A Pile of News - November 2023

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A Pile of News: November 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 Nov. 1, 2023
Top of the Pile PileDriver magazine, Issue 5 2023 dropped in October. C.J. Mahan Construction Co. graces the cover for a story about a job in Brandenburg, KY, where they installed nearly 84K linear feet of driven piles to found a new steel mill for Nucor. Last month, leadership at the steel giant hosted Gov. Beshear, State Sen. Meredith, and many others to formally open the new facility.

Voting opens today for the 2024 PDCA Board of Directors. Ballots are en route to eligible members' inboxes, and due back to PDCA by Nov. 30.

IFCEE 2024 is May 7 - 10, and sponsors/exhibitors may secure space now; attendee registration opens Dec. 1.
From the Association & Chapters
Mark your calendars:
Nov. 8: Northeast Chapter Dinner, Casino Night at Campino Restaurant, Newark, NJ, 6 PM Event includes a piling technology presentation by Matt Eastburn of Junttan USA, then non-cash gambling.

Nov. 9: Gulf Coast Chapter Q4 Meeting, Golden Nugget Casino, Biloxi, MS, 5:45 - 8 PM Chapter members hold a networking reception, then meet to elect the leadership team for 2024.

Nov. 9: South Carolina Chapter Q4 Dinner Meeting, Town & Country, Charleston, 6 PM Be there for the annual 'Mac' Nigels Scholarship presentation to a worthy student at The Citadel.

Nov. 15 - 16: Engineers Driven Pile Institute (EDPI), Hilton Baltimore (MD) Airport This two-day program strives to enhance pile driving education for mid-level engineers. 15.5 PDH available.

Nov. 16: The Maryland Mixer PDCA reception, Crooked Crab Brewing, Odenton, MD, 5:30 - 7:30 PM  A FREE industry event for PDCA members, non-members, with networking, food, drink and a short program. EDPI attendees welcome, so are pregamers for Ravens v. Bengals TNF!

Nov. 16: Texas Chapter Q4 Meeting, Spindletap Brewery, Houston, 4 PM Agenda to include officer elections, chapter updates, sharing in success of inaugural golf tournament.

News and PHOTOS from the PDCA Blog:
New chair takes the reins to the PDCA Technical Committee: Mohamad Hussein of GRL Engineers, Inc. aspires to lead the panel "with state-of-the-art technical work to help advance the state of the practice."

Dynamic Testing & Analysis Taught in Cleveland: The Biannual DFDTA took place Oct. 11 - 13 at the offices of Pile Dynamics, Inc. in Cleveland, PDCA's partner in this repeating educational seminar and workshopIf you missed it, watch your inbox for spring and fall dates in 2024.

Cheers! To New England Pile Drivers (PHOTOS) was a lively and productive PDCA reception in Massachusetts. Brad Roberts of GZA GeoEnvironmental said at the night's end, "That was so good, how do I join again?" A non-profit should be able to make this happen, right?
#PileDriven winner
Congratulations, Keith Meitzler, 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:
Sealevel Construction Inc. enhances its marine practice with the addition of 265 acres of waterfront property along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near Bourg, LA, south of Thibodaux.

South Shore Pile Driving grows out of its existing Marshfield, MA, HQ and is building a new facility nearby on a 1.5-acre lot with a 60 x 120 shop and yard space for pile stock.

Equipment Corporation of America now serves the Midwest from a new Sturtevant, WI, shop, between Chicago and Milwaukee, off West I-94. Mgr. John Devine could use "a tech or two."

Junttan enters partnership with Leica Geosystems to advance digitization of piling construction.

Schnabel Engineering grows its tunnel engineering practice by acquiring Boston-based JCK Underground.

Shannon & Wilson opens in Denver; City of Wheat Ridge leadership helps cut the ribbon.

Thomas & Hutton opens a new office in Summerville, SC its second Charleston-area facility.

Giving back:
Bowen Engineering golf event nears $500K in funds raised over eight years. The Evansville, IN, office hosted the charitable tourney for the local CASA, the haul for 2023 was an impressive $86K.

