I hope you and your families had a safe and special holiday season and I wish you a happy new year! As we find ourselves experiencing another surge of covid cases, I am grateful for the in-person events we held last year. The 24th annual Southern California Concrete awards were held at at SoFi Stadium on November 6th, with 169 attendees. I would like to thank Heather Todak and Co-Pilots staff who helped organize the event as well as the sponsors who donated generously to make the event possible. A list of all Concrete Award winners as well as photos of the event are available on our website.
We also held a mixer in September and were honored to have ACI President Cary Kopczynski in attendance along with 43 attendees from the concrete industry. Thank you to Paul Heis for organizing the mixer and to the ACI Resource Center in San Bernardino for hosting this event. See here for photos.
I look forward to the upcoming Annual Meeting and Sam Hobbs service award celebration which will be held on February 24th at 5:30p at the Fullerton Marriott. There will be dinner as well as a presentation by the 2021 Sam Hobbs recipient, Josh Cavender. More information on the event and registration is forthcoming; the chapter leadership will monitor the status of the pandemic and follow local safety protocols accordingly. We look forward to recognizing Josh and the 2022 recipient for receiving this well-deserved award!
Looking toward the spring, the student activities committee is planning a student mixer to be held in downtown Los Angeles. We will be extending invitations to local college students for an opportunity to gather, network and learn more about our organization. Please feel free to contact me if you have any student or organizational contacts that you would like to be included in the event.
Please be on the lookout for chapter officer election ballots, which will be sent to all members via email on February 1st ; ballots will be accepted through the Annual Meeting. On February 24th,we will welcome a new slate of officers and I will be passing the presidential gavel onto our next chapter president.
The ACI So Cal Chapter is saddened by the news and regrets to having to inform our members of the passing of Ed “Griff” Sparks, former Technical Manager for CalPortland Concrete. Griff was very active in the industry and with ACI So Cal. He was President of the Chapter in 1996 and the Sam Hobbs Award recipient in 1999.
Griff Sparks was a leader in the development of high performance concrete and he was responsible for the mix designs of many of Los Angeles’s iconic buildings including Our Lady of The Angels Cathedral with a 500 year design life. Please join us in remembering Griff Sparks.
Kaihong (Kyle) Hu graduated from UCLA's civil engineering program and is currently interning with DCI Engineers at the San Francisco office. Recently, he designed his first reinforced concrete column using the ACI-318 code and was feeling incredibly thankful to have the code as a design guideline. Kyle appreciates the expertise and research that ACI committees have put into developing a standardized code and promoting the design of safer structures. Next year he will use the ACI scholarship funds to enroll in UCLA's Masters level program in Structural and Earthquake Engineering. Ultimately, his career goal is to design resilient infrastructure and buildings for our communities, and believes that concrete is an indispensable material in achieving this goal.
“I am truly grateful for the scholarship support and will be using it to gain more educational opportunities. Thank you and the Southern California Chapter of ACI for supporting students' education”
We are excited to present the winners of the 2021 Student Scholarship competition over the next few weeks. There were seven applicants in total, but three of them stood out as worth of award and recognition. We look forward to following Matthew, Victoria and Kyle as they start their careers. First up is Matthew Jacobson (EIT, ENV SP) who graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona on May 23, 2021. He served as the Attorney General for Associated Students Inc. (ASI), an ASCE National Student Ambassador, and Chaired the ASCE Student Presidential Group (SPG). During Junior year he served as the CPP ASCE Student Chapter President leading the student chapter to receive the 2021 ASCE Region 9 Distinguished Student Chapter. During his undergraduate journey he was named one of ten 2020 ASCE New Faces of Civil Engineering - Collegiate Edition and one of six to receive the 2020 ASCE Student Leadership Award. Matthew’s current interests are in land development, transportation, planning, and public policy. Starting in September 2021, he will begin working as a Civil Analyst for an engineering consulting firm, Kimley-Horn, in downtown Los Angeles working on transportation infrastructure and land development projects.
I hope you all are enjoying summer and doing your part to keep your families and community safe. Seeing the economy rebound and life slowly come back to normal has been encouraging and I look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events!
