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Thu October 07, 2021 - Northeast Edition #21
The Utility & Transportation Contractors Association of New Jersey (UTCA) held its annual convention at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 2021, in Atlantic City, N.J.
After having cancelled its convention in 2020 because of COVID-19, the UTCA came roaring back with a well-attended event, which is not surprising considering its vibrant, active and expansive membership in the state of New Jersey.
At the convention's trade show exhibit, more than 100 exhibitors kept attendees busy touting their equipment offering and services.
During the event, UTCA inducted its new president, Rolando "Roly" Acosta, president and CEO of JAG Companies, Wall Township, N.J., who is replacing the now outgoing president, Dave Smith, CEO of Mount Construction Co., Berlin, N.J.
Peter Hutchison of Selco Manufacturing received the Larry Gardner Memorial Award, given annually to a UTCA member that has demonstrated outstanding service to the association. The Robert A. Briant Sr. Memorial Award went to Tino Garcia, senior vice president of Ferreira Construction.
During the luncheon, Robert Briant Jr., CEO of UTCA, remembered and honored Joseph T. Walsh III, who passed away on Aug. 2, 2021 and who 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. Mr. Walsh worked for J. Fletcher Creamer and Son for 26 years, becoming the first non-Creamer family member to hold the position of president, was named COO in 2016, and then CEO in 2020. Briant Jr. was visibly moved, as were all in attendance, when a video was shown of Mr. Walsh's involvement in the UTCA and J. Fletcher Creamer and Son over the years.
When lunch concluded, Briant Jr. introduced Keynote Speaker Kevin "Dauber" Lacz, who is a United States Navy SEAL veteran who served two tours in the Iraq War. His platoon's 2006 deployment to Ramadi has been discussed in several books, including Dick Couch's The Sheriff of Ramadi, Jim DeFelice's Code Name: Johnny Walker, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin's Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win and Chris Kyle's New York Times best-selling autobiography, American Sniper. Lacz's presence in the book led to his involvement in the production of and eventual casting in the Clint Eastwood-directed Oscar-winning biopic of the same name, starring Bradley Cooper.
(All photographs in this article are Copyright 2021 Construction Equipment Guide. All Rights Reserved.) CEG