Technical and Business Manager for Master Builders Solutions US LLC, Southern California and Southern Nevada. After graduating in Australia, completed Construction Law and Finance course with Australian Institute of Management. Member of and for two years Chairman of Concrete Institute of Australia – Victorian Chapter. Member Australian Institute of Quarrying. Entered construction industry with Monier Besser. After obtaining necessary permits, started own concrete construction business. As a result of economic downturn, closed own business and joined Pioneer Concrete (later purchased by Hanson) as Area Manager, responsible for ten concrete plants, two sand operations and a cement distribution operation in Victoria, Aust. After ten years joined James Hardie & Coy as Victorian Contracts Manager for 5 years. Then joined Master Builders Technologies in 1991 as Systems Sales Manager. Promoted to Southwest Regional manager, responsible for four state operations – admin, manufacturing, sales and distribution. Seconded to BASF Philippines (1999 -2000) as Interim Company President to restructure operations and find and appoint permanent company President. Relocated from Australia to USA as Technical Systems Specialist for Master Builders So Cal operations.
Chris Garcia - Pankow
Chris Garcia is veteran leader for Pankow Builder’s self-perform structural concrete group in Southern California. He has a BS in Civil Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and spent the following 7 years working on jobsite teams for various project types – planning and executing concrete work and managing subcontract work. Five years ago, he began overseeing multiple teams managing large concrete projects from preconstruction to closeout with a focus on training younger employees how to build quality concrete structures while upholding the company’s values and legacy in the concrete industry.
Don Kahn - Largo
Don Kahn is a lifelong construction professional with a primary focus on self-performed concrete. A graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management and a Master of Business Administration recipient from UCLA, Don has dedicated his career to delivering quality work across multiple verticals including, commercial, residential, mixed-use, institutional and government. He has effectively managed over $1.5B in construction delivery positions with concrete, construction management and general contracting responsibilities. Don’s experience also includes working as a construction manager and general contractor and has given him the ability to see the bigger picture and interface with all members of the project teams from owners, architects, and engineers to trade contractors, suppliers, and skilled laborers. Recently completed award winning projects Don has been involved with include the Circa development across from Staples Center and the UCS Michelson Center which were recognized by the American Concrete Institute and the Decorative Concrete Council respectively. While managing an annual portfolio averaging $100m, Don’s contribution to the development of the greater Los Angeles area and the downtown skyline goes far beyond those mega-projects. In addition to lending his project management skills to Habitat for Humanity, Don also volunteers with the Architecture Construction Engineering (ACE) Mentorship initiative, a program is designed to attract high-school student into pursuing careers in these industries.
Austin Eminhizer - Gary Bale Redi-Mix, Inc.
My name is Austin Eminhizer and I handle Sales & Operations at Gary Bale Redi-Mix, Inc. in Orange County. I am twenty-eight years old and have a bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship. I have been working in the concrete industry since 2012, and have loved every second of it (just about). At Gary Bale, my customer base is predominantly high end custom residential foundations and hardscape, but we cover a wide range of projects from backyard patios to massive stormwater channels. I learned in a hurry that comprehensive knowledge of the science and chemistry of concrete is vital to producing the best product possible, and to avoid a lot of headaches down the road. Much of my education in ready mix concrete is credited to both in-person training as well as online research with ACI professionals and resources.
My family has a history of involvement with ACI and I would love to be the next Eminhizer to carry the torch in the SoCal chapter. I believe this organization is fundamental to keeping our industry standards elevated as well as attracting upcoming generations to the concrete and building materials industry as a whole. Given the opportunity, I will make every effort possible to continue to advance the importance, quality, and popularity of this organization.
Brandon Agles - Associated Ready-Mix
Charlie Zahari - Salt River Materials
Charlie Zahari is a Sales Manager for Salt River Materials Group focused on Fly Ash. He manages Fly Ash sales in Southern California, Las Vegas, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas. Charlie transitioned from a career as a middle school teacher and HS baseball coach to the construction industry over decade ago. Working primarily on the materials side of the heavy civil construction materials business. Charlie has managed and operated concrete batch plants and sand and aggregate facilities, he’s spent time as a paving estimator and project manager eventually moved into his current sales management roles overseeing various regional construction materials sales efforts. When not at work Charlie enjoys spending time in his hometown of Murrieta, CA with his wife of 16 years, their 3 children and their Goldendoodle Harley. In a previous life Charlie was an NCAA division I baseball player and is doing his best to forget his baseball swing so that he can improve his golf handicap.
Charlie believes that ACI involvement is an exceptional way to create a sense of community within the concrete industry while promoting opportunities that grow careers. Charlie has a passion for mentoring those starting off in the industry and sees ACI board involvement as a way to promote the benefits and possibilities that a career in the concrete industry has to offer; by helping people make the connections both personally and professionally that lead to a lifetime of enjoyment and fulfillment at work.
Heather Todak, P.E. - WJE
Heather Todak is a professional engineer with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE), in their Los Angeles office, located in Pasadena. Prior to joining WJE, she received her M.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University and her B.S. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech. Heather is part of a group of professionals who specialize in nondestructive testing at the company. Her work with WJE has included several large-scale nondestructive testing projects, including work on civil-infrastructure facilities, bridges, and buildings. Heather’s other practice areas include concrete repair, construction troubleshooting, and structural condition assessment. Heather is active in the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Committee 228, Nondestructive Testing and associated subcommittees 228-0B, Visual Inspection and 601-0F, Nondestructive Testing Technician. With the 601F committee, she assisted in the development of the Nondestructive Testing Specialist – Concrete Strength certification program, which was rolled out nationwide in June 2020. Heather currently serves as Chair for the Concrete Awards Committee and is a member of the Scholarship Committee for the ACI Southern California Chapter. She was a 2017 recipient of the Women in ACI Young Professional Convention Registration Program award.
Heather is eager to continue her involvement with ACI at both the regional, national, and international levels and would be honored to have the opportunity to serve as a board member for the ACI Southern California Chapter. As a member of the Board, Heather would be committed to increasing involvement from younger concrete industry professionals in the region, as well as helping to support the ongoing certification opportunities and membership events that help make the ACI SoCal chapter a designated Excellent Chapter year after year.
Ramon Aguilar - Coreslab
Ramon Aguilar is the Engineering Manager for Coreslab Structures (L.A.) Inc. Ramon began working for Coreslab as a Project Engineer after graduating from the University of California, San Diego in 2014. He has his Bachelor of Science in structural engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of California. Ramon takes great pride in helping clients and Coreslab navigate through the challenges of the construction industry and by providing quality precast concrete to projects such as the Broadcom Campus, Banc of California Stadium and Los Angeles Coliseum. He looks forward to serving on the ACI SoCal Board because it will expose him to aspects of the industry that he would not have seen otherwise. Along with observing and being a part of the dialogue during decision making. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, lifting weights and watching sports and movies.