Verble Elected to Lead Texas Chapter in 2024; Continued Growth is on the Agenda


Members of the PDCA Texas Chapter gathered Nov. 16 at Spindletap Brewery in Houston for its last 2023 meeting.

A 2024 golf tournament is a priority for the PDCA Texas Chapter, following the 2023 event that was a sold-out success. Proceeds raised during the September outing enable the Chapter to pursue initiatives that would improve the industry through quality educational opportunities and continue to broaden its reach to ensure Chapter accessibility to regional industry professionals. These were among the items members discussed during their November 16, 2023, meeting at Spindletap Brewery in Houston.



The final Chapter meeting for 2023 also featured the election of a new president and vice president to serve the organization next year. Condon Verble, the founding vice president of the Chapter since its inception in 2022, elected as the new president, succeeding Brandon Bicknell. Mickey Thatcher succeeds Verble as vice president. Secretary Mike Leal and Treasurer Derek Brodnax will continue in their roles until next election as the Chapter bylaws stagger the offices that are voted on each cycle, in order to maintain continuity in leadership.

The PDCA Texas Chapter thanks all members, supporters, sponsors, and attendees' of 2023 events and initiatives. There is significant momentum in the Texas pile driving industry, in part due to the reemergence of the Chapter which began operating in January 2022. The members have proven to be committed and very effective in developing a desirable industry organization that enables all professionals to participate in the shared goal of advancing the driven pile. If you are interested in joining the PDCA Texas Chapter for 2024, you can enroll by clicking the Chapter logo below:

 

2023 leadership (L-R-standing) Brandon Bicknell, Condon Verble, Derek Brodnax, Mike Leal

(L-R) Incoming president Condon Verble talks with Greg Major

Photo Credits: Shiri Foster, Lodge Lumber Co.

Posted in Chapter News.

Citadel Cadet Awarded, Expert Presents, '24 Officers Named at SC Event


Charleston, SC (November 9, 2023): The South Carolina Chapter of PDCA names Cadet Caden Leckelt as 2023 recipient of the prestigious "Mac" Nigels Scholarship. A Junior at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, he currently carries a 3.90 GPA as a Civil Engineering Major and expects to graduate in Spring 2025. Mr. Leckelt comes to The Citadel from Oak Harbor, WA; as a student, he is a Gold Star Recipient, a member of ASCE, and a member of the Boxing Club. Several of his classmates attended the award ceremony at the 4th Quarter Dinner Meeting of the PDCA South Carlina Chapter, which presents the award. New in 2023, the amount awarded for the Nigel's Scholarship was raised to $2,500.

During a special segment of the final 2023 meeting for the SC Chapter, board member Scott Nigels and son of the late McLeod "Mac" Creighton Nigels introduced Cadet Leckelt to attendees and presented him the award consisting of a commemorative plaque and the 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.


Other awards presented during the final 2023 meeting of the PDCA South Carolina Chapter were the Harry Robbins Chapter Awards, an initiative of outgoing president John King, who has prioritized recognizing people in the regional pile driving industry who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the Chapter through volunteering their time, talent, and/or treasure, over the years. The final recipients of the 2023 Robbins Awards were Koppers' retirees Eddie Miller and Roger Adkins, and Kay Shealy (retired) from Pile Drivers, Inc. 

Dr. John Ryan presents the Chapter a technical program
entitled 'Axial Load Limits on Prestress Concrete Piles'



Chapter members elected a slate of officers to lead Chapter activities in 2024. The following individuals assume their new offices, effective January 1st:
  • President Kent Parker of Parker Marine Construction, Inc.
  • VP Jordan Houston of Cape Romain Contractors, Inc.
  • Sec./Treas. Andrea Edwards of Koppers
  • Past President John King of Pile Drivers, Inc.
  • Board Member Jim Challenger of Consolidated Pipe & Supply
  • Board Member Greg Canivan of S&ME, Inc.
  • Board Member Jason Moore of Palmetto Pile Driving, Inc.
  • Board Member Simon Ghanut of The Citadel
  • Board Member Ric Anderson of Gerdau North America

See who was SPOTTED at the capacity meeting:

Posted in Chapter News.

Texas Chapter Hosts Successful, Sold-Out Golf Tourney


Event Title Sponsor J.D. Fields & Co. outfitted its players with the latest in the company's line of head-wear.

