As we break for Thanksgiving, a uniquely American holiday, to celebrate with family, friends, and all who we cherish in our personal lives, I wanted to use this edition of “In the Mix” to express gratitude to all of the professionals who come together to support ACPA and work so hard in the spirit of the Association’s mission and vision to promote concrete pavement. At ACPA, we aren’t simply fighting for increased market share or the bottom line (though they matter), we are fighting for the livelihood of the family-owned contracting businesses throughout America. We are fighting for a more sustainable and resilient world better positioned to weather natural disasters. We are fighting to help cities understand that urban heat islands can be effectively combated through smart material choice. We are fighting to show that there are options for a better world and concrete can be a solution to many of the challenges we face. So, I wish you all my expressions of gratitude and tell each of you that I am thankful for you and your efforts.

Also, I include expressions of gratitude specifically to the following people who have truly shined this year with their hard work, dedication, or in some cases simple kindness. Have a wonderful holiday, friends! We will see you in Marco Island, FL December 12 – 14 for our Annual Meeting.

ACPA’s Contractor Members. The work of our contractor members connect and pave the country and advance the industry.  I thank all of our contractor members for advancing concrete pavements every single day to make not only the ACPA Federation, but our entire country stronger.

ACPA Chairman Steve Friess. Steve’s commitment and boundless energy have offered inspiration to many of our members and the ACPA staff. Steve has travelled across the country meeting with members, attending shows, and bringing in member prospects. It is tough to catch Steve, but when you do, you are certain to have a good laugh, talk paving, and likely raise a glass to all that’s good. Steve is a dedicated Chairman, with extensive contracting knowledge…and mostly, a heck of a guy! Thank you, Steve!

ACPA Administrative Committee and Board of Directors. Once again, ACPA has had more expressions of interest to serve on the ACPA Board than we have available seats. This is what you want to see in an association! And why wouldn’t ACPA members want to serve, the Admin Committee and the Board of Directors come together as an engaged body to solve problems and ensure the health and vitality of their association. This year, under the guidance of future Chairs Ernie Peterson (CRH), Don Weaver (Weaver Bailey), and Patrick Cleary (Holcim) and Treasurer Dan Rozycki (The Transtec Group), the Board has helped stabilize the budget, bring in new revenue sources, and meet national conversations like sustainability head on. Thank you to all our contractor, cement and equipment and materials members who serve!

ACPA’s Valued Cement Partners. We’d truly be nowhere without you. Thank you for supporting strong marketing, technical and advocacy programs essential to the coordination of promotion of concrete at the state and local level. Your support is never taken for granted.

ACPA’s Engineering Team and Chapter State Executive Directors. Collectively, ACPA’s technical team saves the concrete paving industry millions of dollars every year. Under the direction of Chief Engineer Gary Mitchell, the FAA and Tri-Services engagement can’t be rivaled. Under the earnest passion of Senior Director Eric Ferrebee, our team has produced pieces like our whitepaper on sustainability – Concrete Pavement’s Role in a Sustainable, Resilient Future, which has recently won two awards.

Strong Association Partners. NRMCA’s Concrete Advancement Foundation’s Executive Director Julie Garbini has been a valued partner since I began my tenure at ACPA. Not only is she a firm believer in the mission of MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub, but she is currently spearheading an effort to bring associations together to help advance grant and funding opportunities. Julie is a strong collaborator, leader and we value her collaboration and outreach! Thank you, Julie.

ACPA’s marketing partner Advancing Organizational Excellence (AOE) led by Kimberly Kayler is another credit to this industry. The hard work and vision she exudes has helped elevate the marketing product and promotion materials for our Association including pieces on competition, long-life pavements, equivalent design and sustainability – and, she’s just getting warmed up. Look for big things to come from AOE in 2024. Thank you, Kimberly!

Thank you to Sarah Bazey of American Highway for spearheading an effort to revitalize ACPA’s 501 c(3). Outside of the RCC activities (which are important) the Foundation has been underutilized. Through Sarah’s efforts, we hope to create funding sources that will support the CP Tech Center, Emerging Leaders, our State/Chapter partners for many years to come.

The upcoming DOT Executive’s Panel. Thank you to Secretary Tim Gatz of Oklahoma, Secretary Mike Carroll of Pennsylvania, Secretary Omer Osman of Illinois, Assistant Deputy Secretary Joel Nilsestuen of Wisconsin and Fmr. Chairman Bill Shuster for agreeing to moderate this distinguished panel.

Push the Code”. Thank you to all who have registered for World of Concrete using ACPA’s code A14.  Together our contractors and members have made us #6 on the leader board for most codes used across the conference. When you register for the conference using our code, ACPA gets a rebate with each dollar going right back into supporting education, promotion, technical services, advocacy and all of the other important programs ACPA offers. Thank you for your support and #pushthecode.

Learning Experiences and Invitations. I am grateful for all that I’ve learned about concrete paving this year, even having the chance to be “on-the-grade” in Germany for a “whisper concrete” paving project alongside many of ACPA’s contractor members. I am grateful to have traveled to countless workshops and State/Chapter meetings. I am grateful for all who have invited me to come learn more about what it is you do or even play a round of golf to get to know you better. Please, reach out in 2024 and extend an invitation. I’d be honored!

ACPA staff. As we break for the holiday, let’s acknowledge that ACPA’s team (Andy G., Anna McMullen, Gary Mitchell, Eric Ferrebee, Amber Davis, Val Kliment, Larry Scofield, Mark Snyder, and Tim Martin) are diligently working this week and beyond to pull together the Annual Meeting. As ACPA has done for 60 years, we don’t stop working until a quality event is delivered! Thanks Team!

Lastly, I need to acknowledge the most complicated relationship I’ve had in my 47 years on this planet – my relationship with the Detroit Lions. On behalf of all of America, my beloved Lions, we thank you for being a decent football team (8-2!) this year and not subjecting all of America to a nationally televised disaster that we tried to call a Thanksgiving tradition. LET’S GO LIONS!

Have a wonderful holiday. Be well.

Cheers!