Association News

Chapter Chairman Discusses Vision, Goals

Rico Fung, P.Eng., has a clear path mapped out for the ACPA-affiliated Chapter/States during his tenure as the 2015 Chairman of the ACPA Chapter/State Committee. 

Fung has already charted a course that is unique for two reasons: He is the first person outside the United States and is the first person working for a national organization, the Cement Association of Canada (CAC), to serve as Chapter/State Chairman.  The latter is the result of a unique affiliation agreement that affords the CAC the full access, rights, and privileges of the ACPA-affiliated Chapter/State paving organization. (Fung serves the CAC as its Director of Markets & Technical Affairs, working out of the association’s Toronto office.) 

Rico Fung poses a question during ACPA’s 2014 annual meeting. (Photo: ACPA)

Rico Fung poses a question during ACPA’s 2014 annual meeting. (Photo: ACPA)

“I’m honored to be the Chair, and very enthusiastic,” Fung says, adding, that he sees one of his roles as “looking out for the interest of all the Chapter/States.  This is their committee, and I am there to serve them.”

Moving the Needle
He outlined a full slate of major initiatives and issues that are top priorities for the Chapter/States in the short term.

“As Chapter/State Committee Chair, my foremost goal is to grow the market, to move the needle in the marketplace. 

He also explained a second major priority is passage of a well-funded, multi-year Federal-aid highway bill, noting that he would like the Chapter/States to have the resources necessary to raise awareness with elected officials about “how important this bill is to the highway infrastructure, the economy, and the survival of the industry.”

Another goal is to reinforce technical leadership, both at the national and local levels, he said. “Without ACPA National’s technical support, we will not be able to do that,” he said, adding the goal is to leverage national expertise and resources to assist local technical experts in their service to contractors and other members, as well as with state and local agency/owners.

Fung also said a fourth goal is to foster closer working relationships with the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and Portland Cement Association, while also “involving the MIT Sustainability Hub to leverage the knowledge they have developed to help us move the needle in the marketplace.”  

The Chapter/State group is also engaged in a number of initiatives, including:

  • Chapter/State Website Redevelopment Effort—ACPA is developing a standardized series of aesthetically pleasing and functional templates and other resources, which ACPA-affiliated Chapter/States may use to establish or improve their web presence. Fung credited the work of ACPA’s Andy Gieraltowski and a working group comprised of Jim Powell (Northwest Chapter), Mitzi McIntyre-Group Leader (Utah Chapter), Randy Riley (Illinois Chapter) and David Sethre (North Dakota Chapter), who are working to create sites that are “more inviting, interesting, and dynamic, and which entice users to download information and also pick up the phone and call their local resources.”
  • Marketing Messaging—The affiliated Chapter/States are supporting an effort led by Second Vice Chair Lori Tiefenthaler (and Chair of the ACPA Strategic Advisory Committee) to develop a Vision Paper on Sustainability that will benefit the local associations.
  • Unified Software—The Chapter/States also support an effort by ACPA National to evaluate the concept of a unified approach to design software.

Increasing Involvement
Fung said he is striving to increase participation among Chapter/States and association members.  

“My goal is to increase participation among the Chapter/States through conference calls and face-to-face meetings, and getting people to engage.”  He acknowledges this can be challenging, given the differences in staffing, coverage area, history, market share, and other factors that make each Chapter and State paving association unique.

His goal is building consensus, but when that is not possible, he adds that one of the best ways to bridge differences is to reach out to people to understand their concerns and get their input. Deploying small groups—such as the one working on the website redevelopment effort—also helps focus attention on topics that have most relevance and impact on individual Chapter/States, rather than trying to develop resources and solutions for the entire group.

Fung encouraged all Chapter/State executives and others to attend the mid-year Chapter/State meeting, scheduled for May 12 through 14.  The first day will kick off with a half-day meeting, followed by a reception.   The meeting continues with a full day on May 13, and a half-day (ending at 11 a.m.) on May 14.   The meeting will be held at the Pillar & Post Inn, Niagara-on-the-Lake, in southern Ontario.

Personal Insights
There are four things I try to keep in mind in professional life, he said, adding that the list includes being credible; being knowledgeable; being persistent and never giving up; and being a good listener.

“I don’t always practice it, but I try to be a good listener, and I’m still working on this one,” he said with a laugh.  On a serious note, Fung recalled a recent conversation with a municipal official who asked what Fung wanted to present.  

“My presentation is for the audience,” he told the official. “I want the audience to be engaged and to feel they have listened to the information they want to hear.”  The response was positive, and the official then asked his colleagues for input that would help pinpoint Fung’s presentation to their needs.

Outside of his role with CAC and his volunteer leadership position with the ACPA Chapter/States, Fung enjoys traveling and fishing, two activities that he finds appealing for two different reasons.

He enjoys meeting people, networking, and learns from the experiences of others, which is one of the appeals of traveling.  “Travel means different things, but for me, it means learning different cultures, seeing different places, and meeting different people.”  Among his favorite places to visit have been South America, Europe, and China.

In contrast, he said, “fishing is more solitary. It is an opportunity to spend time with good friends and enjoying nature.”

