Like the product its members manufacture, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute displayed its resilience and held its annual PCI Convention May 18-22, 2021, in a hybrid format. More than 500 members attended in person, while more than 300 others attended committee meetings from their homes and offices on Zoom.

The PCI Convention, held in conjunction with The Precast Show, was one of the first conventions and trade shows in the country held in person since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020. It also was the first event held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans in more than a year.

“It felt good to reunite with my PCI family and attend the PCI Convention and The Precast Show,” said PCI Chair Dennis Fink. “We quickly put the last year in the rearview mirror and got back to running PCI business and programs. PCI staff did a remarkable job pulling everything together in spite of all the challenges.”

“We are very proud of the work and support of our members and staff in putting on an event under challenging conditions that exceeded all our expectations,” said PCI President and CEO Bob Risser.  “Along the way we learned how to use technology to host an entirely hybrid event with all committee meetings having both in-person and virtual attendance, giving unprecedented access to PCI members.”

Two officers were elected for 2021 terms on the Board of Directors. J. Matt DeVoss, of Jackson Precast Inc., was elected vice chair, and Matt Ballain, Coreslab Structures (INDIANAPOLIS) was elected secretary-treasurer. Nine people were elected as new board members: Dennis Cilley, American Steel & Precast Erectors; Daniel Eckenrode, PCI Gulf South; Lloyd Kennedy, Finfrock Industries; Brent Koch, Con-Fab California; Al Krick, Smith-Midland; Matt Mahonski, High Concrete Group; Jim Renda, Cresset Chemical Co.; Lenny Salvo, Coreslab Structures (ORLANDO); and Peter Simoneau, Dailey Precast. The officers and new board members had already begun serving their terms before the PCI Convention convened.

During the PCI Annual Membership Meeting and Awards Lucheon, several individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions. Members who were not at the PCI Convention watched the Awards Luncheon live on Zoom. Honorees included:

  • Robert Bruce – Robert Bruce, who passed away in 2020, was honored posthumously with the PCI Medal of Honor, the Institue’s most prestigious award. Bruce was a pioneer in the field of prestressed concrete, and his work has had a profound impact on the industry.
  • Edward Knowles – Edward Knowles received the Mario J. Bertolini Leadership and Innovation Award. The vice president of Walters & Wolf Precast has been an active PCI member since 1983, was heavily involved in developing and promoting glass-fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels, and, having served on many committees, has made many contributions in advancing precast concrete research.
  • Sergio Breña, Todd Culp, Mary Ann Griggas-Smith, David Larsen, Alexander Mihaylov, Chris Mosley, and Cheryl Rishcoff  – All were honored as PCI Fellows. Breña is a professor and associate department head in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; Culp is general manager and vice president of Coreslab Structures (OMAHO) in Nebraska; Griggas-Smith is director of corporate engineering at Tindall Corporation in Spartanburg, S.C.; Larsen is president of Unity Design in Buffalo Grove, Ill., Mihaylov is a principal with Vector Structures LLC in Auburn, Wash.; Mosley is president and CEO of CEG Group, parent company of Consulting Engineers Group in Mt. Prospect, Ill.; Rishcoff is a consultant and structural engineer with TRC Worldwide in Allentown, Pa.

Each year, PCI Cares raises money for a charity in the PCI Convention’s host city. This year, a record $5,000 was raised for The Roots of Music. The charity empowers New Orleans youths through music education, academic support, and mentorship, while preserving and promoting the city’s unique musical and cultural heritage. During the Membership Meeting and Awards Luncheon, High Concrete Group president J. Seroki announced his company would match donations made to the group on that day.

The 2022 PCI Convention at The Precast Show will take place March 1-5 in Kansas City, Mo.