C.J. Mahan Construction Company sent a foursome and sponsored the Hole-In-One contest at a Chillicothe, OH, golf outing, benefitting a local youth drug prevention program.

Scott Bridge Company recalls a tragedy that employee Erica and her family experienced in 2019, when an EF-4 tornado ripped through their Central Alabama home. While no one was hurt, their lives were upended. WATCH Erica describe the support from her employer during the tragedy.

Veit contributed to Children's Minnesota by sponsoring Minnesota Contractors Association Day. The event educated kids and families about the construction industry with hands-on activities.

BAUER Equipment America assembled a group of staff from its Conroe, TX, facility to compete in the YMCA Dragon Boat Challenge, an event that raised more than $95K for Y programming.

ESP Associates, Geosyntec are among supporters of Catawba Lands Conservancy in Charlotte.

S&ME, Inc. brought a strong contingency of staff, their families and their pups out to the Triangle Heart Walk in Raleigh, NC, raising more than $9K for the American Heart Association.

Cajun Industries lands on the 2023 list of America's Safest Companies as compiled by EHS Today. The Baton Rouge-based contractor prioritizes its people and public trust.

McCarthy Building Companies, Aggregate Technologies, Inc. among the Houston area PDCA members to win safety commendation as Zero Lost Time Awardees from a local industry group.

Orion brought home the Company Award when a coalition of dredging and marine constructors gathered in Washington, DC for the annual Leadership in Safety Awards Dinner (CDMCS).

Nucor Skyline and Service Steel Warehouse were among many companies involved in the emergency rebuild of Florida's Sanibel Causeway, following regional devastation from 2022's Hurricane Ian. This is one of several projects up for a national award being presented Nov. 16.

Governmental relations:
GROUP Contractors visited Capitol Hill with a Louisiana construction delegation to brief lawmakers on issues facing Bayou State builders. They met with Members of Congress including Sen. Cassidy and Reps. Graves and Letlow. They also met LA Rep. Johnson, who unexpectedly catapulted to the position of Speaker of the House, shortly after this visit.

And that's just one instance of newly-minted Speaker Johnson's connection to the pile driving industry. We learned that he and PDCA past president Scott Callaway of Cajun Industries are both Shreveport, LA natives and were groomsmen together in a wedding 25 years ago. We have the exclusive photo, below:
Future PDCA President and Future Speaker of the U.S. House
Veit earns municipal proclamation from Rogers, MN. Mayor Ihli presents corporate counsel Peter Williams recognition of Veit's 42 years of "contributions" to the Minneapolis-area town.

Meever USA
manager Dawn Kieffer was spotted at a re-election event for Clerk Green, a Florida court official. She wasn't seeking to influence the justice system, just supporting a friend.😉

Walters Marine Construction reaches 35 years in business, driving piles in southern New Jersey; the Ocean View, NJ-based team has completed numerous seaside and other waterfront projects.
People on the Move
Jean Luc Sebudandi has joined Blakeslee Arpaia Chapman Inc. in Branford, CT, as a project EIT.

Ty Akin onboards with the C.J. Mahan safety team; he's a spring '23 grad from Murray State.

Courtney Fournet appointed new corporate counsel at Cajun Industries in Baton Rouge.

Edgar Romo is a new senior PM at Forefront Deep Foundations in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

Kelly Blythe, P.E. named new project sponsor at Manson Construction Co. in California.

Ben Eccles joins the team at Mason Construction as a new BDM for Beaumont, TX contractor.

Sean Vandedrinck is a new senior PM at Houston-based Russell Marine; with high profile international and U.S. experience, he assumes operational leadership for Russell's East Coast endeavors.

Jim Gould, steel sales veteran, joins the team at JD Fields & Co.

Michael Leal elevates to regional sales manager Gulf Coast at Lodge Lumber.

Mohamad Hussein, P.E., named executive director of global industry relations at Pile Dynamics, Inc. and GRL Engineers, Inc.

