Obituary: Mahlon Eash Jr. (1964-2017)

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of longtime CFA member, Mahlon Eash Jr.

Mahlon Eash Jr., 53, of Gambier, passed away Dec. 26, 2017. Mahlon was born on May 28, 1964, in LaGrange, Ind., to Emma and Mahlon Eash Sr. He married Erma Gingrich on March 14, 1987.

He was a member of Community Christian Fellowship Church. He was owner and CEO of Foundations Plus Poured Walls.

Mahlon leaves memories to be cherished with: children, Tyanna (Evan) Green of Gambier, Alex (Sammi) of Danville, and Chandler and Mahlon Spencer at home; grandchildren, Lake Daniel, Archer Douglas, and Baby Green on the way; siblings, Mervin (Esther) Eash of Utica, Duane (Nancy) Eash of Gambier, Lorene (Dan) Hochstetler of Utica, Laverne (Sara Kay) Eash of Gambier, Floyd (Linda) Eash of Utica, and Ernie (Janice) Eash of Mount Vernon.

Mahlon and beloved wife, Erma at wedding of their daughter, Tyanna (shown above).

He was preceded in death by his parents, Mahlon and Emma Eash; brother, Dennis Eash; and sisters, Marietta Eash and Karen Miller.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017 at Lasater Funeral Home.

To offer condolences or to share a memory with the Eash family, visit www.lasaterfuneralhomes.com.

Many of you attending the Concrete Foundation Conventions or the CFA Winter Social in recent years may recognize Mahlon and remember him as always smiling and full of an energetic joy. His spirit for this Association and industry will certainly be missed.

 




Remembering Ron

by Ed Sauter

Those who knew Ron Colvin (RC) will never forget him. Beneath the ever-present beard, overalls, Hawaiian shirts and sandals was a kind, smart, and caring individual who would do anything to make life better for those who worked with him.

Ron Colvin at a CFA event in 1982 – Racine, Wisconsin.

Ron was a little unconventional in his appearance and approach to things, but in a great way. I worked with Ron (I never did call him RC) throughout my tenure as executive director of the Concrete Foundations Association. He had strong ideas and made certain they were heard. If he thought an idea was “bull-xxxx,” he said so. When he became treasurer of the association, I always had to be on my toes because Ron knew more about financial reports than most people, especially me. He mentioned to me that he had worked in the banking industry at one time, but a certain disagreement with management led him down another path. He would always ask me questions I didn’t know the answers to, and I knew better than to try to bluff my way through. I’d have to say, “I’ll get back to you on that one, Ron—now if we can move on,” hoping he wouldn’t push the issue. While he may have put me on the spot when it came to financial reports, he had my back on every important issue that came to the table.

Ron Colvin (left) congratulates Barry Herbert (right) and presents him with the CFA President’s plaque for two years of service.

Ron’s passing caused me also to reflect on how important all of you have been to us. Scott and I were elected to the board at the same time, and our first meeting was also Ed’s first as head of the association. This particular group has been very important to the success of our company (we still use the footing system Ron showed us 25 or 30 years ago), but more importantly, I consider each of you a close friend. My only regret is that we see so little of one another now days. – Barry Herbert, Herbert Construction Company

Always a part of the fun. Ron here heads off to practice with his yo-yo after a lesson from the “Yo-Yo Man” at CFA Convention 2002 – Mt. Hood, OR

I talked Ron into serving on the ACI 332 Committee (Residential Concrete Construction) along with Barry Herbert when I chaired the committee (which was all about residential concrete construction) because it had nobody with true construction experience participating and representing the interest of the residential contractor. How can you talk about building with concrete without a voice from those who actually do the work?  (Note: Brent Anderson and Buck Bartley were also on that committee and became great contributors.) His outspoken and frank comments, supported by Buck, Barry and Brent, sometimes left heads turning, but they almost always won the arguments.

Ron made me think hard about the CFA and about my business. I think he made the CFA a better association, and I am sure glad I served with him. There have been some colorful people in our association – and Ron may have been the most unique!  Kind of crazy how long ago it was that Bill, Arie, Bruce, me, Barry and the others in our group were on the board with Ron. Thank you all for the memories!! – Scott Smith, MPW Construction Services

Ron had a thirst for knowledge when it came to everything related to concrete and foundations. To board meetings Ron would often arrive several days early, in his Cadillac, and drive around the town to see how others were doing things (and I’m sure correcting some of the things they were doing wrong).

An after-education conversation in Mt. Hood, OR – CFA Convention 2002. Gary Bromley (left), Buck Bartley (center), Ron Colvin (right).

