PHOTOS: 2023 South Carolina Chapter Oyster Roast

Posted in Chapter News.

New Leadership Emerges After Texas Chapter Elections

(L-R): Brandon Bicknell, Mike Leal, Derek Brodnax, Condon Verble

Please join PDCA in welcoming the newest members of the leadership team at the PDCA Texas Chapter. Following the Chapter elections held January 18th, the 2022 President and Vice President retain their posts. Brandon Bicknell of Russell Marine, LLC will lead the group for another year, while Condon Verble from McCarthy lends his support again, as second in command. Meantime, two PDCA Associate Members emerged as winners for the open seats of Treasurer and Secretary.

Mike Leal is the new Chapter Secretary for 2023.The Outside Sales Manager at Lodge Lumber Co. in Houston has been with the company for the past decade. During that time, he has become heavily involved in PDCA, including through national and Chapter events and committee participation, among other means of participation. Said Mike, following his election; "I'm honored to join the
board and look forward to supporting the efforts toward growing the Chapter and delivering value to its members."

The new Chapter Treasurer is Derek Brodnax. A sales representative at Service Steel Warehouse, Derek has developed a large network in Texas and beyond, in the driven pile industry. He too can regularly be seen at PDCA Chapter and national events, as well as jobsites throughout the south. Regarding his new post with the Chapter, he tells us: "I am grateful to be elected to the board to serve our members - we are excited to see what 2023 has in store!" 

Regarding the schedule for Texas Chapter functions in 2023, they have released the following calendar. PLEASE BE ADVISED, THE JUNE 9 GOLF DATE IS TENTATIVE. So, save the dates!


Posted in Chapter News.

Gulf Coast Chapter Sets First 2023 Meeting at TopGolf

(L): PDCA Events Manager Kathy Harper and Gulf Coast Chapter President Dylen Andre; (R) Gulf Coast Chapter Secretary Heath Stevens
After being elected President of the PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter late last year, Dylan André said the new leadership would 'spice things up' for 2023 events. Making good on his promise, André tells PDCA that the Chapter is moving the traditional first quarterly meeting from a private dining space in Kenner, LA, to Topgolf in Baton Rouge, LA. On March 2, 2023, Gulf Coast Chapter members will gather there for a business meeting and social outing. Watch your inbox for registration and additional details about this event. 

Welcome Heath! The first quarterly meeting of the Gulf Coast Chapter gives Secretary Heath Stevens his debut in leadership. He was elected to the position by the membership which entrusts him with certain duties such as maintaining a careful record of Chapter business proceedings. 

Sec. Stevens' Meeting Minutes will establish Topgolf as a business meeting venue; someone send Kelly Clarkson the memo.

Following the March 2nd gathering at TopGolf, André said the Chapter will release the remaining dates for its 2023 events. Those will include three additional quarterly meetings and a new Sporting Clay Shoot, which becomes an annual event rather than an outing that occurs every other year. Watch your inbox and check back here regularly for more information on upcoming events in the PDCA Chapters.

Posted in Chapter News.

Register Today: Ensure Yourself a Bushel of Steamed Oysters!

PDCA of SC - 17th Annual Oyster Roast
Get more information
I can't make it
Friday, January 20, 2023 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST
Add to Calendar

Palmetto Pile Driving, Inc.
1875 Pittsburgh Avenue
Charleston, SC 29405

Driving Directions
Dear Matt,
We're two weeks out?  Are you registered? Let's spread the word! All friends of the driven pile industry are welcome (families too)! 

FREE oysters, pulled pork, hot dogs, chili, and beverages due to the generosity of our fantastic sponsors:
S&ME, Junttan, Koppers, Terracon, Essve Tech, ECS Carolinas, Carter Lumber, ESP Associates, United Rentals, NUCOR Skyline, Pile Drivers, Inc., Wahoo Trucking, Soil Consultants, Wire Products, Inc., Van-Smith Concrete, Hammer & Steel, Inc., Palmetto Pile Driving, Inc., Cape Romain Contractors, AMERICAN SpiralWeld Pipe, SJ Hamill Construction Corp., Consolidated Pipe and Supply, Parker Marine Contracting Corp., Johnson, Miriam & Thompson, Inc., American Piledriving Equipment (APE), Equipment Corporation of America (ECA), International Construction Equipment (ICE)
Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions!  