Fourteen under par at Houston's Hermann Park Golf Course was enough to edge out 18 other teams and secure First Place for the PDCA Texas Chapter Inaugural Golf Tournament. The sold-out event on Tuesday morning, September 12th, attracted golfers at all levels, many of whom would be participating later that day in the DICEP 2023, an annual technical program from PDCA that was held in Houston. Teams finishing in 2nd and 3rd place were also awarded, as were individuals who won various golf contests that they encountered throughout 18 holes of play. Photos of winners and their representatives are below:
 

Brandon Phetteplace (L) represents the 1st place team consisting of himself, Scott Webster, Brandon Bicknell, and Craig Drachman
 

Erica Ferens (R) accepts the 2nd place prize for teammates Walter Van Zuthem, Strider Noone, and James Whiteley 
Tyler Henneke reps the 3rd place team that included Dustin Walker, Nicco Hacopian and Thomas McCarther
 

David Toups (front) won Men's Closest to the Pin

Jenny Ellis won Lady's Closest to the Pin

Erica Ferens won Lady's Longest Drive

Josh Averitt won Men's Longest Drive
 

Jerry Rogers, Jose Perez, Mark Gonzalez and Brian Land were crowned the Most Honest team!

All prizes were made possible by the generous Event Sponsors recognized on tournament signage

This event would not have been possible without a strong showing of generous sponsors and dedicated volunteers. Title Sponsor JD Fields & Company, Breakfast Sponsor Tolunay-Wong Engineers, and Lunch Sponsor Lodge Lumber are recognized, along with Hole Sponsors Aggregate Technologies, Inc., McCarthy, American Piledriving Equipment, Service Steel Warehouse, Pileco, Inc., THI Pipe & Piling, Pipe & Tube Supplies, Inc., Tolunay-Wong Engineers, Russell Marine LLC, JD Fields & Co., Eustis Engineering LLC, Mammoth Carbon Steel, Lodge Lumber, Dunham Price Group, and CPS Houston. Hole and event sponsors also included Colgan Industries, Energy Materials, Co., Stiver Engineering, Brannon Industrial Group, Bigge Crane, and Coastal Ice & Water. Many of the Hole Sponsors made sure that golfers were refreshed when they visited their tents, photos below:

Eustis Engineering LLC
Russell Marine LLC
THI Pipe & Piling

Aggregate Technologies, Inc.
Service Steel Warehouse
Mammoth Carbon Products
Tolunay-Wong Engineers
Lodge Lumber
Pipe & Tube Supplies, Inc.
Energy Materials Company

This event would not have been possible without a critical, dedicated group of volunteers who assisted the PDCA Texas Chapter leadership in organizing and executing the successful golf tournament. President Brandon Bicknell, VP Condon Verble, Secretary Mike Leal, and Treasurer Derek Brodnax gained critical support from the team of volunteers who are pictured - in action - below: Lori Cooley Bauer EquipmentKyle Plaisance McCarthy Building Companies, Kyrsten Garcia - Russell Marine LLC, Mario Alanis - Bauer Equipment, and Shiri Foster - Lodge Lumber.


Cooley

Plaisance

Garcia

Alanis

Foster

By all accounts, the PDCA Texas Chapter hit a hole in one (pardon the cliche) with its Inaugural Golf Tournament. At times it was competitive, other times it was rowdy, but for about 6 hours on a Tuesday morning in Houston, support and advocacy of driven pile-based deep foundation construction was the inspiration for an overall, highly successful event. The PDCA Texas Chapter and PDCA thank all participants for supporting the cause, A driven pile...is a tested pile! If you missed it, this PHOTO DUMP is our best effort to give you the pictorial story of a great day on the golf course:

Must've been Wheaties in that burrito...


Spicin' things up with an early morning game of golf cart 'chicken.' No injuries or collisions occurred!


It doesn't take a lot to convince PDCA President Brian Heck to take a morning off for some golf.


So which Toups is it???

A beautiful week to be a Longhorn
This one's interpreted as a Gig 'em Aggies

Thanks to all for making this a great event!

Posted in Chapter News.

Pacific Coast Chapter Gives Scholarships; Two Winners Interned for PDCA Members


Through funds raised during the successful Pacific Coast Chapter Scholarship Shoot in April, the organization is awarding six scholarships to students on the West Coast who are pursuing higher education in construction and/or engineering disciplines. Each of the following students is receiving a $2,000 scholarship available for the 2023 fall semester at their respective schools. 

