The Band Is Getting Back Together: CFI 2025 Heading to Mississippi!

In 2022, PDCA introduced the Contractors Foundation Institute: The Driven Pile Academy (CFI), an initiative led by the PDCA Associate Member Council. The event took place in Duson, LA, and for three days, attendees participated in an industry learning program unlike anything they had ever done. It consisted of one day of classroom education followed by two days in the field where they were afforded hands-on access to piling equipment and materials. After hours, there was time for relaxation and fun, such as the authentic crawfish boil host contractor Patriot Construction and Industrial offered.

Attendees enthusiastically compliment the program, and those missed out the first time have encouraged PDCA to do it again. The program is established as one that will repeat every three years, though the location, equipment, and materials will be different each time. But as we inch closer to 2025, PDCA is excited to tell you that the next offering of CFI is coming to Port Bienville, MS, November 10-14, 2025. Mark your calendars and watch for forthcoming announcements.

Chapter Growth at PDCA Northeast, the 'Driver' Behind Annual TopGolf Event

The PDCA Northeast Chapter has successfully engaged the pile driving industry throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and surrounding states through the variety of events it hosts each year. A popular event that attracts members, but also focuses on organizational growth, is the annual TopGolf Meet & Greet and New Member Outreach gathering in Edison, New Jersey.

Members brought their industry peers identified as potential PDCA Northeast Chapter members, to the regional TopGolf location on May 15th, where they experienced many of the attributes offered through PDCA. In addition to competing from the TopGolf tee boxes, attendees enjoyed networking and refreshments.

The Chapter leadership team thanks all event sponsors, attendees, and friends considering membership, for participating in the annual TopGolf event. PDCA recognizes Megan & Jaxson Sadler for providing a few photos from the rainy evening, despite the wet conditions. However, members stayed dry under cover as they showed off their driving abilities.

The Chapter reconnects on August 9th in Coplay, PA for the annual Sporting Clays Fundraiser

Posted in Chapter News.

Past Pres. Roasted, Insurers Talk Heavy Civil Issues at SC Chapter Dinner

(L-R) Chapter VP Jordan Houston, Bill Thomas, Brian Land, Candi Stegall, Pres. Kent Parker, Kali Shaefer

During the first three months of 2024, the PDCA South Carolina Chapter delivered members a full slate of events that provideded a variety of opportunities for member engagement; among them were educational enrichment through the Driven Pile Technical Seminar, fellowship and trivia during an impromptu happy hour, and extension of a longstanding Chapter tradition with the annual Oyster Roast. On Thursday, May 16, 2024, the Chapter convened for its first formal dinner meeting of the year, and the first chance for president Kent Parker to conduct official Chapter business. 
After the networking happy hour that precedes every Chapter dinner, Parker called the meeting to order and delivered opening remarks. The new president began: "Wow! I want to thank John King for his dedicated service as past president, but I have to tell you - I feel like Ronald Reagan taking over for Jimmy Carter** up here. The bar was set, but not too high..." The good-natured remark drew laughter from King, and those in the crowd who understood that it was a well-intended, ice-breaking quip to highlight King's propensity for discussing politics.
(L-R) Pres. Carter*, John King
*PDCA credits the Atlanta Braves organization which posted the photo of Pres. Carter on X

**(Parker's invocation of two former, American presidents references politically motivated recollections of their two very different, but no less distinguished, public service careers. PDCA does not endorse political ideologies, but in this case, recognizes the words as nothing more than harmless, playful rhetoric, rooted in 40-year-old political party-line narratives. May former President Reagan rest in peace, and may former President Carter receive the best care available in his fragile state. Both highly-accomplished men led remarkable American lives.)

Following the short, general business meeting that recapped the various events to date in 2024, Parker recognized two Chapter Board members who won 2023 PDCA Association Awards, recently announced during a special awards ceremony in Dallas, TX. Jason Moore, a former Chapter and PDCA president, and presently the Chairman of the PDCA Communications Committee, was presented the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service. Also, Greg Canivan, a past Chapter president and current PDCA Board of Directors member, received the John T. Parker Industry Ambassador Award, a special honor that singles out a South Carolina Chapter member for demonstrating a commitment to advocating the driven pile on both local and global platforms.

(L-R) Jason Moore, Greg Canivan awarded during special ceremony

Parker introduced the informational program while attendees enjoyed a buffet-style dinner. Adam Jarrett and Kali Shaefer are insurance professionals with Assured Partners, who specialize in management of a heavy construction clientele. Jarrett delivered a presentation entitled 'The State of the Insurance Market,' which discussed the conditions, sometimes negative, that commercial customers are facing, but also pinpointed signs for optimism in some of the industry forecasting. At the same time, he articulated the mounting challenges that carriers face due to ongoing changes in the regulatory environment. His presentation prompted a series of questions at the conclusion of the program.

Before the meeting ended, Parker held a raffle for attendees through a random drawing of business cards. Chapter member Taylor Kelso  was the lucky winner of a $75 gift card to Outback Steakhouse. The next meeting of the PDCA South Carolina Chapter is scheduled for August 8th at the Town and Country Inn & Suites in Charleston, SC.

