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  • 03/01/2024 3:07 PM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    Greetings ACI Members,

    I hope this message finds all of you in good health.  It is my sincere pleasure to serve as the ACI Southern California President for 2024.  I am honored to take the iron gavel from Nathan Forrest and follow the many accomplished industry leaders that have come before me.  I would like to start by announcing that our chapter received the Excellent ACI Chapter Award for 2023.  This is the highest honor a chapter can receive and was only given to 24 chapters in the country.  This award is a testament to the hard work of our Board of Directors and members who came out in force to support the chapter last year.  To continue that momentum, we have many interesting educational and social events lined up for this year.

    We kicked off the year with our annual Sam Hobbs Awards dinner in January, where the new Board of Directors began their term.  We had a sold-out event as we honored the many accomplishments and contributions of Melanie O’Regan from CalPortland.  We also hosted and presented our ACI Student Scholarships to three very deserving individuals.  Speaking of students, I would like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of Don Kahn and Josh Willis who established our first ACI Student Chapter at Cal Poly Pomona last year!  We have already identified a second university and hope to add another student chapter by the end of this year. 

    Next up on our events calendar is an informative program on March 21st titled “2024 Outlook for Southern California Concrete Industry”, presented by Crystal Howard of Crystal Waters Consulting, LLC.  Registration is now open, and space is limited, so act quickly.  Our annual Scholarship Golf Tournament is taking place again on May 2nd at Los Serranos Country Club.  Registration for this popular event is also open with many sponsorship opportunities available.  Later in the year, the chapter is locking up an exciting tour of a highly visible project, as well as a dinner presentation on the long anticipated High-Speed Rail.  We sprinkled in a couple of social events in 2023; Top Golf in Ontario and our first Pickleball Tournament in Irvine.  These were very well attended so we have decided to continue hosting these events in 2024.  We will also bring back one of our Young Professionals nights where we will gather and network with some of the “Young Guns” of the concrete industry.  We will finish up the year with our traditional Concrete Awards at another exciting venue to be named in the coming months.  So, keep an eye out for some outstanding projects that are worthy of submission for the various concrete categories.

    As you can see, our Chapter has quite a bit to be proud of and has a full calendar of events planned for this year.  I look forward to seeing all of you at our programs, concrete plants, and jobsites.  All the best for a successful 2024!


    Kindest Regards,

    Jacob Brennan

    Chapter President 2024

  • 01/08/2024 8:53 AM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    Ryan Cobb

    My name is Ryan Cobb, and I am a third-year Civil Engineering student at Cal Poly Pomona. I will be graduating in May 2025, and I am planning on entering the construction industry immediately upon graduation. I have been actively involved in clubs and organizations on campus since I first got to college, which began when I relaunched the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA), Cal Poly Pomona student chapter after it was inactive during the Covid-19 Pandemic. I served as the President of the DBIA student chapter for two years from Fall 2021 to Spring 2023, which allowed me to attend multiple DBIA conferences where I made key connections in the industry. My interest in concrete motivated me to join the ASC Reno Competition, Concrete Solutions team where I will be competing against other schools to put together a proposal for a concrete focused construction project. I plan on staying involved with ACI SoCal to grow my knowledge of concrete and its applications.

    Javier Estrada

    Javier Estrada is an ambitious and dedicated student at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP), and is currently enrolled in the curriculum of Construction Engineering and Management. His passion for the construction industry ignited during a transformative summer internship with CalPortland, which eventually led to a part-time position during the school year. Javier's journey started when he earned an Associate’s degree in Business Administration at Pasadena City College with a GPA of 4.0.He then redirected his academic focus to Civil Engineering. At Cal Poly Pomona, Javier is a proactive member of the Construction Engineering Management Association, demonstrating his commitment to academic and professional excellence. Furthermore, he lends his skills and enthusiasm to CPP’s concrete canoe team, showcasing his determination and drive as they prepare for upcoming competitions. Javier’s story is a testament to his resilience, adaptability, and unwavering commitment to his chosen field. Javier is very grateful to receive this scholarship from American Concrete Institution.

    Austin Polich

    I'm a 5th year student in a program called the 3+2 program in conjunction with Biola University and California Baptist University, where I complete 3 years at Biola and 2 years at CBU, then receive 2 degrees for the 5 years (B.S. Engineering Physics, B.S. Civil Engineering). I was born and raised 30 minutes east of Sacramento, California. I have 3 other siblings, and in recent news, just became an uncle! In high school I used to row and fish in my free time. I also like to 3D print, air fry, and play ultimate frisbee. Concrete is important to me not only because I reap the benefits from its use every day when I walk across the sidewalk, but it also is involved with my future career choice as a civil engineer. I thoroughly enjoy my concrete-related classes that I’m taking in school and hope to work with it more in the days ahead!

