Members of the industry association representing utility contractors and excavators enjoyed perfect weather and a chance to recharge, reconnect, reinvest and relax at NUCA’s annual EXPO in Las Croabas, Puerto Rico, Jan 18-21.

Described as “The Executive Experience,” this year’s EXPO was focused on helping utility contractors and excavators address together the issues facing their industry and individual businesses. The four-day event allowed plenty of opportunity to meet and build relationships with suppliers and colleagues, and speak frankly in small groups with non-competing executives about specific challenges.

EXPO also featured speakers Charlie Cook (political analyst), Mark Zupan (quad rugby player, author and movie star), Carol O’Riordan (expert on doing business overseas) and Dale West (asset management expert). Major sponsors of the event included John Deere, Caterpillar, HD Supply Waterworks, Komatsu, Volvo Construction Equipment, CNA Insurance and Utility Contractor, sister magazine to Trenchless Technology.

NUCA’s annual meeting and the election of officers and board of directors for 2011 took place on Day Two of the EXPO. Twenty-six officers and directors from 18 states were elected: Ryan Schmitt of Petticoat-Schmitt Civil Contractors Inc. was elected chairman; Jim Barron of Ronkin Construction Inc. became Chairman Elect; Florentino Gregorio of Anchor Construction Corp., Vice Chairman ; Ronald T. Nunes of R.T. Nunes & Sons Inc., Treasurer; and Bruce Wendorf of Forsberg Construction Inc., Secretary. Immediate Past Chairman Dan East of Reynolds Southwest Inc. and Bill Hillman, Assistant Secretary and CEO, NUCA, were also elected to serve in those capacities.  

Fourteen contractor directors were elected. They are: Lane Berg of PipeCon Corp.;  Kari Biernacki of AUI Inc.; Mike Donatelli of Site Tech Corp.; Glenn Ely of PKF-Mark III ; Mark Fuglevand of Marshbank Construction; Kara Habrock of LG Roloff Construction; Richard R. Harp of Richard R. Harp Excavation Inc.; Bill Martinak of Emery & Sons Construction; Chad Reed of Teal Construction Inc.; Jeff Rumer of Underground Infrastructure Technologies; Mark Scoccolo of SCI Infrastructure LLC,; Keith Steen of P.F. Moon and Co. Inc.;  Brad Wegner of Midlands Contracting Inc. and Andy Wolf of Foley Construction Co.
Three non-contractor directors were also elected. They are: Albert Heckmann of Heckmann Sales & Leasing Inc.; Lewis Long of Volvo Construction Equipment and Roger B. Mohr of John Deere Construction Equipment Co.The two directors-at-large elected were Kevin Cripps of Distribution Construction Co. and Thomas O’Rourke of Underground Inc.

The Ditchdigger of the Year Award went to Ryan Schmitt of Petticoat-Schmitt, and the Associate of the Year award went to major EXPO sponsor and exhibitor Volvo, accepted by Lewis Long. NUCA’s new Strategic Plan was unveiled during the annual meeting of the membership.

An Exhibit Hall was open each morning for breakfast and during an evening reception giving attendees and exhibitors a chance to meet and talk. The conference ended with business owners and managers meeting in small groups at the Profit-Pipeline Roundtables. One participant said, “The Profit Pipeline Roundtables provided contractors and associate members the opportunity to discuss in detail: 1) the best approach to assure our businesses thrive as we come out of the recession, 2) how best to control and monitor office overhead and direct field costs, and 3) how to keep safety a top priority even during tough economic times.”

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