I remember at Mount Hood he suggested we go for a drive through the mountain back roads to look at the scenery. I assumed we would be doing it with a 4-wheel drive Jeep, but no: he picked us up in his rental Caddy.

The last time I saw Ron was at his pool hall in Berrien Springs. Ron told me he had always wanted to have his own pool hall and he fulfilled that dream after “trying” to retire from the foundation wall business. My wife and I were traveling with some friends on our way back from a wedding in Michigan and I decided to stop in, unannounced, to see if he might be there. I had no idea where the business was located, but I figured I’d just stop in town and inquire at the local hardware store as to where I might find Ron Colvin. “Ron Who?” he said. Then it hit him: “Oh, you mean RC. He’ll be at his pool hall just outside of town.”

Ron Colvin (left) and Richard Crosby (right) engaged in one of their many talks on the value of business education topics.  CFA Convention 2001 – Niagara Falls, Ontario

I jokingly told my wife and friends as we walked in, “Just look for the big guy with overalls, a Hawaiian shirt and sandals.” Sure enough there he was, dressed in his “working attire,” sitting on a stool, working out the details to his next pool tournament. He welcomed us with open arms and seemed disappointed that we couldn’t stay more than a couple of hours. He always had time to offer advice and opinions. The world could use a few more RC’s. He will be missed by many.

One of the few captured photos of Ron in a blazer. Terry Schniepp (left) and Ron Colvin (right).




Success Only Comes After Work!

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. After many years in business, I can attest to that being a “Concrete Fact.”

Becoming a CFA member will never take the hard work out of success, but membership sure can lighten the load and, hopefully, help avoid the pitfalls of our industry through sharing the experiences of its members.

“If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do.”

(anonymous)

I had the pleasure of contacting some Board Members to inform them that their terms were about to expire and to ask them if they would consider another term. One particular Board Member answered, “Absolutely.” He commented, “I thought I really knew a lot about the concrete business before I got on the Board. The knowledge gained in participation on the Board has been invaluable to my business.”

As a member of this Association, you are welcome to attend Board meetings. Please understand there is no member any more important than you. By just attending Board meetings, your participation in the Association is not only important to your business, but your input and sharing of your experiences can influence many others in their paths to success.

Making changes in your business operations/ventures without consulting others with similar experiences can make the difference between succeeding and failing. I can speak with experience on this one. Some years ago, I had a conversation with a fellow member with regard to a venture that I gave up on but that he was very successful at. He told me that my failure could be easily explained: “You didn’t throw enough money at it.” Looking back, he was absolutely right. I did not consult with others who had experience in that particular venture, and when I struggled, I just gave up.

A fellow member called me just this past week with a concern over a piece of equipment purchased at this summer’s meeting in Nashville. My comment to him was that he purchased his equipment from a very reputable CFA Associate Member who I knew supplied excellent support with the purchase, and that he should not be afraid to make good use of that.

I would like to thank everyone who attended and supported this summer’s meeting in Nashville. I hope all who attended enjoyed themselves and was able to take valuable knowledge back home with them. There seemed to be considerable enthusiasm generated during the three days there.

My wife and I are looking forward to next summer’s meeting in Utah and are encouraging other family members to attend with us so we can all enjoy a mini vacation.

Dennis Purinton, Purinton Builders Inc., CFA President 2016-18, purintonbuilders@yahoo.com




Association Board Adds New Leader

Beginning a new, three-year term on the CFA Board of Directors is Chris Ward, Vice President for the Americas with Western Forms of Kansas City, Missouri.

Each year during the Annual Meeting for the Concrete Foundations Association, held in conjunction with the summer’s big event, transition takes place as Board members end their time in leadership and new members step forward to take up the reins.  This year, one Board seat saw such a transition as the Board and CFA members saluted and gave appreciation for the service of Tom Oury from Schwing America.  Tom was elected to service by the National Associate members who manage three seats on the Board of Directors.  Beginning a new, three-year term as elected by the same body of members is Chris Ward, Vice President for the Americas with Western Forms of Kansas City, Missouri.  I had a great chance to sit down with Chris during the event and pick his brain about the CFA and this industry, to help introduce the newest leader to each of you but also to help me get to know another side of this industry.

The Ward Family of Western Forms, Inc.

Lindsey:  Chris, I understand from our staff that the Ward name has a lot of history in leadership with the Concrete Foundations Association. What is your earliest memory of the Association?