  • 11/09/2023 1:03 PM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    Students from the newly formed Cal Poly Pomona ACI Student Chapter participated in the 2023 FRP Composites Competition at the Fall ’23 ACI Convention in Boston.  Students Newton Chew, Riley Garcia, Itzel Sanchez, Miguel Souza, Charles Tran, and Michelle Vien made the trip to along with their advisor, Dragos Andrei.  Under Mr. Andrei’s guidance, the team worked together to design and construct a concrete beam reinforced with fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcement. Per the competition rules, the beam was to fit into a 7.87” x 7.97” x 39.4” long box and have a total weight ranging between 11.0-33.1 pounds.

    After testing a variety of design mixes using the materials available in the lab the team worked through the challenges of producing a mix for lightweight concrete. With the generous donation from Arcosa Lightweight, they were able to use lightweight aggregate in the final design mix. Their concrete beam turned out to be ultra-light with an impressive weight of 28 pounds. The ultimate strength tested for the beam on competition day was 13,901N. Overall, the Cal Poly Pomona ACI Student Chapter placed 19th out of the 37 schools who competed.

    As a brand new and recently initiated student chapter, the ACI SoCal Chapter is proud of their efforts representing the SoCal region and Cal Poly Pomona at this year’s 2023 ACI Concrete Convention in Boston, MA. Their goal was to compete, to qualify, and to learn from one another during this experience – success all around.

    In conjunction with the competition, students also attended technical sessions and workshops that were both educational and enlightening throughout the convention. The team would like to express their thanks to the community of talented and diverse individuals in the concrete industry who have a passion for advancing concrete technology to the next level. The chapter looks forward to continued participation in future ACI events and applying the lessons learned in this year’s competition.



  • 12/20/2022 4:24 PM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    ACI SoCal Board Election Ballot

    Members Click Here to Vote

    Click here to view Board of Director Nominee Bios.

    2023 Board of Directors:

    Past President: Don Kahn - Largo Concrete

    President: Nathan Forrest - California Nevada Cement Association

    Vice President: Jacob Brennan - Sika

    Directors (to serve a 3-year term):

    Andrew Metropolis - Turner Construction

    Bob Stephens - Largo Concrete

    2022 Nominations Committee Slate:

    Amir Bonakdar - Euclid Chemical

    Ken Sears - Polaris Materials

    Janeen Oliver - Catalina Pacific

    Ann Harrer - Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc

    Amir Bonakdar - Fyfe FRP

    Kirk Van Matre - Van Matre Lumber

    The Nominations Committee thanks all the slated nominees for their dedication to the Chapter as well as the continuing Board members.

  • 11/03/2022 5:19 PM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    Aleta Francis

    Aleta attends Ventura College where she will earn two Associate of Science degrees (Spring of 2023); one in Construction Technology-Building Inspection and the other in Architectural Design. While attending Ventura College Aleta has remained on the Dean’s List. Aleta was born and raised in Los Angeles County. She has consistently contributed to her communities. She was a founding board member of the Mission Hills Neighborhood Council. She currently works as the manager for the Mildas Drive Road Association in the Santa Monica Mountains, where she resides. While working for the family business Aleta was exposed to architectural and product design, manufacturing and steel construction for projects such as the Biosphere II in Oracle, AZ and Freemont Street LV, NV. Aleta finds the design and installation of concrete a compelling process with many technical intricacies this is why the concrete industry is a great fit for her innate interests and passions. With decades of work experience, and technical talent Aleta enjoys contributing to the global team who creates our built environments.

    Colette Burd

    Hello everybody! My name is Colette Burd, and I am a third year Construction Management major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Being born and raised in San Diego, I love spending my time outside of school hitting the beach, hiking, and traveling. In addition, my hobbies include playing soccer, chess, and doing art. At school, I am proud to be on the Women in Construction board managing our Public Relations and planning events, and on the ASC Pre-Construction team competing in Chicago and Reno. I have one older brother and a twin brother who shaped me into the person I am today. I am very grateful for this scholarship opportunity; it will make a huge impact for me to be able to pay for all of the costs of attending college!