We'll see you on the 20th,
Jason Moore
Palmetto Pile Driving

Posted in Chapter News.

SC Chapter, The Citadel Announce 2023 Educational Event

The PDCA South Carolina Chapter encourages interested parties to consider the following invitation from The Citadel Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for the 2023 ASCE Carolinas Conference, coming to Charleston, SC in April.

Please see the following letter from Dr. Timothy W. Mays, Ph.D., P.E., Professor, and direct any questions to his office:

2023 ASCE Carolinas Conference
Our students and faculty have been planning the 2023 ASCE Carolinas Conference since the beginning of 2022. Our website Carolinas Hosted by The Citadel ( is already up and running, and we are excited about bringing everyone to campus and James Island County Park from April 13-15, 2023.

It may sound like a long way off, but we meet weekly to ensure a well-run event that is remembered by everyone involved. We are reaching out to you now for help and financial support that will allow us to reach our goals!

Linked to this email are two documents. One is a detailed description of the event for those that are not familiar with this annual competition among schools in the Carolinas. The second is a letter from the students requesting your help with a form you can easily fill out and send back to us.

Right now we are looking for the following:
  • Donations - we are excited to offer new levels of donations that are also beneficial to your company. Our highest tiers allow you to "Sponsor" a specific event where only your company will be displayed prominently at the location where the event is being held. We are limited to 10 events so if you want to do this, we have to make it first come first serve. We will recognize ALL DONORS in some fashion as described in the attachment but we will also have booths (for meeting students and other engineers from across the Carolinas) and speaking opportunities for those giving at the higher levels. Please reach out directly to Dr. Mays ( if you have any questions regarding donations or if you want to reserve an event in your company's name!
  • Judges - Although not binding, volunteering to serve as a judge early will allow us to have adequate plans and redundancy in place for day of event judging. Please have anyone from your company that is willing to serve as a judge email Dr. Mays ( If a certain day or event is desired, please let us know in the email. The tentative schedule can be found here: Schedule Carolinas (

Thanks so much for your help with the 2023 Carolinas Conference! We look forward to hearing from you.

Timothy W. Mays, Ph.D., P.E. Professor

Posted in Chapter News.

Gulf Coast Chapter Names 2023 Leadership Team

The PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter has new leadership, ready to hit the ground running, as the driven pile industry prepares for 2023. During its 4th Quarter Dinner Meeting held at Messina's in Kenner, LA on November 17th, Chapter Members elected the following team to serve as the voluntary, 2023 Chapter Board of Directors:
  • President: Dylan Andrè of Patriot Construction and Industrial, LLC
  • Vice President: Anthony "Tony" Sepulvado, Jr. of Boh Bros. Construction Co., LLC
  • Treasurer: Brent Guthrie of Cajun Industries, LLC
  • Secretary: Heath Stevens of Gulf Coast Pre-Stress Partners, LLC
President Andrè tells us that Members can expect some of the familiar Chapter activity, but there will also be some adjustments to the annual schedule; "We're trying to spice things up," he noted. "As in the past, we will have four, quarterly meetings, but we are working now to change one of the traditional locations. An announcement will be coming soon. Also, we are aiming to offer the skeet shoot on an annual basis - so that's another event we want people to look forward to attending in the new year."

In addition to the election of officers, the Chapter hosted time for networking, dinner and drinks, and covered an agenda to discuss its aspirations for growth, expansion of educational opportunities, and other matters brought to the floor. 

Chapter Members also heard a presentation from Meeting Sponsor JD Fields & Company, Inc. Representatives Alwyn McDowell and Joe Tridico spent some time updating attendees about steel pipe and steel sheet pile in the current marketplace. Following prepared remarks, they engaged the membership with Question and Answer time.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter thanked its sponsor for underwriting the event and its membership for its ongoing participation in the local pile driving industry.

