The seemingly endless presidential election is finally over and it will surely have a huge impact on our country and our industry. One of the first things our new president-elect mentioned as a priority was infrastructure improvement. While I have many reservations about Donald Trump, he does seem to know how to build things and if he can get the backing of Congress, there’s some real potential for improvements in our roads, bridges, airports, electrical distribution systems, and water/wastewater treatment plants. All of that, of course, will generate a lot of construction activity and consume a lot of concrete. Wall Street seems to think so, sharply pushing up the value of construction-related businesses in the election’s aftermath (the value of U.S. Concrete went up 20% in a week).
World of Concrete is right around the corner, with seminars starting on Jan. 16 and the show floor open on Jan. 17. We will be there with our World of Concrete Daily News published each morning of the show to help you know what’s going on. CC is working with the American Society of Concrete Contractors (and its new Concrete Polishing Council) on the Polishing and Slabs Luncheon; please plan to attend. The newest event will be Decorative Concrete Live, which takes place in the Silver Lot, sponsored by Concrete Decor magazine. Then, beginning March 7, ConExpo-Con/Agg takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center. If you’ve never been to this show, it’s worth the trip with lots of big equipment directed a bit more toward concrete and aggregate production and heavy infrastructure construction.
In October, I was honored to be the master of ceremonies at the Tilt-Up Concrete Association’s awards gala in Denver. The highlight for me was the announcement by TCA President Jeffrey Brown of the very first members of the TCA College of Fellows. The eight new fellows are Clay Fischer, Bob Foley, Shawn Hickey, Dave Kelly, Ed Sauter, Joe Steinbicker, Glen Stephens, and Bob Truitt. These men have been instrumental in building the tilt-up sector into a real force in today’s concrete construction industry.
Passing of a Legend
When I first took over as editor of Concrete Construction in 2001, one of the last things Ward Malisch told me was to call Bob Weatherton if I needed to know anything about concrete pumps. Bob and I became friends and I would talk with him about many things, including pumps. In January 2014, we selected Bob as one of the Most Influential People in our industry and in February 2015, the World of Concrete established the Bob Weatherton award, a scholarship for a Concrete Industry Management student. Known by all as Big Bob, he passed away on Oct. 22. We will miss him.