    Jake Pizzifred

    My name is Jake Pizzifred, I'm a 4th year Construction Management student from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I am 21 years old, and I am originally from Riverside, California. I grew up in construction with my family's business constructing residential and commercial swimming pools for Bogner Pools. I'm graduating this upcoming spring and wish to pursue a career in commercial construction. 

    Khan Muhammad

    Khan Muhammad is a 5th year undergraduate IPAL student of architecture at Woodbury University. A proud Southern California resident, Khan has served as 2018-2020 Student Board Member of SoCal NOMA, President of the Student Leadership Council at WSoA, and the Co-Director of Operations of the National SMASH Alumni Board. He is dedicated to building environments that cultivate people to become change agents who can manifest a better and sustainable future.

  • 08/30/2022 1:31 PM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    As the summer draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to update you on some of the exciting things the chapter has been doing as well as some of the upcoming events.

    Recently we accepted applications for scholarships for the upcoming Fall 2022 semester.  12 students from various schools submitted applications.  The Chapter will be awarding 3 scholarships for $3,000 each.  The scholarships are based on academic performance, work history, community contributions and an essay.  The winners will be announced in mid-September.  In addition, the Student Activities Committee will be working with construction programs at both Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly Pomona to establish ACI student chapters on those campuses.

    A couple of upcoming seminars and webinars include the following.  First, on Thursday, September 15th, the ACI SoCal Chapter will host an introductory webinar with Drew Burns, Executive Director of NEU: An ACI Center of Excellence in Carbon Neutral Concrete. The session will go through the formation of NEU, its mission, and the path to carbon-neutral concrete.  Then on October 11th, the California Nevada Cement Association is hosting an economic outlook forum at the Four Points Sheraton in Sacramento.  Ed Sullivan, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Market Intelligence for the Portland Cement Association will present PCA's most current thinking on the near-term economy, construction markets and their impact on cement consumption.  This will be followed by a presentation on how the national outlook will translate to California and the surrounding region’s construction sector and cement performance. Moody’s Analytics will also share their outlook for the macroeconomy which will include region-specific data.  Following the September webinar, we’ll be back to our regular in-person dinner meetings.  For more information on these and other events please visit the ACI SoCal website.

    Nationally, this year’s ACI Fall 2022 Convention will be held in Dallas, Texas.  The Chapter has elected to participate as a sponsor for this year’s convention.  Some of our ACI SoCal members serve on various committees and they will be attending the convention.  If you have an interest in learning more about the convention activities, please reach out.

    Finally, this year’s Pankow Awards celebration will be held November 2nd.  Following up on the success of last year’s event, the dinner and awards presentation will be held at Banc of California stadium.  There are seven different categories including 3 structure categories, decorative, infrastructure, flatwork, and repair/restoration.  The deadline for entries is Friday, September 9th.  Please sign up early and join us for an exciting evening at an awesome venue. 

    In closing, there are many exciting things coming with the Chapter.   I invite you to join us for one, or all, of these upcoming events and look forward to seeing you soon.

    Donald Kahn
    ACI Chapter President

  • 08/08/2022 4:07 PM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)


    The ACI Southern California Chapter Concrete Awards includes eight potential awards to recognize outstanding achievements in various categories of concrete construction. In addition to the seven award categories for 2022, one distinguished project may receive the Charles J. Pankow, Jr. Award, which recognizes outstanding and innovative use of concrete in construction. This award was established by the Southern California Chapter in 1984 in honor of Charles J. Pankow, Jr. who served as the International President of ACI in 1980-1981 and was active in the Southern California Chapter since its founding. The award is made annually, if, in the judgment of the Awards Committee(s), a qualified project and contractor are nominated.

    The citation on the original award presented to Charles Pankow on March 22, 1984 reads:

    Special Award
    Charles J. Pankow, Jr.
    For Distinguished Service to the Concrete Industry as National ACI President, Director and TAC Member. One of the Founders of the Southern California Chapter, Innovative Engineer, and Builder Leader in Concrete Construction

    Award Categories

    1. Low-Rise Buildings/Structures: Up to three stories residential (multi-family and houses), school, commercial, warehouse and industrial, etc.
    2. Mid-Rise Buildings/Structures: Four to fifteen stories
    3. High-Rise Buildings/Structures: More than fifteen stories
    4. Decorative: Decorative or architectural feature or element such as exterior or interior finishes, hardscapes, ornamentation, stained, stamped, or polished concrete, art installations, etc.
    5. Infrastructure: Bridges, site structures, water resource structures, marine structures, other structures, etc.
    6. Flatwork: Pavements, parking lots, runways, commercial/industrial floors, etc.
    7. Repair and Restoration: Overlays, rehabilitation, remodel, retrofitting, etc.