Chris:  Well, yes, certainly Western Forms and my dad, Ron Ward has a lot of history with the CFA.  Personally, I don’t have many memories of early days going to CFA as a family or as kids.  My first memory was in Breckenridge and I was like 18yrs old.  Without giving a lot of detail that is best left in Breckenridge, I was invited out with Greg Peacock, a former contractor member, Board member and an inventor that brought about the BEP Forming line; and a bunch of other folks.  There were bars in downtown Breckenridge and Peacock was, well…I’ll tell you the rest off-record.

 

Chris Ward and his kids celebrating the KC Royals. L-R: Ben (1.5), Chris, Annie (9), Wyatt (5) and Jake (7).

Lindsey:  To funny, that is certainly good to know.  Legacy is something well respected in both this industry and in the Association, whether you are talking with a CFA member or many of the companies throughout North America that are likely reading this interview.  What does the word legacy mean to you when you think of Western Forms and the CFA combined?

Chris:  When I think of legacy and what that means for Western Form Inc. and the CFA, I think about the early days when parts of the country were converting from block foundations to cast-in-place walls.  I think of my grandfather and Ron Ward, my father, who helped play a role in this shift and in developing different markets.  The CFA was a good chance for this group to get together and collaborate with one another on best practices.

 

Lindsey:  I can see those best practices being shared still today in the events we host and can just imagine how important they were when an industry was getting started.  So now you get to be part of the mechanics that make these events and this type of network happen.  What is your biggest interest in serving as a CFA Board member?

Chris:  The biggest interest I have in serving as a Board member is to play a role in working closer with some of the members to further grow and improve the cast-in-place industry heading into the future.  It is not so much converting block markets anymore but it is trying to determine upcoming opportunities and best practice to continue to advance the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsey:  So a combination of innovation and evolution of best practice and technology.  I certainly see that at play.  What statement would you make to contractors around the country about the CFA now that you have the voice of a Board member?

Chris:  I would say “find a way for more collaboration”…sharing of best practices and new initiatives for now and the future is the key to growth.  This is not only for the Association but for all of our individual business, some of which have a lot of history and may not easily see the opportunity.

 

Lindsey:  It is electric when you see members connecting in this way at our summer event or during the Winter Meeting in Vegas.  So tell me, what is a little known fact about Chris Ward that you can share?  How can we get to know you as a personality on the Board?

Chris:  I had the opportunity/curse to be the “oil dog” for two summers back in the day working on a wall crew here in Kansas City back in the 1993-95 time frame.  I had to go on the D.L. for two to three weeks when I fell off a 9-ft wall, landing on a footing with my kneecap.  Fun times.  If you want some “stats” on me, I’d have to offer that I have been married for 12 yrs. to my beautiful wife Katie.  We have four kids Annie (9), Jake (7), Wyatt (5), Ben(1.5).  I have been working with Western Forms for 16+ yrs. where I have had roles including work in the warehouse, customer service, sales, and currently in the role of V.P. of Americas.  I enjoy spending time with my kids and their various activities; enjoy playing basketball, golf, and of course cheering on my World Champion Kansas City Royals.

 

Lindsey:  Well, I see you and our Executive Director, James Baty share that passion for the Royals and family, as well I’m sure our other members in the Kansas City area.  What names come to your mind when you think of those that have impacted this business, this Association?

Chris:  The first name that comes to my mind is Bill Esker & the Esker.  Bill was instrumental within the organization early on, assisting with growth as new contractors were reached.  Also, he was a proponent for evolving the business, being the first or one of the first to utilize boom trucks and that technology.  Now, it is the standard for most, yet was a huge leap forward in the industry.

 

Lindsey:  That’s super.  I know Josh serves on the Board today so there is more support for our discussion of legacy.  I’d like to wrap up with you and ask your opinion of what you see as the single largest risk and single biggest opportunity to the cast-in-place concrete industry?

Chris:  Labor is the biggest threat to the cast-in-place market.  It is going to continue to get worse for the entire construction industry.  I see this as a problem, but it is also a huge opportunity for those companies that look at doing things differently and understanding that the way things have always will be done…will not cut it moving forward.

Lindsey:  Chris, thanks for taking this time with us and sharing some intimate details as well as some insight that you bring in to your new role as a leader of this industry on the Board of Directors for the CFA.  Welcome to this effort and best wishes for the time you will spend on behalf of all these readers, members and non-members alike, over the next three years.

 

Chris Ward becomes the fifth direct elected director to the CFA Board following a transition of the National Associates council and Association by-laws in 2010.  He joins Lindsay Castles of GMX, Inc. and Mark Irving of Irving Equipment, LLC. serving the interests of the many products, technologies and equipment that are found in membership.  Contractor and professional members to the Board of Directors are elected at large each Spring based on the number of seats that become available.  To find out more about participating at the Board level, contact CFA Executive Director, James Baty at jbaty@cfawalls.org.

