A Pile of News - March 2023

A Pile of News: March 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 March 1, 2023
Top of the Pile
Special coverage from the 2023 PDCA Annual Conference: thanks to all of you who made this event possible through your attendance, sponsorships, exhibition, presentations and ongoing support of PDCA. Make sure and read this newsletter to the end as we offer a special "closing commentary" on the 2023 conference. But first, there's plenty of event coverage and photos from San Diego on the PDCA Blog:
From the Association & Chapters
Mark your calendars!
News and PHOTOS from the PDCA Blog:
Industry News:
Congratulations, Marco Lessard, 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:
Giving back:
  • ECS Limited reaches 35 years! The Virginia-based engineering firm opened in 1988 with its first project, Market Square, in Washington, DC. PDCA treasures its relationship with the firm, which has supported a volunteer board member (thanks Karl Higgins) and earned a Project of the Year Award. With 80+ U.S. offices, ECS has a recognizable and trusted brand in the engineering space.

Governmental relations:
  • ESP Associates, Inc. department manager Toynia Gibbs wins appointment from Gov. Cooper to the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors. She is the first female surveyor to gain a position on this board, on which she will serve at least one five-year term.
  • PND Engineers, Inc. co-founder Roy Peratrovich, Jr. is the son of the late Elizabeth Peratrovich. Since 1988, Alaskans have celebrated her legacy. On Feb. 16, 2020, the U.S. Mint issued a coin with her likeness. Last month, the U.S. Senators Sullivan and Murkowski passed a resolution honoring her civil rights work; she led Alaska's Anti-Discrimination Act in 1945.
  • GeoEngineers, Inc. has done some preliminary investigative work on what will become the I-10 Calcasieu Bridge Reconstruction near Lake Charles, LA, one of only nine US projects to get a "mega grant." US-DOT Undersecretary Monje is from the Bayou State... is this a coincidence?
  • TRC Companies, Inc. joined client City of Maysville, NC to receive US EPA Administrator Regan, who announced a $2B grant for the community to address drinking water problems.
People on the Move
  • Darin Murayama is promoted to VP Finance and Manu Bermudes elevates to VP Human Resources and DEI at Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company.
  • Jorge Otero joins Morris-Shea Bridge Company as logistics coordinator.
  • Jamie Martin appointed CEO, Shawn Dennison named CFO; both men join leadership at the Contractor's Steel parent company, UPG Enterprises, as it scales Chicago-based operations.
  • Regan Tolley elevates to Midwest South-Central sales manager at CZM Foundation Equipment.
  • Erik Ellingsen, P.E. brings extensive experience in deep foundation installation and testing to GeoEngineers, Inc., where he is a new senior geotechnical engineer.
  • Chris Brazell rises to COO at EMC Engineering Services; other promotions include Alec Metzger to SVP, Joel Womack, Kip Goodbread, Vin Pinkston, Nash Austin.
  • Jorge Robles onboards as new geotechnical engineer at GZA Geo Environmental in Connecticut.
  • Russell Nipper makes 39 years at Southern Earth Sciences, Mobile; Shaun Yeung new to Tampa.
  • "Ms. Rose" receives a warm sendoff from Aggregate Technologies, Inc. as she enters retirement.

  • Jon Beck of American Deep Foundation reaches 47 years in pile driving, 22 with the Atlanta-based company.
  • Brad Bierwagen, Matt Lash, Pat Stanford earn unique annual awards for exemplary work in various areas of the expansive, diverse Bowen Engineering Corp. operation. Meantime, Brooke Chitwood, who operates the intern program, has become a certified HR professional.
  • Hunter Arrighi, Todd Shiflett of GROUP Contractors named ECC Future Leaders.
  • Vern Dettman of J. Fletcher Creamer & Son has spent nearly 25 years improving Mid-Atlantic infrastructure; he is a newly elected VP of the Maryland Utility and Transportation Association.
  • Anthony Turner is employee of the month and John Trumbull coins phrase, "safety is a team sport"; staff at RJ Gorman Marine Construction gain accolades from employer.  
  • Tom Greco and the Elkhart, IN Bull Moose Tube team earn the Lord Paul Award for Excellence for 2022; the trophy goes to the plant that demonstrates safety, quality and improvement.
  • Fred Kahn, president/CEO at Kansas City-based Kahn Steel, celebrates 40 years in the family biz.
  • Chris Carley from Eustis Engineering and his son volunteered at a "TreeCycling" event; they took donated trees out in Louisiana's Barataria Basin to dampen waves and reduce coastal erosion.
  • Azure Dee Sleicher, a VP at RACE Coastal Engineering, joins the board for the Connecticut Association of Flood Managers, which promotes subject matter education and public policies.
  • Brittany O'Sullivan, Terri DeGross from the Universal Engineering Sciences Orlando offices win second place in a local construction industry chili cookoff.

