1.) Tell us what the precast industry was like when you got started.
The industry was beginning to create its niche in the construction business. NPCA was only a few years old when my father, Allen, attended his first meeting in Buffalo, N.Y. He was always trying to learn better ways to build a mousetrap and would say, “Son, you have a lot to learn. Learn it well.” He knew that associating with people who shared common interests was the best route to take.
2.) Why did you get involved with NPCA and decide to become chairman?
Due to Dad’s participation and the value he gained by associating with NPCA members, he encouraged me to become active as well. I attended my first convention in Pittsburgh in 1973. Even though it was my first time, I came away with new lifelong friends and a more educated understanding of precast concrete and its advantages. After staying active for a few years, I decided it was time for me to “give back” by becoming president of the association.
3.) What was the best thing you accomplished as chairman?
The best thing I accomplished was to lead a group of our members at a conference in Great Britain at the invitation of the British Precast Federation. Things were tough back home, but I felt it was important that Bobbie (my wife) and I, along with 20 or so other Americans, put on appreciative smiley faces with the English to enjoy and learn from a great precast opportunity.
4.) What’s your favorite NPCA memory?
Being vice president and supporting Fred and Dee Heitman while Fred was president.
5.) How has precast as a product changed over the years?
You cannot begin to describe the changes with precast concrete products that have evolved over the years! It’s amazing what precast has accomplished, especially when substituting for poured-in-place concrete. All the while it’s still a fairly basic manufacturing process but with new-and-improved chemical admixtures.
6.) How did the friendships formed via NPCA impact your business and life?
The friendships, their sharing of ideas and various NPCA resources developed over the years helped our business innovate and change, which led to our success. People I met 30-to-40 years ago are still among my best friends.
7.) When you first got involved with NPCA, did you envision it becoming what it is today?
It is hard to believe how much stronger the association is today. From humble beginnings mixed with a lot of dedication and hard work from a lot of people, it has become very successful over the years. Congratulations to all who helped make it happen!