Part of the application process for hopefuls who pursue this scholarship is to share information and documentation about their experiences, to date, and their plans for the future. Meet the 2023 Winners of the Pacific Coast Chapter Scholarship:

Ben Nguyen
 
Through a sponsorship from his summer internship employer and PDCA member Pacific Pile & Marine (PPM), Hiep (Ben) Nguyen wins a Chapter scholarship. The award comes in time for his 4th year at University of Washington (UW) where he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, concentrating in heavy civil and sustainable construction. A native of south Vietnam where he watched and used numerous buildings founded by driven piles, Ben has developed a passion to contribute to the built environment. To supplement his application to the Chapter, Ben submitted enthusiastic reference letters from a professor from UW who said he 'embodies the intent of this scholarship,' and his internship supervisor at PPM who remarks that his 'potential is limitless.' One look at his credentials, and we can see this young man is going to be an asset to the pile driving industry.
 
Roan Fettig
 
Roan Fettig also lists work experience from a PDCA member company on his Chapter scholarship application. His past employer, Vortex Marine Construction, Inc. praised his qualities of 'dependability, conscientiousness, and thoughtfulness,' saying he 'demonstrates creative problem-solving skills.' Earlier this year, Roan achieved Eagle Scout, graduated Campolindo High School in Moraga, CA, and started his freshman year at Montana State University where he pursues a degree in Civil Engineering. He has amassed an impressive resume to date, which includes competing in numerous sports and volunteering at a community food bank and as a youth coach. He has a rare and impressive history of advancement and in the Boy Scouts of America organization. His high school guidance counselor endorsed Roan, saying 'he has all the attributes that will make him successful in life.'
 
Will Millette
 
As he begins his third year at Colorado State University as a student in Construction Management, Will Millette has achieved an impressive GPA, but also scheduled himself a challenging fall semester schedule where he has classes and labs including materials testing, visual arts, business law and ethics, and calculus, to name a few. With a heavy load like this, it is no surprise that in her reference letter for his Chapter scholarship application package, his high school math teacher said he 'was constantly striving to improve his skills and prove his mastery of the given subject.' Will also has a history of success outside of academics. He was an award-winning, multi-sport high school athlete who captained his soccer team. The Walnut Creek, CA native also found time to develop work skills through performing part-time jobs in an iron works shop, a real estate office, and a construction company. 
 
Robert Leerkes, Jr.
 
By 19 years old, Robert Leerkes, Jr. has built a resume that includes achievements from FEMA, Skills USA, and the Arizona Career and Technical Education Quality Commission. Now, in his first-year student at Northern Arizona University where his is enrolled in the civil engineering program, he starts with numerous credits from his time as a dual-enrolled student at Williams Field High School and Maricopa Community College. His resume also includes experience as a formal tutor to math and science students, a volunteer assistant to the high school engineering department, and part time work with a Phoenix-area traffic control company. He earned a Chapter scholarship endorsement letter from a past instructor from the Federal Dept. of Homeland Security who gave a glowing review of Robert's time in his class, noting he is a 'talented, intelligent student with charisma, confidence, and strong values.'
 
Ben Schussel
 
As he begins his first semester at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he is studying Construction Management, Benjamin Schussel earned the Chapter scholarship based on his academic successes at Mission Oak High School in Tulare, CA. He built an enviable resume that includes extra-curricular pursuits in athletics and community service, and part-time work at Rio Blanco Dairy, Tulare City Parks and Rec, and Stacked Bar and Grill. In his application essay, Ben states that he maintains a keen interest in construction industry technologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), virtual reality, and drone utilization, all which can enhance driven pile foundation installation. According to his high school science teacher, who notes his high degree of 'self-motivation', she says Benjamin 'displays initiative, leadership, and a natural inclination to help others.'
 
Adam Schussel
 
A Tulare, CA native, Chapter scholarship winner Adam Schussel graduated from Mission Oak High School and begins college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The freshman majoring in construction management brings a diversified set of experiences, having worked for his hometown park district as a swim instructor and lifeguard, and worked at an area dairy where he performed painting and general labor. A scholar and an athlete, he won the Future Engineer Award for his coursework and Best Defensive Player the school's water polo team. A former teacher summed up Adam by saying "This kid is the type of student every teacher wishes to have: affable, intelligent, and respectful." In our estimation, he has the makings of a future driven pile foundation construction leader!

Posted in Chapter News.

Gulf Coast Chapter Clay Shoot Brings Hot Temps, Competition

PVE Equipment USA, among the shooting station sponsors, featured a water-landing for busted clays. 

On August 25th, the Bridgeview Gun Club in Port Allen, LA hosted the Gulf Coast Chapter Clay Shoot, followed by its 3rd quarter meeting. More than 50 attended the event which featured 13 shooting stations at which teams competed against one another for the top score. Here's a group photo of the participants before the temperatures surged and competition escalated:

In addition to shooting clays, participants enjoyed breakfast, courtesy of Premier Geotech and Testing, which also brought a cooling station to the shooting course offering shade and water. Later, lunch was courtesy of H&E Equipment.

