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GUCA Selects President, Honors Members at Annual Conference

Wed August 02, 2006 - Southeast Edition
CEG



Strack Inc. emerged from the 2006 GUCA Annual Conference as its Contractor Member of the Year.

More than 300 GUCA members, family members, and guests gathered at the Crowne Plaza Hilton Head Island Beach Resort in Hilton Head Island, SC, June 22 to 25.

The honor was accepted by Joe Strack, the company’s president.

Strack Inc. was founded in 1948 as a grading contractor in south Fulton County by Alfred Strack.

It wasn’t until 1973 that the company expanded its area of expertise and became a pipe contractor, the same year that Joe took over as president.

The company also performs clearing, logging, site utilities, horizontal boring, pump station, pipe testing and cleaning.

Joe has been involved with GUCA since the 1970s and served as its president in 1986. He currently serves on the Community Service Committee and helped develop the GUCA Youth Apprenticeship Program and the first test for Georgia’s utility licensing.

This year’s 2006 Associate Member of the Year was Jay Andrade of Godwin Pumps of America Inc.

He has served on the GUCA Golf Committee, Industry Relations Committee and Membership Committee and has attended meetings, trade shows and conferences.

“There is a heartfelt devotion at GUCA to represent the industry through legislative involvement, educational service, safety awareness, utility publication distribution and membership service,” Andrade said.

Godwin Pumps has been in the portable pump business for 30 years.

A special honor also went to Ricky Harp of Richard Harp Excavation Inc., who was named Committee Chairman of the Year.

He chaired the 2005-06 Membership Committee. The rest of the committee was hesitant at setting a goal of 600 members, but they came close to meeting it with a tally of 550 by the end of the year. Under his watch, more than 100 new members joined GUCA.

Harp started his company in 1990 with one piece of equipment. It now employs more than 160 people and has 170 pieces of equipment.

Since joining the association, Harp has served on the Board of Directors and received the Chairman of the Year award last year for heading the Golf Committee.

He has recently been appointed to the NUCA Board of Directors.

A fourth award went to Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, who received the Golden Shovel Legislative Award.

GUCA honored Seabaugh for his work on Senate Bill 530, which changed the mechanics and materialmen lien law statute. It was signed into law in May.

A Full Week

The conference started with a welcome reception underneath the beach pavilion where attendees had the opportunity to network with friends, clients and other member guests and families. After the reception, the GUCA Scholarship Foundation held a Texas Hold ’em Tournament.

The second day’s morning conference session began early with the GUCA Industry Chit Chat. Following the chit chat the business session included election of the 2006-2007 GUCA officers and directors and the Star Partner Awards. The recipients of the Star Partner Awards for the 2005-2006 year were contractor member Strack Inc. and associate member Tractor & Equipment Company.

GUCA members also had a chance to attend several educational sessions which included presentations by: Brantley Madebach, White Horse Contractor Financial Advisors, “Surviving the Family Business;” Philip Siegel, Hendrick Phillips, Salzman & Flatt, “Immigration Laws;” and a panel discussion was held between contractors and vendors on “Contractors Making Buying Decisions.”

That afternoon, GUCA members enjoyed several activities, including the deep sea fishing tournament and sailing, while other members fought the heat to show off their strokes at the GUCA tennis tournament. Other activities included golf, sand digging contest and a sand castle competition.

The second day ended as members gathered for the auction which helped GUCA raise money for its PAC funds. Members and their families enjoyed a live and silent auction and had a chance to participate in the costume contest.

Attendees were honored June 24 with a keynote presentation by Stephen Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick Wildlife Photography. This presentation, “Romancing the Rain,” detailed his journey into the Amazon which was a thrilling story of adventure, passion and faith.

Early that morning, members and families gathered on Hilton Head Island’s shore for the second annual Fun Run/Walk, which raised money for the GUCA Scholarship Foundation.

The evening concluded the conference with the President’s Reception and Banquet. Members witnessed the installation of GUCA Officers and Directors for the 2006-2007 Board. As the conference came to a close, GUCA President Jeff Steele of Steele & Associates Inc. welcomed incoming President Shirley Cooley of Rockdale Pipeline Inc. to this new office and remarked on his leadership year.