A Pile of News - February 2023

A Pile of News: February 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 Feb. 1, 2023
It's here! The PDCA 24th Annual Conference starts next week, will we see you in San Diego at Mission Bay Resort? There's the golf tourney, committee meetings, Project of the Year ceremony, exhibit hall, keynote presentations, elective courses, receptions and much more. Have you registered as an exhibitor or attendee? If not, there's still time. Serial procrastinators can even show up at the door (not ideal), and we will try to accommodate you on the spot. We want you there! 
  • JUST RELEASED: The first 2023 issue of PileDriver magazine can make for good reading while you travel so check out the digital edition.
From the Association & Chapters
Mark your calendars!
NOW - May 5: The PDCA Project of the Year Awards Program is open for entries to members only. Send your submission as an electronic file share by May 5, and you're in!

Feb. 9: Value Driven Webinar Series, 23 PM EST. Past PDCA presidents will sit on a panel for a keynote presentation to Annual Conference attendees in San Diego. It will be simulcast as a webinar. If you can't be at the Conference, you are encouraged to remotely attend the event. It is FREE to members, $50 for non-members.

Feb. 16: South Carolina Chapter dinner meeting, 6:30 PM at Town & Country Inn, Charleston.

Feb. 23: DEADLINE for IFCEE 2024 abstracts. Aspiring presenters, act now!

Feb. 27 - March 1: Deep Foundations Dynamic Testing & Analysis Course (DFDTA): Doubletree Airport Hotel Orlando, one-day seminar, two-day workshop, optional proficiency test at the end.

March 2: Gulf Coast Chapter quarterly meeting and Topgolf event in Baton Rouge. Pres. Dylan André and leadership vow to "spice things up" for 2023 events.

March 14 - 18: CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023, Las Vegas PDCA is once again a supporting organization for the largest construction show in North America.

News and PHOTOS from the PDCA Blog:

PDCA executive director Frank Peters speaks at UBC Millwright & Pile Driver Conference.

South Carolina Chapter hosts 17th Annual Oyster Roast; see who was SPOTTED.

Texas Chapter elects new leadership; Mike Leal is now secretary and Derek Brodnax is the new treasurer. Returning as president is Brandon Bicknell, Condon Verble repeats as VP.

Strategic planning 2023 brought the PDCA Board of Directors to Clearwater, FL, in January to chart a path of continued growth, refined operations and a strengthened industry. PHOTOS.

BONUS COVERAGE of Strategic Planning 2023: Brian Heck begins second term, Brad Roberts gets new role, Harold Baur to chair committee, the Battle of the Blue and WWE legend sighting.

Do you want to present at PDCA DICEP 2023 or IFCEE 2024? Send in your abstract proposals.

ICYMI: Two new policies won board passage in 2022 a Member Code of Conduct and a Standing Committee Operation Policy.

Industry News:

New Statutory Payment Regime for Public and Private Works in Virginia
PDCA legal author Anthony LaPlaca, who recently made partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP, updates a new Virginia law which nullifies the "pay-if-paid" defense; subs must be paid, regardless of timely payments by project owners to GCs. It took effect Jan. 1, and varies slightly for public and private contracts.

ABC Construction Confidence Index; specialty trades up 3.2%, heavy/civil engineering up 1.9%.

Orange County, TX, chosen for energy plant expansion; officials expect $51B economic impact.

Mississippi River levels at historic lows in 2022 are on the rise; not expected to last.
Congratulations, Pete Kolb, 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
Acquisitions & Expansions:

RJ Gorman Marine Construction adds Southwest Florida to its service area; the Panhandle-based contractor appointed Tyler Marks as the point of contact in Fort Myers.

GEOKON announces its acquisition of 30-year partner Swiss Precision Turning, Inc., a machining company based in Vermont that serves the geotechnical industry, among others.

Governmental relations:

Bowen Engineering Corporation is prime contractor for a job at the U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Center near Crane, IN; it's developing an Underwater Launch Test Project. Gov. Holcomb visited in January to learn about the new capabilities of the base and stand for some photos.

Giving back:

Clark Construction aligns an annual Week of Service with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day each year; in January, employees offered more than 2,000 hours of community service nationwide.

Trevcon Construction contributes to Billion Oyster Project, a nonprofit initiative working in tandem with New York Harbor School, to revitalize the oyster population and enhance the marine habitat off Hudson River Park's Gansevoort Peninsula.

GZA GeoEnvironmental is a leading 2023 benefactor for the Justin S. Monaghan, PE Fund for Geotechnical Engineering; it supports URI students in the name of a late, beloved colleague.

Haley & Aldrich staff collectively bundled $50K for the firm's holiday donation program. Funds are benefitting Feeding America and Engineers Without Borders International.


Conti Civil, LLC celebrates its Jersey City Floodwall project team for successful operations over nine months without a "recordable." The milestone called for a feast on the house!

