It was a veritable industry who's who when Concrete Construction hosted a reception during the World of Concrete for our 2006 selections of the Most Influential People in the Concrete Industry. Decorative concrete guru Doug Bannister moved smoothly through the crowd. Mike Shydlowski looked happy and relaxed—appreciating the recognition as he approaches a June retirement. Just as they work, Clay and Jeanne Fischer arrived as a team. Bill Tolley brought ACI staff members and past ACI president Jim Cagley (one of the 2005 most influential people). Mike Weber led the PCA contingent. Bev Garnant looked glamorous, yet very professional, in black velvet and pearls. Billie Snell, in her Mongolian outfit, easily outshone Luke. Terry Fricks was, as usual, the taciturn Texan. Even Jim Shilstone stopped by.
Many of us feel that this fractious industry needs more leaders. Looking around the room at the WOC reception, though, I was struck by the extraordinary leaders we do have and how far we've come over the past 20 years since I've been involved in this business. But more leaders are always welcome. You may say, but I'm not the leader type. I think you would find that most of those leading our industry today once felt the same way, but they saw a need and they tried to meet it and soon found that they had become leaders without ever intending to. Most leaders aren't born, they grow into it by simply taking what to them seems the next logical step and soon they look back to find a whole bunch of people following. I have faith that new leaders will continue to emerge from among our ranks and that they will help concrete to someday take its rightful place as the world's leading building material.
On a personal note, this will be my last Editorial Comment as CC's editor in chief. Although I have loved this job and am honored to have had the chance to be a part of this great magazine, I feel the need to spend more time with my family and to pursue new opportunities. I fully intend to remain active in the concrete industry, so from time to time you may still hear from me. Keep learning, keep laughing, and keep building with concrete.