Want to know more about Western Forms, Inc.?  Visit their website at www.westernforms.com or contact Chris Ward directly at cward@westernforms.com.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lindsey Bloomquist, Manager for Communication and networking for the Concrete Foundations Association (CFA), works to communicate the available tools and benefits of a CFA membership to the industry, and provide networking opportunities that build professional relationships between contractors and industry leading suppliers and manufacturers. Bloomquist also works closely with industry suppliers and manufacturers to increase exposure within the CFA through advertising, sponsorships, exhibits and networking. Reach Lindsey at lbloomquist@cfawalls.org.

“The professional relationships that are established are vital to the success of this association and its member companies. Not only do these interactions foster healthy competition that fuels innovation, but they create lasting partnerships that are beneficial to both the contractors and suppliers.”




Passing of CFA Member Lynn Berggren

Obituary:  Lynn Roland Berggren

 

Lynn Berggren was born Sept. 4, 1950, in Grand Island, to Myron and Margaret (Williams) Berggren.  He grew up with his two sisters and graduated from Grand Island Senior High in 1968.

Lynn attended Kearney State College, where he met wife Jeanne. They graduated in May 1973, married in June, and moved to Broken Bow Sept. 4, 1973.

Lynn was a third generation contractor; together with Jeanne they built Berggren Home Builders. Their business grew from small commercial and general construction to serving a 90 mile radius in central Nebraska for any poured walls and agricultural construction. Many people have played an integral part, including their first employee, Mike Bell, and long-time employee, Randy Nielsen. Son, Patrick and wife Tristan moved to Broken Bow to continue as the fourth generation of Berggren contractors.

Lynn’s passion for the outdoors started at an early age with his father, Myron, and uncle, Oliver.  These passions were continued with his wife, kids, and grandkids; unforgettable memories of weekends at Johnson Lake, countless hunting and fishing excursions, and other outdoor activities. Life was celebrated regularly with 5 p.m. happy hour, family, and friends.

Lynn and Jeanne had three children:  Patrick, Becky and Kevin. Lynn cherished practicing and coaching his kids in basketball throughout their school years, as well as their classmates and peers.  He took great joy in teaching his kids and grandkids how to hunt and fish.

One of his most proud moments was being appointed by Governor Heinman to serve on the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in 2007. He served for two terms representing 21 counties and was commission chairman in 2014.
Lynn was a supporter and advocate for wildlife conservation, habitat management and improving opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. He worked tirelessly to make all the Nebraska outdoors, including public hunting, fishing and other activities, accessible and enjoyable for all ages and was actively involved in educating Nebraska youth about the great outdoors.

He was a cherished member of the Broken Bow community with on-going involvement in many organizations. He was a founding member of Broken Bow Economic Development, former board member of Custer Federal, actively participated in Broken Bow Optimist Club, and had 40 years of involvement in the Nebraska One Box Pheasant Hunt, including serving as a Director.
Lynn Roland Berggren was preceded in death by his parents, Myron and Margaret Berggren; and great uncles, Donald Berggren, Ted Berggren and Oliver Berggren.

He is survived by his wife, Jeanne Berggren of Broken Bow; son, Pat (Tristan) Berggren of Broken Bow; daughter, Becky Berggren of Boston, Mass. son, Kevin Berggren, Montezuma, Iowa; two grandchildren, Katelyn and Kaleb Berggren; sister, Karen (Charlie) Plebanek, of Eureka Springs, Ark.; sister, Ann (Dick) Huffman of Kearney; cousins, Jerry Berggren and James Harrold Berggren; and several nephews and nieces.
Memorials in his honor can be sent to the Nebraska One Box and the Nebraska Game and Parks.

More from Nebraska Game Commission

LINCOLN – -(Ammoland.com)- Lynn Berggren, a Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioner from Broken Bow, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 16 2016. He had represented District 6 (21 counties) on the commission since 2007.

Lynn Berggren of Broken Bow died Tuesday while hunting on the Platte River. He was 65.

Berggren was hunting with his son Kevin at the family blind near Lexington when he collapsed, said Jim Douglas, commission director. He was pronounced dead at the Lexington hospital.

“During his tenure as commissioner, Lynn was an ardent supporter and advocate for wildlife conservation, habitat management, and improving opportunities to enjoy the outdoors,” said Nebraska Game and Parks Director Jim Douglas.