Orion Marine Group, like all PDCA members, values employee safety. The company recently transitioned to a new safety helmet for heavy civil teams; the KASK model is rated ANSI Type 2, includes a chin strap and self-absorbing foam on the interior.
People on the Move

Harold Baur promoted to VP of piling and marine construction at Boh Bros. in New Orleans.

Eric Stenman assumes the role president/CEO for Building & Civil at Balfour Betty US in April; Mark Konchar steps into the role of president, Civil.

Elizabeth Brown elevates to sr. project manager at ASAP Group, which announced a series of promotions in January. Others include Jonathan Barreto, who becomes pre-construction manager, Luisana DeSousa to lead estimator and Jessica Daza to estimating manager.

Gordian Ulrich promoted at Equipment Corporation of America to VP, BAUER Product Sales.

Peter Gustavo moves from metals recycling to director business development at Gerdau Next.

Marco Lessard, CPA, CMA is new VP at Interpipe Inc., after five years at PRECO-MSE in Montreal.

Anna Sellountou-Rausche, Ph.D., P.E. becomes the new director of global sales at Pile Dynamics, Inc., following more than a decade with the company, where she has championed global R&D.

Marisa Weber elevates to VP environmental services team at Lloyd Engineering in Houston.

Tony Canale, P.E. named principal at Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers. Other promotions are Aaron Saks, P.E. to sr. associate, Leszek Czajkowski, P.E. and Mike McMaster, P.E. to associate. 

Bennett Dulaney, P.E. rises to principal at S&ME, Inc. Huntsville, AL, office.

John Liautaud, Russell Perez, Charles Purvis, Daniel Jones, Dante Piccini are among the newest hires at New Orleans and Mobile, AL, offices of Southern Earth Sciences, Inc.

Mark Harrison earns promotion to principal at the Chattanooga, TN, offices of Terracon.

Don Suplicki retires from Flexicore of Texas, caps a 30+ year career in concrete manufacturing.


Shane Kirkpatrick, GROUP Contractors president, sworn in as board member for ABC Chapter.

Eddie Heredia, a barge foreman for Manson, earned a compliment from Manson project sponsor Matt LaRue, who said, "Eddie and the VALKYRIE crew [Tony Diaz, Vincent Diaz, Ricky Sanchez] are one of the best pile driving crews in the industry," in an inspiring company story.

Alexis Woodward of Flores Automation & Machine Control serving the Southeast, welcomed a baby girl Oct. 31. See custom PPE she wears when she and mom got "happily back to work."  

Katie Zadrozny, P.E. at American Engineering Testing, named liaison to Minnesota Infrastructure Alliance, a coalition advocating safety and sustainability, increased infrastructure investment.

Seth Hamblin, P.E. of Geosciences Testing and Research, Inc., Greg Canivan, P.E. of S&ME, Inc. named new co-chairs of the Driven Pile Committee for the Deep Foundations Institute.

David Schoenwolf reaches 45 years at Haley & Aldrich; congrats David and go Illini!

Aaron Unterreiner is marketing manager at PND Engineers, Inc. and on the PDCA Communications Committee. Recently, SMPS-Alaska spotlighted Aaron in a member profile.

Hailey Simpson, of RACE Coastal Engineering in Connecticut, joins a national network of leaders in waterfront planning after earning the WEDG® credential from the Waterfront Alliance.

Wes Lowder gave inspiring words to grads of the NC State College of Engineering; as speaker for Fall '22 commencement, the S&ME VP emphasized continuous learning and living for today.

Mark Ohlstrom, VP Federal Programs at Shannon & Wilson, Inc. in Seattle, has been named a new Fellow in the Society of American Military Engineers.

Matt Coaker, P.E. of Southern Earth Sciences earns honor from Mobile Area engineers' group.

In remembrance:

Jason Auck (Dec. 13, 1977 Jan. 20, 2023), a valued employee of Kokosing Construction in Ohio. Please keep his young family, friends and coworkers in your thoughts.

Chuck Mason (Nov. 8, 1949 Jan. 8, 2023), third-generation operator of Mason Construction in Beaumont, TX. Field crews, shop and office staff saluted him with equipment horns.