See who was SPOTTED at the 2024 second quarterly meeting of the South Carolina Chapter:

Posted in Chapter News.

Esteemed PDCA Lecture at 2024 IFCEE Awarded to Dr. Dick Hartman

PDCA Pres. Brian Heck (r) presents Dr. Dick Hartman (l) the 2024 E.A.L. Smith Award

The E.A.L. Smith Award is an honor that PDCA presents to a pile driving professional who has demonstrated creative, original work that has helped the industry contribute an economical, sustainable, effective, and environmentally conscious foundation solution. A winner is selected by PDCA leadership every three years, and that individual is asked to present the esteemed E.A.L. Smith Award Lecture each time the International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo (IFCEE) convenes. In 2024, Dr. Dick Hartman of Hartman Engineering earned this distinction.

A little more about this year's honoree; Dick Hartman earned his Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a PhD in engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia. In the 1960's he worked for various pile driving contractor companies and provided consultation on installation methods. He would later found his Clarence, NY-based firm, Hartman Engineering. Since he began his career, he has become a licensed professional engineer in 39 states.

During his May 9, 2024 award presentation at IFCEE in Dallas, TX, Dr. Hartman delivered the talk entitled, "Some Insights Related to Sheet Piling Structures." He discussed how sheet piling is used in many different types of structures, some of which have experienced failure, which can result in unintended hazards and expense. Dr. Hartman delved into the importance of understanding all factors that can impact the integrity of a sheet piling structure and analyzed four different instances of structural failures. And in the spirit of Mr. E.A.L. Smith and his desire for practicality and simplicity, Dr. Hartman presented on a new and straightforward method for designing circular cofferdams, structures that have historically been known to harbor the capacity for the most dangerous failures.

PDCA congratulates Dr. Dick Hartman on his impactful and illustrious career in civil engineering. Thanks to all IFCEE attendees who listened to Dr. Hartman's enlightening presentation.

Time is Running Out: West Coast Students Apply for Chapter Scholarship by 7/1

Past Winners of the PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter Scholarship

A longstanding tradition at the PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter is the annual scholarship program which encourages high school seniors and college students to consider careers related to the pile driving industry; construction management, engineering, business, among them. The program contributes to regional workforce development, broadens relations between the pile driving industry and the public, and provides deserving students some financial relief as they pursue higher education.

This program is limited to students in the western United States. If you are the parent of a young adult or have connection with one who qualifies for this scholarship, you are invited to share this opportunity with them. Applicants must complete and return the application form, which contains guidance on all program procedures and deliverables, by July 1, 2024. To access the application form, please click the button below:

Posted in Chapter News.

Pile Driving Excellence, Industry Contributors Celebrated at Awards Lunch

PDCA crowd gathers for May 10, 2024 lunch to support winners of 2023 Project of the Year and Association Awards

The 2023 PDCA Project of the Year and Association Awards Ceremony took place on May 10, 2024 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, immediately following the conclusion of formal programming at the International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo (IFCEE). This was a change to past practice, initiated by the PDCA Board of Directors, to facilitate a timely, public celebration of the various winners, rather than wait for the next PDCA Annual Conference in 2025.

Several PDCA members who attended IFCEE stayed after the show to attend the luncheon ceremony and support the winners of Project of the Year Awards (POY) which exemplify excellence in pile driving, and the Association Awards winners who have been identified as significant industry contributors. Others made a special trip to Dallas to participate in the special program. PDCA Executive Director Frank Peters served as emcee of the event while PDCA President Brian Heck personally awarded all winners. 

See the photos below which identify the 2023 awards winners:

Forefront Deep Foundations
POY, Land: Less than $1M

Texas Pile LLC,
Clayton Signor representing
POY, Land: $1M-$5M

R.E. Pierson Construction Co.
POY, Land: More than $5M

Cape Romain Contractors,
Leonard Pharr representing
POY, Marine: Less than $5M

Pacific Pile & Marine,
Eric Muller representing
POY, Marine: More than $5M

Richard Goettle, Inc.,
Doug Keller representing
POY, Earth Retention: Less than $5M

ASAP Group,
Ed Bisono representing
POY, Earth Retention: More than $5M

Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering,
Michael Simpson and Peter Graff representing
POY, Associate/Engineering Affiliate

Dr. Richard "Dick" Hartman
POY, E.A.L. Smith Award Lecture

Chris Normand
Committee Chair of the Year

Greg Canivan
John T. Parker Industry Ambassador Award

Les Chernauskas
Dr. Frank Rausche Professional Engineer's Service Award

George Smith (accepted by John Miles)
Associate Member of the Year

Jason Moore
Presidential Award for Distinguished Service

Buck Darling
Lifetime Achievement Award
2023 PDCA Project of the Year Awards Winners

Land: Less than $1M
Forefront Deep Foundations, Inc. 