“Lynn served with passion, dedication and was always looking for innovative ways to better serve the public. He will be greatly missed by Nebraska’s citizens and the Game and Parks family.”

Berggren strongly believed that outdoor recreation made life great in Nebraska. He was dedicated to improving Nebraska’s natural resources, ensuring that the state had the best wildlife habitat management practices, and creating fishing access and parks opportunities for all.

Pheasants were one of Berggren’s passions. He initiated efforts for reviving Nebraska’s pheasant populations and played a large role in the commission’s new pheasant planning initiative.

A champion for all outdoor users, Berggren especially welcomed new hunters, anglers and youth. He helped improve facilities and access to fishing across Nebraska, such as a handicap-accessible access improvement project at Johnson Lake in 2015.

Berggren shared his passion for the outdoors with others every chance he got. He heavily promoted all the good things about outdoor recreation, especially family time and memories created through fishing and hunting. He blogged about fishing with his friends and family, pheasant and waterfowl hunting excursions and his love for outdoor recreation, always advocating for people to go enjoy the outdoors and take a kid with them.

Douglas said Berggren was a sincere and genuine person, and a great representative who listened to sportsmen and women and shared their ideas on conservation, hunting and angling at the commission. He was a leader in his community, supporting and maintaining the vibrancy of the Nebraska One Box Pheasant Hunt and many opportunities for youth outdoor recreation.

Berggren was in his final year serving on the commission.

Berggren is survived by his wife, Jeanne; son, Pat and his wife, Tristan; son, Kevin; daughter, Becky; and grandchildren Katelyn and Kaleb.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
2200 North 33rd Street
Lincoln, NE 68503
402.471.0641
www.OutdoorNebraska.org

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is responsible for stewardship of the state’s fish, wildlife, parklands, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

BERGGREN PLAN FOR PHEASANTS

In 2016, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission unveiled a five-year plan aimed at growing Nebraska’s pheasant population and increasing land open to hunting in areas with abundant pheasants. The overall goal is to produce the best pheasant hunting experience for the most hunters. Other goals of this project include:

  • Increasing pheasant abundance
  • Increasing hunter access to land holding pheasants
  • Increasing the pool of potential pheasant hunters
  • Managing hunter expectations
  • Improving the funding and policy related to the goal of improving pheasant hunting

The plan, named for the late Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioner Lynn Berggren, will consider all manageable aspects of the pheasant hunting experience, with habitat and hunter access – particularly for youth – as project cornerstones. Game and Parks staff and partner organizations will concentrate work where it will be most effective, while fostering strong partnerships with other public entities, private conservation organizations and local communities.




The Value of Recognition

Welcome to autumn. This is perhaps my favorite time of the year for the concrete industry. We have made it through the heat of summer and there is a hurried sense of activity in preparation for winter. Like the typical CFA member, your company is quite probably as busy as you’ve been all 2015 and that is certainly our hope for you. In the midst of this great sense of busyness, I do want to encourage you to take a moment and read through this quarter’s issue of ‘Concrete Facts’. This magazine continues to be prepared especially for you, a professional cast-in-place concrete contractor. Whether you are a member of the CFA or not, this magazine contains information we believe is pertinent and beneficial to your needs and your goals.

Contained in the pages of this issue is information on the latest professional recognition awards bestowed by the CFA this past Convention. It is no small moment to pause and reward individuals and companies for the great work being done. Whether indicative of the quality operation and commitment to industry or the selfless volunteering and countless hours of leadership poured into this Association, these awards are your industry’s chance to say thank you and to inspire continued activity for all.

I’ve been a member of the American Concrete Institute since the early 90’s. This is not a membership to have as a status symbol, though. To most of us that are ACI members, it is a commitment to forward thinking and development. This spring, ACI awarded me a coveted status as fellow or FACI for the amount of effort I’ve put forth being chair of committees, speaking at conventions, participating in document production and leading future generations. None of this has been done to seek an FACI status and yet, it is one of my most appreciated moments and highest honors received.

It is for this very reason that the CFA Board of Directors worked this past year to broaden the opportunity for recognition, subsequently increasing the number of awards and positions honored at each Convention. An organization does not give awards to toot its own horn but rather honor the significance and commitment of the valued participants found in membership or perhaps even involved tangentially through its structured efforts.

So for this pressing moment, join us in congratulating these recipients of the 2015 CFA Professional Awards. Their efforts have largely helped to establish a new standard and a heightened professionalism for your industry. You too should have opportunities to be recognized for your efforts. Contact me to find out more.