As some of you have noticed, we have introduced a new logo. It colorfully captures the impressive built environment of our region and I would like to thank and acknowledge the designer, Josh Cavender. We have also completed the process of revising our chapter By-laws, which have been posted to the website. Thank you to Nathan Forrest for spearheading this effort.
Looking ahead, one of my goals for our Chapter in 2021 is to expand ACI’s impact and prominence among the thousands of local college students working towards careers in the concrete industry here in Southern California. I’m excited to announce that we have awarded three $2,500 scholarships to local students with the proceeds from our annual Howard Lux Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament in May. We will be publishing profiles next month to recognize the scholarship winners, Ms. Victoria Dam of USC, Mr. Matthew Jacobson of Cal Poly Pomona, and Mr. Kyle Hu of UCLA. I would like to congratulate them for their achievements and look forward to seeing them succeed in their professional careers.
With COVID-19 vaccination rates rising, our chapter’s leadership has decided it is time to resume in-person events with appropriate health and safety protocols. In partnership with the ACI Resource Center in San Bernardino, we are hosting an Open House next week on Thursday, September 16. Feel free to join anytime between 3 and 7pm to network and enjoy appetizers and cocktails – use this link to register. Students are also invited at a reduced price. The ACI International President, Cary Kopczynski, John Nehasil, Managing Director of Certification and John Conn, Director of Chapter Activities will be in attendance. Come and meet with them and your industry colleagues!
We are also currently working with ACI’s Engineering Director Matt Senecal, who is planning a technical presentation for the Chapter to be held in early October. We anticipate sending more information with details and registration information soon.
The ACI Southern California Chapter Concrete Awards is currently open for entries! The deadline to submit projects is Monday, September 13. For the Concrete Awards event this year, we are organizing a special dinner celebration at the brand new SoFi Stadium, so mark your calendars for the evening of Thursday, November 4. Sponsorships for the event are currently being accepted - click here to sponsor. Thank you to Heather Todak and others on the committee who are working hard to organize this event which will include dinner, cocktails, and raffles! Registration for the event will open soon.
Our programs committee is planning a few more events but is always open to suggestions from our members. If you would like to share ideas for 2022, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, the ACI Convention will be held in-person from October 17th thru 21st in Atlanta, Georgia. The deadline for the lower-priced registration is coming up on September 12th.
2021 Chapter President
The Board and members of ACI SoCal Chapter are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Stefan Reder earlier this week. He was an energetic and active participant in our Chapter, served as the 2016 President, and was honored with the Sam Hobbs Award in 2019. His family extends the invite to celebrate the life of Stefan “Stef” Reder on Friday, July 9th at 11:00am at Holy Family Catholic Church, located at 9974 I Avenue in Hesperia. There has also been a Go Fund Me page set up to support his family through this devastating transition. https://gofund.me/bee48230
Like many others here in California, I recently received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and I’m feeling optimistic that this terrible disease will soon run its course. It’s encouraging to see so many people embracing vaccination with close to 50 percent of Californians fully or partially vaccinated. I would like to thank you all for helping stop the spread.
As of March, California construction employment is only 0.8 percent lower than it was one year ago, which is a great indicator considering last year’s job losses. As our workforce continues to grow, I wanted to highlight a resource many people may not know about – the ACI Career Center (LINK), which compiles available job opportunities and great candidates for openings specifically within the concrete construction industry. In order to increase usage in California, ACI has offered a 20 percent discount on Career Center products through the end of July. To take advantage of this discount on your next job posting, use the coupon code ACISOCAL2021.
As a reminder, we currently have an open ballot to vote on the revised by-laws, available for review here. Current members can use this link to cast their vote. The ballot will remain open until Friday, June 18.
We will have our Join ACI/SEAOSC virtual meeting on May 19th at 12-2pm PST. The meeting will start with an update on what is happening with ACI at the national and local level and then focuses on a discussion about concrete modulus of elasticity (MOE) and its importance to both designers and suppliers of concrete. Our two presenters will be the ACI national President, Cary Kopczynski, and MasterBuilders Solution’s Director of Sustainable Concrete Technology and Solutions, Andreas Tselebidis. Click here to sign up.
