The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) broke new ground this year with Utility Construction EXPO ’08 in Kauai, Hawaii, Jan. 15 to 19.
The event was dubbed the “Executive Experience” and was held at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa in Kauai, Hawaii.
Additionally, NUCA installed new officers and handed out awards.
The principal draw of the event was the new Executive Experience format, which was designed to facilitate the creation of real partnerships between utility contractors and the industry’s manufacturers and suppliers by focusing on face-to-face encounters at educational and social events.
“This year, we took a new approach,” said EXPO ’08 Chair Brandon Young. “And, we left no stone unturned in our effort to make sure that everyone got every ounce of value out of their investment of time and money in the Executive Experience. The goal was to send attendees home, not with wallets full of business cards, but with verbal and written agreements to ’do the deal.’ From what I’ve heard so far, we succeeded.”
The EXPO ’08 general education sessions, which everyone attended together, were condensed to maximize the time spent outdoors and designed to address the needs of both groups.
As always, the lineup of speakers was impressive: political analyst Norman Ornstein (sponsored by CNH/Kobelco and CNA Insurance), bestselling author and television host Larry Winget (sponsored by CNH/Kobelco and CNA Insurance), Flags of Our Fathers author James Bradley (sponsored by Benjamin Media and CNA Insurance) and Reed Business Information chief economist James Haughey.
During the event, NUCA presented its 2007 Ditchdigger of the Year Award to Larry Fortin, general manager of The Fishel Co. of Las Vegas. This award is presented annually to a NUCA contractor member for professionalism, integrity and dedication to the highest principles of the utility construction industry.
Additionally, NUCA presented its 2007 Associate Member of the Year Award to East Jordan Iron Works Inc. (EJIW) of East Jordan, Mich., at the Opening General Session Jan. 16. EJIW’s Midwest Regional Manager Tom Idema and Joe Lazzati, manager of the company’s Finksburg, Md., location, accepted the award.
This award is presented annually to a NUCA Associate Member who has made a significant contribution on the national level to the industry and/or association.
NUCA also continued its tradition of offering networking opportunities with a scholarship golf tournament at the Poipu Beach Club, a PGA Grand Slam venue.
After that, the action just kept coming in the form of an Aloha NUCA Welcome Reception at Shipwreck Lagoon (sponsored by Caterpillar), a NUCA Build-Your-Own-Race Car 500 at the Ilima and Poipu Beach Gardens (sponsored by Case Construction Equipment), an optional sunset cruise along Kauai’s Napali Coast and the Presidents’ Luau (sponsored by John Deere Construction & Forestry Division/Hitachi).
Of the Trade Winds Route Auction (sponsored by Komatsu and Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers), Auction Chair Keith Steen had this to say: “As always, NUCA members were generous with both their donations and their bids. They understand that the money we raise benefits us directly by giving us the financial ability to advocate legislation on Capitol Hill that is critical to our industry, as well as support our safety and education programs.”
This year’s auction garnered a whopping $98,193 in bids.
The new officers and vice presidents for 2008-2009 took the oath of office during the President’s Luau on Jan.18.
• President: Terry Dillon, Atlas Excavating Inc., West Lafayette, Ind.
• President-Elect: Lyle Schellenberg, Armadillo Underground Inc., Salem, Ore.
• Senior Vice President: Dan East, Cone Construction Co., Albuquerque, N.M.
• Treasurer: Ryan Schmitt, Petticoat-Schmitt Civil Contractors Inc., Jacksonville, Fla.
• Secretary: Alex Paris, Alex E. Paris Contracting Co., Atlasburg, Pa.
• Jim Barron, Ronkin Construction Inc., Joppa, Md.
• Bill Bocchino, STT Construction Group, Jacksonville, Fla.
• Kevin Cripps, Distribution Construction Co., Greensboro, N.C.
• Virginia DiCristofaro, AE Bragger Construction Co. Inc., Warwick, R.I.
• Chuck Dimick, Dimick Development Co., Las Vegas, Nev.
• Glenn Ely, PKF-Mark III, Newtown, Pa.
• Ricky Harp, Richard Harp Excavation Inc., Fayetteville, Ga.
• John Letourneau, Letourneau & Sons Inc., Duluth, Minn.
• Roy Moore, Moore Excavation Inc., Portland, Ore.
• Ron Nunes, RT Nunes & Sons Inc., West Warwick, R.I.
• Dave Rice, Rice Construction, Henderson, Nev.
• Mark Scoccolo, SCI Infrastructure LLC, Pacific, Wash.
• Mike Smith, Hydro-Systems Inc., Albuquerque, N.M.
• Keith Steen, PF Moon & Co. Inc., West Point, Ga.
• Bruce Wendorf, Forsberg Construction Inc., Punta Gorda, Fla.
• Andy Wolf, Foley Construction Co., Davenport, Iowa
• Kirk Woodward, Fierro Utility Construction Services Inc., Phoenix, Ariz.
• Brandon Young, Miller the Driller, Des Moines, Iowa
Next year’s Utility Construction EXPO ’09 The Big Show will be held March 6 to 8, 2009, at The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel and Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Ariz.
Exhibit space for Utility Construction EXPO ’09 is on sale now.
For more information on exhibition space, call 703/212-7745.