James Baty
CFA Executive Director

jbaty@cfawalls.org




Introducing Your New Leaders

TAKE A MOMENT TO TALK WITH ANY CFA BOARD MEMBER AND YOU WILL QUICKLY FIND OUT THAT WHILE THE INVESTMENT OF TIME AND MONEY CAN BE SIGNIFICANT THE THREE-YEAR TERM, THE VALUE THEY RECEIVE IS FAR GREATER THAN ANYTHING THEY COULD POSSIBLY INVEST.

MIKE REED of Reed Concrete in Ephrata, PA; MARY WILSON of Michel Concrete in Springfield, IL and TOM BROWN of TJ Construction in Ely, IA all echo this thought and have been elected to another three-year term each.

A CFA Board member is asked to attend four meetings per year. One occurs at Annual Convention in the summer, one occurs at World of Concrete and then a spring and fall meeting each occur with the ACI Convention in its location.  This maximizes the leadership opportunity in our Association for code and standard development.

Many CFA members, both Board and at large, are active members on important ACI committees.  Additionally, the CFA tries to maximize the opportunity for participation of the board members and engage the leadership frequently.  These occur through periodic teleconferences and frequent email conversations.

NewBoard_2014

This year, four new members have been elected to serve your needs and direction for the next three years.  They are JOSH ESKER of J.B. Esker & Sons in Teutopolis, IL; JASON ELLS of Custom Concrete in Westfield, IN; ANDY STACHLER of Stachler Concrete in St. Henry, OH and DAN BUSER of Dandee Concrete in Kearney, NE.

We took some time with each of these new Board members following the Annual Convention to get some thoughts on their expectation and anticipation for joining the Board.

CFA: Guys, the position of CFA board member can require a fair amount of your time and focus over the next three years.  What would you say inspires you to volunteer this time to the CFA?

Andy: After increasing my participation in the Association, I want to better my knowledge. Becoming active as a Board member, meeting and talking to others in our industry more regularly, is the best way to do this.

Josh: My father was both a Board member and served as president of the Board.  Following in his footsteps is important to me.  I was able to see the direct benefit of his involvement on our company and I want to keep that legacy alive.

Jason: The CFA has been a wonderful association to be a member of and I know that Custom Concrete has benefited from the relationship.  My desire is that the time I spend on the board will be mutually beneficial to both the CFA and Custom Concrete. I hope to build long lasting relationships with the fellow board  members and to gain some knowledge and wisdom from the group while offering my assistance when applicable.

Dan: We’re turning down work every day.  It’s crazy out here.  I’ve got a lot of help from the Association and felt I could give a little back.  I also think you learn a lot more by becoming a part of something rather than sitting on the sidelines.  It’s like being part of the Home Builders Association.  If you don’t get involved and protect your industry, you end up paying he consequences. I know at the political level and in some ways the HBA level, if you don’t get involved, you can easily find yourself being pushed out of business because you haven’t voiced your concern and stood up for your beliefs.  While not being involved in the CFA won’t likely push you out of business, it can have a significant impact on your ability to stay in business and even grow.  You are connected with so many experienced and valuable peers in this network that really do share.

CFA: Those are all very admirable reasons and I can sense the anticipation you each have both for the CFA and for your companies.  Legacy is important and yet, while many of our members are multi-generation members, we are experiencing a strong growth in membership bringing new professionals and companies to our network.  It is important for each of them to get a sense of both legacy and new energy. Can you tell me what your earliest memory is of the CFA?

Jason: I’m not sure of the year, probably 1999 or 2000, I went to a CFA meeting during the World of Concrete in New Orleans.  I was so impressed with the number of other companies like us from all over the country.  I was intrigued to hear the conversations pertaining to projects, success, and opportunity in other markets.

Andy: My father, Homer, has been going to the summer CFA conventions for a number of years and telling me I should go. I always seemed to be to busy with work and used that as an excuse. This year, after going to Kalahari, I plan not to make that excuse anymore.

Dan: Convention in Breckenridge (2004).  Meetings were good and my wife went walking in the mountains to enjoy the scenery so that I could focus on the business. The social events opened my eyes to new people and sharing with great peers.  You learn more from talking with other contractors than you ever could from the educational sessions.  That being said, the education at this event is first rate and has proven to be a stimulus for expanding your horizons and your knowledge base.  Everybody has different ideas and beliefs but until you expose yourself to peers that are outside of your region, you really won’t understand the measure of sharing and how that can affect you.