I am pleased to announce that for our next event, Don Davies with MKA Structural Engineers will present on Concrete Sustainability- which will address the exciting trend of lowering the carbon content of concrete. This virtual event will be held on May 26 at 12PM and will include Los Angeles-specific case studies of successful implementation of lower carbon concrete solutions. I look forward to learning more about this important topic and hope that you can join the discussion. Click here to sign up.
I would like to thank Clayton Garrison for volunteering to chair the Student Activities committee as well as acknowledge the outgoing chair, Tim Saenz for his year of service. Please help spread the word for our chapter-sponsored $2,500 student scholarships! This opportunity is open to local University students pursuing a degree in Civil/Structural Engineering, Construction Management or Architecture. Please visit our website to see the application requirements, selection criteria as well as an online submission form for applications due June 1. One of the committee’s goals is to hit the ground running when students come back to school in the fall. If anyone has any connections with faculty or student leaders at local Universities, please reach out to us with an email to email@example.com.
On May 3rd, ACI opened a new Resource Center in San Bernardino. There has been an increasing demand for ACI knowledge and the ACI Resource Center will offer on-demand access for all ACI certifications and other educational and training offerings. For more information, please visit this website.
Lastly, the ACI Concrete 2020 Spring Convention was held virtually at the end of March and 74 people from our region participated. Everyone is hopeful that the next convention in October will be in person in Atlanta, Georgia.
2021 Chapter President
Greetings ACI Supporters!
In the time since So Cal ACI’s last communication, COVID cases are down and testing lines have been replaced by people queuing for vaccinations. With the arrival of spring, I am optimistic that this year-long pandemic has an end in sight. As we continue to contend with the destructive economic impact in our personal and professional lives, I encourage everyone to continue to be vigilant in doing our part to stop the spread and protect yourself and your community.
I am pleased to announce that the pandemic did not stop one of our key January traditions – our Annual Chapter Meeting including the Sam Hobbs Award. Josh Cavender, the well-deserved awardee, was honored with a presentation by last year’s recipient, Robert Cleeland. We also celebrated the memory of three exceptional members who sadly passed in 2020 – Rod Elderton, Terry Dooley and Reid Briley. Another piece of business covered at the annual meeting was the announcement of a proposed revisions to the chapter by-laws and held a nearly unanimous vote to advance the process. To ratify the new document, an email will go out to all members soon with a choice to approve or reject the new by-laws and that ballot will remain open through the end of May. Thank you to all who participated in the meeting planning efforts and to all who attended and participated in the Zoom meeting.
The Programs committee has been working hard to plan chapter events for this year. In collaboration with SEAOSC, we are planning technical seminars for May to cover the relevant topics related to Modulus of Elasticity testing and local supplies of cement and SCMs. We are also working with the NRMCA and the Tall Wood Design Institute to educate our members on the growing mass timber industry. In-person jobsite tours are also being arranged for the summer. Please keep an eye out for more details in your email inbox.
The annual golf tournament has sold out, which speaks to our members’ excitement to see each other in person, however there are still sponsorship opportunities available. This annual event includes a $2,500 scholarship opportunity for local University students. Please visit our website for the more info. I look forward to seeing you at the Black Gold Course on May 13th!
Last April, the Board decided to extend all current memberships one year at no cost to our members. This was done due to the very limited in person events resulting from the pandemic. With things slowly progressing towards a return to normalcy, we are reinstating membership dues for 2021 starting May 1st. With that being said, we revamped and streamlined our membership categories. Most members will now fall into the Associate/Local Chapter member category. An Individual member will be both a member at the local and national level. The Organizational membership includes numerous certification discounts as well as company recognition on our website. Lastly, those currently enrolled in college or university will fall under the Student membership category, which will remain free of charge. Please see the website for details and benefits of each category. If you are not a member, please consider applying!
Lastly, I would like to congratulate our chapter as we have once again been recognized as an Excellent Chapter by ACI International for the year 2020.
Chapter President 2021
Want to get involved in ACI SoCal? Please consider joining a committee and contributing to the success of our industry. The ACI SoCal Chapter has committees available for you to contribute and get involved.
