company. The Sure I'll Pitch In Sponsors were American Spiral Weld Pipe, Hercules Machiner Corporation, Jinnings Equipment, Junttan USA, Samuel Roll Form Group, and Triad Metals Piling
Attendees came from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, other Midwestern states; many others were local to Sweet Home Chicago.

While some attendees traveled notable distances to join the reception, many others were from local companies involved in deep foundations installation in Chicago and neighboring suburbs. Contractors, equipment manufacturers, material suppliers, and civil engineers from the Chicago region and beyond participated in a fun evening of networking. PDCA offers regional events periodically throughout the year and opens them up to members and non-members. Watch for future announcements about similar PDCA events.

See who was SPOTTED at the May 4th, Mid-America Meet-Up:

Annual Scholarship Shoot Raises Funds for West Coast Students

One of the most highly anticipated events each year at the PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter is the annual Scholarship Shoot, a competitive target shooting outing which attracts members and supporters throughout California and beyond. This year's event took place on April 28, 2023 on what turned out to be a perfect weather day at Bird's Landing, the event venue located midway between Sacramento and San Francisco. 

The festivities began at 8:00 AM with registration and breakfast as more than 125 participants made their way to the Solano County gun range. Shooters were provided with 100 targets, 100 rounds of ammo, ear and eye protection, BBQ lunch, and beverages. As usual, a large variety of amazing raffle and auction prizes were also distributed to those who chose to test their luck. All money raised is distributed to rising or current college students who are pursuing higher education in a construction and/or engineering field.

The 2023 Pacific Coast Chapter Scholarship Shoot was made possible by several sponsors, including PDCA Members Foundation Constructors, CS Marine Constructors, Inc., Stroer and Graff, Balfour Beatty, Pileco, Nucor Skyline, and JD Fields & Company. Special thanks to Pacific Coast Chapter President Dermot Fallon for his continued commitment to promoting construction careers to younger generations through a coveted scholarship program.  

Posted in Chapter News.

Heron Wolf Wins April #PDCADriven Contest

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