In remembrance:
  • Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers PLLC (MRCE) principals established a scholarship with the foundation at New Jersey Institute of Technology to honor the life and legacy of colleague and friend, David R. Good, P.E., who passed unexpectedly in January. A noted professional and valued PDCA member, Good maintained a close relationship with his alma mater, NJIT.
  • Dr. David K. Crapps, a towering figure in deep foundations, has passed at age 83. A renowned geotechnical engineer, he completed his doctoral dissertation under Dr. John Schmertmann on the use of wave equation theory for pile driving when it was still a new idea. Later, he rewrote the deep foundation section of the Florida DOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction, including dynamic testing (PDA) and other major updates. Paul Bullock of Fugro USA says he was a lifelong mentor who "had a big impact on the pile driving industry."
On the Job
Black River Solar ventured away from the Midwest's plush prairies and sprawling farmlands to install piling in the Big Bend region in far southwestern Texas near the Mexico border.
Orion Marine Group, which is building the NASA Causeway Bridge in Florida that you read about in a past PileDriver magazine, reports that Florida State Rep. Sirios and Brevard County Commissioners back legislation that would name the new span after Sally Ride, the first woman to go to space in 1983.
R. Kremer & Son Marine Contractors installs a composite bulkhead along the Arthur Kill near the Raritan Yacht Club in Perth Amboy, NJ.
Pacific Pile & Marine completed a highly complex pile driving project at the Ketchikan Airport Ferry Layup facility, an Alaska DOT job. New dolphin structures supporting a concrete float have Nucor Skyline steel, among other materials; ICE-International Construction Equipment, Inc. machinery was on the install. PND Engineers, Inc. provided the project design.
EXP expands its business relationship with the City of Atlanta, wins design contract for renovations at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
GeoEngineers, Inc. caps nearly 10 years of geotech and environmental services in its complex scope for the "Summit" expansion at the Seattle Convention Center. Kyle Smith, Katy Atakturk and Matt Smith attended a recent open house at the facility that will host the DFI Annual Conference this fall.
Media Hits
NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune publishes a story about a substation overhaul project completed by the Cajun Industries Infrastructure Business Unit that delivers a reliable power source in Grand Isle, LA. The buildout includes mitigation design for inevitable future storms. Great write-up and job site photos.

Vanguard Law Magazine chronicles Manson Construction in-house counsel Laurie A. Pinard's visits to various company jobsites around the country. 
Los Angeles Business Journal names McCarthy senior manager Megan Fairley a Woman of Influence; also, Dredgewire publishes interview with company engineer Sarah Johnson on Texas port expansions.
Birmingham's Real Talk 99.5 FM carries a Saturday show called Truitt News Radio; on Feb. 11, Richard Shea III of Morris Shea Bridge Co. appeared on the program to discuss Alabama construction.
The Contributors podcast interviews Colin Osborne, president/CEO of Samuel Roll Form Group parent company. Among topics discussed are sustainability initiatives aiding talent recruitment/retention.
The Houston Chronicle publishes story about JD Fields' relocation to award-winning Houston tower.
NJ Spotlight News broadcasts a story about an initiative of local reps of the UBC Pile Drivers and Divers. Students at JFK High School in Paterson, NJ learn carpentry skills and gain a "foot in the door" on a high-demand job; local union carpenters provide instruction. The video clip features quotes from students, administrators, Mayor Sayegh, and local council representative Tomasz Wyzga.
Notes from the Field
Things we learn from SC members, #1 - how to be a pile driving alpha dog: You've got to hear the outgoing message on the office phone lines at Parker Marine Contracting in Charleston, SC; it qualifies Kent Parker as THE alpha dog. Call 843-853-7615 and listen yourself, you won't be disappointed!
Things we learn from SC members, #2 - how to disguise your bromance on social media: If you're a contractor who has a good relationship with a geotechnical engineer, give a shout-out during National Engineers Week. You'll convey your adoration while supporting his industry. 😉
A circular firing squad around the company co-owner is not typical formation for a geotechnical team, but the staff at Premier Geotech and Testing did this. It played laser tag during a company retreat with the goal to "accurize their focus" for 2023. As it turned out, all laser-shooters accurized on Mike Juneau.
When I was young, I used to eat ketchup sandwiches (just Google it) - McCarthy's team in Kansas City was draped in red and gold when it attended the Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade.
It's March Madness time will your team be dancing? GROUP Contractors extracts dual interpretation from a quote by the late, great John Wooden, who coached his UCLA Bruins basketball teams to TEN NCAA National Championships. "Flexibility is the key to stability," said the coach; the Baton Rouge contractor borrowed the quote to caption a social media photo of a sheet piling job it completed.

And you've finished another installment of 'A Pile of News,' thanks for reading. We wanted to include a few more comments concerning the 2023 Annual Conference that completed in February. First, many thanks to Mark Weisz, one of six volunteer leaders who comprised the Past Presidents panel for the Closing Keynote at the event. During his comments, he singled out this publication as a 'must read' for him. Paraphrasing, he said he "loves to read A Pile of News!" We are humbled by this endorsement.
This leading West Coast contractor and Past President of PDCA clearly pays attention to what we publish, do you send us your company news? Do you purchase ad space? Maybe you should! Inclusion in this publication is FREE to PDCA members and open to a limited number of advertisers. Contact our partner Lester Publications to discuss ad sales, but send us your news tips to matt@piledrivers.org. Yes, we get a lot from your social media, but send the big items to make sure we don't miss those. Not a PDCA member? Well, you can JOIN TODAY and we promise you will get a shout-out in the Top of the Pile for the April newsletter when we thank all Q1-2023 New Members.
Finally, we hope you enjoyed the several photo collections we shared at the beginning. We want to give photo credit to Mark Skalny who has been a regular photographer at PDCA and other industry events for several years. We appreciate his quick work to make sure that you can see what happened...or what you missed. Please join us next time!
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