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UTCA of NJ Holds Annual Convention in Atlantic City

Thu October 06, 2022 - Northeast Edition #21

The Utility & Transportation Contractors Association of New Jersey (UTCA) held its annual convention at the Borgata Casino Resort Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2022, in Atlantic City, N.J.

At the convention's trade show exhibit, more than 100 exhibitors kept attendees busy touting their equipment offering and services.

This year's keynote address featured Jimmy Wayne, award-winning song writer and recording artist; author of the novel and made for TV movie Paper Angels; and author of the NY Times Bestseller, Walk to Beautiful.

Wayne opened his keynote by performing his song, "Kerosene Kid," and his Hall & Oates cover of "Sara Smile." He then spoke about the challenges he faced in his childhood. He grew up in Bessemer City. His biological father abandoned him, and he and his sister were raised in and out of foster homes or were left with other people when their mother would leave them or was in prison. She served four months in prison in 1985 when Wayne was 12.

After entering a group home, Wayne ran away and lived with his mother for a brief time before living on the streets and with his sister, Patricia, for a short while. He was invited to move in with an elderly couple, Russell and Bea Costner, (just down the road from where his mother was living), after being hired to mow their lawn. After finishing high school and earning a degree in Criminal Justice, he worked as a guard at the Gaston Correctional Facility, where he worked as a corrections officer for four years before moving to Nashville, Tenn., to pursue his musical interests.

On Jan. 1, 2010, Wayne set out on a 1,660-mi. walk from Nashville to Phoenix to raise awareness to the plight of the 30,000 children who age out of foster care every year in America, into homelessness homeless youth aging out foster system. Called the "Meet Me Halfway" campaign, he walked 25 mi. a day, only taking days off the walk for scheduled concerts and to go to the California State Capitol to speak in favor of a bill that would increase the age kids age out of the foster system from 18 to 21.

He successfully arrived in Phoenix on Aug. 1, 2010, after suffering a broken foot four days prior, having walked 1,700 mi. over seven months. Even after completing his walk, Wayne continues to advocate for foster children.

In 2012, he co-wrote the novel Paper Angels, a Christmas story about a child who receives help from the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program and the man who picked his name. He wrote Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way with Ken Abraham. The autobiography, published in 2014, details his life story which inspired the "Meet Me Halfway" campaign.

During the keynote luncheon on Sept. 30, UTCA also inducted the late Joseph T. Walsh, who passed away on Aug. 2, 2021, into the UTCA of NJ Hall of Fame He worked for J. Fletcher Creamer and Son for 26 years, becoming the first non-Creamer family member to hold the position of president and was named COO in 2016, and then CEO in 2020. He also served as president of the UTCA in 2012-2013 and 2018-2019 and was an executive member on the association's board for many years. He started the NJ Chapter of the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) in 2020 and served as its board president. CEG

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Glenn Ely of PKF-Mark III takes the oath of office as the new UTCA of NJ president during the convention. (CEG photo)
Larry Gilberson (L) and Mark Cassidy, both of Emerald Equipment Systems, were on hand to discuss the company’s crushing and recycling equipment. These machines assist with jobs involving topsoil, mulch, aggregate and natural materials. (CEG photo)
(L-R): Longtime supporter of the UTCA, Foley CAT was well represented by Denny Bergmaier, Pete Reis, Brian Viglante, Carmen Pino, Bill Grater and Todd Yazujian. (CEG photo)
Lou Slota was a one-man booth for family-owned Bay Crane. (CEG photo)
(L-R): ECA’s team was represented by Bruce Langan, Michael Langan, Keith Meitzler, Kelly Simon, Steve Sigmund and Pat Lanni. (CEG photo)
Denise Blakely of Arthur R. Henry Inc. tries to grab as much cash as she can in 20 seconds in the Kennedy Companies’ “Fun Machine.” She emerged with $57. (CEG photo)
This year’s keynote address featured Jimmy Wayne, award-winning song writer and recording artist. (CEG photo)
Theresa Brill of Sussman Enterprises Inc. was the winner of Hoffman Equipment’s grand prize drawing during the UTCA Convention. Here, Tim Watters, president of Hoffman Equipment, presents her with the one week St. Maarten vacation and $2,000 toward airfare. (CEG photo)
Modern Group representatives Sam Maury (L) and Anthony Brown told attendees all about the new SENNEBOGEN line that the company just picked up, which includes the 718 material handler. (CEG photo)
(L-R): The Ritchie Bros. group of Adam Byrne, Peter Mangelli and Fred Vilsmeier were on hand at the UTCA Annual Convention. (CEG photo)
(L-R): Hoffman Equipment, represented by Walt Joachim, Brian Clark, Eric Seikel, Carl Stroh, Jessica Bueno and Ray Gallanrt, showcased the line of Volvo electric equipment at UTCA. (CEG photo)
JESCO, which is celebrating its 50-year anniversary, raffled off a John Deere model XUV550 for one lucky attendee. Derrick Ward (L) and Charles Dull pose in front of the giveaway. (CEG photo)
Toys for Tots is always a popular exhibitor at the UTCA conference. (L-R) are Robert Moran, Bob Groeber, Eddy Androvich Sr. and William McGinley. (CEG photo)
Representing GT Mid Atlantic are Victor Riga (L) and Mike Chenet. (CEG photo)
American Shoring’s Dave Moinar (L) and Bill Edgerly were on hand to support the utility industry. (CEG photo)
Van Pham (L) and Nicole Matthew, both of Tenna, educated attendees on the company’s asset tracking solutions and fleet attachments. (CEG photo)

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