The Distribution Contractors Association (DCA) held its 56th annual convention Feb. 6-11 on the Island of Maui, Hawaii at the Grand Wailea Hotel. This was a record setting event with almost 500 attendees. Outgoing DCA President Dale Anderson, executive vice president of Miller Pipeline, and his wife Theresa headed up all of the convention planning along with Shepard Poole, president and CEO of Hallen Construction Co., and his wife Ann. The schedule of business and social events took full advantage of all that makes Hawaii so beautiful.
Highlights of the numerous business meetings included:
- The HDD Committee session had an extensive discussion about drilling fluids; specifically, the environmental issues and costs associated with the disposal of drilling fluids.
- DCA has launched a workforce development program — the Underground Construction Workforce Alliance — and that related committee meeting was chaired by Mark Bridgers, of Continuum Capital. There is a pilot program under way in Ohio and DCA is monitoring that program with the plan to build upon its results.
- The Government Relations Committee meeting was headed by Eben Wyman, of Wyman Assoc. The focal point of this session was the relatively new Gold Shovel Standard Safety Program that originated with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in California. There was discussion on how this related to the Common Ground Alliance work.
- The “State of the Association” panel discussion was upbeat regarding gas distribution work. Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), was called upon because he had recently sat in on a meeting of union leaders with President Donald Trump. O’Sullivan commented that the spirit of that meeting at The White House was favorable with the union leaders feeling that the Trump administration’s efforts will be quite positive for pipeline construction.
Convention organizers invited two strong speakers. Jason Dorsey, chief strategy officer at the Center for Generational Kinetics, delivered a new take on generations based on his cutting-edge research. He presented a generational overview of Traditionalists (pre-1946) through Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z (the present).
Jon Dorenbos, long snapper for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, offered a motivational speech applying what he has developed as a “master magician” showing his life experiences and NFL stories.
On Friday morning, a fun team building event was held. It was titled “Build Your Own Boat.” All participants were provided with materials that included cardboard, plastic wrap and duct tape to build a boat that would hold ideally four people. There was then a two-man race, a four-man race and a final effort to see how many people could fit in a boat. It was a lot of fun to participate and be a spectator.
The annual auction was again handled by Butch Graham, of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, the results were a record-setting $1 million in funds raised for DCA’s work.
The convention came to an end Friday evening with the President’s Reception and Dinner. At the dinner, Anderson passed the gavel of presidency to Dale Mykyte, CEO of Pe Ben USA Inc. DCA’s 2017 mid-year meeting will be held July 19-23 at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The 2018 annual convention will be held at the St. Regis Monarch Beach, Dana Point, Calif. Feb. 25 to March 2.