Austin Dabbs of Anchorage-based CRW Engineering Group earned his P.E. license. 

Jordan Patterson, a geotech staff PM at ECS Limited in Roanoke, VA, obtained his EIT.

Benjamin Stephens, P.E., a PM at Geo-Technology Associates in Maryland, has earned his P.E.

David Mueller, P.E. from event host Richard Goettle, Inc. and Daniel Woeste, P.E. from Geosyntec Consultants presented to a Cincinnati gathering of geotechs.

Tenari Tauvao of Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction, and his wife Melanie, joined thousands of disaster workers to help victims of Hawaiian wildfires; read their firsthand report from Maui.

Mark Johnson, Cameron Toups, Zachary Pelton represented their employer Russell Marine, which was awarded for safety practices in the Texas Gulf region.

John Wysockey of Thatcher Foundations gave the keynote address at a Chicago ASCE event.

Allie Brady, a PM at Veit, is a social media influencer for her LinkedIn demonstration of the five critical pieces of PPE. This online celebrity attended PDCA's April networking event in Chicago.

Chris Allen from Aggregate Technologies, Inc. was part of the foursome to win a Houston-area competitive clay shoot. The winners each received an attractive belt buckle trophy.

Matt Scerbak, manager at Associated Pile & Fitting in Clifton, NJ, begins year 44 at the company. Congrats to Matt, also a longtime volunteer in leadership at the PDCA Northeast Chapter.

Kevin Gooch reaches 40 years at Bull Moose Tube in MO; staff celebrated him with BBQ and cake.

Graham Wogan of Canal Barge Co. "inspired" and presented "pearls of wisdom" to students at the University of New Orleans supply chain, operations, and logistics class.

Leon Topalian, CEO at Nucorelected chair of the World Steel Association Board for 2023/24. 

Ben Cody, P.E. of Eustis Engineering in New Orleans was celebrated as Outstanding Civil Engineer of the Year during the Louisiana Engineering Conference. Firm president Gwen Sanders, P.E. moderated a session and Patrick Thurmond, P.E. and James Williams, P.E. were presenters.

Sam McCachern, Thomas & Hutton CEO, inducted into Junior Achievement Georgia Hall of Fame.

Aneesh Goly explores AI, IoT and other issues found at the intersection of construction and technology. The Smart Structures president publishes Smart Infrastructure Hub weekly.

Mark Wilson (35 years) and David Barwick (32 years) reach significant employment anniversaries at Southern Earth Sciences, Inc.; both gentlemen hail from the Tallahassee, FL, office.

Marty Brodnax, the Baton Rouge-based Baker GCI president, shares his perspectives with ENR: A Commitment to Quality.

Robert Moser, CEO at Clark Construction, spoke with The Washington Business Journal, where he discussed filling an industry-wide, labor shortage. A key, he says, is supplier diversity.

Chia Wang, president at Gerdau North America, participates in a steel industry CEO Huddle and projects "optimism for economic resiliency" when asked to comment on a potential recession.

Jay Fields, CEO at JD Fields & Co., which hosted PDCA for a September on-location webinar broadcast from his office, was selected as a Houston Man of Style in October's Modern Luxury magazine.

Bethanne Mashburn owns steel piling processor The Loren Group in Birmingham, but the serial entrepreneur has other interests, like an Alabama bowling center. Her creativity there caught the notice of a bowling industry magazine, BCM, which put Mashburn on the October cover.

Berk Turkel, Ph.D. from Geosyntec Consultants coauthored a paper published by ASCE entitled Semiempirical Model of Vibration-Induced Ground Deformation Due to Impact Pile Driving.

Industry resources for government contractors:
Wendy Salazar, Trey Camet at Baker GCI co-author a resource to guide owners who seek full tax benefits for clean energy projects, available from the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Ed Bisono at ASAP Group shares an article analyzing state allotments in federal infrastructure law funds; READ: $61B for Roads, Bridges Released See How Much Your State Gets.
On the Job
Blue Iron Foundation & Shoring forms a cofferdam with steel sheet piling, part of a new wastewater control facility for the City of Stockton, CA, utility authority.

