Bill and Christy Solomon, Vacuworx Global, served as the convention chairpersons.
The event scheduled a blend of business meetings, social activities and networking opportunities. DCA 2014 president Grady Bell, Laney Directional Drilling, reported on a number of “firsts” for DCA in the past year. He noted that in April DCA held its first joint workshop with the American Gas Association. The annual Safety Congress inducted its first Safety Person of the Year Award. DCA is also growing its involvement in advocacy on Capitol Hill inWashington, D.C., with lobbyist Eben Wyman, principal at Wyman Associates, representing DCA.
DCA’s patriotic interest was highlighted by two convention speakers. Former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill spoke about his training and missions and retired Lt. General Russel Honore discussed the U.S. Army’s role in helping New Orleans recover from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The group also held a breakfast at the World War II Museum. The HDD Committee also had a special presentation. Kelvin Self of Ditch Witch discussed an Oklahoma State University study regarding drilling mud disposal. The Associate Member meeting reviewed a job fair that will be held April 21 in Minneapolis.
The convention provided an opportunity to induct two new Honorary Members into DCA: Jack Gabrielse, retired president of InterCon Construction, and Ken Gabrielse, retired president of Gabe’s Construction Co. The annual auction had amazing results, with more than $900,000 raised. Ritchie Bros.’ Butch Graham served as auctioneer for the live auction. For the first time, bids for the silent auction could be made using a smartphone.
In keeping with tradition, the convention closed with a president’s reception and dinner. At the dinner, the president’s gavel was passed over to the 2015 DCA president, Frank Patterson, Primoris Pipeline Services. The 2016 annual convention will be held Feb. 15-19 in Naples, Florida.