The 70th annual Pipe Line Contractors Association (PLCA) convention was held Feb. 13-17 on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii. Attendance was at record levels at almost 700 regular and associate members. Bob Osborn, Michels Corp., 2017 PLCA president chaired the convention.
Osborn reported at the opening General Business Session that membership is now comprised of 88 regular members and 97 associate members. He noted that 2017 laborer worked man-hours was one of the best years ever and he projected that in the decade 2010-2019, 84 million man-hours will likely be worked, which is double any other decade.
Osborn commented that laborer man-hours are the best gauge of how strong pipeline construction work is. The convention introduced Elizabeth Worrell as the association’s new managing director & chief counsel. She replaces J. Pat Tielborg, who retired in 2017 after 40 years as managing director.
This year’s convention included a silent auction benefiting the PLCA Scholarship Fund. Since the first Scholarship Fund Auction held in 1999, the fund has awarded more than 218 scholarships to exceptional students across the United States. This year 20 well-deserving students joined these prestigious ranks. To date, the fund has awarded more than $4 million in scholarships. The 2018 silent auction generated more than $500,000.
General Business Session speakers were Mark Breslin and Dr. Patrick Moore. Breslin is the No. 1 industry speaker on change management, leadership, strategy and labor-management relationships. Breslin is the fourth generation of a blue-collar family. He comes from a deep background in construction having started his career working in the field.
Moore is a noted international and environmental leader for more than 40 years. He revealed the myths and misinformation that distort current environmental debates. He was a founding member of Greenpeace and served for nine years as president of Greenpeace Canada and seven years as a director of Greenpeace International. His focus is now on a vision for a more sustainable world. As the ultimate Greenpeace insider, he has written “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist.”
PLCA’s Board of Directors recognized its newest honorary members:
- Michael Langston, 45 years in the pipe construction industry and served as president of Price Gregory International Inc. before moving on to a semi-retirement phase of his life.
- Carl Weatherford, a long-time sales representative for CRC-Evans was
represented at the convention by his son Eddie.
- Bob Westphal, 50 years of pipeline and utility construction
experience and an HDD pioneer; currently, senior vice president of construction operations at Michels Corp.
The annual banquet saw Osborn’s presidential term come to an end. Robert Riess, vice president and division manager, Henkels & McCoy, was introduced as PLCA’s 2018 president. The 2019 convention will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida, Feb. 6-10.