The 2015 Concrete Executive Leadership Forum sponsored by ASCC and CC just concluded and was as inspiring as usual. Economist Anirban Basu once again reviewed the whirlwind construction economy with a cautiously optimistic projection for the next few years — although he reminded contractors that construction is still a cyclical business and by 2018 or 2019 we could be back on the descending side of the curve. Denise Haaser, director of human resources for Baker Concrete Construction, encouraged executives to be proactive about recruiting and retaining workers. Compensation needs to be fair, she says, but appreciating and providing opportunities for employees is just as important. But, as usual, the networking both in the informal roundtables and at the social events was the highlight of the CELF for me. I encourage you to condsider attending next year’s CELF in San Diego, July 14 to 17.

Priceless Benefits

Speaking of the American Society of Concrete Contractors, this is my annual pitch for you to consider becoming a member. There are so many benefits that I can’t cover them all here (call me if you want to talk about it), but one member told me recently that he had an issue on a project and ended up getting a lengthy defense from Ward Malisch through the Hotline that easily paid his dues for many years. Another told me that he has adopted the ASCC Safety Manual as his small company’s safety manual which again saved big money. For me, just having the chance to talk to other ASCC members to understand our industry better is priceless.

Tall Walls

Ron Kozikowski, North S.Tarr Concrete Consulting, mentioned a project to me last fall that he was involved with that he thought would make a good article. It took a while, but he was certainly right. The challenges involved in placing a 43-foot-tall wall in a single lift using self-consolidating concrete are daunting, but a team that included Kozikowski, Baker Concrete Construction, and EFCO Forms pulled it off beautifully.

King of Concrete Floors

Joe Neuber doesn’t pretend to be a technical expert — but he is. From his first article for CC in 2005 (If I Can Do It, Anybody Can!) he has proven that though humble, he really understands concrete floors. As chairman of ACI Committee 302 for the past five years he has found the patience to get the committee to finalize the first new Guide for Concrete Floor Construction (ACI 302.1) in 11 years. See our review. And a new version of ACI 302.2 (Guide for Concrete Slabs that Receive Moisture-Sensitive Flooring Materials) is nearly complete. “After that, I think I’ll be done,” he says. Mission accomplished, Joe!