Alfred Harold Karchmer (Sept. 21, 1920 Dec. 30, 2022), founder of Bigfoot Pipe & Piling. The company offices and yards closed on Jan. 6 in honor of the WWII veteran and Bronze Star recipient.
On the Job
ASAP Group installs steel sheets and H-piles from Nucor Skyline to form a circular combi wall. The finished project will become a new bridge near The Villages, FL.
Baker Gulf Coast Industrial shares a blueprint on its approach to risk, cost and hassle reduction. Sure, it's a marketing piece, but it provides a good reminder of the basics to which the Louisiana contractor adheres.
CS Marine Constructors, Inc. did a massive clean-up on an iconic waterfront in California's Bay Area. A photo/video montage of the Crocket Marina chronicles 12 years of its evolution.
H.B. Fleming updates progress on piling installation in the development of a sewer plant in Lynn, MA. First was a 40-foot-deep cofferdam for the pump station, then a grid of piles to support the slab.
Morris Shea Bridge Co. shares progress on a new Memphis factory it's building for Ford Motor Company, future home of the F-150 Lightning EV. Photos of shoring work and the tryout pit.
Poseidon Dredge & Marine updates two south Florida projects: 1) PSC pile installation using a HPSI/GeoQuip Power Systems vibro, at the Las Olas Marina project in Ft. Lauderdale; 2) sheet pile installation and concrete cap for the restoration of a Pinellas Park Channel.
O'Quinn Marine Const. posts photos of a demo job that date-stamps beach erosion off the South Carolina coast; the structure on timber piles stands strong after 30 years but has become inaccessible.
Russell Marine installed 18ea., 30" by 100' pipe pile supports to hold a new, 400K+ dock structure at the new GT Logistics terminal in Port Arthur, TX. Flexicore of Texas provided pile caps for this project.
Weeks Marine teams up with Lloyd Engineering, Inc., which followed seismic requirements, to construct Petro Terminal's Ship Dock 2 in Panama. ESC Steel LLC supplied the pipe for this remote project.
GeoQuip, Inc. brightens the winter landscape on a South Carolina DOT bridge project over the Wateree River; see its assortment of red equipment from the HPSI and Pileco Inc. lines.
Gulf Coast Pre-Stress Partners says its teams have produced 1,500 (30", 24" and 18") PSC pilings, some spliced up to 215 feet, for the Louisiana DOT rebuild of LA 1, a major roadway to Port Fourchon.
Eustis Engineering is on an historically significant project in New Orleans; it is the GOR for a restoration at Chalmette National Cemetery, which sits adjacent to the site of the last major battle of the War of 1812.
Universal Engineering Sciences is providing geotechnical exploration, vibration monitoring, materials testing, among other services for a forthcoming, new town hall in Jupiter, FL.
Media Hits
14 News, TV Evansville, IN aired a story about career day at a southern Indiana high school. Students learned about construction and other industries. Notably, the B-roll shows personnel from Bowen Engineering Corporation (logo shirts and all) presenting to the teenagers.
Marine Construction Magazine publishes a wide-ranging interview with longtime friend to PDCA and recognized steel piling expert, Dean Abbondanza of JD Fields & Company.
KTTU-TV, Alaska's News Source, carries coverage of a recent transportation fair in Anchorage; making a cameo on the video footage were CReW members from local firm CRW Engineering Group, Inc.

ENR Midwest updates construction of a replacement lock for two of the decommissioned Soo Locks in the Great Lakes. Kokosing is part of the JV that is starting the final, $1.9B phase of the federal project.
Georgia Trend magazine quotes Caroline Smith, Caroline Whitehead of Dewberry and Sam McCachern of Thomas & Hutton in an article that gives perspectives from the building sector on anticipated federal funding that will address current, "much needed" infrastructure optimization throughout the state. 
Notes from the Field Annual Conference Edition
Seen at the Dallas Safari Club convention in January was this beautifully mounted black bear exhibit. Outdoor-enthusiast Kevin Gourgues, president at Louisiana-based Patriot Construction & Industrial, harvested the 430-pounder in Ontario last June. He let his proud taxidermist display it at industry shows, including one in Nashville this month. Ask Kevin about the experience when you see him at the Annual Conference.
As you pack your bags for San Diego, one of your carry-ons should be a Murph's. This new line of tote bags is made from recycled materials. Business New Hampshire Magazine tells the story of Liam Murphy, son of GZA GeoEnvironmental COO John Murphy, who founded the start-up as a college student while coping with COVID interruptions to his engineering studies.
Need a good book to pass time on your flight? Check out Foundational Leadership by Robert L. Griggs. The Trinity Products chairman of the board published the manuscript chronicling the company's journey over 44 years. He shares fascinating business perspectives and a resulting report of 118% annual growth.
A three-time NCAA golf champ at Yale who later won five amateur titles in Texas and a spot on the 1923 Ryder Cup Team is the late, George V. Rotan, great-great-grandfather of Mac Rotan, a steel salesman at Apex Steel Pipe & Piling in Houston. The Texas Golf Hall of Fame is producing a documentary about the elder Rotan, one of the most accomplished golfers. To Texans playing in the PDCA golf tourney next Tuesday, bring your game your state has a proud golf tradition!
We look forward to seeing you at the Annual Conference next week in San Diego; your March 1 "A Pile of News" will contain more news and information from the industry (thanks to your tips and social media), as well as coverage from the conference. As always, thanks for reading. If you have any colleagues or friends who may like to receive this publication, they can subscribe at THIS LINK. You should also invite them to JOIN PDCA!
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