South Carolina Chapter Holds Dinner Meeting, Hears Talk on Timber Piling

Several staff from Koppers were on hand to support their colleague Jim Healey (third from left) who delivered a presentation on Timber Piling to the PDCA South Carolina Chapter for their first, quarterly dinner meeting of 2023. Mr. Healey's talk ranged from coatings, to pile longevity, to termites, to treatments and more; he opened the floor for audience questions, following his prepared remarks.

The evening began with a social hour and a subsequent business report to the membership assembled at the Town & Country Inn and Suites in Charleston, SC, from President John King. Attendees also enjoyed an expansive buffet of southern cookin' as they heard the presentation on timber, which qualified for a one-hour, engineering PDH.

The PDCA South Carolina Chapter thanks sponsors Koppers, Nucor Skyline, Junttan, ICE-International Costruction Equipment, Palmetto Pile Driving, Inc., and Van-Smith Concrete for making the quarterly event possible.


Posted in Chapter News.

Past Presidents Appear on Conference Panel; Event Simulcast as Feb. Webinar

Attendees of the 2023 Annual Conference were treated to an oral history as told by six Past Presidents of PDCA who led the organization during unique times over the past quarter century. Billed as the Closing Keynote Session, the PDCA Past President Panel was sponsored by PDCA publications partner Lester and was simulcast via video conference to both the live and a remote audience as the February installment of the Value Driven Webinar Series.

Panelists for the one-hour event were John King (2009), Buck Darling (2011), Mark Weisz (2007), and Dave Chapman (2011 and 2017). Also serving on the panel were Wayne Waters (2004) and Jason Moore (2020) who appeared remotely. The group fielded a variety of questions that ranged from evolving market conditions, the early days of PDCA, the future of the industry, the impact of COVID on an association, and unique challenges for pile driver in different North American regions, to name a few of the subjects discussed. Executive Director Frank Peters introduced the program to the live and virtual audience and current PDCA President Brian Heck moderated the panel. The panelists also made time for a few audience questions.


2022 Project of the Year Award Winners Recognized in San Diego

The 2022 PDCA Project of the Year Awards lunch took place in front of attendees of the 2023 Annual Conference on February 9th. Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Company, a perennial award winner, sponsored the event. See photos of project teams, below:

GeoStructures, Inc. won the Land: Less Than $1M category for Matson Mill Multi-Family Condominium

Cajun Industries, LLC won Land: $1M-$5M category for Entergy LA-Gibson Substation Flood Mitigation Project

Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Co. won Land: Greater Than $5M category for
Deep Foundation for the Salt Lake City International Airport Redevelopment Program - Phase 2

Russell Marine, LLC won Marine: Greater Than $5M category for Enbridge Berth 2A Phase 3 Modifications

Richard Goettle, Inc. won Earth Retention: Greater Than $5M category for ALCOSAN North End Expansion

PND Engineers, Inc. won Associate/Engineering Affiliate Category for Taiheiyo Cement Marine Facilities

Congratulations 2022 winners! Entries are NOW OPEN for the 2023 Project of the Year Awards Program.

PDCA Golf Teams Meet Torrey Pines

The winning foursome, consisting of (L-R): Joe Blair, Rich Anderson, Mark Rice, Dermot Fallon. Braggin' rights valid for one year!


SPOTTED: Opening Reception for Conference at Mission Bay Resort

Conference Gives Attendees Two Chances at Many Elective Sessions

Jennifer Anderson delivers elective course, 'Effective Communications for Leaders,' after presenting opening keynote address, also on business communications.

Deborah Gardner presents elective session entitled 'Women Reshaping the Construction Industry - Winning Big and Living Fearlessly'

Takefumi Takuma, Shinya Kubo of Giken America Corp. give repeating, technical talk: Deepening Existing Berth for Larger Vessels with Pressed-In Pipe Piles Installed Through Ripraps.

Johnna Emanuel, PE of GeoStructures presents two installments of elective course, Ductile Iron Piles in NYC - Small Sites in the Big Apple!

Love Veronneau, CEO of Stabilforce Technologies, twice delivers elective session entitled Foundation Stabilization Innovation

Rian Johnson, P.E., S.E., P.Eng., and VP at PND Engineers, Inc. shares insight on Project of the Year Award-Winning Taiheiyo Cement Marine Facilities: Open Cell Sheet Pile System

Elective sessions attendees had significant opportunity to interact with subject matter experts who delivered business and technical presentations.

Conference Presentations Bring Topics Important to Pile Drivers

Following breakfast in the Exhibit Hall, the PDCA 2023 Annual Conference formally opened at 8:15 AM on February 8th; Executive Director Frank Peters and President Brian Heck coordinated the opening ceremony and provided the capacity audience with an association update. Following their remarks, Opening Keynote speaker Jennifer Anderson of Moving Forward Solutions, Inc. delivered a one-hour presentation. 