Josh: I have been going to CFA summer meeting since I was five or six years old.  The experiences I had then are nearly identical to what I still see taking place today.  There are kids of all ages and sizes playing with each other and remembering the fun they have once each year.  However, the earliest meeting that I can still remember would be Niagara Falls, Ontario.

CFA: The Niagara Falls event was my first one joining the CFA staff.  It was a tremendous event and had such a rich combination of heritage and new energy.  It was also the first time I had seen such a huge display of technology outside of the World of Concrete.  The pumps filled the parking lot outside the hotel and even the local newspaper covered it in amazement.  Speaking of heritage and legacy, can you guys describe an individual or more than one that particularly influenced your career from CFA membership?  I know we have second and third generation among you.

Dan: Mary Wilson (Michel Concrete, Springfield, IL).  I really enjoy talking with her.  She has some great ideas and runs a heck of a business.  She has burst onto the CFA scene with energy and has published articles, worked on fall protection and challenged me to think more.

Josh: The obvious answer is my dad and my grandpa who started this whole thing. However, in terms of career influence I would also have to say Arie Van Wyk from Wisconsin.  Everyone does the job a little different than the next guy but Arie has always been an innovator and a free spirit that could never be denied solutions or directions to success.

Speed_Networking-2014

Speed networking is one of the most popular events at CFA’s Annual Convention were everyone meets ten people in the first thirty minutes.

Andy: I’d have to say my dad. The knowledge that he brought back after meetings always gave me a different perspective of how I look at separate ideas that I would have never thought of before.

Jason: As a Custom Concrete employee, Joe Carr and Brad Schrock have both been very influential in my career.

CFA: Jason, you follow in a rich line of leadership as both were past CFA Board members and past presidents.  The impact they have had on your company has certainly also been evidenced and felt by an entire Association.  What would each of you say is the one thing you would like to be able to say has been achieved by the CFA during your time of service?

Dan: Membership growth.   I think we all need to reach out to those we know and get them involved.  The guys involved in my area, while competitive to me, will get just as much out of this as I do because they will connect with someone from a different region. We’re all busy and we can all use the opportunity to grow and as we do it, the market improves because we all become better companies.

Andy: Doubling the membership to get more people on board. Two minds are better than one so the more people we can have get together, the better off we are.

Jason: As a brand new member it may be too early to truthfully respond to this answer but I do agree that growth is something that will be beneficial.  I hope to see more of the Board discussion and action items to determine what my top goals and anticipations are.

Josh: I would have to echo Andy’s sentiments and say growth.  We are sustainable but most importantly effective if we truly represent the industry in our numbers.

CFA: That is an aggressive goal, to be sure Andy, but an attainable goal.  This is especially reachable when you recognize there are still more than 6,000 poured wall contractors out there.  Even a number of 10% is conservative to describe those that are truly leaders in the industry and therefore likely to immediately recognize the benefits and the opportunities.  My last question for you guys is to see if any one of you might identify or know of one area of the country you think would benefit the most from the CFA network hosting a Convention there, what do you think it would be?  Realizing the CFA network learns as much from each other or from an area, what do you think might be learned from that same area?

Andy: I think we need to keep them around the Midwest and East Coast. Most of the current membership seems to be in this area and the event certainly benefits from numbers.  Making it easiest for the highest percentage of membership and also industry is important.  World of Concrete is stationary in the west and we have a large event there as well. Unless they move the world of concrete around, it makes traveling a little nicer for the Easteners to participate more often. However, in order to best learn from where we host the event, I would say it sure would be nice to have it close to a contractor that lets us do a walk-thru like Solid Rock Foundations (Bellevue, OH) did this past year or a vendor like Irving Equipment (Tiffin, OH) who had an awesome set up to let us check out their facility.  Engaging other contractors at these events is so easy when we’re all looking at ourselves through the processes and products of our peers.

Jason:  Well said, Andy.

Dan: I really like the Midwest, Chicago to the Rocky Mountains. We all have many of the same practices and ideas but with different risks and influences. It is easier for me to jump into a conversation about my business. However, I also know that exposure to companies outside this region will benefit me as I see their challenges and their requirements.

