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Reflection & Farewell

This month’s letter from the CFA Executive Director:

Reflection & Farewell

CFA Executive Director Ed Sauter,

CFA Executive Director
Ed Sauter,

It has been nearly twenty-two years since I took the helm of the Concrete Foundations Association at the suggestion of Larry Clark. We now live in a different world. The country, the industry, and the Association have undergone great change in that period. We have endured several administrations, natural disasters, the greatest recession in most of our lifetimes, and an attack that has changed all of our lives forever. But we have endured.

While concrete hasn’t changed a lot – it still gets hard and it still cracks – technology has improved the properties, process and delivery of concrete. I remember Herbert Construction spent an unfathomable amount on their first Total Station and everyone thought they must have had a few brain cells frozen when they were in Michigan. Layout is now done by one or two men faster and more accurately than thought possible and most companies have at least two or three Total Stations on board. Chemicals have improved the properties. Things like water reducing agents allow faster and more accurate placement of better quality concrete. Pumps or conveyors are now a standard accessory for many foundation companies.

There is now an ‘ACI Residential Concrete Code’ that is referenced by the ‘International Building Code’. An endeavor over 9 years and 14 drafts in the making. Thanks to the input of CFA members such as Buck Bartley, Ron Colvin, Barry Herbert and Brent Anderson, we have a contractor friendly code that specifically addresses many needs and concerns in our industry. The CFA has its own standard which goes well beyond the ACI document in its scope. With the help of Mary Wilson and Lance Jordan, the CFA has a cutting edge ‘fall protection plan’ to address concerns resulting from scrutiny by our friends at OSHA.

The Association has also undergone significant change. We have our own magazine, we have individual and company certification, we have an ever changing and robust web site with depth and breadth in its content…to mention a few items.

The summer convention is regaining momentum after the retraction caused by the recession. While electronics have changed many things, they cannot substitute for face-to-face meetings. The summer meeting presents the opportunity for networking at its finest, as well as a great place to bring the family.

CFA printed publications, which formed the backbone of many member marketing efforts, have gone the way of the fax machine and land line telephone. They still exist but are being rapidly replaced by electronic information and communications. The Internet, World Wide Web, and improvements in computers, software, and printing allow all of us to be our own publishers and to update information on the fly.

One thing hasn’t changed however, and that is our members and the commitment they have to the industry and their Association. But all things must pass. Effective January 1, 2015 a new but familiar face became the executive director of CFA as I ease into retirement. Jim Baty has been with me for nearly 15 of those 22 years so the transition will be seamless. I will be working part time, assisting in the big events, trade shows, ACI, and certification if for no other reason than to extend old friendships and make new ones. Jim has been increasing his role in CFA nearly every year so I know I have left you in good hands. I wish the CFA and Jim the best for the next 22 years and beyond.

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us