The 22nd Annual AGC of Texas Highway, Heavy, Utilities and Industrial Branch Trade and Equipment Show kicked off on Oct. 5 at the Austin Convention Center with the opening luncheon keynote address by Gov. Rick Perry, who lauded the Texas transportation system as being the best in the nation.
The governor spoke to a packed audience, and commended TxDOT and Texas contractors for their efficiency during the Hurricane Rita evacuation, noting it was the equivalent of relocating the entire state of Kansas in three days. The luncheon was sponsored by Hunter Industries Ltd. and Williams Brothers Construction Co. Inc.
After the luncheon, Perry, AGC of Texas 2005 Chapter President Terry Bryant, AGC of Texas Executive Vice President Tom Johnson and TxDOT Executive Director Michael W. Behrens all participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony, marking the opening of the Trade Show. This year, the association boasted more than 150 booths where exhibitors presented a myriad of products and services from the Texas highway construction industry, including auctioneers, asphalt and concrete products, bonding and insurance, computer products, hand tools, safety devices, tires, traffic control items, and an impressive variety of heavy and portable equipment.
In just a two-day span, approximately 3,000 people from all walks of the transportation industry visited the show, including TxDOT officials, national and statewide contractors, trade associations, and various suppliers. Even nearby maintenance crews stopped in to see the exhibit.
The event also included a silent auction featuring a King Ranch cowhide bar service, Christmas Cards from President and First Lady Bush, vintage wines, a GPS personal navigator, hunting gear and binoculars and digital camera combination, just to name a few. Proceeds from the silent auction go to promote vocational education in our public schools and maintain the chapter’s scholarship program for employees or dependents of employees of AGC of Texas members.
The evening’s opening reception was sponsored by Chemical Lime Ltd., Holt CAT, Hunter Industries Ltd., and Frank Siddons Insurance — Austin. At the following day’s luncheon, sponsored exclusively by Williams Brothers Construction Co. Inc., Whitley & Siddons staff shared the Highway Letting results with all of the contractors in attendance.
Just before the night’s big event, the winners of the Silent Auction, penny raffle, and the featured prizes were announced.
The penny raffle’s $750 gift certificate to Cabela’s and two $100 gift certificates to Academy, as well as the featured prizes’ four weekend getaways and a leather Kenneth Cole briefcase –– like the auctions –– benefit the AGC of Texas Scholarship Program.
The Trade Show culminated in the Annual Trade Show Fish Fry and Live Auction. With the help of the Shriners cooking more than 1,200 lbs. of catfish, the crowd settled in for the 2005 AGC of Texas Live Scholarship Auction, conducted by Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers International.
President Bryant began by speaking on the virtues of the scholarship fund and urging all the attendees to participate. Items auctioned off included bid software, hunting and fishing trips, a weeklong trip to Ireland, rifles and shotguns, UT, A&M, Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans football tickets, Spurs and Mavericks tickets, NASCAR racing school, a hot air balloon ride and vintage construction photos. The auction raised $134,400 — $20,000 more than last year. All together, the AGC and its members raised more than $140,000 for the scholarship fund.
The 2006 AGC of Texas Annual Trade and Equipment Show is set for Oct. 9 to 10.