Special thanks to our guest photographer
PDCA thanks volunteer photographer Derek Brodnax of Service Steel Warehouse for providing some 'scenes' from The PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter's 4th Quarter Dinner Meeting. Derek is SPOTTED in the mirror reflection, in the photo to the left. A recent addition to the PDCA Communications Committee, he was agreeable to helping bring you coverage of this important event for the pile driving industry in the Gulf Coast region. Thanks Derek! The Communications Committee has openings if you too, are interested in helping collect content from Chapter meetings and other events, for eventual use in PDCA Publications.

Posted in Chapter News.

Watkins Awarded SC/Nigels Scholarship; Webinar Team Was On-Location

Charleston, SC (November 10, 2022): The South Carolina Chapter of PDCA names Cadet Mary Coastal Watkins as 2022 recipient of the prestigious "Mac" Nigels Scholarship. A Junior at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, she currently carries a 3.77 GPA as a Civil Engineering Major and expects to graduate in Spring 2024. After graduation, she aspires to pursue a Master's degree in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture. Ms. Watkins is a native of Goat Island, a sea island within the Charleston, SC metro area; she adds the Nigel's Scholarship to a growing list of recognitions she has received, including Dean's List, SC Life Scholarship and Citadel Distinguished Scholars Program.

Ms. Watkins attended the quarterly meeting of the PDCA South Carolina Chapter, she was accompanied by her father, grandparents and an aunt. During a special segment of the final 2022 meeting for the organization, Chapter board member Scott Nigels and son of the late McLeod "Mac" Creighton Nigels introduced Mary Coastal to attendees and presented her the award consisting of a commemorative plaque and a $2000 monetary gift. The annual scholarship dates back to 2007 and is presented in the name of "Mac" Nigels who was a highly respected civil engineer in Charleston following his 1955 graduation from The Citadel.

Also on hand for the annual presentation of the Nigel's Scholarship were several past presidents of PDCA and the South Carolina Chapter. Among them were John King, Dave Chapman, Buck Darling, Jason Moore and current President Brian Heck. Harry Robbins also attended and addressed the group as founder and past president of the Chapter, a distinction also held by Moore and current President King. Scott Webster, Diane Fischer, and Greg Canivan all presently serve on the Board for the national organization and were in attendance at the Chapter meeting, as well. Following the scholarship presentation, PDCA Executive Director Frank Peters provided attendees with an update on resources currently available through the organization, a preview of an active 2023 beginning in just weeks, and encouragement to get involved in PDCA. 

Value Driven Webinar Series, On-Location in South Carolina

Prior to the PDCA South Carolina quarterly dinner meeting, the November installment of the Value Driven PDCA Webinar Series was delivered live and on-location from the Town and Country Inn & Suites facility in Charleston, SC. Readers might recall that the August webinar was broadcast from Chesapeake, VA. Executive Director Frank Peters and Events and Education Manager Kathy Harper moderated the monthly, virtual resource made available to members and other interested parties. Joining Frank and Kathy was special guest and November presenter John Davagian (pictured)Managing Partner at Davagian Grillo & Semple, LLP in Sudbury, Mass., who gave a program on legal contracts. Mr. Davagian focused his presentation on Gotcha Clauses and liquidated damages.

The final installment of the Webinar Series is coming to you on December 8th and will feature a program on Steel Durability in Marine Construction. 

Posted in Chapter News.

Pacific Coast Chapter Partners to Bring Two November Seminars

Contractors and engineers on the West Coast gained up to 3.5 PDH in November, thanks to a pair of technical seminars on which the PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter partnered to deliver. JD Fields & Company organized events in Huntington Beach, CA and Seattle, WA and filled each 4-hour time slot with a series of technical presentations from pile drivers and engineers who addressed various geotechnical challenges. Among the presenters were Blue Iron Foundation & ShoringGeo Engineers, Inc., Fields, and others.

Dean Abbondanza (pictured, presenting), is Director of Engineering at JD Fields & Co. said that around 30 attendees participated in each, no-cost seminar. He continued that such events have been productive this year and that the steel manufacturer plans to continue offering regional seminars in 2023.