Mexico-U.S. Port of Entry Bridge Widening over the All-American Canal

Land: $1M-$5M
Texas Pile, LLC
Z Modular San Marcos

Land: More than $5M
Richard E. Pierson Construction Co., Inc.
Tradepoint Atlantic Inner Berth Bulkhead Improvements, East Berth

Marine: Less than $5M
Cape Romain Contractors, Inc.
Noisette Creek Pedestrian Bridge

Marine: More than $5M
Pacific Pile & Marine
Port of Alaska Petroleum & Cement Terminal Phase 2

Earth Retention: Less than $5M
Richard Goettle, Inc.
Montgomery County SMART Project

Earth Retention: More than $5M
ASAP Group
Central Everglades Planning Project New Waters EA A-2 Stormwater Treatment Area

Associate/Engineering Affiliate
Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering
Surfside Beach Pier Replacement

The Project of the Year Awards program from PDCA represents the organization's most prestigious honor, and its annual winners exemplify excellence in driven pile-based, deep foundation construction. You can re-read about the 2023 program winners in PileDriver magazine, Issue #4-2023. And watch for PileDriver magazine Issue #4-2024 coming your way in August when PDCA will reveal winners of the 2024 Project of the Year Awards.

2023 PDCA Association Awards 

John T. Parker Industry Ambassador Award: Greg Canivan 

Presented to a PDCA member who demonstrates a unique passion for pile driving, in the spirit of the late John T. Parker.

Dr. Frank Rausche Professional Engineers Service Award:
Les Chernauskas 

Presented to a PDCA engineer member who has made a significant contribution to the PDCA, the pile driving industry and the engineering profession from the Geotechnical, Civil or Structural engineering disciplines. 

Presidential Award for Distinguished Service: Jason Moore 
Pays tribute to a PDCA member who has made long-term and significant contributions to the PDCA and the pile driving industry through effective leadership, support, and participation.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Buck Darling 
This award is presented to a PDCA member who has made a significant contribution to the PDCA over a consistent and extended period of time. It is presented with sincere appreciation for the exemplary service and support through a lifetime of participation, patience, and patronage. 

Committee Chair of the Year Award: Chris Normand 
Presented to the PDCA Committee Chair who has demonstrated exemplary leadership and outstanding dedication to PDCA and the pile driving industry.

Associate of the Year Award: George Smith
Presented to the Associate Member of PDCA who has demonstrated a consistent contribution of time, resources, and expertise to support a specific and critical function of the organization.

E.A.L. Smith Award Lecture: Dr. Richard "Dick" Hartman
Presented in recognition of the PDCA members' ceaseless efforts and dedication to advancing the driven pile industry through innovative, highly efficient, and environmentally sensitive solutions.

*Board of Directors votes on Annual Awards winners

Texas Chapter Hosts Dallas Reception, Cowboy Hats Encouraged

The PDCA Texas Chapter Reception was one of the PDCA-specific events to take place adjacent to IFCEE 2024. It was a social engagement on the evening of May 8th, in the Cotton Bowl Room at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. Chapter members and PDCA stakeholders from throughout the country gathered for networking and refreshments.

A large group of sponsors made the event possible - the Texas Chapter thanks the following organizations for their generosity: CPS Houston, INC., Meever USA, Inc., American Piledriving Equipment Inc., Aggregate Technologies, Inc., Russell Marine LLC, Dark Horse Metals, LLC, Lodge Lumber Co., McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., Nucor Skyline, Pile Solution, and PVE Equipment USA. The PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter and Pacific Coast Chapter were also sponsors.

See who was SPOTTED at this event: 

Posted in Chapter News.

PHOTO DUMP: IFCEE 2024, Exhibitors (Partial)

Check back for continuing coverage from IFCEE 2024 in Dallas, TX!


AE&F, Dawson, Jinnings, Bauer SPOTTED in Dallas at IFCEE 24 Set-Up

IFCEE 2024 opens on May 7th, and thousands are expected to descend upon the triennial Expo for four days of deep foundations industry enrichment. The event includes technical seminars, networking, and of course a massive equipment show. And this equipment show doesn't set-up itself. Therefore, crews are working long hours throughout the weekend to position their equipment displays and polish their outdoor booths.

One crew, consisting of pile driving pros from American Equipment & Fabricating and Dawson Construction Plant, shared some scenes from their set-up, early Friday morning, May 3rd. And as they tell us, they are preparing a display of "the Dawson innovative double-acting rapid blow rate central ram hydraulic HPH2500 impact hammer, a machine AEF introduced in North America 5 years ago, that continues to lead the marketplace."

The crew from Jinnings Equipment was also spotted on the fairgrounds, building the booth that will be visited by hundreds of deep foundation professionals in coming days.

Thanks to contributing photographer Joe Gelardi from AEF, we also have an aerial shot of the developing fairgrounds, as well as a panoramic photo in which an RTG rig from Bauer Equipment can be seen.

We wish you safe travels to IFCEE and look forward to seeing you May 7-10 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas!

UPDATE: Later in the show, an official IFCEE camera crew dropped by the American Equipment & Fabricating exhibit to find out how things were going. They spoke to company owner Charlie Booth and Marco who was representing PDCA member Motocut for which AE&F is the North American distributor. Click the photo to watch the video.

Cunningham from ICE, Inc. Wins May #PDCADriven Contest

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