GROUP Contractors has a full plate to close out 2023; it reports 15 projects between East Texas and Western Mississippi, five of which involve the deep foundations team.

Hal Jones Contractor has a crew at St. Augustine Beach, FL, installing steel sheets from Nucor Skyline with an ABI from Hammer & Steel to form a new bulkhead in an area that battles beach erosion.

R. Kremer & Son Marine Contractors shows off its latest bulkhead in Brick Township, NJ, which is constructed using 475 flat panel vinyl sheets.

Richard E. Pierson Construction Co. Inc. preps the job site where they will construct new bridges on concrete piling for a bypass coming soon to Millboro, DE.

SJ Hamill Construction keeps the schedule installing a public combi-wall for the City of Savannah with a GeoQuip, Inc. hammer and JD Fields & Co. steel. 

Equipment Corporation of America sent a GeoQuip HPSI 300 XL to a North Wildwood, NJ, beachfront lifeguard station where a crew installed an emergency pile wall to prep for Tropical Storm Ophelia.

JD Fields & Company offers two free tech seminars, both offer 3.5 PDH. Click the links to register:
ESC Steel LLC was on island time to show its marine piling fenders at the Dipolog Port in the Philippines. The company also provided Type IV SY295 sheet piles in 12- and six-meter lengths for this job.

Jinnings Equipment, also on island time, was spotted driving spun concrete piles in St. Thomas USVI.

Pileco shows off a D70 driving steel pipe from Nucor Skyline at Galveston's Cruise Terminal in Texas.
Notes from the Field
East Coast rappers, the next generation It's mad rhymes and timber pile installation for Connecticut-based Norwalk Marine Contractors; notice America's first Junttan rig on site, dropping the beat. #IYKYK.

Parental discretion advised Consumers of media know that warnings can exist for content they find on television, online and elsewhere. As we scoured the interwebs in October for news from PDCA members for this publication, we noticed a highly unusual warning. In a post about its new website congrats! Southern Earth Sciences cautions browsers about "traces of excessive engineering charisma."

Picture to burn Skip this if you're exhausted by ubiquitous reporting on the love life of power couple Swelce. Like it or not, it gets attention, and one PDCA member company recognizes that. The new social media campaign for intern recruitment at GeoEngineers, Inc. used the power of Taylor Swift's picture, cheering from the suite at a Chiefs game, to get the attention of prospective Swifties...er, interns.

Be true to your school Two current PDCA members were Yellowjackets in high school. BOD member Mike Juneau of Premier Geotech and Testing and Courtney Stricklin of Omega Foundation Services went to Denham Springs High by Baton Rouge where they were known as the Denham Jackets. Get it?

You look like fine unpstandin' young men  When your staff is at at a gun range in rural Sumpter County, FL, you might consider adopting an alternative name like, say, Equipment Corporation of 'Murica😉 Sending regards to John HayesRob Likens and Matt Shelley from ECA for supporting the Construction Angels charity.
Equipment Corporation of America sign and four men
As Americans pause this month for the annual observance of Veterans Day, we are reminded of the sacrifices that the men and women in uniform have put forth for the past 247 years. This reflective day falls this year on Saturday, Nov. 11. In wartime and peacetime, the U.S. Armed Forces have been a consistent shield against rogue actors seeking to cause the nation harm, strip its freedoms, or breach in any way, the uniquely American way of life. PDCA thanks our Veterans.
Each month, we compile this publication by gleaning relevant news items from PDCA member web and social sites. Not a month goes by where we don't encounter a member's salute to America's military, whether it is a Veterans' cause, support for those on active duty, helping Vets who are disabled or facing dire circumstances, and even providing support to military-adjacent families. A recent example, Orion Marine sponsored the Virginia Beach Seabee golf event for youth education initiatives. We make a point to highlight some of these instances each month. And in November, we send our sincerest appreciation to those of you who have sacrificed a portion of your life for your country.

Posted in A Pile of News PDCA Monthly e-newsletter.

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