Each year, CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION chooses its Top Influencers. And each year significant time is spent discussing the candidates, deconstructing their role in the concrete industry, and reaching consensus on our Top Influencers. In theory, this formula seems pretty simple; in reality it is much more complex.

Selecting this year's Top Influencers was exceptionally difficult, specifically because we had so many excellent recommendations. As we attempted to pare down the list, it occurred to me that every nominee met the criteria established to be a Top Influencer—again, this was not going to be easy. Alas after much discussion amongst the editorial staff, we eventually narrowed the list down to five Top Influencers:

  • David Darwin, professor, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan.
  • Ward Malisch, technical director, American Society of Concrete Contractors, St. Louis
  • Greg Scurto, Scurto Cement Construction, Gilberts, Ill.
  • Dave Shepherd, director of sustainable development, Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.
  • Bob Simonelli, director of engineering services, Structural Services Inc., Richardson, Texas

Every Influencer is unique and each impact the industry differently. They symbolize the growth, history, and determination of the concrete construction industry. Furthermore, the individuals that shape our industry deserve to be recognized, above and beyond an article in CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION (“Most Influential 2009” by Joe Nasvik). Many of you know this year's Top Influencers so be sure to acknowledge their achievements when you see them at this year's World of Concrete, and remind them of the significant role they play in this challenging industry. We may not be able to chisel their profiles in a monument, but a few kind words of appreciation can go a long way.

Much like our Top Influencers, other professionals in the concrete industry distinguish themselves for their role in the CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION Curling & Shrinkage Field Test.

To learn more, don't miss CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION's Field Test Breakfast at World of Concrete, Thursday, Feb. 4, at 8 a.m. Attendees can learn about specific areas of the field test from the leading experts on the project committee: Allen Face, The Allen Face Cos., Wilmington, N.C.; Jack Gibbons, Concrete Reinforced Steel Institute, Schaumburg, Ill.; Howard Kanare, CTLGroup, Skokie, Ill.; Kevin MacDonald, Cemstone Concrete Products, Mendota Heights, Minn.; Greg Scurto, Scurto Cement Construction Ltd.; and Rick Smith, Structural Services Inc., Richardson, Texas. To sign up for this one-of-a-kind event, visit www.worldofconcrete.com.

Finally, if you cannot attend WOC this year, you can still receive all the latest news from the show. Sign up for the World of Concrete Daily News e-newsletter.