FHWA Recognizes Burwell for Leadership in Innovation

ACPA Congratulates Brent Burwell, P.E., Executive Director of the Oklahoma/Arkansas Chapter-ACPA for being recognized formally by the Federal Highway Burwell-award-032415-smAdministration for his work with the State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) in Oklahoma.

Waseem Fazal, Pavement Engineer with the FHWA’s Oklahoma Division in Oklahoma City, said Burwell was recognized for his overall leadership and participation in the STIC, as well as for advancing initiatives such as the FHWA’s “Every Day Counts” program, SHRP2, and other programs that foster innovative practices and technologies in the Federal-aid highway system.  Fazal added the Oklahoma STIC is one of 27 in the United States.

The STIC Network helps to establish a group of representatives from various levels of the highway community in each State to comprehensively and strategically consider all sources of innovation, according to the FHWA.  

STICs link the FHWA and state DOT’s with other local agencies; contractors, consultants; LTAP’s, TTAP’s, and UTC’s; universities; and federal resource agencies to advance “new ideas and better ways to more quickly deliver transportation to America.”

In Pennsylvania, Product Knowledge Becomes a Lasting Tribute

Times have changed in Pennsylvania, and so too, have the ways of encouraging participation in the ACPA Pennsylvania Concrete Conference*, the most recent of which was held in Harrisburg, Pa. 

John Becker, P.E., ACPA Pennsylvania Chapter President, explained that a new incentive program has replaced the traditional prize drawing.  This was necessitated by a recent gubernatorial executive order that would have precluded PennDOT staff from participating.

The solution involved encouraging all conference attendees to visit with and dialogue with the 21 organizations that came together to exhibit products and services.  For every participant who visited with 16 or more exhibitors, a $10 donation went to the Pennsylvania Highway Memorial Scholarship Fund. This scholarship fund assists the families of  highway workers (industry or PennDOT) who have lost their lives in a work zone accident.   

The Chapter is appreciative of the conference attendees who worked the exhibit room, resulting in the Chapter making a $700 donation to this fund. ACPA applauds this innovative approach, which is not only a great way to learn about current and emerging product technology, but also contributes to a worthy cause.  

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* The 17th Annual Pennsylvania Concrete Conference was hosted by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Concrete Pavement Association, in cooperation with the PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the Eastern Pennsylvania/Delaware and the Pittsburgh Area Chapter of the American Concrete Institute, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania, and the Central Atlantic Bridge Associates.  Also, the Federal Highway Administration, the Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association, the Pennsylvania Concrete Pipe Association, the Pennsylvania Precast Association, the Pennsylvania Concrete Promotion Council, the Northeast Region of the Portland Cement Association , and ACPA National.

Oklahoma/Arkansas Chapter Names Promotional Director for Arkansas

The Oklahoma/Arkansas Chapter of the American Concrete Pavement Association announced the appointment of Alan Meadors, P.E., as Promotional Director of Arkansas, effective March 1.

Meadors is a recently retired Engineer of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD). He received his Bachelors and Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Arkansas in the early 1980’s. His 35-year career with AHTD included 13 years as the Staff Research Engi-neer; 10 years as Division Engineer of the Planning and Research Division; and one year as the Division Head of the System Information and Research Division. He is a 20-year veteran of AHTD’s Specification Committee and served many years on the Pavement Selection Committee. He is a registered professional engineer.

Meadors and his wife of 30 years, Liane, have two grown children.

Save the Date for the ACPA Mid-Year Meeting

ACPA is encouraging members, Chapter/States, technology partners and others to save the date for the association’s Mid-Year Meeting.  

The Mid-Year Meeting is where the concrete pavement industry gathers to discuss current events and topics that have the greatest impact on the business opportunities and threats; industry best practices; specifications and standards; and more.

The ACPA Mid-Year Meeting will be held Tuesday, June 23, through Thursday, June 25, at the Palomar Chicago (A Kimpton Hotel).  Meeting participants are encouraged to register for sleeping rooms as early as possible to take advantage of the $259/night discounted rate.   Click here for online hotel reservations. 

About the Meeting
ACPA is planning a “Maintenance of Traffic” workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 23. Task force meetings will follow the workshop on Tuesday afternoon and continue on Wednesday, June 24.   Also on June 24, ACPA’s Strategic Advisory Committee will meet.  This meeting is open to all registered guests. 

ACPA will host receptions on both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and all are welcome and  encouraged to attend these informal gatherings that include plenty of networking opportunities, as well as refreshments and snacks. The ACPA Mid-Year Meeting wraps up with the ACPA Board of Directors meeting, which is closed meeting.

More About the Hotel
HotelPalomar-Chicago-ACPAMYM2015Located at 505 State Street, south of Illinois, the Palomar Hotel is a contemporary, 4-star hotel just off Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile”  area of Michigan Ave. The hotel is very close (walking distance or a short cab ride) to some of the best restaurants, bars, shopping, and other attractions that Chicago has to offer. 

Hotel amenities include complimentary coffee and juice in the morning and a hosted wine hour in the evening. The Palomar was recognized as a “Best Hotels in the USA, 2014” by US News & World Report, a “Top 15 Chicago Hotel, 2013” by Conde Nast Traveler, and is one  is one of the highest rated/reviewed Chicago hotels on Google, TripAdvisor, and Yelp.

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