Women gathered at this year's World of Concrete to commune, eat, and discuss business at the year's third annual Women in Concrete Luncheon and Forum.

"I'm excited to see so many faces—and a crowded room of women at our third annual event," said Kari Moosmann, managing editor for Concrete Construction magazine, welcoming all in attendance.

Co-hosted by Concrete Construction and The Concrete Producer magazines, the two-hour program brought together female professionals from all segments of the concrete construction industry, and provided them with a unique opportunity to connect with peers.

The 2008 program consisted of a panel of women discussing hot industry trends. After enjoying their lunch, the panel presentations was kicked off by Shana Young of Smith's Ready Mix, Hot Springs, Ark., who explained the many benefits and advantages of pervious concrete.

One major problem facing the industry is handling runoff from asphalt parking lots and roads. "Pollutants from cars run off and pollute our waterways," she said. "Pervious concrete helps us to keep the world a little cleaner, a little greener, for those coming after us." She continued to discuss not only the environmental advantages of pervious, but also the cost savings benefits such as eliminating the need for retention ponds.

Continuing the discussion, Kristen Cooper Carter from California State University, Chico, expounded on the sustainability and durability of concrete, specifically emphasizing what we can do as an industry. "I think the green building movement is here to stay, and we as women can play a key role," says Carter. "One of the tools we have—one that we should all become more familiar with—is LEED."

She went on to say that the old ways of constructing buildings is out and that we need to find more efficient ways and better technologies to make structures last for more than 50 years.

Michelle Wilson at the Portland Cement Association (Booth C4113) summed up the presentations with a forecast of what to expect in 2008, and 10, 20, and 30 years down the road. "It's true we're coming into a recession period, especially for the residential segment," said Wilson. "However, the thing you need to look at is the long-term impact of concrete. We need concrete, and will continue to need concrete, to keep up with your growing population."

Nearing the end of the two-hour event, attendees had a chance to ask the panelists additional questions that were most relevant to their business.