Lahiana on the island of Maui Feb. 22-27 was the location of this year’s DCA annual convention. DCA conventions are always a blend of fun and business and this year was no exception.

The welcome reception, sponsored by Caterpillar, was particularly special  because it was an Elvis Presley look-a-like contest. Blue was the official color for the evening, as all conventioneers were provided with blue Hawaiian shirts.

DCA 2008 president Tony Deusenbery, Otis Eastern Service, chaired the convention. He was assisted by his wife Holly.

The business sessions included Patrick Tielborg, managing director and general counselor of the Pipe Line Contractors Association (PLCA) discussing current and future pipeline industry issues and projects; Mark Bridgers, senior consultant,  FMI and Andy Patron, consultant, FMI, presenting “green” building and Leed;  Terence O’Sullivan, general president, Labors International Union of North America (LIUNA), talking about upcoming plans of LIUNA and Sam Ariaratnam, professor, Arizona State University, discussing a formula approach for reviewing emissions and determining environmental impact during underground utility installation work.

An annual highlight is the annual auction. This year’s auction was sponsored by Volvo and raised more than $265,000.

A new feature at the convention was a team building event titled the “Aloha Games,” sponsored by American Augers. An enthusiastic time was had by all participants.

This year, DCA announced three honorary members: Ed Malzahn, The Charles Machine Works/Ditch Witch, Ruth Michels, Michels Corp., and Harold Mueller, MRM/Mueller Pipeliners. Each of these individuals was recognized for their outstanding contributions to DCA, their communities and the utility construction industry. Ruth Michels was on hand to receive her honor. Ed Malzahn was unable to be there but made a video accepting his award. Harold Mueller was represented by Tom Henkels, Henkels & McCoy and Dale Anderson, InfraSource Underground Construction, who accepted on behalf of Harold Mueller, who passed away in February.

The Annual President’s Dinner, sponsored by Vermeer Corp., closed out the convention. At the dinner, Shepard Poole, The Hallen Construction Co., was introduced as the 2009 DCA president.

DCA will meet July 22-26 in Jackson Hole Wyo., for its mid-year board of directors meeting. The 2010 convention will be held Feb. 23-28 at the Fiesta Americana Grand Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico.

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