    Charles J. Pankow, Jr. Award: One project of outstanding merit will be selected to receive the distinguished Charles J. Pankow Award

    Project Criteria
    All projects must:

    ·        Be completed between October 2021 and September 2022. For buildings, project completion date is defined as the date on the certificate of occupancy.
    ·        Utilized concrete as an architectural finish, structural element, or artwork
    ·        Have informed and received consent from all members of the project team

    Entry Criteria
    All entries must include:

    ·        Completed online entry form
    ·        500-word (or fewer) concrete description
    ·        300-word (or fewer) project description
    ·        Minimum of 7, maximum of 15 photographs featuring the concrete, construction, and finished project. Time lapse videos are also accepted in addition to the photographs.
    ·         Indicate to whom award plaques should be given (company or individual person) and verify accurate spelling of names for award plaques

    Judging Criteria
    The ACISCC Concrete Awards Committee will judge the project submissions based on the following criteria:

    1. Architectural merit
    2. Engineering merit
    3. Creativity
    4. Innovative construction techniques or solutions
    5. Innovative use of materials
    6. Ingenuity
    7. Sustainability and resilience
    8. Functionality and end-use suitability

    Presentation of awards will occur at the Annual Concrete Awards event hosted by ACI Southern California Chapter. We are excited to announce that this year’s event will be held on Wednesday November 2, 2022 at the Banc of California Stadium.

    Information gathered for the purpose of this awards program may be published in various media outlets (print, Internet, Social Media) for the purpose of highlighting concrete’s use in design and construction.


    Deadline for Entries: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2022

     Sponsorship opportunities are available for our 2022 Event! For questions regarding the sponsorship or general questions about the ACISCC Concrete Awards program, please contact Heather Todak, by phone at (626)-696-4664 or by email at

  • 07/13/2022 12:38 PM | Dianne Ochoa (Administrator)

    The Southern California Chapter of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) has approved a cash award of $3,000 to be granted to up to three local University students pursuing a degree in Civil or Structural Engineering, Construction Management, or Architecture. The candidates must be U.S. citizens in their junior, senior, or graduate years, which have displayed enthusiastic promise in their engineering studies. Please submit the application package for each individual:

    • Applicant must be Sophomore, Junior, Senior or Graduate Level.
    • Completed application form (below)
    • Unofficial Transcripts
    • Resume of academic achievements, campus engineering activities, professional activities, and employment record (if applicable.)
    • A letter of recommendation from a university professor, academic advisor, or employer (if working in the concrete industry).
    • A 500-word essay  on why you wish to work in the concrete industry.
    Click Here for details on criteria and applying.  Deadline to apply is Sunday, August 21, 2022.
  • 04/28/2022 4:09 PM | Webmaster Admin (Administrator)

    ACI Southern California Chapter,

    We’d like to acknowledge Kenneth Sears II, who was recently honored as a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute at the Spring 2022 ACI Convention in Orlando, Florida. Ken has been an active member of our chapter for over 15 years, including serving as our chapter’s vice president and president in years past. This distinction as an ACI Fellow is a tremendous honor; a Fellow is an individual who has made “outstanding contributions to the production or use of concrete materials, products, and structures in the areas of education, research, development, design, construction, or management.”

    This distinction was highlighted in the March 2022 edition of Concrete International, with the following recognition:

    “Ken is the Manager of Sales and Technical Innovation for Orca Aggregates, a Vulcan Materials Company, in Southern California. Prior to his current position, he served in technical and management roles with increasing responsibility in ready mixed concrete for 25 years, and supplementary cementitious materials for 8 years. Sears has held positions within his local ACI Chapter as President and Vice President, served on the Board of Directors, chaired the technical committee, and has assisted with student competitions during ACI Conventions. He previously chaired the local “Greenbook” Public Works Construction Concrete Ad-Hoc Committee for over 10 years. He has been a member of the ACI Southern California Chapter Certification Committee for over 15 years and has been assisting with the Concrete Field Testing Technician - Grade I certification classes as a Supplemental Examiner since 1989. He currently chairs the Concrete Flatwork Associate, Finisher, and Advanced Finisher Certification committee, as well as performs the Examiner duties for this program. In 2013, he received the highest honor the ACI Southern California Chapter can bestow upon a member, the Sam Hobbs Award, which recognizes outstanding service to both the Chapter and the concrete industry.”

    Please join us in congratulating Ken Sears for this outstanding achievement!

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