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Building the Future: November 2023

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Building the Future: November 2023

ACI Foundation Donor Spotlight: Daniel Schwartz

Dan Schwartz has worked in the concrete and construction industries for over 30 years and is currently the Vice President of Operations at PWE Construction, Inc., in Oklahoma, USA. Schwartz also owns a consulting business, DMS Consulting LLC, where he advises project authorities on best practices for concrete construction. Not only has PWE, Inc., been an ACI organizational member since 2018, Schwartz himself has been an ACI member since 2015, as well as a consistent donor to the ACI Foundation since 2021. Schwartz’s involvement with ACI, and by extension, the ACI Foundation, started about a decade ago when he began reading ACI specifications to better understand some issues he was having on a concrete placement project.

“At the beginning, the vast amount of knowledge seemed overwhelming. However, I learned a lot quickly and soon found that, because of access to this knowledge base, our placements and projects improved, and our problems were greatly reduced. ACI has directly impacted our success, limited my problems, and provided a comprehensive resource of information to help make our company stand out in the highly competitive government construction market.” Schwartz’s involvement with ACI not only helped him and his business practice, but also helped him connect with other major industry figures and establish friendships and professional relationships that have left a lasting and positive impact on our industry.

“ACI taught me how to use initial project meetings to correctly set expectations. These meetings would often generate changes in design that would reduce unwanted problems. But that is not the highlight of my ‘ACI story’—it gets better. In late 2017, we had an issue on a concrete project, and I needed an expert opinion. Jim Cornell, FACI, had recently been honored by Concrete Construction as one of the ‘Most Influential People in Concrete.’ I read the article and thought I would give him a call and see if he could help—I thought it was a long shot, but worth a try. I left a message but did not hear back that day, and I expected that I never would hear back from him. I remember thinking ‘the guy is busy,’ and he would ‘never have time to help me with my little problem.’ The phone rang early the next morning, and to my surprise it was Cornell; we talked for an hour or so and agreed to talk again later that week. This was the start of a friendship that I cherish. One of the most influential people in concrete not only called me back, but he helped resolve the issue. He has [gone on to] talk at events we have sponsored, and he has introduced me to many other highly knowledgeable people at ACI. Cornell is not the only one to help me out; Steve Lloyd and Tyler Ley—both Fellows of ACI—also responded to me when I needed some advice. I will always remember and appreciate the time and assistance that these industry pillars have graciously provided me, and it inspires me to help others when I can.”

By choosing to give back by supporting the Foundation, Schwartz directly supports the education of the next generation of industry leaders through the Foundation’s Scholarship program; helps us investigate new and innovative technologies through the Concrete Innovation Council; and supports the projects funded and co-funded by the Foundation’s Concrete Research Council, which informs and benefits ACI committee documents and eventually influences the practices of his company and consulting firm.

“I could talk for hours about how ACI has helped me. We have completed hundreds of government projects and placed thousands of yards of concrete, and our reputation would not be as good as it is if not for ACI—that is a fact. If not for ACI literature and specifications, we would have learned tough and expensive lessons the hard way. ACI has probably played the most important role in making us successful on government and Corps projects, and I will continue to support ACI in any way, and as often as I can,” Schwartz said. “The Foundation [and my] goals are aligned. I too want to invest in organizations and people that encourage research, creative new ideas, and provide problem-solving for the concrete industry. I believe the Foundation does a great job of this and is worthy of as much support as we can give!”

To contribute to the Foundation’s mission and for more information, visit www.acifoundation.org/giving or contact Kari Martin, ACI Foundation Fundraising Manager, at kari. martin@acifoundation.org or +1.248.848.3757.

ACI Foundation Hosts Successful Technology Forum in Portland

Participants and presenters gathered to discuss emerging technological advances at the ACI Foundation’s Concrete Innovation Council (CIC) 2023 Technology Forum. The event took place August 29-31, 2023, at The Benson Portland, Curio Collection by Hilton in Portland, OR, USA. The Technology Forum is an innovation-focused educational and networking event for concrete professionals. This year’s Technology Forum was successful, in part due to growing attendance, but also in how diverse members of the concrete community engaged in discussion about issues in our industry. For example, concrete strength is a critical parameter in determining the cost, quality, and durability of the concrete and can greatly affect the construction schedule. The debate on the opportunities and challenges of introducing new technologies that directly measure concrete strength in place offered interesting commentary from several perspectives on how to solve this industry challenge.

This exchange of knowledge, through multiple specialties and disciplines, is why the ACI Foundation Technology Forum ranks among the best conferences to gain insight on the future of concrete.

To learn more and receive the latest information for the 2024 Technology Forum scheduled for May 14-16, 2024, in Santa Fe, NM, USA, visit www.acifoundation.org/ technology/forums.aspx.

Helping Those Who Have Served

The ACI Foundation’s CMEC Veteran’s Rebate program began in 2019 with a 50,000 USD donation from CMEC Holdings, Inc. When it was founded, this rebate fund was intended for the recognition and appreciation of the service of U.S. military veterans, and to help meet the demand for ACI certified construction workers. Today, the Foundation’s CMEC rebate program has provided financial aid to over 200 U.S. veterans seeking ACI certifications to further their careers in the concrete industry—and will continue to do so until the funds are depleted. “

Veterans place their lives on hold to serve, and it’s important that they are recognized for their sacrifice. CMEC’s generous funding of the Veteran’s Rebate program provides ACI with the opportunity to directly recognize veterans for their service in a manner that also helps to improve workforce skills. We urge veterans with a desire to pursue a career in concrete construction to seek ACI Certification in any of our 30+ programs and apply for a rebate. They’ve supported us, it’s only fair that we, in turn, support them,” said John Nehasil, ACI Senior Managing Director of Certification and Chapters.

Any U.S. veteran (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and National Guard) with proof of an honorable discharge is eligible for a 250 USD rebate on all first-time ACI certifications as the result of exams administered on or after June 1, 2018.

How to apply

Print and complete the application at www.concrete.org/certification/veteranrebate and return it to the address listed on the application along with a copy of your DD 214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty from the U.S. Department of Defense. If you do not have a copy of your DD 214, you can obtain one from the National Archives at www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records. No digital applications will be accepted. To learn more about the benefits of obtaining an ACI certification, visit www.concrete.org/certification/ whyacicertification.aspx.

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