In early February, the Pipe Line Contractors Association (PLCA) held its annual convention just north of Jacksonville, Florida, at Amelia Island. This was the 71st annual convention, and it attracted 665 attendees.
Rob Riess, Henkels & McCoy, PLCA’s 2018 president chaired the overall convention. During the business sessions, he reported that major 2019 projects expect constant delays due to court challenges, environmental issues and other obstructions. On the other hand, contractors are doing a lot more integrity management work.
PLCA membership stands at 94 regular members and 96 associate members, for a total of 190. That’s an increase of eight members over 2018.
This year’s convention was a remarkable change to prior years conventions. Various business sessions are a mainstay of the convention, as well as more formal reception/dinner-type events. This year there were a number of other networking opportunities available, such as a conservation tour, a beach 5K fun run, an Amelia River cruise and others. There was also an adventuresome evening, which included a reception and dinner at nearby Fort Clinch, which dates back to 1847.
This year’s silent auction had a casino theme. The auction raised about $600,000, all of which goes toward the annual PLCA scholarship fund. Twenty scholarships were awarded for 2018 at $8,000 each and are renewable. To date, more than $5 million in scholarships have been awarded through the program.
There were a number of past presidents and honorary members in attendance. Recognized as new honorary members this year were Dave Stotz, retired president Latex, and Paul Somerville, Associated Pipeline Contractors.
The final banquet welcomed Jimmy Crotts, Appalachian Pipeline Contractors, as 2019 PLCA president. The 72nd annual convention will be held Feb. 4-8, 2020 at the La Quinta Resort & Spa, at La Quinta, California.