Gold Sponsors were PVE Equipment USA, Eustis Engineering, Premier Geotech and Testing, Gulf Coast Pre-Stress Partners. Silver Sponsors were Orion Marine, Dunham Price Concrete Products, PDCA, Pile Solutions. See their signs that decorated several shooting stations.
Dunham Price
Orion Marine
PDCA
Gulf Coast Pre-Stress Partners

Premier Geotech and Testing

Eustis Engineering

The Chapter's business meeting took place in a shelter house on Bridgeview's grounds, following lunch and refreshments. This time was also spent recognizing the winners in the team and individual competitions.


Team winners!
1st Place: Landon Meyer, Travis Parker, Hunter Landry, Scott Callaway
2nd Place: Brent Guthrie, Jeff Hastings, Daniel Sprunk, Kirt Jackson
3rd Place: Coy Duplechain, Kevin Gourgues, Dylan Andre, Ronnie Hoefeld
Honorable Mention: the gutsy dragonflies! (unofficial)

Individual winners
Top Shot: Brian Held
Bridgeview Gun Club female record-breaker: Rachel Bache (9)

Among the news from the meeting, the 4th Quarter meeting will return to the Gold Nugget Casino in Biloxi. At that time, the Chapter will elect 2024 officers. (Below, the 2023 officers VP Tony Sepulvado, Sec. Heath Stevens, Treas. Brent Guthrie, and Pres. Dylan AndrĂ© huddle before the Clay Shoot)

More news from the Chapter meeting, it was announced that the 2024 Engineers Conference is scheduled for March 14, 2024, at L'Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge; it will be preceded by a crawfish boil at nearby Pointe Marie.

Browse the following PHOTO DUMP from the Gulf Coast Chapter Clay Shoot:

 

Posted in Chapter News.

NE Chapter Raises Education Programming Funds at Annual Shoot


Now in its 8th year, the PDCA Northeast Chapter held its annual 'Sporting Clays' event on August 11th, at the scenic Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays near Coplay, PA, attracting more than 70 deep foundations professionals from the region. The popular shooting competition brings Chapter members together for a day of friendly competition and fundraising. As it continually strives to enrich its membership on geotechnical concepts, equipment technologies, and other industry developments, the annual 'Sporting Clays' outing collects donations from participants to help fund ongoing educational programming and scholarships.

Several benefactors supplemented the Chapter's educational development coffers, while also enhancing 2023's rendition of the annual gathering at the gun range. Those included, Event Sponsor International Construction Equipment, Lunch Sponsor Equipment Corporation of America, Cigar Sponsor R. Kremer & Son Marine Contractors, LLC, Shooting Station Sponsors George Harms Construction Company (x3), Triad Metals, Junttan USA, and Simpson and Brown. 

Many thanks to the dozens of ace marksmen who ventured to the 'stunning grounds' at Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays for the August outing. The Northeast Chapter convenes again on November 8th for a dinner meeting and Casino Night, watch your inbox for details, coming soon!

Scenes from the event, including individual shooter recognitions and views of the squads on the scenic course:

Posted in Chapter News.

TX Chapter Hosts New Golf Tourney, Right Before Start to DICEP


Texas Chapter Treasurer Derek Brodnax attends PDCA golf outing at 2023 Annual Conference

The 2023 DICEP Conference opens on September 12th in Houston, however, golfers attending DICEP might consider arriving in south Texas sooner so they can participate in the inaugural golf tournment, an event organized by the PDCA Texas Chapter.

The events takes place at Hermann Park Golf Course in Houston's Museum District, a short distance from the Houston Marriott West Loop where DICEP is being held. Arrive as early as 6:30 AM CDT to register as a player, the shotgun start sounds promptly at 8:00 AM.


PDCA Texas Chapter thanks the following sponsors for the inaugural Golf Tournament:
  • Tolunay-Wong Engineers
  • Lodge Lumber
  • CPS Houston
  • JD Fields & Company, Inc.
  • Russell Marine LLC
  • McCarthy Building Companies
  • Bigge Crane and Rigging
 
PDCA Texas Chapter leadership team, (L-R): Mike Leal, Brandon Bicknell, Derek Brodnax, Condon Verble


 

Posted in Chapter News.

