The 60th annual convention of the Pipe Line Contractors Association (PLCA) met Feb. 20-24 at the Ritz Carlton in Maui, Hawaii. There were 560 people in attendance to enjoy the beautiful Kapalua area on the northwest corner of Maui.

The convention included a blend of business and social activities that produced a busy schedule of events for the members. Bill Leone, Delta Gulf Corp., PLCA outgoing president led the business sessions. He pointed out that the pipeline industry is experiencing tremendous growth. In 2006, there were 1,600 miles of pipe line installed in the United States. In 2007, there were 5,679 miles. The outlook for 2008 and going forward is extremely bright, per Leone.

The problem the industry is facing is a shortage of qualified craft workers, Leone said. A big help, he pointed out, is improving productivity that has been made possible by equipment technology introductions. An interesting business session included an address by attorney Rusty Hardin, who is representing baseball player Roger Clemens in his steroid allegation fight.

The social events included receptions and dinners, whale watching and the annual golf tournament. As is customary, the final annual banquet introduced the new officers. The 2008 PLCA president is Bob Johnston, Henkels & McCoy Inc. Other officers and directors are first vice president Don Thorn, Welded Construction; second vice president, Brian Ganske, Snelson Companies; and treasurer, Christopher Leines, Minnesota Ltd.

New directors are Bernie Bermack, Associated Pipe Line Contractors, Daniel Murphy, Precision Pipeline and Ronnie Wise, Gregory & Cook Construction. The 13th member appointed by the board of directors for a one-year term is Robert Westphal, Michels Corp.

The 61st annual convention will be held at the Four Seasons Resorts Aviara, Carlsbad, Calif., Feb. 11-15, 2009.

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