Posted in Chapter News.

Pacific Coast Chapter Announces 2022 Scholarships

(L-R) Elizabeth Kinsella, Zachary Lindsay

Oakley, CA: PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter President Dermot Fallon announces that six students in California who are pursuing higher education in a construction field and have demonstrated an interest in the pile driving industry, have each received a $2,000 award through the Chapter's annual scholarship fund. The 2022 recipients are:

Kristoffer Brown He is a senior at Chico State studying Business Management. He plays on the varsity soccer team and achieved the CCAA All-Academic Honors Award in 2020 and 2021. He has also made the Dean's List for three semesters. His uncle is a contractor and developer, and his aunt is an architect; he wishes to follow in their footsteps and pursue a career in construction.

Will Millette He will be a freshman at Colorado State University, studying Construction Management.    He attended Las Lomas High School and received the Varsity Soccer Coaches Award for demonstrating athletic growth, commitment and dedication to the program. He worked at Concord Iron Work Inc. for the summer.

Jensen Vieira He recently graduated from El Camino High School in Sacramento and will studying Engineering at University of Nevada in the fall. Jensen was the captain of the Varsity Volleyball Team and lead his team to win the Capital Athletic League Championship and secured a bid to play in the Nor Cal Playoffs. In academics, Jensen maintained a 3.5 GPA for all 4 years of high school. He also won the Mathematics Department Award for Excellence in AP Calculus.

(L-R) Robert Halupka, Kristoffer Brown

(L-R) Jensen Viaira, Will Millette
Elizabeth Kinsella She is a Mechanical Engineer major at UC San Diego. She has spent the last four summers volunteering in Colonet, Mexico providing impoverished families with safe and clean shelters with solar lighting for their small homes. She has learned a lot about construction planning and building these small homes. She received Honor Roll all 4 years of high school.

Zachary Lindsay He attended Freedom High School and then to Los Medanos College for two years.  He is now transferring to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to study Construction Management.

Robert Halupka He attended Bellarmine College Preparatory High School.  He is currently studying Civil Engineering at University of Portland.

Congratulations the six current students who aspire to be the future of the deep foundation construction industry!

Posted in Chapter News.

Pile Driving Industry Retirees Honored in South Carolina

(Left to right: Michael McCormick, Don Surrency, John King, Sonny DuPre, John Skinner)

A 2022 objective of the South Carolina Chapter of PDCA and current president John King is to recognize the contributions of some of the region's important figures who spent impactful careers serving the Charleston market and helped shape the driven pile industry into what it is today. During its third quarter dinner meeting on August 18th, President King arranged for four retirees to receive The Harry Robbins Chapter Award. Three contractors and one supplier were introduced by a family member or close colleague and presented with a unique pile driving rig trophy to signify their contributions to the industry. Those recognized in August included Sonny DuPre who followed his father at the helm of Cape Romain Contractors, Michael McCormick who was a co-founder of Pile Drivers, Inc., John Skinner who retired after a long career at Parker Marine Contracting in 2021, and Don Surrency who was a leading representative at Koppers, Inc. for more than 30 years. PDCA thanks the four gentlemen for helping shape the modern, driven pile industry into what it is today.

In addition to the special recognitions, Chapter members and friends gathered at the Town & Country Inn & Suites in Charleston for a networking reception, buffet dinner featuring various southern cuisine favorites, a Chapter business update and a feature presentation from Kathy Harper of the PDCA national office in Orange Park, Florida. There, Kathy is the Manager of Education and Events; she provided dinner attendees with a 'behind the scenes' look at the evolution of such industry staples as the PDCA Annual Conference, DICEP, the PDCA Value Driven Webinar Series and Contractors Foundation Institute: Driven Pile Academy, among others. Members from the South Carolina Chapter are active in national level PDCA events and enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about their origin.

The capacity event attracted more than 60 attendees.

Kathy Harper from PDCA

A popular networking reception preceded the meeting.

PDCA South Carolina Chapter thanks the sponsors for the Quarterly Dinner Meeting! 

Posted in Chapter News.

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