IF YOU DON’T GET INVOLVED AND PROTECT YOUR INDUSTRY, YOU END UP PAYING THE CONSEQUENCES         Dan Buser

The CFA is in great new hands with these members joining an experienced Board consisting of:

  • Dennis Purinton of Purinton Builders in East Granby, CT
  • Phil Marone of Marone Contractors in Thorofare, NJ
  • Doug Doggett of Doggett Concrete in Charlotte, NC
  • Valerie Gore of Solid Foundations in Bellevue, OH
  • Doug Herbert of Herbert Construction in Marietta, GA
  • Kirby Justesen of SCW Footings & Foundations in Salt Lake City, UT
  • Sean Smith of MPW Construction Services in Wellington, OH
  • Craig Bradley of Cosella-Dorken Products in Brampton, ONT
  • Tom Oury of Schwing America in St. Paul, MN

Under the direction of President Dave Martinson of Martinson Construction in Waterloo, IA, the aggressive pursuit of initiatives and benefits for the Association and industry are assured.  The CFA Board will meet at the end of October in Washington D.C. during the ACI Fall Convention, which will include an evening of networking hosted by past presidents Jim Bartley and Buck Bartley and their company, Bartley Corporation.

 




CFA Continues Popular Hotline for Members

CFA Continues Popular Hotline for Members

Email hotline offers active CFA members convenient access to a wealth of information resources and experience.

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Access to technical information and solutions has never been easier. CFA members continue to have access to three levels of support for project, material and system questions. A technical staff member is available full time by phone or email. This one on one solution can provide a wealth of information from codes to construction practice. A network of peers is accessible conveniently through the social media site, LinkedIn. At “Concrete Foundations,” a public networking group, and “CFA Members,” a private networking group, questions on any topic or curiosity can be exchanged with the valuable asset of a strong, professional and experienced peer network. The third and perhaps most popular technical resource available to CFA members is that of the Email Hotline. Any individual for a CFA member firm can request to participate or can access the wealth of knowledge from this resource by emailing hotline@cfawalls.org. Inquiries are distributed to the contact list participating in this hotline after a quick staff review. Responses are immediately reviewed by staff and redistributed through the network resulting in sharing of both the inquiry and the solutions for greater distribution of knowledge.

Contact the CFA to find out how your company can begin participating in these professional areas immediately.




CFA Now Offers Members A Hot Line

CFA adds new member benefit…Hotline

You’ve asked and we’ve listened. Although there are two different forums available through LinkedIn, the private CFA Members group and the public Concrete Foundations group, we realize that this may be more difficult to use than you prefer. Following the CFA Board Strategic Planning effort in Minneapolis this Spring, CFA Staff have been able to create a new CFA Email Hotline for active CFA members to use and communicate thoughts on problems. In order to participate, TRY IT OUT by sending an inquiry or simply email hotline@cfawalls.org with the subject of “Add Me”.




YOU NEED TO BE THINKING CERTIFICATION RIGHT NOW…

Imagine yourself on the phone tomorrow bidding for a foundation contract, but you tell the general contractor “I am a CFA Certified Contractor”. His response will be one of surprise and admiration.

Ten years from now his response will be “I only hire Certified CFA Contractors.”

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Get in on the ground floor of a new industry program to certify foundation contractor firms in the residential cast-in-place industry. Your registration gives you access to a six-part series program that will benefit your company and market. The goal of certification is to unify the industry with a common measurement of competency for concrete foundations and the companies that install them.

Certification of companies or individuals is a topic you hear in all aspects of the construction market as builders and code enforcers attempt to establish competency and accountability in construction. The market is becoming increasingly complicated with small and large companies vying for the same business at the risk of the client. A system whereby builders and building officials can ensure customers that the types of businesses they employ are competent is a growing priority.

CFA’s Certification Program provides the assurance that companies are devoting resources necessary to remain current with the science and technology of their industry. It also provides assurances that companies are properly managed, insured, and that they provide a safe environment for their workers. The program is designed, administered and enforced by companies and individuals who are knowledgable about the industry they regulate.

The CFA decision is proactive and the result is a comprehensive, but contractor-friendly program that can be used by jurisdictions and businesses seeking certification of residential foundation contractors.

WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL? 

The program consists of:

  • a pre-qualification exam for a company representative(s)
  • continuing education
  • and annual audit reviews of company operations.

A certification board, separate of the established CFA structure oversees the program.

The program contains:

  • Basic Knowledge of Concrete and Foundations
  • Minimum Insurance Requirements
  • Continuing Education (Annual Requirement)
  • Safety Program Requirements
  • Financial Soundness of the Business Entity
  • Related Certifications or Verifiable Training for Specialty Equipment
  • Experience

Continuing Education:

Twelve hours of annual continuing education will be required of at least two individuals in the company.

HOW DO I APPLY? 

Check the CFA website at www.cfawalls.org for future certification events.

HOW DO I PREPARE? 

The information needed to study for the examination is available from the CFA. To get a ‘Certification Reference Package’, visit www.cfawalls.org or contact Jim Baty at jbaty@cfawalls.org.

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