For the Opening Keynote, Ms. Anderson presents 'Communication for Today & For Tomorrow,' offering important perspectives on modern business communication

Silas Nichols, P.E., a principal geotechnical engineer with the Federal Highway Administration, delivers the technical talk, 'Estimating Bearing Resistance in Driven Piles'

Project Manager Darren Riddle of Foundation Constructors won a Project of the Year Award in 2022 for Sierra Point Phase 2 and 3; he shares insight into the California job with Conference attendees.

Likewise, Stewart Willis of Pacific Pile & Marine and Steve Spencer, P.E. of GeoEngineers detail their work on their award-winning project,
Port of Alaska Modernization - Petroleum & Cement Terminal. (Chris Lundfelt of PPM was on this job as well.)

The educational portions of the 2023 Conference concluded on the morning of February 9th; Norma Jean Mattei, Ph.D., P.E., delivered the important topic of Engineering Ethics, sponsored by Boh Bros. Construction Company, LLC. Then, Dr. Catherine Aimone-Martin appeared on a previously recorded video on which she presented Vibration & Pile Driving.

SPOTTED: Cocktail Reception in Conference Exhibit Hall



Presidential Award, Associate Members of the Year, More Awards

Association Awards and recognitions

(Left) Doug Keller
(Left) Diane Fischer
(Left) Bruce Langan
In a previous post, we detailed the presentation of the John T. Parker Industry Ambassador Award, given to the 2022 winner, Jill Harris. PDCA President Brian Heck presented additional Association Awards; recipients included Doug Keller who was the 2022 Presidential Award winner. The Associate Members of the Year Award went to both Diane Fischer and Pollyanna Cunningham who Co-Chair the Associate Member Council and delivered the highly successful Contractors Foundation Institute: Driven Pile Academy in April 2022. Jason Moore was not present, but provided a video acceptance for being named Committee Chair of the Year; he Chairs the Communications Committee. Finally, Bruce Langan was recognized for having completed a term on the PDCA Board of Directors.



As an additional incentive for attendees to explore the Exhibit Hall at the 2023 Annual Conference, PDCA incorporated what is known as Gamification. This was an engagement opportunity using the Conference app, where booth visitors could amass points for participating in pre-arranged games that were available in the exhibit booths.

The winners of the 2023 Gamification were: 1st Place - Mike Juneau, 2nd Place - Harold Baur, 3rd Place - Davis Johnston, and 4th Place - Keshav Vasudevan.

Raffle Winners

Finally, several attendees participated in a raffle that offered an assortment of desirable prizes. Among the raffle winners at the 2023 Annual Conference were Pablo Cerda, Chris Normand, and John Miles.

Harris Stunned to Receive Parker 'Industry Ambassador' Award

The John T. Parker Industry Ambassador Award is presented each year at the PDCA Annual Conference to an individual who shares the late John Parker's passion for this industry; someone who has represented and promoted pile driving in a way that reflects the highest standards of our industry. Each recipient is determined through consensus of the PDCA President, Executive Committee and a representative from the PDCA South Carolina Chapter; Mr. Parker was a leading pile driver in Charleston and a longtime supporter the Chapter.

Historically, the recipient of the Parker Award has been a South Carolina Chapter member, however the selection committee confidently went a different direction in its decision for the 2022 Award. PileDriver magazine Publisher Jill Harris of Lester Publications has been a longtime partner to the industry, and consistently develops an essential communications tool for continued advocacy for the driven pile. Through her years as the leading industry scribe, Ms. Harris has grown a close relationship with the South Carolina Chapter and several of its members; she has even traveled from her Canadian home to South Carolina to visit area jobsites, yards and offices of those who lead the deep foundations installations in the Palmetto State. 

Current South Carolina Chapter President John King, with the support from his members, proposed Ms. Harris to be the Parker Award recipient for 2022. Recognizing her contributions to the industry over the years, the national leadership team quickly affirmed the decision.

Fast forward to February 8, 2023 and the PDCA Annual Conference in San Diego, CA; Mr. King was tasked with presenting the John T. Parker Industry Ambassador Award before a large audience gathered for the Awards Luncheon. There, he delivered a heart-felt introduction of the recipient, repeatedly noting the passion for the industry that the recipient has demonstrated. He also conveyed that he and the recipient share a genuine and valuable friendship.

Seated with the scores of luncheon attendees, Jill listened to King's complimentary words with great interest and curiosity. She confided to us later that she was puzzled about this friend of John's, since, as she said 'I thought all of his friends had already gotten this award.'

Her name then appeared on the screen near the podium where John stood, and his voice cracked as he spoke it. Across the room, Jill was spotted dabbing moisture from her eyes as she slowly rose from her seat in utter surprise. Amid a rousing applause, she proceeded to the front of the auditorium to receive her award.

Congratulations to Jill Harris, the 2022 PDCA John T. Parker Industry Ambassador Award!

Current Parker Marine Contracting Co. staff, Candi Stegall and Pete Adams meet Jill, who won their company namesake award.

Posted in PDCA Annual Confernece.

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