Committees Forming Now:
If you are interested in joining a committee, please join us at our virtual Committees formation meeting on Friday March 5th, 11am to 1pm.
Click Here to Join!
It has been said that the only constant is change. It seems that we have all had to adjust to what has become the “new normal”. Everyone has had to adjust their lives in so many ways, from temporal temperature checks when going onto a construction site, zoom meetings, foregoing the customary handshake, the list goes on, and we are not out of the woods yet. Please stay strong.
As we have mentioned, strains have been put on everyone, but our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones. In this last week folk and family members of people in the industry, have passed due to Covid. Please continue to do all that you can to protect yourself, and all those around you. We must be vigilant.
Of course, we have kept you updated of the impacts that the pandemic has had on our Chapter activities. Our last in person event was February 2020. We have had a number of virtual events including, in November, our Concrete Awards. The winners of those awards will be submitted to National for the Fall Convention International Excellence in Concrete Awards. We wish these projects every success at this prestigious level. One of last year’s submittals won the People’s Choice award for the 5900 Wilshire project. Our congratulations to Trademark for taking this award.
This week we have our ACI So Cal Chapter Annual Meeting which incorporates the Sam Hobbs Award. The Sam Hobbs award recognizes the contribution that an individual makes to both the industry and the Chapter. This year’s award winner will be Josh Cavender who most will know. Josh has been a Board member for three years, and has been very active on the Certifications Committee for many, many years. This year he took over as Chair for the Certification’s Committee when Rod Elderton stepped down. The SoCal Chapter certifies about 800 industry practitioners each year in about 8 different categories. Our congratulations go to Josh who joins an illustrious group of previous winners who have really advanced the uses of concrete over the last half century.
At this meeting we will farewell Ann Harrer, who is active in ACI at both the International level and the local Chapter level. Ann was voted to the Board in 2016. During her tenure on the board she served as Vice President in 2018 and President in 2019. Ann has the distinction of being the Chapter’s first female President in the 63 years of the Chapter’s history. Ann was a very heavily involved with the 2017 ACI National Convention that our Chapter hosted in Anaheim and the Chapter’s 60th anniversary in 2018. We thank Ann for all the work that she has done for the Chapter. We would also like to thank Ramon Aguilar for his service this last year both on the Board and the Executive Committee. We thank both these departing Board members and look forward to their continued contribution to the Chapter and the industry in the years ahead.
The Board will be welcoming Heather Todak of WJE and Brandon Agles of Associated / A&A Ready Mix to the new Board on January 26th. They have been elected for a three-year term. Chris Garcia of Pankow Builders, will take over as President for 2021 following his service as Vice President this year, and all the behind-the-scenes work he has done this year in the Programs, Finance and Executive committees. Thank youChris, and congratulations. Don Kahn of Largo Concrete will become Vice President.
Also at this meeting Nathan Forrest will table the proposed upgraded By-Laws that the Chapter is submitting and looking to be approved. A vote will be taken at the meeting to move this process forward and if approved members will be asked in the coming weeks to vote on the By-Laws. Please be sure to register, attend and vote, please.
We would also like to recognize all the support that we have had this year from our administrators, Co-Pilots, especially Dianne Ochoa and Stephanie Gonzalez. Thank you both very much. This year saw quite a few reorganizations of events as well as behind the scenes, including our updated website. They have handled an increased workload due to rescheduling of all the Certification sessions. Thank you to you both.
Our industry faces many more challenges at this time, beyond the normal challenges which always seem to exist. Against the background of the pandemic our markets are changing, which is requiring restructuring. People working and educating from home, is redefining the residential needs, purchasing has moved the retail market more online and to home deliveries, reducing the demand for brick and mortar stores. And all industry is looking at ways to reduce the carbon footprint of what it does. This is resulting in a different world for design, construction and materials. Our members and our Chapter are working to assist with all these measures. We look forward to working with you all in this endeavor as we continue to look towards the future.
We wish you all the best as we enter this new year and face the things it brings. Be safe, be strong.
Chapter President 2020
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