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To a Dedicated Leader, with Gratitude

For over 40 years, the Concrete Foundations Association (CFA) has been the #1 resource for concrete foundation professionals across the country. Members of the association have turned to the CFA daily for questions about code issues, on-site technical problems, OSHA regulations, managerial challenges and much, much more. Through the past leadership of Ed Sauter, and current leadership of Jim Baty, members of the CFA have gained industry knowledge to become better companies, better leaders, better employees and even better people.

CFA Members often use Concrete Facts as a platform to announce company news, catch up on the latest industry developments, or announce new products and services to the industry. Today, members are using it as a way to give thanks to an organization leader who has pushed the boundaries of the industry, helped companies get through their biggest nightmares, and inspired leaders across the country both personally and professionally.

Since 2001, Mr. James Baty has served the residential concrete industry as a Technical Director, and currently serves as the Executive Director of the CFA.

“I first met Jim at a summer meeting (the first for both of us) many years ago,” said Dennis Purinton of Purinton Builders, Inc. “Since that time, I have called many times with questions on how to deal with code issues, inspector’s interpretations of codes or conflicting information in documents. His ability to research an issue and respond, in what seems like the speed of light, has been an invaluable asset, saving time, money, and more importantly, adding to our knowledge and expertise for future use,” said Purinton. “The knowledge gained under Jim and Ed’s leadership over the years has awarded us greater credibility with Code Officials and the Regulatory Community, both locally and nationally. We thank him for what he has so willingly done for all of us, and all that he will continue to do for others in the future.”

In addition to the knowledge and leadership Baty gives to the CFA, combined with his degree (BARCH) in Architecture from Iowa State University and career long emphasis in concrete systems education and thermal design efficiency, he also serves as the Manager for Regulatory and Technical Affairs for the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), and serves on multiple ACI committees, including ACI C-655 – Residential Foundation Technician Certification, ACI 551 – Tilt-Up Concrete (secretary), ACI C-650-Tilt-Up Certification, ACI 306 – Cold Weather Concrete, and ACI CSAO – Codes and Standards Advocacy. He is also a present member and past chair of ACI 332 – Residential Concrete.

“It would be hard to overstate Jim’s importance to the CFA,” said Scott Smith of MPW Construction Services. “He has made himself into an expert on ACI, safety and OSHA regulations, cold weather concrete and much more,” said Smith. “Although his brain is very valuable to the CFA, what I really love about Jim is revealed in his faith, humility and dedication to family. We continue to be blessed with great leaders of our association!”

Baty’s leadership and dedication extends far beyond the concrete industry. He has been a member of the United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon (UMCMV) for 18 years, and has served the church in almost any capacity imaginable. He currently serves as Church Council Chair, Worship Leader and Care Minister, in addition to being an active member of the UMCMV’s music program and Life Group.

“Jim leads us by serving,” said Jim Bartley of Bartley Corp. “His actions better our industry, our association and our companies. He serves us all with optimism and enthusiasm, and sprang into action for our business following a series of MOSH [Maryland Occupational Safety and Health] citations,” said Bartley. “Within 24 hours of reading the list of 12 citations, he crafted a well-researched counter offer, responding to each citation with industry standards and evidence that we were not a bad actor. With his coaching and valuable research, I had the confidence and information I needed to pursue a favorable result. He stuck with me every step of the way, and helped us replace the heavy citations with ones more appropriate to the set of facts. Jim is a blessing to the CFA, and a super star for our industry.”

Baty is a regular educator featured at World of Concrete and the Tilt-Up Concrete Convention, and provides education for contractors and industry professionals on a broad range of industry topics. You can find Baty’s technical articles in Tilt-Up TODAY, Concrete Contractor and Concrete Construction magazines in their respective archives.

“Through Jim’s partnership with Ed Sauter, he has nourished the CFA to be one of the most influential organizations in the industry,” said Bruce Neale of Modern Foundations, Inc. “What is often hidden behind the scenes can have the most effect on our association. Jim continues to be active behind the scenes and in front of our members in a big way,” said Neale. “This association has always been a family oriented group of business and religious leaders, and he continues that leadership style well beyond the concrete industry.”

With Baty’s unparalleled passion to serve, he continues to support members of the association through his advocacy and industry knowledge.

“Jim took the accessibility of the CFA to a new level when he would respond to urgent requests for help from any member,” said Tim Parrish of CFI Enterprises, Inc. “I can remember numerous times calling the CFA office when an inspector was throwing up a red flag on a job site. He would quickly get us an answer or a resource we could use to “educate” the building official, solving the problem, getting us back to work, and increasing my standing locally as a concrete professional,” said Parrish. “Many times the money we saved from those phone calls would pay for our annual dues. Talk about a return on investment!”

It is no secret that Baty’s passion and enthusiasm inspires professionals across the country.

“His energy and desire to be productive is contagious,” said Kirby Justesen of Solid Concrete Walls. “I have learned a great deal from Jim both professionally and personally. His service on the ACI committees has helped advance CFA, ACI and the entire industry.”

Ed Sauter, past executive director of the CFA and longtime business partner of Baty’s, had taken the CFA to a high level during his years of leadership. Baty stepped up to the plate and has continued to lead the association with all that he has to give.

“Jim brought energy, eternal optimism and a ‘can-do’ attitude to the CFA,” said Sauter. “His people skills and family values made him a great fit, and the fact that I hired him twice should be an indication of the confidence I had in his abilities. Between our mutual love of wine, coffee, golf and the Cyclones, was a passion to serve the industry. It has truly been a pleasure to work with him over the years.”

The relationships that Baty has fostered over the years are a true testament of his character.

“Jim had some big shoes to fill after Ed’s leadership,” said Barry Herbert of Herbert Construction Co. “He has more than stepped up to the plate; he’s hit home run after home run,” said Herbert. “Jim is a motivation to all of us. He continues to help members through many different vehicles, and has been a personal inspiration to myself and the members of my family. He is what others should aspire to be like.”

On behalf of the association membership, thank you, Mr. James Baty, for all you have done and continue to do for this industry 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