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Briefs May 2011

Texas Industries has promoted Les Vines to treasurer; he will direct the company’s Investor Relations activities and retain his vice president and corporate controller titles. After nine years with Ernst & Young LLP, Vines joined Dallas-based TXI as accountant in 1995, becoming corporate controller in 2004 and more recently assistant treasurer.

Board election results from the annual meeting of Ameron International Corp., Pasadena, Calif., indicate James Marlen will serve another three-year term as director and remain president, chief executive officer and chairman, while James Mitarotonda secures a seat incumbent director David Davenport sought to hold.

Mitarontonda is chairman of Barington Capital Group, New York, which for more than a year has challenged Marlen’s leadership, and toward the March 30 annual meeting waged a proxy campaign to secure board representation and change director terms. He has questioned financial performance throughout Ameron’s businesses, which include concrete, steel and fiberglass pipe and pole operations, plus a major ready mixed and aggregate position in Hawaii. "Notwithstanding the recent proxy contest with Barington Capital, Ameron directors will work collaboratively in the best interest of stockholders,” said Marlen.

Family, friends and industry colleagues held an early-April memorial service in Brockport, N.Y., for James R. Northrup, an innovator in ready mixed and aggregate production and delivery. Established as an underground and public works contractor, he founded Northrup Concrete, Inc. in 1981, at the age of 40, growing the business to include three concrete plants at two production locations; a sand and gravel plant; limestone quarry; and, an asphalt plant. The company introduced the Stone Slinger delivery vehicle to the U.S. market and launched a front discharge mixer fleet in the greater Rochester, N.Y. market. James Northrup sold the business in 1997 to the Dolomite Group, which in turn was acquired by Oldcastle Materials—the latter maintaining the Northrup brand for ready mixed.

The board of U.S. Concrete, Inc. has formed a search committee to replace President and CEO Michael W. Harlan, who will retain the titles he has held for four years as directors seek a successor. A founding U.S. Concrete director and chief financial officer from May 1999–November 2004, he served as executive vice president and chief operating officer prior to taking the helm in May 2007. “The men and women of this company are dedicated to providing outstanding service to its customers and creating value for its shareholders,” says Harlan. “After having successfully completed the restructuring of U.S. Concrete’s balance sheet in August 2010, I am confident the company is well positioned for the next stage of its growth.”

To reflect the growing importance of green building, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association has added a fifth career track to its industry-leading STEPS (Seminars, Training, & Education Programs) program. This latest track, Sustainability, joins Business Management, Concrete Technology, Operations & Production, and Sales, Marketing & Promotion, and reflects the growing importance of ready mixed concrete’s role in sustainable development. The goal of this certification program is to ensure concrete professionals are knowledgeable on concepts of sustainable development and green building practices. Additionally, all class work, readings and exams are offered in an interactive online format to facilitate participation.


Industry personnel can pursue a Certified Concrete Professional (CCPf) designation within each of the five STEPS’ tracks. NRMCA’s CCPf is widely considered the most advanced professional education and training accomplishment and one that hundreds of ready mix employees have earned. To date, NRMCA has awarded more than 50 CCPf certificates, including two in the new Sustainability track. Additional information on STEPS can be obtained from Eileen Dickson, 240/485-1164, [email protected]

During its 2011 convention, the National Concrete Masonry Association recognized Paul Hargest of Ontario-based Boehmer's/ Hargest Block Ltd. for outstanding leadership within the industry, both as a producer and Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association executive director.

Separately, the NCMA board approved appointment of Jason Thompson as vice president of Engineering. A structural engineer with 14 years at NCMA, most recently managing technical and research activities, he has served in many leadership capacities on behalf of the association and the masonry industry including the chairman of the Masonry Alliance for Codes and Standards and secretary of the Masonry Standards Joint Committee. He has also been recognized on three separate occasions with the ASTM Alan H. Yorkdale Award for the best technical paper regarding masonry.

Teams from Middle Tennessee State University, Greenville Technical College, and Arizona State University took first, second and third place, respectively, in the American Concrete Institute and American Society of Concrete Contractors 2011 Student Concrete Construction Competition.

The competition presents a project statement to each participating team of up to five undergraduate students. The statement can comprise anything a project manager or field engineer may face on a concrete construction project. Teams have one week to submit a solution to the project statement. Responses are judged on the basis of clarity, technical quality, and economy.

This year’s teams were asked to provide a plan for controlling cracks in the overlay and deck placements for a bridge deck replacement project in Jacksonville, Fla. They were given specific details, such as specific bridge measurements, environmental characteristics, and concrete mix designs to work with. Specifically, teams were asked to provide what preventative measures should be taken before, during, and after concrete placement and any equipment that would be needed to enable the execution of the suggestions.

Separately, ASCC will hold its annual CEO Forum June 16-19 at Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, N.C. A leadership and executive conference for concrete professionals, it is geared for chief executives, presidents, owners, CFOs, vice presidents and other top managers of concrete contracting firms. The forum includes seminars, roundtable discussions, a golf tournament, croquet tournament and other networking opportunities.

Seminar topics include U.S. economic prospects, investing in today’s volatile markets, how and why contractors can leverage social media, and the best ways to prevail and prosper in the midst of continuing economic uncertainty. Registration can be completed, and additional information obtained by visiting or call the ASCC office at 866/788-2722.

Building energy performance disclosure regulations now exist in a growing number of states, including California and Washington, as well as cities such as Austin, Texas; Seattle, Wash.; and New York, N.Y. These regulatory activities, combined with the economic reality that energy efficient buildings are more attractive to lenders, buyers and tenants, have been the driving forces for a new ASTM International standard for building energy performance assessment.

ASTM E2797, Practice for Building Energy Performance Assessment for a Building Involved in a Real Estate Transaction, was developed by Subcommittee E50.02 on Real Estate Assessment and Management, part of ASTM International Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action.

“ASTM E2797 is expected to be the foundation for accurate and reliable building energy use data collection, compilation and analysis in the public and commercial property industry,” says Anthony

Buonicore, Buonicore Partners LLC, and an E50 member. “It will complement existing building rating and certification systems and facilitate improved benchmarking and building labeling. ASTM E2797 provides a clear and precise methodology for building energy use and energy cost data collection and analysis that is consistent, transparent, practical and reasonable.”
Buonicore also notes that the new standard is already finding use with those who provide energy auditing, property due diligence, energy efficiency lending and asset management services. To purchase ASTM standards, visit and search by the standard designation number, or contact ASTM Customer Relations at 610/832-9585, [email protected].