More than 1,000 people attended the 2023 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) Convention in Columbus, Ohio, in February—a 28 percent increase compared to last year’s event, and a record since PCI started co-locating the convention at The Precast Show in 2016.
This was just one highlight of the event. A record 147 students involved in PCI and PCI Foundation programs also attended the convention—an increase from 100 in 2022. Many of these students attended the first PCI Job Fair over two days. Further, winning project teams were honored at the 2023 PCI Design Awards Reception, which marked the award program’s 60th anniversary.
During the convention, Matt Ballain was elected chair for 2023. Ballain is vice-president and general manager at Coreslab Structures (Indianapolis) Inc.
“The PCI Convention in Columbus exceeded expectations on every level,” says Ballain. “There was great energy, productive meetings, and record attendance.”
Additionally, Carlos Cerna, president and CEO of Manco Structures in Schertz, Texas, joined the PCI board’s officers as secretary/treasurer. Five others were elected as new board members, including Even Fink, of Northeast Prestressed Products LLC; Brian Miller, of Chryso-GCP Applied Technologies; Richard Miller, of University of Cincinnati; Diep Tu, of the Florida Prestressed Concrete Institute; and Mike Wolff, of Mid-States Concrete Industries.
“We couldn’t have been more pleased with the record turnout and the energy and enthusiasm of PCI members during the PCI Convention,” said PCI president and CEO Bob Risser. “PCI’s many committees continue to be very busy managing our programs and enhancing our body of knowledge. We’re particularly pleased that we continue to attract more students to the event, so they can learn about and appreciate the advantages precast, prestressed concrete bring to the built environment. We hope they will cherish the memories of their first PCI Convention throughout their careers, either as design professionals or in the industry.”
Contributions to PCI and the industry
Several people were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the institute and the precast, prestressed concrete industry during the PCI Annual Members Meeting and Luncheon.
The Medal of Honor, PCI’s most prestigious award, was awarded to Chuck Prussack, who worked for Central Pre-Mix Prestress for 38 years. He has had a passion for bridges throughout his career, as well as for exploring new frontiers for prestressed concrete bridges. He was involved with PCI’s Bridge Producers Committee, Bridge Committee, and Technical Activities Council. Prussack served on the PCI board and was appointed board chair in 2016. He is now retired.
The Mario J. Bertolini Leadership and Innovation Award was given to Chris Pastorius, vice-president and general manager of Virginia operations for Metromont LLC. Pastorius began working in the precast concrete industry in 1985 and has had several roles with PCI. He was a member of the PCI board and served as chair in 2015. He was also on the board of Altus Group for eight years and was chair from 2008 to 2010.
The 2023 Distinguished Educator Award was given to Adel Elsafty. He is a distinguished professor and served as the coordinator of the civil engineering program at the University of North Florida (UNF) in Jacksonville. Since joining UNF in 2005, Elsafty has developed and taught several undergraduate and graduate structural engineering courses. He has served on the PCI Education Committee, is chair of the PCI Foundation Academic Council, and has been a member of the PCI Foundation Board of Trustees since 2018.
Ten members were honored as 2023 PCI Fellows:
- Steve Brock retired from GATE Precast Company in 2022 and is currently a member of the PCI Research & Development Council.
- Roy Eriksson is president and CEO of Eriksson Technologies Eriksson Software.
- Les Kempers is vice-president of engineering, marketing, and sales for GPRM Prestress in Oahu, Hawaii.
- Paul Kourajian is director of research and development for Molin Concrete Products in Lino Lakes, Minnesota.
- John Lawler is principal at Wiss, Janney, Elstner in Northbrook, Illinois.
- Glenn Myers is principal technical professional for structural engineering of bridges and maritime structures at Atkins North America Inc.
- Richard Potts is corporate vice-president of engineering with Standard Concrete Products Inc. in Savannah, Georgia.
- Gregg Reese is senior technical advisor at Modjeski and Masters Inc., and is a leader of their Concrete Bridge Technology Unit.
- Christopher White is a structures senior technical advisor for Volkert Inc. in Houston, Texas.
- Michael (Mike) Woff is vice-president of safety and quality for Mid-States Concrete Industries in South Beloit, Illinois.
The next PCI Convention at The Precast Show will take place from Feb. 6 to 9, 2024, in Denver, Colorado.