Gulf Coast Chapter Hosting Clay Shoot, Membership Meeting on 8/25


Scenes from the 2022 Gulf Coast Chapter Clay Shoot


A Note From Heath Stevens,
Secretary for the PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter

"We are only a few weeks away from this event. Please take the time today to register and pay as soon as possible.


This event will be a 2 for 1 as we will shoot clays and have our 3rd quarter meeting immediately following. Food, drinks, giveaways, and prizes should be enough for most of you to have already signed up for!

Let us know if you have any questions. This event has been very successful event thus far, let's keep it going!"

 
2023 PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter 3rd Quarter Meeting
When
Friday, August 25, 2023 from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM CDT
Add to Calendar

 

Where
Bridgeview Gun Club
1365 Northwest Dr
Port Allen, LA 70767
Driving Directions
PDCA Gulf Coast Members,
This year our annual clay shoot will be combined with our 3rd Quarter meeting!
 
Bring your shotguns, shells, and appetite to the PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter Clay Shoot as well as 3rd Quarter meeting. Following this year's clay shoot we will be having a catered lunch with our quarterly meeting. We will again be doing a giveaway so be sure to sign in when you arrive. 

Please register and Pay at the link below. These fees will need to be paid prior to the event.
 
 

Posted in Chapter News.

Northeast Chapter 'Sporting Clays' Event (8/11), Open for Registration

American Pile and Foundation, LLC sends a foursome of shooters in search of braggin' rights in 2022
 
Plan to join the PDCA Northeast Chapter will host the 8th Annual Sporting Clays event on Friday, August 11, 2023, at the spectacular Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays in Coplay, Pennsylvania.  It's a great opportunity to reconnect with your industry friends at a spectacular, remote location; somebody will walk away from the competitive event with 'braggin' rights' for posting the highest score.

The PDCA Northeast Chapter Sporting Clays is open to members and non-members. Invite your friends and colleagues in the deep foundation industry to a day of sporting clay action and networking.

Continental breakfast and registration start at 8:00 AM and lunch is served at the conclusion of the competition. 

No gun? No problem!  Gun rental and shot gun shells are included in your registration fee.  If you are bringing your own gun, it needs to be a 12GA gun with a barrel length of not less than 24". No pistol grips and no collapsible stocks.
There will be a resource table available at the event so please bring information about your company, products, and services to display and share with participants.
 
Here are several options for participation in this event:

Register as a shooting participant
  • $175 per person
  • The PDCA NE Chapter 8th Annual Clay Shoot is open PDCA members and non-members, to associates, employees, family and friends
  • You can register your entire team on one registration for convenience
  •  
Shooting Station Sponsor
  • $150 each
  • You can purchase more than one Shooting Station Sponsor - simply enter the quantity you want when you register
  • Purchase multiple Shooting Station Sponsors to show your support and have your company name recognized several locations
  • Please send us a copy of your company logo to be used on the Shooting Station Sponsor sign
  •  
Cigar Sponsor
  • $500
  • 1 Cigar Sponsor available
  • A great way to get recognized and provide some enjoyment for attendees
 
Lunch Sponsor: Equipment Corporation of America
 
Event Sponsor: ICE-International Construction Equipment, Inc.
 
   
 
   
PDCA Northeast Chapter Additional Donation

You decide the amount. 
All donations will be used to help pay the cost for Northeast Chapter programs.


Click the button to register or sponsor the PDCA NE Chapter Sporting Clay Shoot:



Proceeds from the PDCA NE Chapter Sporting Clay Shoot will benefit future PDCA events such as Professional Development Courses and the PDCA NE Chapter Scholarships.




 

Posted in Chapter News.

Gulf Coast Chapter Holds Quarterly Meeting in Baton Rouge


The PDCA Gulf Chapter assembled at L'auberge Casino in Baton Rouge, LA for its quarterly meeting on June 1, 2023. Thanks to the generosity of sponsoring members APE - American Piledriving Equipment, Inc., and Scott Equipment, there was no cost for members in good standing to participate in the cocktail hour, dinner, or business meeting that comprised the event.

At the invitation of the Chapter which has advocated the reestablishment of a pile driving course in the Construction Management program at Louisiana State University, Bo Markovic provided perspectives from the institution on the idea. Additionally, Executive Director of PDCA Frank Peters gave the Chapter members an update on news and information from the national organization.

Attending members were qualified for a drawing which took place during the meeting; the Chapter donated fishing and golfing equipment to be given away during the event.

PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter President Dylan AndrĂ© reported that the next Chapter meeting would likely coincide with the annual Sporting Clay Shoot and the which is expected to take place in late August. Stay tuned for further information as it becomes available.

Posted in Chapter News.

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